Medicinal mushrooms: the More risky instead of healthy

Whether against cancer, cardiovascular diseases, rheumatism, acne, Diabetes, and depression – basically, a suitable medicinal mushroom is found against any Suffering, if you are looking for even with Google. Many Sufferers hope for a recovery without the traditional medicine, or because current therapies are not striking enough. Who has cancer and instead of chemotherapy, for therapy with medicinal mushrooms (so-called Mykotherapie) decides, it must, however, be expected that the disease progresses.

What medicinal mushrooms are?

What exactly is medicinal mushrooms are actually are, is not defined – the term was purely for Marketing purposes, invented. Under the medicinal mushrooms, medicinal mushrooms or medicinal mushrooms is, however, in General fungal products as food supplements to be sold. You are crushed, as a powder or extract in capsule or tablet form. Often it is the mushrooms from the field of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) or Ayurvedic medicine.

From the Asian region of over 100 different medicinal mushrooms are known. Most of these medicinal mushrooms are (because of their taste), no edible mushrooms. Popular medicinal mushrooms, for example,

  • the caterpillar fungus (Cordyceps sinensis),
  • the Butterfly Turkey tail (Yun Zhi, Coriolus versicolor),
  • the Ganoderma (Reishi mushroom, Ganoderma lucidum) , or
  • the edible mushroom Shiitake (Lentinus edodes).

Effect of medicinal mushrooms: state of knowledge, gaps

Although it says vital to fungi numerous positive effects on health, to exist most of the medicinal mushrooms, no studies to date. Of the studies that exist, have been performed the most in a test tube or on animals. Whether these results can be extrapolated to humans is uncertain.

So while there are indications that the caterpillar mushroom active substance contained Cordycepin on the cell metabolism, inhibit can, and so possibly also the growth of cancer cells. It is unknown, however, whether this is in humans, so whether the effect remains even if you isolated the active ingredient, but is increasing as a mushroom extract, and what amounts of mushroom extract to ever had to take. However, the fungus is touted as a “natural anti-tumor agent”.

Only in very rare cases, there are human studies that show a positive effect of imagine. In these cases, all the mushroom were, however, rare products, but mostly single fungal substances tested. Currently can be so not safe to saywhether and to what extent the ingestion of medicinal mushrooms for the health benefits or diseases counteracts.

In the case of the commercially available medicinal mushroom products is also not sure what kind of mushroom they actually contain. This does not exclude that in the product of mushrooms with poisonous substances may be present. Incorrect storage can medicinal mushrooms of fungi like Aspergillus infested and thus toxic aflatoxins contain. This is especially common when the caterpillar fungus is the case.

Cancer: chemotherapy, or “natural” TCM?

The diagnosis of cancer, the shock is large – just as often it is the fear of a chemotherapy or radiation therapy, which is associated with burdensome side effects. Some people turn to the supposedly gentle, natural medicine. Especially in the field of traditional Chinese medicine, there are manufacturers that promote the use and the impression that TCM means from plants or fungi in cancer are more effective than the classical Western medicine.

So far, no means of alternative or complementary medicine is known, however, the cancer (as sole therapy) realistically could heal. In certain cases, such methods can help the patient to more well-being during cancer treatment and help to alleviate side-effects of the actual treatment. Those who prefer such an alternative treatment, not they should start on their own, but their desires and concerns with the doctor to discuss.

The business of health thanks to smart Marketing

Medicinal mushrooms are not drugs. In Germany they are currently, as a dietary Supplement, classified and are subject to the Health Claims regulation. You therefore must not be advertised with Health claims that are not proven to be safe.

According to find on the products themselves, also , no specific Health claims, and often no application notes. However, it is often also not apparent for what purpose you actually should be used. Users must inform themselves so otherwise.

This Marketing disadvantage, many manufacturers make betting by placing seemingly editorial contributions, for example, in the Internet or Influencer in the Social Media area. People who Google medicinal mushrooms, crashes almost immediately on any such content. For the layman, it is not always easy to recognize which information is trustworthy or untrustworthy.

Our Advice

Unhealthy vital fungi are to the rule, apart from the question as to the actual content of the product and the mould risk. Because they contain such as other fungi are also many nutrients and secondary plant substances .

But medicinal mushrooms as a preventative measure or to treat regularly take want to, you should be aware that medicinal mushrooms not panacea, and a taking also may be harmful.

Under no circumstances should you, therefore, an existing (cancer)therapy cancel and exclusively with medicinal mushrooms treat. This is especially true if there are for the respective disease drugs, whose efficacy and safety has been well studied and proven.

Affected, the medicinal mushrooms as adjuvant to conventional medical treatment to use, you should, for safety’s sake with the doctor to provide feedback. Because interactions are not excluded. Reishi mushrooms (Ganoderma, Ganoderma lucidum) is about to be on the Internet frequently as a cure for cancer is described. What is not often there: By Reishi, the actual cancer drugs may be worse or stronger side effects.


“Medicinal mushroom” on shaky feet. Online information of the German pharmacist’s newspaper: (status: 10.10.2019)

Mushroom anti-cancer effect of Reishi is not proven. Online information from the Department for evidence-based medicine and Evaluation at the Danube University Krems as well as by Cochrane Austria is: (status: 29.6.2018)

Alternative and complementary cancer medicine. Online information of the German cancer research center: (status: 15.1.2018)

Alternative medicine. Online information of the competence network leukemia: (status: 5.10.2015)

Adventurous messages of Salvation: How vital are vital mushrooms? Online information of Good pills – bad pills: (as of 2015)

Classification of certain medicinal mushroom products – opinion (no. 01/2014), the Joint Commission of experts BVL /the BfArM. Online information of the German Federal office for consumer protection and food safety: (status: 2014)

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*The contribution of “medicinal mushrooms: is the More risky instead of healing” published by Onmeda. Contact with the executives here.