What is the Loewenmaehnenpilz used for?

Dr. Anna Mandozzi's ultimate medicinal mushroom advisor

Chaga, Reishi and Co .: Everything about medicinal mushrooms

Medicinal mushrooms are the “new” superfood: Reishi, Cordyceps, Lion’s Mane, Chaga, Polyporus, Shiitake, Maitake - they all have special and health-promoting properties. As a powder or extract, they can be used to treat ailments, but also to treat chronic and acute diseases.

Meanwhile, there is also a wide range of adaptogenic (pleasure) foods with medicinal mushrooms from suppliers such as. Four Sigmatic or Moon Juice. And of course there are also pure mushrooms in powder and capsule form. Medical research into the effects of these ingenious mushrooms is still in its infancy in Central Europe. Unlike in Asia, for example, medicinal mushrooms are relatively unknown to many people in Europe. Mycotherapy - this is the name given to medical treatment using medicinal mushrooms - can often be an effective alternative or supplement to conventional therapy. This medicinal mushroom advisor gives an initial orientation and an overview of the most important medicinal mushrooms.

Table of Contents

  1. What are medicinal mushrooms?
  2. Where does the tradition of medicinal mushrooms come from?
  3. What are medicinal mushrooms used for?
  4. How to choose the right mushroom supplement?
  5. An overview of the most famous medicinal mushrooms
    1. Reishi
    2. Cordyceps
    3. Lions’s Mane - Hericium
    4. Chaga
    5. Agaricus Blazei Murril (ABM)
    6. Polyporus Umbellatus
    7. Maitake
    8. Shiitake
    9. Auricularia
  6. FAQ - Frequently asked questions about medicinal mushrooms
  7. swell

What are medicinal mushrooms?

Mushrooms - including the smaller group of medicinal mushrooms - are among the most exciting creatures in the world. Throughout human history, mushrooms have always been both feared and coveted. On the one hand, they can be dangerous for us humans as poison producers. On the other hand, they are essential and role models in the manufacture of essential medicines such as the antibiotic penicillin or are consumed as nutrient-rich foods. In addition, 80 to 90% of the plants that are so vital for us could not even grow without mushrooms if there were no mushrooms!

Medicinal mushrooms are a narrowly defined group within mushrooms.
Medicinal mushrooms:

  • are not poisonous, so edible. Overdosing is not possible.
  • do not cause any habituation effect in the body
  • strengthen the immune system
  • have an antioxidant effect
  • have no side effects
  • regulate fat metabolism
  • have a particularly high nutrient density
  • act adaptogenic
  • have an anti-tumor effect
  • belong to the oldest and best studied natural remedies in the world.

You have to know that in the field of naturopathy there are more studies on mushrooms than on plants!

It is believed that mushrooms have been around for around 1800 to 2000 million years. Together with bacteria, they are among the oldest living things on earth. Originally they lived in the sea and at some point gained a foothold on land. There they finally made plant life and subsequently human life possible.

Incidentally, fungi are much closer relatives of us humans than plants are. For example, we share around 30% of the same base pair chains in our DNA with yeast. This is why fungi work so well and often better on humans than plants. Fungi can even change or repair DNA!
Mushrooms are not humans, animals or plants, but their own category. And because of the close proximity to the animals, mycos specialists classify the medicinal mushrooms as not vegan!

The mushroom has proven to be particularly nutritious as a food. Nutrition experts advise putting it on the menu at least twice a week. Medicinal mushrooms or medicinal mushrooms are types of mushroom that have numerous highly effective ingredients. At the same time, they are low in calories and easy to digest. They are considered to be the oldest natural medicines and have been used in Asia for thousands of years to treat various ailments, but also served as food. Medicinal mushrooms help to set the body's own regulatory processes in motion.

Where does the tradition of medicinal mushrooms come from?

While medicinal mushrooms have been part of the standard repertoire of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for thousands of years, mycotherapy is in its infancy in Europe. It was different in the times of ancient Rome. Porcini mushrooms, truffles and Kaiserlings were regarded as particularly exquisite delicacies that were only reserved for the nobility.

However, mushrooms later fell into disrepute in Central Europe due to symptoms of poisoning. Another problem was that mushrooms could not be easily grown. This made it difficult for the monasteries to promote mushroom science and they focused on herbal medicine. This is how the traditional knowledge of mushrooms came about, for example. Hildegard von Bingen was still practicing, gradually being forgotten.

In the East, on the other hand, knowledge of the healing power of mushrooms is still firmly anchored in popular knowledge and also in practiced medicine. The shiitake, for example. has been cultivated there for over 1000 years. In 1974 there was finally the first international mycology congress in Tokyo. There, researchers presented an active ingredient contained in shiitake, namely lentinan, as a potent anti-cancer drug. In this way, the interest of the West was awakened again, and medicinal mushrooms have received more and more attention in Europe since then.

What are medicinal mushrooms used for?

Medicinal mushrooms are particularly versatile, from minor ailments or malaise to serious and chronic diseases. Medicinal mushrooms receive special attention in the treatment of various cancers. In this context, there are scientific studies that show that certain medicinal mushrooms can inhibit tumor growth. Some of its ingredients are therefore already found in many drugs that conventional doctors prescribe as part of cancer therapies. Mycotherapy also shows positive effects in the treatment of the side effects of chemotherapy and in the follow-up treatment.

Other popular areas of application for medicinal mushrooms are chronic nervous diseases, disorders of the immune system, sleep disorders, Hashimoto, osteoarthritis, hair loss, diabetes, migraines or acne, skin problems, stress disorders and many more. In addition, medicinal mushrooms can be used, for example, for intestinal rehabilitation or for mental illnesses. If you look at the incredibly wide field of application of medicinal mushrooms, you will find almost no area in which they cannot be used!

How to choose the right mushroom supplement?

Here it depends on these criteria:

  • Has the provider / manufacturer been certified and checked and will they provide the necessary certificates on request?
  • Does the mushroom preparation contain a high proportion of polysaccharides?
  • Is the price serious? Cheap mushroom preparations should be viewed very carefully, because the cultivation and processing of medicinal mushrooms is time-consuming and therefore expensive. Warning, this does not mean that an expensive price is a guarantee!
  • Is the product itself certified organic?

The last point is particularly important, as mushrooms absorb and accumulate heavy metals, radioactivity, etc., and these can get into our body.

An overview of the most famous medicinal mushrooms


The Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum, Ling Zhi, Shiny Lackporling) is an all-rounder, which is also called the king of mushrooms. Reishi is used for all kinds of ailments. It usually grows on deciduous trees (mostly oak trees) and, unlike some other medicinal mushrooms, is not an edible mushroom. Nevertheless, there are numerous teas and even syrups, chocolate, drinks and much more with reishi. Basically in the sense of the area of ​​application, Reishi is a mushroom that almost always fits.

  • Effective active ingredients: over 100 highly effective polysaccharides, which contribute significantly to strengthening the immune system, as well as over 140 antibacterial triterpenes
  • Can be used to treat numerous diseases such as cancer, hepatitis, bronchitis, neurodermatitis, immune deficiency, high blood pressure, asthma, allergies and sleep disorders, ADHD and inner restlessness
  • Also known as Eternal Life Mushroom, as it is said that it gives new vitality to seriously ill people in particular - and is therefore often used as an “anti-aging” mushroom
  • Calming and balancing effect
  • Promote cognitive skills
  • Increase in oxygen saturation in muscles and blood
  • In practice, the Reishi is among others. used for:
    • Cardiovascular system, including Blood pressure regulation
    • Sleep problems and disorders
    • Strengthening the immune system
    • accompanying cancer therapy
    • Exhaustion, burn-out


Cordyceps sinensis has many names, but most people know it as the caterpillar mushroom, Tibetan caterpillar mushroom, or Ophiocordyceps sinensis. The reason for this: This parasitic hose fungus attacks butterfly caterpillars and uses them as a growth substrate. For ethical and hygienic reasons, attempts are now being made to cultivate Cordyceps in a different way.

  • Scientifically proven symptom relief in cancer, diabetes, liver damage, cardiovascular diseases, rheumatoid arthritis and diseases of the kidneys and lungs
  • Increase in physical performance and endurance
  • Strengthening the immune system
  • Increase in libido, aphrodisiac and sexual dysfunction
  • Mood-enhancing,
  • Regulation of the heart and lung functions
  • Muscle regeneration
  • Strengthening the entire organism after serious illnesses as well as after radiation or chemotherapy
  • Can be used for men and women if they do not wish to have children
  • Contraindications: It is better not to use it in the case of hormonal cancers or high fever!

Lions’s Mane - Hericium

In the German-speaking world, Lion’s Mane is often referred to as Hericium, lion's mane, monkey head mushroom or hedgehog goatee. In Asia, this medicinal mushroom, which looks like a long white beard, has been known for thousands of years due to its unique medicinal properties. It has been cultivated in Shanghai and other Chinese regions since the 1950s.

  • Edible and medicinal mushroom, which is mainly used in TCM to support the intestines and liver, as well as for stomach and intestinal problems
  • Powerful active ingredients: all eight amino acids essential for humans as well as numerous polysaccharides and polypeptides are included
  • Relief of complaints in gastrointestinal diseases, cholesterol and lipid metabolism disorders, nerve disorders and disorders of the immune system
  • Preventive effect against tumor diseases, especially stomach, intestinal, esophageal and skin cancer
  • Improvement of the psychological well-being in case of mood disorders during menopause, stress, sleep disorders or restlessness
  • No known side effects
  • Accompanying treatment for nerve diseases
  • Calming with fears, inner restlessness and sleep disorders
  • Modulation of the immune system


Chaga (the crooked Schillerporling) has been known as a medicinal mushroom in East Slavic folk medicine since the Middle Ages. As a parasite, it usually grows on birch and other trees for more than ten years, preferably in Scandinavia and Siberia. From a purely visual point of view, it is reminiscent of a dark tree bark. Traditionally, the chaga tubers were drunk as a hot water extract.
The latest research shows that the chaga is one of the most powerful antioxidants around.

  • Rich in rare trace elements, vitamins, enzymes, polyphenols and triterpenes
  • One of the most powerful antioxidants
  • Cancer-inhibiting and cell-protecting effect confirmed in laboratory tests, therefore it is used preventively and accompanying (e.g. melanomas, brain tumors)
  • Relief of the side effects of chemotherapy
  • Use as a general tonic
  • immunodeficiency
  • Ideal medicinal mushroom for the treatment and protection of the skin, which supports the healing of wounds, burns or inflammations, also for example. in psoriasis
  • Mood-enhancing effect without fuss
  • Inflammatory gastrointestinal diseases chronic gastritis, ulcer, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, leaky gut
  • Antiviral (e.g. herpes simplex, hepatitis)

Agaricus Blazei Murril (ABM)

The agaricus is an edible mushroom that is closely related to the mushroom and is primarily native to the Brazilian rainforest. This medicinal mushroom is particularly known for its impressive anti-cancer effect. It can be used preventively or in conjunction with the treatment of tumor diseases. In addition, it not only strengthens the body's defenses and stabilizes the immune system, but also supports the skin.

  • Use for skin problems and skin diseases (acne, psoriasis, neurodermatitis, etc.)
  • Regulation of blood pressure and lipid metabolism
  • Treatment of allergies
  • Improvement of the bowel functions
  • Support with inflammation

Polyporus Umbellatus

Polyporus umbellatus, also called squirrel, has been used as a natural antibiotic for over 1000 years because of its strong antibacterial effect and is a fixture in TCM. The rather moderately edible mushroom is native to the temperate climates of Europe and Asia. Due to some of its active ingredients, it has made a name for itself primarily as an effective remedy for hair loss. It also strengthens the skin structure, regulates blood pressure and promotes drainage. Ötzi had a Polyporus with him!

  • Promotes lymph flow and drainage
  • Improves skin & hair
  • Regulates blood pressure and the immune system
  • Used in cancer prevention and treatment


Maitake (Grifola frondosa, also known as rattle sponge) grows wild in the forests of East Asia, North America and Europe and has also been cultivated as an edible mushroom since the 1980s. Due to the polysaccharides it contains, it is considered a powerful antioxidant and has an antidiabetic effect. Like many medicinal mushrooms, the maitake is suitable for prevention and the accompanying treatment of various cancers. It can also be used to reduce obesity and for osteoporosis. In rare cases, however, allergic reactions are possible. The Maitake is said to have these effects:

  • Regulation of weight, blood sugar and blood pressure
  • Strengthening the immune system
  • Use as a preventive agent and also in the treatment of various types of cancer and during chemotherapy and radiation therapy


Shiitake (Lentinula edodes) has been used in TCM for over 2000 years King of the Mushrooms known. As already mentioned, even conventional medicine is now interested in the ingredient lentinan it contains. This is considered a so-called "biological response modifier" and has proven itself in the past in the treatment of various tumor diseases. It also strengthens the immune system and helps the body to overcome bacterial or viral infections.


Auricularia (Mu-Err) has the shape of a human ear and is therefore also called Judasohr in German. This medicinal mushroom is rich in iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, silicon and vitamins. In Asia, the Judas ear is often used as an edible mushroom due to its high nutrient content. The medicinal mushroom, which stimulates blood circulation, is often used in the treatment of blood clotting disorders or disorders of the cardiovascular system. In addition, it supports the body's defenses and strengthens the skin. In practice, Auricularia is also used like this:

  • Strengthening the immune system
  • For skin and eye diseases

FAQ - Frequently asked questions about medicinal mushrooms

How quickly do medicinal mushrooms work?

Depending on the dosage and preparation, some forms can show first effects very quickly (15-20min), or with mycotherapy within a few days or up to 4-6 weeks in chronic diseases.
A therapy lasts 3 - 6 months, and only after this time do the medicinal mushrooms develop their full effect.

What do I have to look out for when buying medicinal mushrooms?

The quality of medicinal mushrooms is particularly important. An experienced mycotherapist knows his way around and can recommend preparations. A certification of the manufacturer himself and the certification of the organic cultivation of the mushroom or that the mushrooms come from wild collection is relevant. The high polysaccharide content of 20-30% is also a quality feature.

Can I give medicinal mushrooms to my baby or child?

Yes, medicinal mushrooms are even suitable from infancy! Medicinal mushrooms are particularly often used for skin diseases such as neurodermatitis. It is advisable to increase the dose slowly to get the digestive system used to the mushrooms.

Can you combine several mushrooms?

Yes, and that's ideal because the mushrooms' effects complement each other. The ideal is to take 2-3 mushroom preparations.

Do medicinal mushrooms help with prevention and when you are actually healthy?

Yes! Medicinal mushrooms strengthen the immune system and help prevent cold viruses, bacterial infections, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, allergies, autoimmune diseases and even cancer.

When and how do I take medicinal mushrooms?

It is best to take with plenty of water before meals. If the stomach reacts sensitively, the dose can also be divided into 2-3 times a day.

What are the side effects of medicinal mushrooms?

Mycotherapy is free from side effects.
If you have a food allergy to mushrooms, there may be an intolerance. Seldom, however, it can be that someone reacts to Shiitake with skin impurities, which then subside again, for example. When you adjust the dosage.
At first, digestion may have to get used to the mushrooms. Flatulence, etc. usually go down after a week.

How do I know that the fungus is starting to work?

Signs that the detox has started successfully can be increased sweating, changes in the color and smell of urine and stool, or skin impurities and rashes. That is normal and also positive. In the vast majority of cases, these signs subside after 3 or 4 days.

Do medicinal mushrooms interact with medication?

Medicinal mushrooms are edible mushrooms and therefore have no interactions with drugs. Nevertheless, if you are taking medication, you should definitely speak to a mycotherapist and / or the attending physician.

Can you overdose on medicinal mushrooms?

No. A higher dose will not do any harm, but it will no longer help either. The excess is simply eliminated.

Why is organic quality so important for medicinal mushrooms?

Fungi absorb heavy metals, pesticides and radioactivity from their environment and accumulate them. These substances pollute the environment and our body.