Did you know eating mushrooms can support your immune system?

by Ali Bolch

Did you know that medicinal mushrooms pack a powerful immune boost in every bite?

Medical mushrooms are an absolute favourite amongst our practitioners and are a fundamental part of our immune first aid kit. Mushrooms such as Reishi, Shiitake and Oyster can enhance the strength and functionality of the immune system, especially in regard to viral infections. Mushrooms can also provide symptomatic relief for upper respiratory tract infections (i.e. the common cold).


Here is the low down (and research) on some of our favourite edible medicinal mushrooms:

Reishi Mushrooms

Reishi suppresses protein synthesis and tumor growth by affecting survival and proliferative signalling pathways that act on translation, suggesting that Reishi is a potential natural therapeutic for breast and other cancers. It can also help fight off infection by increasing IgA secretion and promoting growth inhibitory effect on multiple pathogenic organisms.


Shittake Mushrooms

Regular shiitake consumption resulted in improved immunity, as seen by improved cell proliferation and immune cell activation and increased IgA production, which implies improved gut immunity.  The changes observed in cytokine and reduction in CRP levels suggest that these improvements occurred under conditions that were less inflammatory than those that existed before consumption. Consumption also resulted in increased interleukin 4 and tumor necrosis factor, suggesting anti-cancer properties.


Oyster Mushrooms

Oyster mushrooms were found to support and regulate immune function by inhibiting intestinal inflammation, increasing tumor necrosis factor and the number of circulating natural killer cells. In addition, the phagocytosis improvements resulted in a statistically significant modulation of humoral and cellular immunity.


Add them to soups, salads, stir fry or casseroles for a nourishing and delicious immune boost.

Mushroom Stirfry


For immune boosting support book an appointment today with one of our accredited Naturopaths.


This article is intended to be informational only and represents the opinion of the author. It is not intended to be used as medical advice and does not take the place of advice from a qualified health care practitioner in a clinical setting. Please check with your healthcare practitioner before embarking upon any of the treatments discussed.