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Medicinal Mushrooms

Mushrooms have been an integral part of the extensive pharmacopeia of Chinese medicine and have had their place in the materia medica for centuries. Although some medicinal mushrooms are edible, such as shiitake, maitake, and lion’s mane, some are purely medicinal.

Since mushrooms come in a wide variety, they have some common and some varying energetics.

For example our well known white button mushrooms are cool in temperature and technically sweet in flavour. Their sweet flavour helps to aid the Spleen in healthy digestion and thus leads to less pathogenic dampness in the body, which is why they are known to decrease the fat level in the blood and help keep excess respiratory mucus out. In TCM, poor digestion leads to the production and accumulation of mucus in the body, which is then “stored” in the Lungs. Button mushrooms are also known to help modulate the immune as studies have found them to contain antibiotic properties and even boost the production of white blood cells.

According to TCM theories most medicinal mushrooms:

  • Nourish and restore the Jing, by tonifying Spleen Qi and nourishing Kid Jing

  • Eliminate Dampness and Phlegm, through supporting Spleen’s functions

  • Improve circulation

  • Eliminate heat, purify and protect the Liver

  • Strengthen the formation of Qi and Blood

The above can be translated to:

  • Balancing pH levels, blood and extracellular matrix

  • Removal of toxic substances

  • Recovery of the intestinal bacterial balance

  • Reinforcement of the immune system balance

  • Improvement of the cellular metabolism                                                                                                               

Some of the prescribed medicinal mushrooms:

Reishi (Ling Zhi) Ganoderma lucidum in TCM is classified as an herb that nourishes the Heart Qi and calms the Spirit by tonifying Blood, it also nourishes Liver and Kidney Yin and though that subdues Liver Yang. Tonifies Stomach and Spleen Qi as well as Lung Qi, transforming Damp Phlegm. It helps with insomnia, palpitations, nervousness, and memory issues associated with Heart Qi and Blood deficiencies. It can also be used for hayfever, coughing and wheezing that comes from deficiency cold and phlegm conditions. Migraines being often connected with rising of the Liver Yang and linked with stress can also be helped with this wonderful mushroom as it helps to support a healthy stress response,

Some would classify Reishi as a qi tonic and longevity substance, meaning it can be helpful to take regularly to enhance longevity and quality of life.

Be aware that higher doses of Reishi in some cases can lower blood sugar levels.

Karen S. Bishop, Chi H.J. Kao, Yuanye Xu, Marcus P. Glucina R. Russell M. Paterson ,Lynnette R. Ferguson (2015) From 2000 years of Ganoderma lucidum to recent developments in nutraceuticals. Phytochemistry114 56-65.

Mohammed Sharif Swallah, Precious Bondzie-Quaye,Yahui Wu, Adolf Acheampong, Frederick Leo Sossah, Shereen M. Elsherbiny and Qing Huang (2023) Therapeutic potential and nutritional significance of Ganoderma lucidum – a comprehensive review from 2010 to 2022 Food and Function, 4 2023

Adjuvant therapy in chemotherapy treatment

Zhao S., G. Ye, G. Fu, Cheng JX, Yang BB, Peng C. (2011) Ganoderma lucidum exerts anti-tumor effects on ovarian cancer cells and increases their sensitivity to cisplatin. Int J Oncol. 2011- March

Yu Cao, Xiaowei Xu, Shujing Liu, Linfang Huang1and Jian Gu2 (2018) - Ganoderma: A Cancer Immunotherapy Review. Front. Pharmacol., 25 October 2018. Sec. Ethnopharmacology Volume 9 - 2018 |


Cordyceps (Dong Chong Xia Cao)  - it is the most tonifying Yang mushroom according to TCM,  meaning it has a strengthening action on the body, most notably on the kidneys and the lungs. It can be used for issues like asthma, wheezing, chronic lung disorders, and pain in the knees, or low back due to deficiency or chronic disease. Can be used after a long illness with mental and physical exertion. It has been well studied and demonstrates potential as an immunomodulatory agent, performance booster. It is widely used in treating male fertility, can help with libido.

Cordyceps are contraindicated if you are on immunosuppressants, in male with prostate tumor, during 1st and 2nd phase of menstrual cycle as it is a Yin phase. It is not recommended in women with Yin deficiency.


Poria (Fu Ling) - Poria is classified as an herb that drains Damp according to TCM. This means that it is utilized for its diuretic effect, it helps the body to eliminate excess fluids. This makes it useful in conditions with stagnant fluids such as edema, urinary difficulty, and dizziness. It also has a mild tonifiication effect on the TCM Spleen aka digestive function benefiting conditions such as diarrhea, bloating, and distention. Poria is gentle but really effective and is very widely used in Chinese medicine formulas. Because of its diuretic effect, it should be avoided or used very carefully when pharmaceutical diuretics are being taken.

In case of Dampness presence, some foods should be excluded from the diet: cheese, vinegar, bread, fermented cereals and grains, alcohol and other fermentation products.

Lion's Mane (Houtougu),  Hericium Erinaceus Traditional In Chinese Medicine it regulates Liver Qi and harmonizes Liver and Stomach, tonifies Spleen Qi . It also nourishes the Yin of Liver and Kidneys, and clears heat thus calming the mind. The use of Lion's mane focused on improving digestion, it also helps the memory and calms the nerves, improve the mood, cognitive functions. It has been suggested for anxiety and depression.

Reduction of depression and anxiety by 4 weeks Hericium erinaceus intake

Improving effects of the mushroom Yamabushitake (Hericium erinaceus) on mild cognitive impairment: a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial

Mushroom nutrition for neurogenerative disease: Alzheimer, Parkinsons, MS, , Dementia

More research available here:

Mushrooms in cancer treatment:



Medicinal Mushrooms FAQ


Which mushroom do I choose?

Mushrooms are prescribed individually, based on TCM diagnosis and medications taken. Trained practioner would be able to establish a safe and beneficial dose of appropriate mushroom. I only prescribe Medicinal Mushrooms to my patients whohave been diagnosed according to TCM.

Medicinal mushrooms Acupuncture in Ealing
Medicinal mushrooms Acupuncture in Ealing
Medicinal mushrooms Acupuncture in Ealing
Medicinal mushrooms Acupuncture in Ealing
Medicinal mushrooms Acupuncture in Ealing
Medicinal mushrooms Acupuncture in Ealing
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