Can Medicinal Mushrooms Fight Against SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19?
The power of mushrooms as medicine was recognized nearly two thousand years ago. They are nature’s miniature pharmaceutical factories, rich in a vast array of novel constituents and wide open for exploration. Reishi mushroom also called “the mushroom of immortality” yields miraculous health benefits and contains over 400 bioactive compounds, which have a number of medicinal effects.
Medicinal Basidiomycetes mushrooms (including reishi mushroom, almond mushroom, pom-pom mushroom, and maitake mushroom) are usually consumed in China, Japan, Thailand, and Korea as immune response modifiers for prevention of cancer, or as nutritional support during chemotherapy, and for chronic inflammatory conditions such as hepatitis and other diseases.
Presently medicinal mushrooms are mainly used as dietary supplements or functional food. Special precautions should be there, like cooking procedure, amount to consume, source of collection, and most importantly hypersensitivity (allergy) of individual person before consumption. Nevertheless, they have the potential to become real drugs from medicinal plants. Also, to explore them as dietary supplements, preclinical and clinical trials, and legal authorization are necessary.
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