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The Pharmacy of Healing Mushrooms

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The Pharmacy of Healing Mushrooms

Beate Berg
Natural Medicine Centre, Witten, Germany

Jan I. Lelley
GAMU Ltd. Institute for Mushroom Research Hüttenallee 241, D-47800 Krefeld, Germany


The term mycotherapy was first coined in 1997 by the coauthor of this book, Professor Jan I. Lelley. It refers to the use of fungi and fungal substances in the prevention and treatment of health problems in humans and animals. Over the past 18 years, this form of naturopathy, which has been firmly entrenched in traditional European and Asian medicine for nearly half a century, has been increasingly corroborated through modern, scientific research, gaining considerable importance over time.

Lelley and Berg briefly summarize the key information about medicinal mushrooms and their potential therapeutic applications. This compendium on mycotherapy has been compiled on the basis of recognized scientific information and years of practical experience. It does not claim to be exhaustive, but it is expandable.

172 pages,© 2020

Table of Contents:

Pharmacy of Healing Mushrooms
Part I: The World of Fungi
Important Fungi for the Prevention and Treatment of Health Disorders
Oyster Mushroom (Pleurotus spp.)
Royal Sun Agricarus (Agaricus brasiliensis)
Chinese Caterpillar Fungus (Cordyceps sinensis)
Umbrella Polypore (Polyporus umbellatus)
Hedgehog Mushroom (Hericium erinaceus)
Jew's Ear Fungus (Auricularia spp.)
Maitake (Grifola frondosa)
Button Mushroom (Agaricus bisporus)
Reishi or Ling Chih (Ganoderma lucidum)
Turkeytail (Coriolus or Trametes versicolor)
Ink Cap (Coprinus comatus)
Shiitake (Lentinula edodes)
Cultivation of Mushrooms With Healing Properties
Cultivation of Fungi That Naturally Grow on Wood
Cultivation of Fungi That Naturally Grow in Soil
Mycelium Propagation in a Bioreactor and on a Solid Medium
Mycotherapy in Traditional Chinese Medicine and East Asian Medicine
Oyster Mushrooms
Chinese Caterpillar Fungus
Umbrella Polypore
Jew's Ear Fungus
Fungi in Traditional European Medicine
Birch Polypore
Larch Polypore
Jew's Ear Fungus
Deer Truffles
Giant Puffball
Other Fungi in Medicine
Use of Fungi in Religion, Shamanism, and Psychoanalysis
Origin and Foundations of Modern Mycotherapy
Pharmacological Efficacy of Large Fungi
Mycotherapy as an Independent Field of Naturopathy
Science at the Interface between Mycology and Medicine
Prophylactic and Therapeutic Effects of Mushrooms
Mushrooms for Prevention
Mushrooms as an Important Nutrient and Foodstuff
Mushrooms from a Weight-Loss Perspective
The Main Nutrients of Edible Mushrooms
Fiber-Rich Mushrooms
Nutrient Density of Mushrooms
Vitamin Content of Mushrooms
Mineral Content of Mushrooms
Taste of Mushrooms
Edible Mushrooms: Only as Fresh Food.
Correct Storage of Mushrooms and Mushroom Dishes
Mushroom Preparation
Mushrooms for Therapy
Mushroom Polysaccharides
Terpenes in Mushrooms
Other Secondary, Therapeutically Effective Ingredients in Mushrooms
Mushroom Powder or Mushroom Extract?
Action and Efficacy
The Special Role of Cordyceps
Production Exceptions
Part II: The Practice of Mycotherapy
Eye Diseases
Gastrointestinal Diseases
Diseases Affecting the Mouth and Teeth
Hepatobiliary Disorders
Cardiovascular Disorders
Overview of Diseases and Health Disorders A–Z
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (Hyperactivity in Childhood)
AIDS (HIV Disease)
Alopecia, Areata (Hair Loss in Round Patches)
Alopecia, Diffusa (Hair Loss, Evenly Spread)
Angular Chelitis (Rhagades)
Arthrosis (Pain in the Locomotor Apparatus)
Bedwetting, Night-time (Nocturnal Enuresis)
Bladder Inflammation (Cystitis)
Blood Pressure, High (Hypertension)
Blood Pressure, Low (Hypotension)
Boils and Carbuncles
Bronchitis, Acute
Bronchitis, Chronic
Bronchodilatation (Bronchiectasis)
Burnout Syndrome
Cardiac Output, Decreased (Coronary Insufficiency)
Caries (Tooth Decay)
Catarrh (Inflammation of the Mucosa)
Chalazion (Meibomian Gland Lipogranuloma)
Cold, Acute (Flu-Like Infection)
Cold, Common (Acute Rhinitis)
Common Acne and Juvenile Acne (Oil Gland Secretion Disorder)
Constipation, Chronic
Desire to Have Children, Unfulfilled
Diabetes Mellitus
Diarrhea, Chronic
Difficulty Falling Asleep (Dyssomnia)
Emaciation of the Body, Extreme (Cachexia)
Enteritis, Chronic (Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis)
Eyelid Inflammation (Chronic Blepharitis)
Fatty Liver (Hepatic Steatosis)
Frigidity (Sexual Aversion of Women)
Gallstones (Cholelithiasis)
Gastritis, Acute
Gastroenteritis, Acute
Gout (Arthritis Urica)
Hardening of the Arteries (Arteriosclerosis)
Heart, Irritable (Cor Nervosum)
Impotence (Erectile Dysfunction)
Inflammation of the Liver (Hepatitis)
Inflammation of the Oral Mucosa (Stomatitis)
Inflammation of the Urethra (Urethritis)
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (Irritable Colon)
Irritable Stomach (Gastropathia Nervosa)
Itching (Pruritus)
Kidney Stones (Nephrolithiasis)
Liver Cirrhosis, Toxic
Ménière's Disease (Morbus Ménière)
Menopausal Disorders
Menstrual Disorders and Acyclic Bleeding
Mental Irritation and Fatigue (Vegetative Dystonia)
Morning Sickness (Hyperemesis Gravidarum)
Muscle Pain and Myosclerosis (Myalgia and Myogelosis)
Myocardial Insufficiency
Nerve Inflammation and Damage (Polyneuritis and Polyneuropathies)
Nerve Pain (Neuralgia)
Obesity (Adiposity)
Oral Herpes (Herpes Febrilis, Herpes Labialis)
Osteoporosis (Bone Loss)
Periodontosis (Periodontal Diseases)
Prolapse of the Uterus/Vagina
Pulmonary Emphysema (Chronic Lung Disease)
Pyelonephritis, Acute (Acute Kidney Infection)
Pyelonephritis, Chronic
Rheumatoid Arthritis (Chronic, Progressive Polyarthritis)
Rhinitis, Nonallergic (Vasomotor Rhinitis)
Shingles (Herpes Zoster)
Sinusitis, Acute
Skin Rash, Acute (Allergic Eczema)
Skin Rash, Itching (Eczema)
Soft-Tissue Rheumatism (Fibromyalgia)
Stye (Chronic, Recurrent Hordeolum)
Sweat Gland Disorders (Hyperhidrosis)
Tinnitus (Ringing in the Ears)
Tonsillitis, Acute (Angina Tonsillaris)
Tumors and Cancer
Vaginitis (Colpitis)
Varicose Veins
Water Retention in the Legs (Edema)
Wisdom Teeth, Dentition Problems (Dentitio Difficilis)
Frequently Asked Questions
Do medicinal mushrooms have side effects?
Are there unfavorable interactions between medicinal mushrooms and medicinal products?
Can medicinal mushrooms be taken safely in conjunction with other natural therapies?
Can antihypertensive drugs be discontinued independently?
Can medicinal mushrooms be taken during chemotherapy?
What points should be noted in relation to hormone therapy and hormone-dependent tumors?
Can medicinal mushrooms be taken with other food supplements?
Can medicinal mushroom treatment be incorporated in self-therapy?
How does a therapist without much experience recommend the correct medicinal product?
How should medicinal products be dosed to ensure an optimum effect?
Is it possible to overdose with medicinal mushroom products?
When and how should mushroom products be taken?
What types of medicinal mushroom products are available?
How quickly will results occur?
Does the weight of the capsule say something about the quality?
Can bovine spongiform encephalopathy be transmitted via capsule shells?
How long does treatment with medicinal mushrooms last?
Can the permanent ingestion of medical mushrooms be harmful?
Can several medicinal mushrooms be combined?
Does a tea infusion destroy the ingredients of medicinal mushrooms?
Should diabetics pay attention to bread units in mushroom products?
Can medicinal mushrooms also only be used prophylactically?
Are medicinal mushrooms also suitable for children?
Can medicinal mushrooms be used during pregnancy and while breast-feeding?
What is mycosis?
Can medicinal mushrooms be contaminated or charged?
Is exposure of wild mushrooms to radiation a problem for the culinary use of these mushrooms?