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The discovery of medicinal mushrooms

The use of medicinal mushrooms in traditional Chinese medicine goes back thousands of years. The earliest records of the use of mushrooms as a remedy date back to the Han Dynasty more than 2000 years ago. Chinese medicine regards medicinal mushrooms as a treasure of nature that harmonizes body and mind and promotes well-being.

The healing power of mushrooms

Reishi, shiitake, cordyceps, and maitake are some of the most prominent medicinal mushrooms used in Chinese medicine. These mushrooms contain a wealth of bioactive compounds, including polysaccharides, triterpenes, amino acids and antioxidants, which provide various health benefits.

Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum)

Reishi, also known as the ‘mushroom of immortality’, is prized in Chinese medicine for its immune-boosting properties. It helps to strengthen the immune system and protect the body against disease. Reishi is also used to promote detoxification, improve sleep quality and support heart health.

Shiitake (Lentinula edodes)

Shiitake is rich in vitamins, minerals and polysaccharides, which strengthen the immune system and have anti-inflammatory properties. It is traditionally used to treat diseases of the heart and liver. Shiitake mushrooms can also help to lower cholesterol levels and regulate blood pressure.

Cordyceps (Cordyceps sinensis)

Cordyceps is known for its ability to increase energy production in the body and improve stamina. It is often taken by athletes to increase performance. In Chinese medicine, Cordyceps is also used to treat respiratory diseases such as asthma and bronchitis.

Maitake (Grifola frondosa)

Maitake is rich in polysaccharides, which can strengthen the immune system and reduce inflammation in the body. It is often used to support blood sugar control in people with diabetes. Maitake mushrooms can also help to lower blood pressure and promote digestive health.

Complementary food supplements and medicinal plants

To enhance the effect of medicinal mushrooms and promote general well-being, various dietary supplements and medicinal plants can be taken as a supplement.

  • Ginseng: A popular herb in Chinese medicine that boosts energy and strengthens immunity.
  • Goji berries: Rich in antioxidants and vitamins that support eye health and immune function.
  • Ginger: Has anti-inflammatory properties and aids digestion.
  • Turmeric: Contains curcumin, which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

The combination of medicinal mushrooms, supplements and medicinal plants can help to restore balance in the body and support health in a holistic way.

Medicinal mushrooms: their use in modern medicine

The use of medicinal mushrooms as a natural remedy is also becoming increasingly important in modern medicine. Studies have shown that the mushrooms can have antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. They are being investigated in cancer therapy, in the treatment of heart disease, diabetes and other chronic illnesses.

Medicinal mushrooms are often offered in the form of powders, capsules, tinctures or teas to take advantage of their health benefits. However, proper dosage and use should be discussed with a qualified health care professional for optimal results.


Medicinal mushrooms play an important role in traditional Chinese medicine and are also becoming increasingly important in modern medicine. Their many health benefits make them a valuable addition to holistic health management. Their effect can be enhanced by combining them with complementary food supplements and medicinal plants. However, it is important to seek professional advice before using medicinal mushrooms or other natural remedies in order to consider possible interactions or contraindications.

Published on: 22. February 2024


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