Immune System: Mushrooms

November 2, 2020
November 2, 2020 The Uncommon Gym
Immune System

Let’s continue discussing our Immune System and what we can do to support it with this second post about mushrooms.  (You can find the first blog post on Vitamin D here.)

As a kid, I did not like mushrooms.  I didn’t like the texture – they either were too spongy or too slimy, but I was also a picky eater in general so it made sense.  As I have matured (aka gotten older), I am glad that my taste buds have matured as well and I now enjoy eating mushrooms since they offer not only a wonderful dining experience but a great deal of nutritional value.  If you are like me, when you hear mushroom – you think of the domed cap fruit body, but have you heard of mycelium?  I began to learn about the mycelium (some refer to it as the “wood wide web”) and how important this fungi in its entirety serve our planet.  Plants and trees are connected.  How?  Through the mycelium.  Pretty cool.  The mycelium are the vegetative part of a fungus, consisting of a network of fine white filaments (hyphae).

My Mushroom rabbit hole began by listening to Paul Stamets.   I am going to include a few videos below if anyone is interested in learning more, but before here are today’s take away points:

  • Mushrooms have been used medicinally for a long time.  I have read since at least 3000 BCE.  It’s known that Hippocrates (circa 450 BCE) spoke of them.  1
  • Mushrooms are reported to have antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, cardiovascular-protective, antidiabetic, hepatoprotective, and anticancer properties. 2
    • Mushrooms that decrease inflammation may have the added benefit of decreasing fatigue, anxiety, and other symptoms by decreasing inflammatory cytokines.
  • Mushrooms are rich in polysaccharides, which help bolster and maintain the structure of your cells (essential in having a healthy immune system).
  • If your curious, I don’t just eat mushrooms (fruit body) but use powder supplements containing the mycelium as well.
    • For my Immune System:  mainly Turkey Tail & Agarikon but I also take a few others including Reishi, Cordyceps, Lions Mane
    • I would suggest buying mushrooms grown in America and Organic.  I use for the powder supplements.

Here is a 10 Minute Ted Talk by Paul Stamets where he talks about the antimicrobial properties of fungi, how they can be used as potent insecticides, and how they may help boost the human immune system.

It’s a fascinating talk.  The insecticide portion of the video is very, very interesting, but pay attention to the end of the video where he discussed how they used mushrooms (specifically Turkey Tail) to support his mom’s immune system in adjunct to our modern cancer therapy.

Below are a few more videos to start your journey into the mushroom rabbit hole.  Enjoy!  I would love to hear what you learn so make sure you reach out an let me know!

The ``Wood Wide Web``
How Fungi Help Plants Communicate
What is Mushroom Mycelium?
Paul Stamets
Joe Rogan Interview #1
Paul Stamets
Joe Rogan Interview #2
Merlin Sheldrake Interview
The Philosophy of Fungi
Additional Immune System Posts

A Note from Uncommon

Everything shared on this website is opinion.   We are not doctors or lawyers and we don’t play them on the internet.  As such, anything we write is (obviously) not a substitute for medical advice and you should get medical advice from a competent professional whenever needed.