Medicinal mushrooms against viral infections

Medicinal mushrooms are useful against viral infections because they act through the direct inhibition of viral enzymes, or viral replication, or the entry of the virus into the cell. Let’s find out better.

What are Viral Infections

Viral infections must be well differentiated from bacterial ones and cannot be treated with common antibiotics, but require specific antiviral drugs. By viral infections we mean all those diseases caused by a virus that directly or indirectly causes structural and functional damage to cells and tissues.

Viral infections can evolve in different ways in relation to both the properties of viruses and those of infected cells and tissues. When a virus enters a cell, it is possible that viral replication is incomplete, thus giving rise to an abortive infection. On the contrary, if the virus enters a cell permissive to its replication, there will be an acute infection or a persistent and relapsing infection can develop, which can be defined as chronic and be characterized by a continuous production of viral particles, or latent when the virus remains inside the cells without replicating.

Most viruses ( adenovirus, picornavirus, herpesvirus ) cause manifestations evident only in a low percentage of infected subjects, while in the others mild and sometimes nonspecific disorders are observed.

Virus diseases can affect a specific area of ​​the body (localized or organ-specific diseases) or involve various tissues and systems (systemic diseases); they can last from a few days to a few weeks (acute diseases) or months or years (chronic diseases).

In these infections an important role is played by the immune response of the subject which is inconsistent and not always with a protective significance, as is the case with herpetic virus infections that run with phases of latency, or some infections that, contracted during the intrauterine life, they can occur chronically in the child (e.g., rubella and congenital cytomegalovirus infections).  But in this case we also speak of diseases such as HIV, of Herpes Simplex of course, but also of the flu.

The importance of the active and reactive immune system towards these viruses is essential, as essential is an excellent balanced soil (organism of the subject) and in health that is protected from a possible viral attack.

The healthier the body is and in balance with a strong immune system, the less likely it is to contract chronic viral infections or not.

Medicinal mushrooms against viral infections

Fungi act through the direct inhibition of viral enzymes, or viral replication, or the entry of the virus into the cell, also carrying out immune-enhancement activities through the action of polysaccharides and the glycoproteins contained in them.

Among the molecules responsible for the direct antiviral activity, the triterpenes of Reishi have been isolated, active against the HIV virus and the influenza A virus. The Reishi, great mushroom of immortality, is certainly a powerful modulator of the immune system.

Similar are the properties of Cordyceps which have the ability to block HIV replication and inhibit the synthesis of viral DNA.

Numerous studies on the antiviral activity of Coriolus being its action is indirect due to the presence of substances with antimicrobial action linked to the ability to modulate the immune response by stimulating the Th1 plate active against viruses, intracellular bacteria etc …, and indirect thanks to to the large concentration of polysaccharides and glycoproteins. One of the main actions of Coriolus is the ability to increase the activity and the number of Natural Killer cells essential for the body to activate the cellular immune response.

Shiitake then appears to be able to prevent the cytopathic effect induced by the HIV virus.


Always contact a professional in the sector who will be able to indicate the type of mushroom or the best mushrooms to use will be evaluated according to the subject and its constitution. In addition, a ground work must be done first to ensure an excellent action of medicinal mushrooms on the whole organism.


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