About & FAQs

Mycotherapy Online is in the process of being set-up by Martin Powell, biochemist, herbalist, author and lecturer to provide healthcare practitioners with access to the latest research and clinical experience on the therapeutic use of medicinal mushrooms.

Martin has been lecturing on medicinal mushrooms for the last 15 years and is the author of Medicinal Mushrooms – A Clinical Guide (Pub. 2010 – 2nd edition 2014) and Medicinal Mushrooms – The Essential Guide (Pub. 2013).

Having seen his mother die from complications of the treatment she was receiving for cancer and frustrated at the proliferation of claims for the mushrooms and mushroom products based on scant evidence or evidence of little clinical relevance, often from in-vitro (laboratory-based) research or different product types or dosages, he now specialises in researching and supporting healthcare practitioners in the use of medicinal mushrooms.

Individual questions, as well as feedback and suggestions for ways in which the website can be improved can be sent to Martin at martin@mycotherapyonline.com

FAQs

Answers to frequently asked questions. If you have another question or want more information, please email info@mushrooms4life.com

Can mushrooms be taken alongside conventional treatment?

This is a complex area but in the vast majority of cases there are no reported interactions between mushrooms and prescription medication. Indeed, in China and Japan, mushrooms are routinely prescribed alongside prescription drugs. especially those used in chemotherapy.

There is also research evidence that mushroom polysaccharides can improve the effectiveness of antibiotics, with an increased survival rate in mice infected with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) when said mice were given the combination of Maitake D-fraction (10mg/kg/day) and vancomycine (10mg/kg/day).

One general area of caution is for patients taking Warfarin or other anti-coagulant medication. Some mushrooms (e.g. Reishi, Wood Ear, and Snow Fungus) have independent anti-coagulant properties and should therefore be avoided.<

Is eating contraindicated if I have thrush of candidial overgrowth?

No – the common myth that consuming mushrooms will somehow facilitate the growth of candidia or other fungal conditions is not supported by research or by clinical experience.

Not only are mushrooms very low in the sugars that are widely held to promote candidial growth, they also strengthen the body’s immune response to all fungi and in some cases contain compounds which demonstrate direct anti-fungal activity.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine some mushrooms are though to nourish Yin energy (e.g. Tremella fuciformis – Bai Mu Er), but crucially none are thought to increase the pathogenic Damp associated with fungal conditions. Indeed, clinically, mushrooms can be very useful to treat conditions considered Damp, such as candidiasis. Polyporus umbellatus (Zhu Ling) and Poria cocos (Fu Ling), for instance, are used as diuretics in TCM to Drain Damp.

Are mushrooms safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women?

Generally, tests show that commercial mushroom products have no effect on male or female fertility, do not cause foetal abnormality, do not demonstrate foetal penetration or excretion in breast milk. Nor is there any evidence for mushrooms affecting blood coagulation or arthritic complaints. They do not possess teratogenic or genotoxic properties.
Auricularia auricula, however, along with Tremella fuciformis are not recommended for women who are pregnant or planning to conceive, as there have been some reports of anti-fertility effects.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine some mushrooms are though to nourish Yin energy (e.g. Tremella fuciformis – Bai Mu Er), but crucially none are thought to increase the pathogenic Damp associated with fungal conditions. Indeed, clinically, mushrooms can be very useful to treat conditions considered Damp, such as candidiasis. Polyporus umbellatus (Zhu Ling) and Poria cocos (Fu Ling), for instance, are used as diuretics in TCM to Drain Damp.