Immunity is something which decreases as we age, and is affected by pathogenic trauma, lifestyle, diet, and the quality of genetics inherited from our parents. Many of us are afflicted with chronic health issues from previously being unaware to this, and are in our process of healing, as well as rebuilding a damaged system. While there are many amazing herbs which will boost immunity, such as onions, garlic, and Echinacea, these herbs act as antibiotics by stimulating the immune system. If this is done excessively, or too often, it will inevitably create an auto immune response, creating inflammation of the tissues, actually attacking itself.
Because of the above understanding, it is wise to seek out herbs which boost the immune system not always via an antibiotic mechanism but by a cellular communication to dendritic cells and macrophages, which hyper boost pathogenic monitoring. This does not overly stimulate the immune system, but only makes existing immune cells more intelligent, and skilled, kind of like putting them through a special ops training certification. These cells are fundamental in reacting to foreign pathogenic invaders, vaccines, and even to developing and present cancer cells. (1-5)
In this article we will explore just a couple of the mechanisms of how Reishi does this, focusing on the immune function of this herb rather than all of its other benefits which we will certainly explore in future articles.
The polysaccharides in Reishi are proven to trigger growth and development of bone marrow, the location in which most immune cells are created. Because of the lack of vitamin D3 during the colder seasons of the year and our naturally lessened activity levels, our bone density is decreased as the body is not receiving any signals to generate the cells necessary to build stronger bones. This also means the genesis of immune cells becomes decreased leaving us vulnerable to illness. (6, 13)
According to numerous clinical studies, following bone marrow destruction due to chemotherapy, Reishi increased production of both red and white blood cells, boosting immunity but also statistically improving life expectancy. (6)
One example of this case is the clinically documented phenomenon of a 47 year old man who underwent a stomach ectomy following diagnosis of B cell Lymphoma found in it. Post surgery they examined the removed stomach for the sake of scientific study and documentation finding no cancer cells and instead a layer of activated T Lymphocyte cells, the cells that when activated, destroy cancer cells.
When they inquired about his supplementation he indicated his use of large doses of Reishi for 5 days immediately after receiving his diagnosis. (12)
In addition to this amazing quality it is not just cancer cells that Reishi increases. Reishi also increases numbers and functions (intelligence of cells to effectively complete their job) of almost all cell lines in the immune system. For example, natural killer cells, antibody-producing B cells, and the T cells responsible for rapid response to a new or “remembered” antigens. ( 3, 7, 8)
Not only does Reishi intelligently increase immunity but it also is able to turn down the autoimmune function of an overly stimulated immune system which has begun attacking itself. Examples of this include asthma and rheumatoid arthritis, two debilitating autoimmune diseases which are clinically proven to drastically improve with the supplementation of Reishi’s modulatory effect on immune cells. (9-11)
The above explored mechanisms are but just a few of Reishi’s mystical healing properties(there are so many more). The hard scientific proof behind Reishi’s immune healing actions illustrate that it just might be the most intelligent immune herb ever. Let’s all stay strong together and continue on the lifelong path to health and wisdom. I wish you warmth and wellness. Stay wise, stay rugged!
All the Best,
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