Mycotherapy - mushrooms as a remedy
In naturopathy, mushrooms are also used as medicine. A form of treatment that is as yet little known is mycotherapy, i.e. healing with mushrooms. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has been using its healing power for thousands of years by using Shiitake, Reishi & Co specifically for the prevention and therapy of numerous diseases. The fact that medicinal mushrooms are now increasingly being used as an independent form of treatment by naturopaths and naturopathic doctors outside of TCM is largely thanks to the research, books, lectures and further training by Franz Schmaus, who has been enthusiastic about mushroom medicine for 35 years now .
Mushrooms as medicines
To start with: It is no longer necessary for medicinal purposes to consume the medically effective mushrooms in large quantities. There are high-quality products on the market that are made from powdered whole cultivated mushrooms into capsules. Wild mushrooms should never be used because mushrooms absorb the toxins from their surroundings like sponges. The selected mushroom capsules are taken regularly over a longer period of time, which should be coordinated with a naturopath, doctor or mycotherapist.
Detoxification with medicinal mushrooms
Chronic diseases are mostly based on a reduced ability of the body to detoxify. Every day the organism is exposed to toxins and pollutants, which we absorb from the environment in order to excrete them as completely as possible. From the food we take in additives that are supposed to have a positive influence on the color, taste and shelf life of the food. Toxic pesticides are still used against plant parasites and pollutants from fruits, grains and vegetables also get from the air and groundwater.
Medicines, artificial fragrances and poisons, which arise in the fight against viruses and bacteria, strain organs and tissues. Mycotherapists take advantage of the ability of fungi to absorb pollutants and convert them into less toxic substances. For this reason, all medicinal mushrooms can be used for general physical detoxification. Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum), which is known in China as the “mushroom of eternal life”, has a special effect on our “detoxification center” liver.
Balance for nerves and psyche
A great advantage of medicinal mushrooms is their regulating effect on various organ systems. This means that one and the same mushroom can compensate for both under-functions and excessive reactions.
The human organism sometimes gets stressed because it has to absorb and adapt all the surrounding (material, emotional, sensual, social) impressions. This stress has a permanent effect on the dysfunction of natural regulatory mechanisms. Hormone disorders, sleep disorders, fatigue and loss of performance can thus extend to depression. Here, too, the Reishi in particular does good service to restore the balance in the nervous system. According to reports from TCM, the caterpillar (Cordyceps sinensis) also gives strength, endurance and willpower, not least in sex life.
Stability for the immune system
If the immune system gets out of balance, there can be constant infections, allergies, autoimmune diseases and cancer. The medicinal mushroom, which is said to have a regulating and stabilizing effect on the immune system, is the almond mushroom (Agaricus blazei murril), which contains a high concentration of immunomodulators (ß-glucans). It is also used in Diabetes I, where the body's own defense system destroys the insulin cells in the pancreas. Another fungus (Hericium erinaceus) is used for allergies to strengthen the immune system via the intestinal mucosa. Various fungi are given for biological tumor therapy or accompanying chemotherapy, e.g. Polyporus, Hericium, and Coriolus.
Other areas of application of medicinal mushrooms
Other areas of application of medicinal mushrooms Mycotherapy is used for numerous symptoms and diseases. In addition to the described applications for autoimmune diseases, allergies, cancer, depression and diabetes type I and II, there are also skin diseases (acne, neurodermatitis), gastrointestinal diseases (heartburn, IBD), kidney diseases, rheumatism, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia , Obesity, arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure, respiratory diseases, cardiac arrhythmia and many other complaints positive experience reports.
Pioneers of mycotherapy in Germany
In Germany the name of the mycologist Professor Dr. Jan Lelly for the introduction of mycotherapy in 1975. In the meantime, it is the agricultural scientist Franz Schmaus who has been instrumental in researching, developing and spreading therapy with medically effective fungi for many years (not only in Germany). He has been dealing with medicinal mushrooms for more than 35 years and was able to experience the effectiveness of mycotherapy during cancer. To further spread his knowledge about the healing properties of mushrooms, Schmaus founded an institute for nutritional and fungal medicine, from where he offers advice, lectures and further training for therapists. (Dipl.Päd. J. Viñals Stein, naturopath)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
Jeanette Viñals Stein, Barbara Schindewolf-Lensch
- Schmaus, Franz: Use nature as a pharmacy - healing with mushrooms: healing diseases naturally and causally and staying permanently healthy !, Myko Troph, 2014
- Bianchi, Ivo: Modern Mycotherapy (Mushroom Medicine), Alpha One AG, 2009
- Hofrichter, Robert: Naturzeit Pilze: Fascinating beings in secret, Franckh Kosmos Verlag, 2018
- Munk, Katharina (ed.): Pocket Textbook Biology: Microbiology, Thieme, 2008
- Page, Linda: Healthy Healing's Detoxification: Programs to Cleanse, Purify & Renew, Healthy Healing Enterprises Llc, 2008