Medicinal Mushrooms: Potent Natural Antivirals
Viruses are the most abundant biological entities on earth, regardless of the season. But during the fall and winter months, cold and flu viruses flourish. Low temperatures and dry air keep these germs stable longer, while at the same time, suppressing the immune system. Factor in the lack of immune-boosting vitamin D we would normally get from the sun, and it’s the perfect storm: “Cold and Flu Season.”
However, certain medicinal mushrooms can change this. Extensive research continues to show how different mushrooms can exert powerful influences on the immune system, while directly attacking viruses, to help eradicate infection.
Antiviral vs. Antibacterial
Antiviral agents are a broad class of compounds that can directly treat certain types of viral infections, depending on how the agent interacts with the virus. In general, they work differently than pharmaceutical or natural antibiotics. Antibiotic compounds kill certain bacteria directly, but antiviral agents target the ability of the virus to reproduce within the body— while at the same time, protecting cells and tissues.
Since different types of viruses use different mechanisms to replicate themselves, researchers are continually searching for specific therapies that can effectively halt the unique reproductive mechanisms of these infectious agents. This is where medicinal mushrooms have shown considerable promise as natural antiviral therapies.
Antiviral Benefits of Medicinal Mushrooms
Unique antiviral properties are present within many medicinal mushroom species. These benefits are seen both within whole mushrooms, or the whole mushroom concentrates, as well as active isolated ingredients derived from certain mushroom species.
These beneficial mushrooms work to inhibit specific viral pathways, including those used by cold and flu viruses to replicate and spread.
Targeted antiviral actions of medicinal mushrooms include:
- Inhibition of enzymes that allow the infection to replicate
- Inhibition of enzymes that bind viruses to cells
- Blocking viral mobility within the respiratory system
In addition to direct antiviral activity, many mushrooms serve as rich sources of unique health-promoting phytonutrients. These potent active compounds offer broad-spectrum benefits to bolster and reinforce immune responses against viruses and other pathogens, while delivering additional targeted support for numerous organs and systems: cardiovascular, neurological, cellular, digestive, metabolic, and more.
Comprehensive, Year-Round Support
With a multitude of critical benefits and excellent safety profiles, as well as a rich history of traditional use, beneficial mushrooms are increasingly recognized as some of the most important and influential allies for long-term vitality.
For optimal immunity and overall wellness, it’s helpful to include multiple varieties of beneficial mushrooms in your daily regime, to ensure broad-spectrum support for year-round health— safely and naturally.