What Science and Medical Studies Say About Mushrooms
Maybe you have been recommended Turkey Tail (trametes versicolor) by your veterinarian or friend? Maybe you found out about Turkey Tail online? Maybe this is your first article researching Turkey Tail or even other medicinal mushrooms? In any case, you are on the right track because Turkey Tail is an excellent mushroom for the increase in immunity and/or fighting cancer.
Here is a list of mushrooms with links to Medical Journals about their effectiveness with cancer and immunity building, including Turkey Tail. Every mushroom has a link to a medical study, let’s get scientific shall we?
The 4 Other Mushrooms You Need
Did you know there are at least four other medicinal mushrooms that are as effective in boosting dog immunity and fighting cancer in dogs? Since Chinese Medicine is thousands of years old there are many other mushrooms that have been used with great results and have accumulated a great deal of positive research. It is common that we tend to move our focus to the newest research, like this article showing great anti-cancer effects of Turkey Tail. Turkey Tail is certainly amazing, but it is worth noting that many other substances, including medicinal mushrooms, also have similar effects and positive research also. Additionally research shows that combining herbs and mushrooms have a greater effect than using just a single herb or mushroom!
The 5 Mushrooms of Immunity and Cancer Support:
- Turkey Tail
- Lion’s Mane
Reishi / Ganoderma / Ling Zhi
Reishi mushroom is known as Ling Zhi in Chinese Medicine and we can trace its official materia medica origins back to the second century. Reishi has been used by Chinese Emperors and high ranking officials for its longevity / immunity boosting effects. It has been known for over 2000 years that Reishi increases health and promotes long life. Reishi has been used for anti-tumor and anti-neoplastic effects and in research this has shown true. Reishi is the only other herb in this medical journal from The Cancer Institute along with Turkey Tail for cancer use. Additionally, The International Journal of Cancer documented its immune-boosting effects that it: increased monocytes, macrophages, and lymphocytes as well as increased cytokine, interleukin, tumor-necrosis factor and interferon (International Journal of Cancer, 1997:699-705).
Cordyceps / Dong Chong Xia Cao
Cordyceps is actually a parasitic fungi, although mostly to insects with exoskeletons. However, 95% of the Cordyceps on the market are grown in a “farmed” manner that doesn’t require insects. Since the 1700’s cordyceps has been used to boost immunity and fertility. Cordyceps is great for the kidneys, immunity, and the lungs. The Shanghai Journal of Chinese Medicine and Herbology did a study using Cordyceps to treat malignant tumors and was successful in 93% of the patients (Shanghai Journal of Chinese Medicine, 1986;10-25).
Tips When Using Multiple Mushrooms:
- Mushrooms can be used in the same amount as each other
- Mushrooms are superfoods and can be used in higher dosages
- Mushrooms combine safely and increase each other’s effectiveness
- Mushrooms have a neutral flavor and can be added to any food or drink
- You can reduce each amount of mushroom dosage the more types you take
- Organic and USA grown Mushrooms are available on the market
Chaga Mushroom is a birch growing fungus and is known by its scientific name Inonotus Obliquus. Chaga is incredibly good for your health and has many beneficial properties for you and your dog.
As far as cancer is concerned; the MSK Cancer Center lists its effects as:
- To prevent and treat cancer
- To stimulate the immune system
- To reduce inflammation
- To protect the liver
A study from a University in Korea shows the anti-cancer effects in a paper by using a tea of the Chaga mushroom with excellent results. Chaga is very scarce in wild crafted form, so you should try to source it in a cultivated form.
Our last mushroom on our list is Hericium erinaceus or Lion’s Mane. Lion’s Mane has many effects and properties, but if we put them into 2 main categories we could say it is good for Cognitive Function (your brain!) and Anti-inflammatory properties. What an amazing combo! The Mushroom Lab in Japan did a study on Lions Mane and found extraordinarily good anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is known to be an underlying factor in all metabolic conditions which include cancer. Most mushrooms have some kind of anti-inflammatory property, but none even as close as Lion’s Mane!
Should I ONLY use Mushrooms for cancer and immunity support?
Easy answer: NO! I have been studying herbs and Chinese medicine for over 15 years and I can tell you there are many other herbs that you should use for immunity support and cancer support for either you or your pup! Let me expand on this a little.
“Herbalism 101 says that you should always use more than 1 herb at a time”
Lowered immunity, susceptibility to disease, and cancers and tumors are not a new thing. Chinese Medicine is estimated to be roughly 5000 year old. You can read very old books that compile herbs and give suggested healing strategies for issues of building immunity and treating tumors and cancer that are before we knew of cancer in today’s form. Most formulas in these books will use 0-2 mushrooms and have 2-8 different herbs in there. Although I want to discuss mushrooms mainly in this article, I will briefly talk about a few herbs that you should research to likely use on yourself or for your pet. After-all research shows that combining these herbs makes them even more effective!
5 Herbs That Have Anti-Cancer / Anti-Tumor / Immune Building Properties
- Astragalus Root / Huang Qi
- Tian Kui Zi
- Siler Root / Fang Feng
- Angelica / Bai Zhu
- Ginseng / Ren Shen
The #1 herb for immunity is Astragalus. Astragalus is the main herb (king) in the oldest known formula for immunity building that exists and is the building block for most other formulas. Astragalus not only improves immunity; but it also increases energy, benefits digestion, fights dryness, and helps the body heal itself (and sores). The other 2 herbs in that famous formula are Siler Root (Fang Feng) and Angelica (Bai Zhi). These 3 herbs have a great defense action to them and are very supplementing and beneficial to the body.
Ginseng, you know that herb that is very famous and is touted to do almost everything? Well, immunity and cancer issues are definitely on the list of things Ginseng can help you with. Ginseng is the supplement of all supplements and gets its Chinese name from being the ‘spirit of the man’. Combining Ginseng with mushrooms, you will find that you will get increased in energy, a supplement to your spirit energy (glow), and overall performance increase of bodily functions and the ability to adapt to stress and challenges.
Lastly, there is Tian Kui Zi. This is a herb you likely have no familiarity with, but at one time you didn’t know Turkey Tail either, right? Tian Kui Zi is an anti-inflammatory herb that is very anti-tumor. Tian Kui Zi is good for any attack on the body, especially ‘toxic’ ones. Tian Kui Zi is good for the cold, the flu, infections, poisons, tumors, and anything that makes you red or inflamed anywhere!
Sourcing These Herbs and Mushrooms For Use
Herbalism 101 says that you should always use more than 1 herb at a time and use herbs that are synergistic with what you are wanting to take (ie. Adding Ginseng to Turkey Tail will make both herbs MORE effective). The only issue this causes is that you have to source many herbs or purchase a blend. This may mean more time and money spent on your end.
If you are looking to supplement more herbs in addition to Turkey Tail Mushroom, then I suggest that you add herbs on top of your Turkey Tail you are already using and in the same dosage (ie continue your using your Turkey Tail product as-is, but use blends and herbs along with it even if they also include Turkey Tail to increase the effectiveness). This will give you peace of mind while adding in immunity supplements to help the effectiveness of your treatment plan.
Links to High Quality Supplements Discussed Above:
- Organic Ginseng Extract Powder (by Dimmak Herbs on Amazon.com)
- Astragalus (by Dimmak Herbs)
- Immunity Blend (by Doggie Herbs)
Doggie Herbs Immunity Blend is a Turkey Tail supplement but has all of these herbs and mushrooms discussed above in it also. It can be used in addition to more Turkey Tail and that combination is one of the easiest ways to get all the herbs and mushrooms for the best immunity boost possible. Any of these herbs listed can be used directly with Turkey Tail extract to improve your results!