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Medicinal Mushrooms - Trent Austin, M.D.

If you want to understand local mushrooms and their benefits, consider watching this video.

Dr. Austin has studied and collected medicinal mushroom since he was 6 years old. Today he is an expert at understanding mushrooms with emphasis on adjuvant clinical use for chronic conditions. Dr. Austin provides a brief overview on a wide range of mushrooms, with emphasis on those he is able to harvest in his home state of Indiana.


Gut issues are ubiquitous. If you think your gut is optimal, sorry, you are probably wrong. Optimizing gut health is a lifelong pursuit.

Here is a quote from my alter-ego.

Disease usually represents the inconclusive negotiations for symbiosis...a biological misinterpretation of borders.

Lewis Thomas

Reishi mushroom has shown in studies to influence the composition and ratio of bacteria (Firmicutes: Bacteriodetes) and reverse gut dysbiosis (imbalance) which can occur due to poor diet, stress, diseases, inflammation, poor immune system and parasites.

This is beneficial as Bacteriodetes are able to synthesis SCFA (short chain fatty acids) which repair our intestinal cells and fuel our intestinal cells to make cellular energy ATP.

Firmicutes do the opposite, it eats up our glucose, starves our own mitochondria of energy which cause us to feel fatigued, lethargic and sluggish, even though we’re consuming nutrients.

Reishi is also able to reduce endotoxin-creating bacteria – Proteobacteria – able to damage our cellular DNA. Damaged DNA is directly linked to the development of cancer.

Reishi was shown in studies to also maintain our intestinal cell integrity, meaning we’re able to have a strong, tight gut wall, reducing the likelihood the associated dis-ease states experienced with leaky gut. (1)

Studies also suggest that Reishi contains anti-ulcer properties (along with many other awesome health-promoting properties), so it can be a great tool for individuals experiencing UC/Crohn’s disease and IBD, as well as stomach ulcers as a result of H.pylori infections (Helicobacter pylori is a species of bacteria). (11, 12)

Candida albicans – a common bacterium species that causes thrush, brain fog, lethargy and fatigue can be overpowered by Reishi.

It’s also able to help disrupt biofilms– little houses that bacteria build so antibiotics can’t kill them– so sneaky! (6)

It’s important to recognise that store-bought culinary mushrooms, such as white button and portobello etc. are not only dampening in regards to TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) but can also contribute to candida overgrowth due to the presence of fungal and mould contaminants.

So if you’re thinking you might have an overgrowth of candida and dysbiosis, swap out those culinary mushrooms for the medicinal ones, as they help fight candida.


References and Studies

  1. Jayachandran, M, Xiao, J, Baojun, X 2017, ‘A Critical Review on Health Promoting Benefits of Edible Mushrooms through Gut Microbiota’, Int J Mol Sci., vol. 18, no. 9, pp. 1934, DOI:10.3390/ijms18091934

  2. Yu, ZT, Liu, B, Mukherjee, P & Newburg, D 2013, ‘Trametes versicolor Extract Modifies Human Fecal Microbiota Composition In vitro’, Plant Foods Hum Nutr, vol. 68, pp. 107-112, DOI 10.1007/s11130-013-0342-4

  3. Wu, J et al. 2016, ‘Recent Advances and Challenges in Studies of Control of Cancer Stem Cells and the Gut Microbiome by the Trametes-Derived Polysaccharopeptide PSP (Review)’, Int J Med Mushrooms, vol. 18, no. 8, pp. 651-660, DOI: DOI: 10.1615/IntJMedMushrooms.v18.i8.10

  4. Mishra, SK et al. 2012, ‘Orally administered aqueous extract of Inonotus obliquus ameliorates acute inflammation in dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis in mice’, Journal of Ethnopharmacology, vol. 143, no. 2, pp. 524-532,

  5. Pallav, K et al. 2014, ‘Effects of polysaccharopeptide from Trametes Versicolor and amoxicillin on the gut microbiome of healthy volunteers’, Gut Microbes, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 458-467, doi: 10.4161/gmic.29558.

  6. Bhardwaj, A et al. 2017, ‘Lingzhi or Reishi Medicinal Mushroom, Ganoderma lucidum (Agaricomycetes), Inhibits Candida Biofilms: A Metabolomic Approach’, Int J Med Mushrooms, vol. 19, no. 8, pp. 685-696, doi: 10.1615/IntJMedMushrooms.2017021225.

  7. Wong, JY et al. 2013 ‘Gastroprotective Effects of Lion's Mane Mushroom Hericium erinaceus (Bull.:Fr.) Pers. (Aphyllophoromycetideae) Extract against Ethanol-Induced Ulcer in Rats’, Evid Based Complement Alternat Med, vol. 2013, no. 2013, doi: 10.1155/2013/492976

  8. Clapp, M, Aurora, N, Herrera, L, Bhatia, M, Wilen, E & Wakefield, @ 2017, ‘Gut microbiota’s effect on mental health: The gut-brain axis’, Clin. Pract, vol. 7, no. 4, pp. 987, doi: 10.4081/cp.2017.987

  9. Dai, X et al. 2015, ‘Consuming Lentinula edodes (Shiitake) Mushrooms Daily Improves Human Immunity: A Randomized Dietary Intervention in Healthy Young Adults’, J Am Coll Nutr, vol. 34, no. 6, pp. 478-487, doi: 10.1080/07315724.2014.950391.

  10. Najafzadeh, M, Reynolds, PD, Baumgartner, A, Jerwood, D & Anderson D 2007, ‘Chaga mushroom extract inhibits oxidative DNA damage in lymphocytes of patients with inflammatory bowel disease’, Biofactors, vol. 31, no. 3-4, pp. 191-200, retrieved 20th August 2018,

  11. Wachtl-Galor, S, Teun J, Buswell J.A & Benzie I, Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects, 2nd ed, chapter 9 Ganoderma lucidum (Lingzhi or Reishi), Taylor and Franics, retriveid 20th August 2018,

  12. Sanodiya, BS, Thakur GS, Baghel RK, Parasad GB & Bisen PS 2009, ‘Ganoderma lucidum: a potent pharmacological macrofungus’, Curr Pharm Biotecnol, vol. 10, no. 8, pp. 717-742, retrieved 20th August 2018,


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