6 ways the reishi mushroom target and kill cancer cells

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reishi mushroom(NaturalHealth365) Many people with cancer become ill when their immune system takes a nose dive. With the immune system now vulnerable, potential lurking pathogens such as bacteria and viruses can take hold making it more difficult to stop healthy cells from turning cancerous.

But, we shouldn’t be surprised with the millions of deaths associated with cancer or low immunity – especially when you consider the loss of minerals in our farming soil; the overabundance of sugar in the diet; artificial ingredients inside too many heavily-processed foods plus the proliferation of GMOs.

Conventionally-trained healthcare providers know little to NOTHING about nutrition, herbs and mushrooms

For example, according to world-renown mycologist Paul Stamets, ‘of the 140,000 species of mushroom-forming fungi, science is familiar with only 10 percent.’ Such a shame – when you understand that mushrooms have some of the most potent natural medicines on the planet.

Thankfully, there are many scientists looking at the health benefits within the plant kingdom – especially with regard to the Reishi mushroom. Known for its immune building and anti-aging virtues, more recent research highlights the antibody-mediating, multi-mechanistic power that makes Reishi a super cancer-fighter.


How does reishi target (and kill) cancer cells?

1. Reishi assists the immune system in preventing secondary infections. As if cancer wasn’t challenging to begin with, secondary attacks on the immune system from environmental pathogenic influences, such as viruses and bacteria, make the immune system particularly vulnerable in those already experiencing oncological issues.

2. Reishi helps breast cancer patients. Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is the most pervasive cancer of this type. New findings confirm that Reishi is a suitable IBC therapeutic – because of its ability to selectively inhibit cancer cell viability.

The Journal of Nutrition and Cancer published findings, from researchers, that showed the Reishi mushroom consistently inhibited cell invasion and disrupted cell spheroids involved in the invasive nature of cancer cells.

3. Reishi has multi-faceted immunomodulatory effects. Studies highlight how Reishi can identify potential pathogenic invaders by amplifying natural killer cell activity. Because Reishi’s therapeutic action can break down fibrinogen, an outer layer that protects cancer cells, they are more susceptible to cell death.

4. Keeping healthy cells intact has been demonstrated by Reishi. In a study observing its effects on ovarian cancer cells and cell-mediated responses, Reishi inhibited cell colony formation and cell migration demonstrating its ability to protect already healthy cells. The study also highlighted how Reishi takes action to assist in inhibiting tumor cell growth.

5. Reishi regulates programmed cell death. Referred to as apoptosis, reishi extract has the ability to stop cancer cells in their tracks. Eventually all healthy cells die, but certain cancer cells do not undergo apoptosis and divide endlessly wreaking internal havoc. Reishi intermediates this process successfully.

6. Reishi beats cancer at its own ‘cell-squeezing’ game. Cancer cells, through the protein-destroying enzyme, matrix metalloproteinase squeeze their way into healthy cells and destroy surrounding tissue. They can also enter the bloodstream to metastasize. Reishi has been shown to block the enzyme and prevent cancer from penetrating where it does not belong.

Remember, not all Reishi supplements are created equal. To access the benefits that have been obtained in studies it is essential to use standardized Reishi extracts containing assayed levels of Ganoderma Lucidum, the active therapeutic agent.

Ask your integrative healthcare practitioner to help suggest a dosage and high quality Reishi supplement that best reflects your needs. And, while you’re at it, ask how you can incorporate Reishi mushroom into your regular diet.

Editor’s note:  The NaturalHealth365 Store offers a variety of high-quality, medicinal mushroom blends and extracts to help support healthy immune function.  If you’re looking to boost immune function – investigate the health benefits of Reishi, Shitake, Coriolus versicolor (“Turkey tail”), Cordyceps, Maitake and Chaga plus many other organic foods, herbs and spices.  The reward is worth the effort.

About the author: Christine M. Dionese L.Ac, MSTOM is an integrative health expert, medical journalist and food writer. She’s dedicated her career to helping others understand the science of happiness and its powerful effects on everyday human health. Christine practices, writes and speaks on environmental functional medicine, personalized medicine and epigenetics, food science and sustainable living.


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  • Eddy H

    The reishi mushroom is excellent for those with a candida problem. Research has shown that this mushroom is healing and helps with high blood pressure and even HIV/AIDS.

  • Daniel Regan

    Reishi lowers liver enzymes, and protects the liver from oxidative stress.This mushroom is excellent for people with hepatitis. It inhibits the release of histamines, which are responsible for inflammation. Also, it reduces stuffiness related to seasonal allergies. This makes it good for asthmatics and anyone with chronic bronchitis.

  • Nurse Lori

    The reishi mushroom is good for people with autoimmune disease. It lowers an overactive immune system and at the same time can boost an under-active immune response.

  • W Hughes

    Since this mushroom amplifies killer cell activity, would it be safe and work for someone with Sjogren’s Syndrome (an auto-immune syndrome where the immune system works overtime and destroys the moisture producing gland function)? Would it cause the already over-active killer cells to kill even more normal functions of the glandular system?

  • Patsy Wolfe

    In Asia mushrooms are considered a mainstay of medicine. They are considered a treasure, because of their taste and medicinal properties.

  • Ariel Gail MacLean

    Thank you for this excellent article outlining the back story about how my reishi regimen helped me reverse multiple complex cancers this past year. I disagree however, in your recommendation to only work with a reishi extract supplement product. My research has consistently led me to choose the certified organic WHOLE FOOD product sold by a reputable, previously known company. For the medicinal mushroom part of my Phytochemotherapy regimen, I choose Mountain Rose Herbs (Eugene) where I buy in bulk dry reishi and 5 other mushrooms, grind it in my food processor, encapsulize myself in veggie caps, then I take these caps – first at lower levels to determine any allergic reactions, then throughout my day and night. I do the same thing with my turmeric, schizandra, hawthorn, triphala, and a dozen other herbs, berries, roots, barks, and flowers, always choosing the WHOLE FOOD and processing myself. Not only does this result in a much fresher, more high quality medicine (I am in the WHOLE FOOD camp which never forgets the advantage of the synergistically bound phytochemicals found only in the flesh/fiber of things), the cost savings is nothing short of astronomical. I live in a barn on social security and could never have done this past year of successful cancer self-treatment without bypassing the exponentially more expensive retail option. Why pay someone else to put a processed food into a capsule when you can pay yourself to put a whole food into a capsule for pennies on the dollar. Not only does this make the entire project possible on a subsistence lifestyle, it makes no sense to transfer your economic support of the conventional healthcare system to the new emerging healthcare system., no matter how good the doctor’s formulas are…..let those few with tons of resources for their alternative cancer treatment pay these new alternative medicine entrepreneurs.

    • exlalady

      Ariel, I’m very happy that you found the path to healing in this natural mode. Thank you for this invaluable information. Continue to be well.

  • Not as Tired

    A holistic doctor recommended Reishi to me for fatigue. It does help. I think I will try Ariel’s method of crushing and capsuling the herb myself.

  • It is essential when looking for a Reishi mushroom product to use that it be two things: one, extracted – the mushroom is very woody and the human body does not contain enough of the necessary enzymes to digest; two, extracted in both water and alcohol – Reishi contains both water soluble and alcohol soluble compounds so to get its fullest gifts it should be dual extracted.

  • I’d also add that Reishi brings a wide array of other health benefits to the body that include the lungs, heart, liver, inflammation, sleep, blood sugar, and more. Too often medicinal mushrooms are pigeonholed as immune benefiting compounds only.

  • Ros Betts

    This mushroom sounds very interesting with the properties being mentioned. Thank you for posting about the WHOLE FOOD aspect of what you do for yourself Ariel.