Reishi Mushroom Extract can be used as part of your candida treatment.
For a long while there has been conflicting views about whether people with candida overgrowth should avoid mushrooms for the sake of their health. Some people will tell you not to consume mushrooms of any kind if you have candida overgrowth.
Although they fall under the same general category of fungi: Mushrooms are not mold. Mushrooms are not yeast.
Not all mushrooms need be avoided.
The ones you do want to enjoy include shiitake, maitake (both culinary delights) and reishi mushrooms (not so delicious, usually taken as reishi mushroom extract). In fact, reishi mushrooms can help your immune system to regain balance over the invasive form of candida. Remember, candida is a natural element in the human body, it only becomes invasive and detrimental when it is given an opportunity to grow out of control, which happens when the immune system is weakened.
Did you know that some fungi are more closely related to animals than plants are to those same animals? And that some diseases which affect fungi can affect humans as well? Weird, but true.
For instance, three pathenogenic microorganisms which cause diseases common to fungi and humans (these are ones I know of, I'm sure there are more):
Escherichia coli (E Coli)
Staphylococcus aureus (the most common cause of staph infections)
Pseudomonas aeruginosa (a bacteria which causes the common "hot tub rash, or "hot tub folliculitis")
One of medicinal mushrooms' natural defenses is to produce antibiotics to fight infection from microorganisms. In fact, antibiotics commonly prescribed at the doctor's office are often derived from fungi.
There is an increasingly accepted hypothesis in modern medicine that polypore mushrooms like reishi mushroom extract and maitake mushrooms can help provide a immune "shield" against a number of infectious diseases, including candida. Shiitake mushrooms, while not polypores, are also known for their immune enhancing properties.
One of the beneficial elements in these medicinal mushrooms are certain polysaccharides, which are a form of complex carbohydrates. Cellulose (plant fiber) and pectin (found in fruits such as citrus, apples and pears) are two other well known forms of polysaccharides.
Okay, once again, let me reiterate that I'm no scientist, but I am an avid reader and always poking around for new and interesting information. Here's some more information on reishi mushrooms and other healing mushrooms - some of which even I wouldn't attempt to explain scientifically, but nonetheless I find it compelling because there is an abundance of scientific and medicinal research coming back with positive results.
Reishi mushrooms and the other healing mushrooms contain an abundance of not only "polysaccharides" but also "protein-bound polysaccharides", including the much touted beta-D-glucans, which is one reason they all possess such potent immune-strengthening properties (beta-D-glucans is primarily used for immune enhancing properties as well as its ability to help lower cholesterol).
Other medicinal herbs and plants including Aloe Vera, Echinacea and Astragalus contain polysaccharides, which are believed to be a major part of their immune-enhancing actions. Protein-bound polysaccharides found in the medicinal mushrooms have been shown to be even more effective for immune responses than individual polysaccharides.
Thus, it's hypothesized that the protein-bound polysaccharides found in mushrooms such as reishi mushroom extract, maitake mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms are extra-beneficial for people whose health is compromised by candida overgrowth.
Animal and human trials demonstrate that mushrooms like reishi, maitake
and shiitake enhance the production of T-cells, helper T-cells, natural killer cells and macrophages.
They also contain sterols and triterpenes which have been demonstrated to help lower blood pressure and serum cholesterol levels as well as reduce inflammatory responses.
They've also been shown to protect and enhance liver function, which is great news for candida sufferers, since the liver is working overtime to process the toxins produced by the candida yeasts.
All mushrooms are surprisingly rich in protein and B vitamins (which help to relieve stress, depression and fatigue commonly associated with candida and poor health in general).
They're also the only non-animal source of vitamin D that I know of. The USDA's recommended daily intake of Vitamin D is 200 IU (international units), which is considered a very low estimate by numerous health experts. All mushrooms synthesize vitamin D from natural sunlight (or even artificial light), but look at the comparison between regular button mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms:
100 grams of white button mushrooms contain an average of 18 IU of vitamin D.
100 grams of shiitake mushrooms contain an average of 96 IU of vitamin D!!
Vitamin D deficiency is being linked to many health problems, so make sure you're getting enough every day. Remember, vitamin D is synthesized by the body from sunlight, or obtained from food sources like cod liver oil, salmon, eggs, milk.
Or... from the shiitakes in your stir fry...
I hope this will encourage more readers to consider the benefits of reishi mushroom extract, as well as cooking with maitake and shiitake mushrooms for candida, health and overall wellness.
General descriptions and benefits of Maitake, Shiitake and Reishi Mushrooms
Reishi Mushroom Extract and Candida - back to Candida Diet Guidelines
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