Medicinal mushrooms have been used in the East for millennia, and their global popularity has risen dramatically in recent years. While mushrooms strictly are not plants (they have their own kingdom), the use of medicinal fungi is considered within the scope of herbal medicine.
Much research has been published in the past few decades, mostly on a particular type of mushroom carbohydrates called beta-glucans, which have attracted attention due to their immune modulating and apparent anti-cancer properties, although none have yet been developed into pharmaceutical drugs.
Since 2017, Integria has worked with researchers at Griffith University’s Institute for Glycomics on medicinal mushrooms. Much of this work has focused on the effects of mushroom preparations on immunological messengers (cytokines and chemokines) that are produced by human macrophages, a key type of immune cell.
This work led to the exciting discovery that a specific blend of three medicinal mushrooms, Reishi, Shiitake and Maitake, had a synergistic effect on the production of certain cytokines produced by human macrophages. Synergy describes a situation where the combined effect of two or more agents is greater than the sum of the effects of the individual ingredients – a ‘1 plus 1 equals more than 2’ scenario.
This type of synergistic effect between medicinal mushrooms had not been described before, and the discovery led to the filing of patent applications. The discovery also led to the development of the successful MediHerb® Mushroom Forte products.
Our work on medicinal mushrooms continues, and a second-generation product under the MediHerb® brand is currently in development.
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