Mycotherapy is the application of mushrooms with therapeutic properties, or their derivatives, in human health.
WHAT IS MYCOTHERAPY
Throughout history, several reports have been found regarding the association of mushrooms with therapy. The evidence found showed that Reishi or Ganaderma lucidum – one of the best known medicinal mushrooms – was already mentioned more than 2,000 years ago (Han Dynasty). Although its use in ancient times is empirical, recent scientific studies have been based on the beliefs associated with these therapeutics, which potentially led them to a wider number of people.
With several published studies and others under development, the area of mycotherapy continues to grow today. Different components of these fungi have already undergone phase I, II and III clinical trials and are widely used in Asia.
Over the last few years, the research focus has been mainly on the modulation of the immune system and anticancer action. However, with the progress of the research, a wider spectrum of benefits has been verified, namely, the regulation of blood glucose levels, antioxidant, antibacterial, and antiviral action, and the protection of gastric and hepatic lesions.
Thus, mycotherapy is based on the use and application of natural and organic solutions, whose purpose is to reduce considerably the side effects associated with conventional treatments.
Currently, more than 100 kinds of mushrooms are used in medicine. This great diversity is related to the therapeutic properties of the different species of mushrooms, which allows us to widen the spectrum of mycotherapy.