Medicinal mushrooms and cancer – a scientific review

From time immemorial, mushrooms have been valued by humankind as a culinary wonder and folk medicine in Oriental practice. The last decade has witnessed the overwhelming interest of western research fraternity in pharmaceutical potential of mushrooms. The chief medicinal uses of mushrooms discovered so far are as anti-oxidant, anti-diabetic, hypocholesterolemic, anti-tumor, anti-cancer, immunomodulatory, anti-allergic, nephroprotective, and anti-microbial agents. The mushrooms credited with success against cancer belong to the genus Phellinus, Pleurotus, Agaricus, Ganoderma, Clitocybe, Antrodia, Trametes, Cordyceps, Xerocomus, Calvatia, Schizophyllum, Flammulina, Suillus, Inonotus, Inocybe, Funlia, Lactarius, Albatrellus, Russula, and Fomes. The anti-cancer compounds play crucial role as reactive oxygen species inducer, mitotic kinase inhibitor, anti-mitotic, angiogenesis inhibitor, topoisomerase inhibitor, leading to apoptosis, and eventually checking cancer proliferation. The present review updates the recent findings on the pharmacologically active compounds, their anti-tumor potential, and underlying mechanism of biological action in order to raise awareness for further investigations to develop cancer therapeutics from mushrooms. The mounting evidences from various research groups across the globe, regarding anti-tumor application of mushroom extracts unarguably make it a fast-track research area worth mass attention.

Read the whole raport: Recent developments in mushrooms as anti-cancer therapeutics: a review

The best medicinal mushrooms – list, benefits, anti-cancer mushrooms

TOP MEDICINAL MUSHROOMS

  • Reishi
  • Coriolus versicolor
  • Shiitake
  • Monkeyhead mushroom
  • Agaricus blazei
  • Chaga
  • Cordyceps sinensis

Reishi extract

LATIN NAME:
Ganoderma lucideum

PART USED:
Fruitbody, Mycelium

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS:
Polysaccharides, BETA D Glucan, Triterpene, Protein, Reishi acid

PHARMACOLOGICAL ACTION:
Anti-tumor
Protect liver
Anti-aging
Anti-allergic
Strengthen immunity
Promote the synthetic ability of DNA, RNA and protein in the liver, bone marrow and blood

Lions mane / Monkeyhead mushroom extract

LATIN NAME:
Hericium erinaceus

PART USED:
Fruitbody, mycelium

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS:
Polysaccharides, BETA D Glucan, Hericenones

PHARMACOLOGICAL ACTION:
Help to cure dyspesia, gastric ulcer, stomachache gasteremphraxis and neurasthenia
Lower serum cholesterol
Promote blood circulation

Agaricus blazei extract

LATIN NAME:
Agaricus brasilensis

PART USED:
Fruitbody, mycelium

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS:
Polysaccharides, BETA D Glucan, Triterpene, Glycopeptide

PHARMACOLOGICAL ACTION:
Retrain tumor cell growth
Lower blood glucose and cholesterol
Reverse atherosclerosis
Anti-tumor, anti-radiation
Resist mutation and anti-inflammatory

Coriolus versicolor / Turkey Tail

LATIN NAME:
Trametes versicolor

PART USED:
Fruitbody, mycelium

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS:
Polysaccharides, BETA D Glucan, Triterpene, Glycopeptite, Protein

PHARMACOLOGICAL ACTION:
Protect liver and heart
Cure chronic hepatitis and hepatitis B
Anti-aging
Anti-oxidant
Anti-tumor
Enhance body immunity

Shiitake extract

LATIN NAME:
Lentinus edodes

PART USED:
Fruitbody, Mycelium

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS:
Polysaccharides, BETA D Glucan, Adenosine

PHARMACOLOGICAL ACTION:
Relieve symptoms of relapsed gastric cancer, liver cancer, bladder canber.
Enhance body immunity system.
Adjust disorder of trace emements.

Chaga extract

LATIN NAME:
Inonqqus obliquus

PART USED:
Fruitbody, mycelium

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS:
Polysccharides, BETA D Glucan, Triterpene, Betulinic acid

PHARMACOLOGICAL ACTION:
Lower blood glucose
Help to cure heart diseases, diabetes, cancer (gastric cancer, liver cancer, lung cancer)
Restrain HIV virus

Cordyceps sinensis extract

LATIN NAME:
Ophiocordyceps sinensis

PART USED:
Mycelium, dried cordyceps militaris

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS:
Polysaccharides, Manitol, Adenosine, Cordycepin, Cordycepic acid

PHARMACOLOGICAL ACTION:
Improve respiratory system
Enhance body immunity
Promote adrenal gland
Anti-tumor