antiviral

Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum)

reishi-ganoderma-lucidum.jpg

Reishi Overview:

Reishi is a medicinal forest-grown fungus. It's highly revered in tradtional medical systems across Asia for its powerful immune-enhancing and longevity promoting benefits.

Medicinal mushrooms are notorious for their complex immunological benefits involving bidirectional changes to various immune processes. Reishi is no different, and is often thought to be the most significant medicinal mushroom species of all. It's popular for prevention and treatment of many immune-related conditions including cancer, autoimmunity, underactive immune function, and both acute and chronic infections.

 

+ Indications

  • High cholesterol
  • Heart palpitations
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • High blood pressure
  • Food sensitivities
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Allergies
  • Viral infection (including HIV and herpes simplex virus)
  • Neuralgia
  • Bronchitis and asthma

+ Contraindications

  • Caution advised in combination with ACE inhibitory medictions

Herbal Actions:

  • Adaptogen
  • Immunomodulator
  • Analgesic
  • Muscle relaxant
  • Nervine Relaxant
  • Hepatoprotective
  • Pulmonary trophorestorative
  • Cardiotonic
  • Chemoprotective
  • Anti-Cancer
  • Antiviral
  • Antibacterial
 

How Do I Use Reishi?

Reishi has many uses, however, the main uses involve the immune system. It has the unique ability to both stimulate and inhibit immune function, making it useful for nearly any type of immune dysfunction. It's used as a supportive treatment for cancer therapy and infection to increase the bodies immune response, as well as with autoimmune conditions to reduce overactive immune sensitivity.

Reishi is also used for chronic anxiety, depression, and hyperactivity. In traditional Chinese medicine, it's popular for treating lung conditions such as wheezing, excessive phlem production, and chronic coughing.

 

Weekly Dose

Part Used

  • Fruiting body, Spores, Mycelium

Family Name

  • Ganodermataceae

Distribution

  • Asia, Europe, and North America

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Constituents of Interest

  • beta-glucans
  • Ergosterol

Common Names

  • Reishi
  • Ling Zhi
  • Saiwai-Take
  • Kishiban

CYP450

  • Unknown

Quality

  • Neutral

Pregnancy

  • No adverse reactions expected.

Taste

  • Bitter

Duration of Use

  • Suitable for long term use.
 

Mycological Info:

There are about 80 different species of Ganoderma, many of which are used as medicine to varying degrees. The Ganodermataceae contains 8 genera and roughly 300 different species.

 

Research Overview:

Still compiling research.

 

Clinical Applications Of Reishi:

Reishi is used as a supportive agent for cancer, autoimmune conditions, cardiovascular dysfunctions, respiratory dysfunctions, viral and bacterial infection, and hypertension. It's rarely used on its own, but makes for a great addition to herbal formulations.

 

Cautions:

Caution advised in combination with ACE inhibitor medications due to potential drug interactions.

 

Author:

Justin Cooke

The Sunlight Experiment

(Updated November 2018)

 

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Elder (Sambucus nigra)

Elder leaves and berries

Elder Overview:

Elder is an invasive tree or shrub spread throughout most of the world. it can be found in cold climates like Canada and Scandanavian countries, as well as tropical areas of Central and South America as well as throughout Southeast Asia and Australia. It's even frequently found in remote areas like the Pacific Islands.

Elder has many uses, especially for upper respiratory infections for its antitussive and antiviral activity. As an antiviral, it has a fairly narrow range of efficacy, which is specific to enveloped viruses like influenza, and will only have a potent effect in the early stages of viral infection. For this it is highly effective however, and is one of the best herbs to keep around in in the event of an acute infection.

Full monograph still under construction

+ Indications

+ Contraindications

Main Herbal Actions:

  • Antiviral
  • Emetic (high doses)
  • Antitussive
  • Nervine (leaves)
 

Main Uses:

Used in the acute stage of respiratory infection, as a diaphoretic or emetic, coughs, and arthritis.

 

Part Used

Flowers and berries

In some cases the leaves, bark, and roots can also be used with caution.

Family Name

Caprifoliaceae

Distribution

Invasive the world over. Common in North America, Western Asia, Europe, The Pacific Islands, and Austalia.

Sambucus australasica and Sambucus gaudichaudiana (Australian white elder) are found primarily in Australia and South America.

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Constituents of Interest

  • Cyanidin-3-O-glucoside
  • Ribosome-inactivating proteins (RIPs)

Common Names

  • Elder
  • Black Elder
  • Elderberry
  • European Elder
 

Botanical Info:

There are about 30 different species of elder, 3 of which are most commonly used as medicine. The common names for these species includes blue elder (Sambucus nigra), red elder (Sambucus racemosa), and white elder (Sambucus australasica).

 

Research Overview:

Still compiling research

Research Quality

 

Clinical Applications Of Elder:

Elder is a great antiviral herb, especially for Influenza and some of the other enveloped viral species if used at the early stages of infection.

 

Cautions:

Elder is an emetic, especially in preparations that contain fresh plant material (unheated). If nausea occurs, dial back the dose. Contrary to popular belief elder is NOT posionous. Emetics are frequently misinterpreted to be dangerously poisonous.

Elder is thought to decrease the effectiveness of morphine.

 

Recommended Products Containing Elder:

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Elder Extract

Herb Pharm

Made from the berries of Sambucus nigra

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Elder Berries

Starwest Botanicals

Dried berries of Sambucus nigra

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Sambucol® Syrup

PharmaCare

Made from Sambucus nigra

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Full monograph still under construction

 

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