The benefits of therapeutic mushrooms have been the subject of extensive scientific inquiry. Beta-glucans, which are found in mushrooms and other types of fungi, are known to help the immune system. Anti-cancer effects have also been discovered in medicinal mushrooms.
Currently, a variety of mushrooms are being utilized to manage cancer in pets. Mushrooms, for cancer, can you believe it? They’re also important for illness prevention, cell regeneration, and toxin defense.
Mushrooms for Different Cancer Types
Mushrooms are fungi, which means they don’t need sunlight to grow. Mushrooms have been used as medicine for thousands and thousands of years, dating back to ancient China. They have also been used as food sources throughout history.
Mushrooms are being used more and more in the United States as well as other countries for their medicinal benefits. In particular, mushrooms that contain compounds called polysaccharides (such as reishi) have been found to help reduce cancer cell growth without harming healthy cells.
Studies on humans have shown this type of mushroom can be effective against breast cancer and prostate cancer, while also improving quality of life during treatment and helping prevent recurrence of these diseases later on. Some studies in dogs show similar effects: one canine trial found that chemotherapy-induced vomiting was reduced by 50% when dogs were given a daily dose of reishi mushroom supplements.
Research will continue, but to sum it up, here’s what we’ve discovered so far:
- Shiitake, maitake, chaga and turkey tail for breast cancer
- Turkey tail, maitake and cordyceps for leukemia
- Turkey tail, reishi, shiitake, maitake and phellinus for liver cancer
- Cordyceps, reishi, maitake and turkey tail for lung cancer
- Cordyceps for lymphoma
- Shiitake and phellinus for melanoma
- Reishi, turkey tail, maitake and shiitake for prostate cancer
- Reishi for sarcomas
- Phellinus, turkey tail and chaga for cervical and uterine cancer
- Phellinus, maitake and turkey tail for stomach and colorectal cancer
In Chinese medicine, reishi mushrooms, scientifically known as Ganoderma lucidum, are renowned as the “mushroom of immortality.” Healers have been using them for generations to stimulate the immune system and reduce inflammation. Reishi mushrooms have also been proved to boost energy levels, improve blood circulation, and alleviate respiratory issues.
“The bioactive components found in the G. lucidum mushroom have numerous health properties to treat diseased conditions such as hepatopathy, chronic hepatitis, nephritis, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, arthritis, neurasthenia, insomnia, bronchitis, asthma, gastric ulcers, atherosclerosis, leukopenia, diabetes, anorexia, and cancer,” according to a study published in the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms.
“C. sinensis is sweet in flavor and neutral in character, and it can replenish the kidney, relax the lung, halt bleeding, and clear phlegm,” according to a Herbal Medicine textbook published on PubMed. Fatigue, cough, lethargy after severe sickness, renal dysfunction, and renal failure have all been treated with the fungus C. sinensis.
“In China, it is found in the soil of grasslands at elevations of 3500–5000 m, primarily in the provinces of Qinghai, Tibet, Sichuan, Yunnan, and Gansu,” the book continued. C. sinensis has been used as a medicine in China for more than 300 years.
Lion’s Mane Mushroom
In a double-blind placebo research study conducted in Japan, males aged 50 to 80 were divided into two groups of 15. The control group received a placebo after two weeks of intensive observation, while the lions mane group received 250 mg of lions mane mushroom comprising 96 percent Yamabushitake dry powder three times a day for 16 weeks.
According to the study, the Yamabushitake group (lion’s mane) demonstrated significantly increased scores on the cognitive function measure compared to the placebo group at weeks 8, 12, and 16 of the trial. The results obtained in this investigation imply that Yamabushitake is useful in alleviating moderate cognitive impairment according to researchers.
Adding Medicinal Mushrooms to the Diet
In general, raw foods are favored, however raw mushrooms can be dangerous if not handled properly, and some should never be consumed raw. It’s critical to look into how the mushroom you’ve chosen should be prepared.
In the vast majority of cases, a high-quality extract is advised. Medicinal mushroom extracts are available in powder form, which can be put into your dog’s food on a daily basis.
While it’s important to remember that no single treatment will work for every dog, we have seen many dogs benefit from using medicinal mushrooms. If you are interested in using them, we recommend consulting with your veterinarian or a pet nutritionist who can help you decide which type may be best for your particular situation.