MycoStat is a liquid blend of six mushrooms (Reishi, Shiitake, Maitake, "caterpillar fungus," Turkey Tail, Shirokikurage) known in traditional Japanese and Chinese medicine for their healing potential. Occasionally an allergic reaction such as a skin rash may occur that subsides with discontinued use.

The mushroom's resistance to microbial attack is apparent from their hardiness in dark, moist environments where viruses and bacteria tend to flourish. The lower fungi (molds) were the first sources of antibiotics (penicillin, erythromycin and tetracycline); the higher fungi, mushrooms also make potent antiviral and antibacterial compounds to protect themselves against pathogens that would otherwise compromise their growth.

Along with polysaccharides, mushrooms also contain selenium and antioxidants, all of which stimulate immune function. Since mushrooms tend to accumulate aluminum which occurs naturally in soils, it is best to purchase them through reputable dealers. MycoStat claims to address this issue in the process of their liquid product.

Reishi | Shiitake | Maitake | caterpillar fungus | Turkey Tail | Shirokikurage

Reishi Mushroom (ganoderma lucidum)
Reishi is known in China as Ling zhi, which translates to "herb of spiritual potency." Reishi is generally more often medicinally than as food since it has a bitter flavor. This tough little mushroom is best used in slow simmer soups.

The Reishi mushroom has been used to ease nervous tension, enhance sleep,reduce indigestion, and support immune system functions. In clinical studies, it has been found to shrink tumors and increase T-cell and alpha-interferon production.

Shiitake Mushroom (lentinus edodes)
Shiitake mushrooms are prized by gourmets and are cultivated in Japan on a large scale to meet local and international demand.

Shiitakes increase the production of macrophages (cells that eliminate foreign substances). Shiitakes also promote the production and utilization of Vitamin D. The principal active constituent in Shiitake is the polysaccharide lentinan which supports the immune system. Shiitake also contains a polysaccharide known as KS-2, and a polypentose, Ac2P, both of which are under investigation for their effects on viruses and the immune system. It is also an interferon inducer and increases the activity of the antioxidant superoxide dismutase.

In Japan, Shiitakes are used to treat breast cancer. The Chinese and the Japanese use Shiitakes to increase resistance to disease.

To reconstitute dried mushrooms, heat water almost to the point of boiling. Combine soy sauce and soak dried mushrooms about 15 minutes. Use mushrooms in soups (like miso, minestrone, or chicken), stew and vegetable dishes and sauces (like tomato).

Maitake Mushroom (grifola frondosa)
Maitake mushrooms grows in clusters weighing as much as 100 pounds. It serves as both food and medicine, providing immune-stimulating polysaccharides that enhance macrophage and natural killer cell functions, stimulate the release of interleukins and other cytokins, and help protect the immune system form toxins. Maitake extracts may also inhibit some effects of viruses.

Of the mushrooms that have been studied for medicinal value, Maitake has been found to have the most consistent anti-cancer effect form oral intake. Other mushrooms may have active ingredients that are effective when injected.

Beta-Glucan (1, 6 and 1, 3), one of the polysaccharides present in the Maitake, is extracted and sold in health food stores and has a good anecdotal tract record for assisting cancer patients.

D-fraction, also extracted and sold in capsule form at health food stores, increases interleukin-1 production from macrophages suppressing tumor growth and inhibiting metastasis. Studies show that D-fraction also augments the anticancer activity of drugs like Mytomycin and is effective in reducing the toxic side effects of chemotherapy by reducing the incidence of appetite loss, vomiting, nausea, hair loss, and leukopenia (deficiency of immune cells) in human cancer patients.

Dried Maitake mushrooms are readily available while fresh ones are still rare in the US.

Caterpillar fungus (cordyceps sinensis)
This mushroom grows on the bodies of moth larvae. Cordyceps was used as a tonic and ergogenic in ancient China. In 1993, a group of Chinese runners who had previously been mediocre in the sport broke nine world records after using a tonic containing cordyceps. Its benefits include enhanced oxygen uptake, by the brain and heart, and improved resistance to hypoxia (lack of oxygen at the tissue level). Cordyceps also enhances immunity by increasing the activity of T-cells and natural killer cells, and by accelerating spleen regeneration. Like Shiitake, this mushroom can increase superoxide dismtase (SOD) activity.

Turkey Tail (coriolus versicolor)
Also called Yun-zhi or cloud fungus, Turkey Tail contains two polysaccharides known to enhance the immune system.

Shirokikurage (tremella fuciformis)
Also called White Jelly, this fungus contains large quantities of glucuronoxylomannan, an acidic polysaccharide with interesting biological properties. Dietary supplementation with this polysaccharide in crude form results in marked hypocholesterolemic effects (levels of choleterol that are too low), probably attributable to suppression of intestinal cholesterol absorption.

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