Gastro-Intestinal Disorders

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Adenosine, Auricularia, Coprinus, Hericium,
Maitake, Pleurotus, Reishi 

Death sits in the intestines

When we say "that hit me in the stomach", this can have several causes: poor nutrition, too much alcohol, hectic meals, lack of exercise, stress, mineral deficiencies, anger and much more can damage the otherwise very adaptable organ.

The independent and highly organized network of nerves around the stomach and intestine plays a major role in the emergence of diseases. The intestinal mucosa has a surface area of approximately 300 square meters and is enveloped by more than 100 million nerve cells (neurons). It is confronted with a significant amount of foreign matter on a daily basis. Thus, the intestine is the central organ for our metabolism and the immune system.

The autonomic nervous system and particularly the parasympathetic part are involved in all gastrointestinal disorders. This explains why stress makes itself noticeable as dyspepsia or irritable colon. Reishi has proven itself here. The adenosine contained in the mushroom has a relaxing effect, balancing and calming the gastro-intestinal muscles. The excitation transfer between the nerve and contraction of the smooth muscle is diminished.

"My nervous stomach and intestinal problems have tortured me badly. I always had diarrhoea after eating. Using the medicinal mushrooms my problems gradually improved and now after two years the diarrhoea has even completely disappeared." Mr. B. K. from Büdingen

In addition, Reishi helps to regulate the increased histamines released through stress through its high content of triterpenes (that are predominantly stored in the fruiting bodies of the fungus). Additionally, the regeneration of the stomach and intestinal mucosa is stimulated by the constituents of the Hericium. Research by the Food Research Institute in Prague showed that the Pleurotus ostreatus (oyster mushroom) supports the growth of probiotic bacteria. The production of lactobacilli, enterococci and bifid bacteria is increased. This in turn has a positive influence on the intestinal flora and the immune system present in the intestine.

Gastritis and Ulcer

Gastritis and ulcer are caused by autoimmune processes, bacteria (Helicobacter Pylori), medication and stress. There is a mismatch between mucous protecting(mucous, bicarbonate, prostaglandin) and aggressive factors (gastric acid, proteases and inflammatory reactions). Here the triterpenes (cyclic hydrocarbons) contained in Reishi have an anti-inflammatory effect. Inflammatory processes, stress, alcohol and numerous medications lead to an increased histamine release. The triterpenes in Reishi have an inhibitory effect on an excessive release of histamine in the body. Generally medicinal mushrooms have a balancing and regulating effect. During inflammation and tissue injury the body produces the nerve growth factor (NGF), which is also increasedly produced through the influence of the erinacin contained in Hericium. Italian scientists have succeeded in bringing about a healing process in gastric and duodenal ulcers using NGF. Therefore, a combination of Reishi and Hericium is indicated here. In addition, the administration of Auricularia can be recommended, which moisturizes and thus protects the mucous membranes.

Reflux Disease

Heartburn, reflux and a nervous colon are closely related. The stage for heartburn is the oesophagus. The main task of the oesophagus is the transport of food from the mouth to the stomach. At the top, the larynx closes the oesophagus, underneath it is closed to the stomach through a sphincter muscle (the so-called lower oesophageal sphincter).

Every return flow of stomach contents towards the oesophagus is called gastroesophageal reflux. If, due to insufficient flow of bile in the duodenum, the acidic stomach contents cannot raise the pH value, fermentation takes place in the stomach, and the acidic chyme presses against the oesophageal sphincter. The oesophagus mucosa is damaged and this creates a burning sensation - the heartburn. Also, oesophageal inflammation may occur.

Through its active ingredients Hericium protects and regenerates the mucous membranes. To counteract the inflammation, Reishi is additionally recommended. Both fungi are rich in amino acids. During inflammation, infections and many other diseases the concentrations of amino acids may change. Here the adaptogenic effect of the medicinal mushrooms comes into play.

Constipation and Diarrhea

If constipation occurs, which, of course, can have many causes, Coprinus has generally proved to have a laxative effect. If the constipation is due to dryness, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) the Auricularia healing mushroom moistens and strengthens the mucous membranes and resolves this type of constipation. Additionally, Reishi is also recommended as it relaxes and balances the stomach and intestinal muscles. A sufficient fluid intake is important!

Diarrhoea is not a disease but a symptom which may have various causes. It is characterized by more than three mushy bowel movements daily.

Diarrhoea can also be triggered by foods rich in histamine or be stress-related. In any case, here the triterpenes in Reishi can be deployed to inhibit the release of histamine in the body. Diarrhoea can also be a result of heat; according to TCM Reishi diverts this heat. Empirically, the Maitake has a constipating effect in persistent diarrhoea. Because of their regenerative effect on the gastric and intestinal mucosa, Hericium and Pleurotus should be taken complementary.

"I suffered for months with long-lasting diarrhoea as well as from watery stools with mucus. The previous treatment with antibiotics, cortisone etc. did not help at all. Shortly after I started taking the Hericium medicinal mushroom, my condition began to improve and now I am doing very well." Mr. M. S. from Frensdorf

Chronic Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Among the most important forms of chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are ulcerating colitis and Crohn's disease. The intestinal mucosa is chronically inflamed.
The Hericium and Reishi fungi are administered between recurrent attacks due to their anti-inflammatory and mucosa protecting effects. Moreover, the Pleurotus medicinal mushroom as well as frankincense have also proven to be effective.

In diseases of the colon and rectum often the water re-absorption, the electrolyte balance and the motility are affected. Therefore, they often go hand in hand with diarrhoea or constipation. If the stool is too watery, the combination of Hericium, Reishi and Maitake is helpful. If the stool has a too solid consistency, Hericium together with Reishi and Auricularia are recommended.

Medicinal mushrooms regulate inflammatory processes and stress-related lapses. They should be taken until the body can regulate itself again- A healthy lifestyle with adequate exercise, fibre intake and adequate fluid intake is important. One should also ensure a sufficient bile flow.


The effects described are based on the ingestion of medicinal mushroom powder which is prepared from the whole mushroom. Please seek advice from your therapist before using.