Mushrooms and Their Importance for Health

This kingdom is probably the least known compared to the Animal and Plant kingdoms; however, the Fungi kingdom includes a wide variety of living species, commonly known as fungi. They share some common characteristics and others more specific to the species or subgroup to which they belong.

With complex life cycles and very restrictive environmental conditions for their optimal growth, the members of the Fungi kingdom are truly surprising and interesting organisms.

Abundant in rainforests in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, and predominantly during the autumn months, the fungi colonize moist soils, tree trunks and other substrates. Others, on the other hand, coexist with human beings in industrialized and pharmacological importance of fungi.

It is known that fungi are true factories and can decompose all the organic matter that exists. Therefore, it should not be surprising that these can be our great allies against global warming and the pollution that currently exists in the world.

In fact, in some offshore oil spills, mycelia from a variety of mushrooms have been used, which were able to digest the hydrocarbon waste present in the oil, not only cleaning the water of the oceans but also producing oxygen and edible mushrooms; this power lies in its enzymatic capacity, which accelerates the biochemical reactions of all living matter.

We should also remember that penicillin was synthesized from the penicillium fungus, which saved many lives during World War II.

This is how, after so many years of study and different specialties, I decided to give a little more value and diffusion to mushrooms in their different modalities, uses and contributions to the nutrition and health of all.

That is why Oaxaca has been a source of inspiration for me to get to know them and investigate them further, being able to introduce them to my therapeutic arsenal and help my patients obtain their benefits and depend less on medication that usually brings adverse side effects in the medium and long term.

Also, mushrooms are a good source of protein, low in fat, rich in selenium, phosphorus, potassium, and B vitamins. They are also rich in fiber and antioxidants, but it all depends on the type of mushroom you are consuming.

Some health benefits of mushrooms:

  • They strengthen the immune system.
  • They have antioxidant properties
  • They help regulate blood glucose.
  • Support cardiovascular health
  • Improve digestive health.

In this first chapter, we will talk about the Cordyceps mushroom, also known as the Himalayan Viagra or the zombie mushroom. It is considered a medicinal mushroom in traditional Chinese medicine, as it has been used for centuries for its health benefits.

Cordyceps is an entomopathogenic fungus infecting insects and other arthropods. The most well-known form of cordyceps is Cordyceps sinensis, which infects moth larvae in the mountainous regions of Asia, especially in Tibet and Nepal. Once the fungus infects the larva, it grows inside its body and eventually emerges from the ground as a stem-like structure.

Due to the growing demand for cordyceps for medicinal purposes, their cultivation in laboratories has been developed. Instead of relying on the collection of wild cordyceps, growers can grow the mushroom under controlled conditions to ensure its quality and purity, as this is a threatened species due to increased demand.

The most important properties of Cordyceps are the following:

1. Increased energy and endurance: Cordyceps has traditionally been used to increase physical endurance and energy, benefiting athletes and people looking to improve their physical performance.
2. Immune System Support: Cordyceps has been shown to have immunomodulatory properties to help strengthen the immune system and protect the body against disease and infection.
3. Antioxidant properties: Cordyceps contains antioxidants that can help fight damage caused by free radicals in the body, which can help prevent chronic disease and premature aging.
4. Improves respiratory function: It has been shown that Cordyceps can improve lung function and breathing capacity, which can be beneficial for people with respiratory problems such as asthma.
5. Supporting cardiovascular health: Some studies suggest that Cordyceps may help lower blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and triglycerides, which may contribute to cardiovascular health.
6. Anti-inflammatory properties: Cordyceps has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation in the body, which can benefit people with inflammatory diseases such as arthritis.

The cordycepin compound has aroused the scientific community’s interest due to its potential health benefits; it is the main active compound found in the cordyceps fungus.

It has antiviral properties, and it has been shown that cordycepin can inhibit the replication of certain viruses. With anti-inflammatory properties, cordycepin can help people with chronic inflammatory diseases such as lupus, arthritis, or diabetes mellitus.

It has been observed that cordycepin could inhibit the growth of cancer cells, so it could have potential in its treatment. It has antioxidant properties that could help reduce cell oxidation by free radicals and premature aging.

Benefits have also been found in cognitive function, increased physical endurance and cardiovascular health.

Adverse effects
Some people may experience nausea, diarrhea, or gastrointestinal upset when they first start taking the mushroom, so it is always recommended to start with small doses.

Knowing that fungi and anticoagulants interact with blood thinners, always consult your doctor or health professional before starting any treatment. Different options exist, but knowing which ones are for you is essential.


  • Dr. Irving Ramírez

    Dr. Irving Ramirez-Alvia, Naturopath, was born in Tepic, Nayarit, in 1992. After obtaining a degree in health and nutrition, Dr. Irving finished medical school and moved to Vallarta. His newly-opened office is at Lord Twigg’s Hotel and Boutique, Francisco Villa #424, Colonia Lazaro Cardenas; his online store features all-natural, homeopathic products and remedies. For an appointment with Dr. Irving in Puerto Vallarta or at FEDA Nutricion and Fitness, Calle Jacarandas 86, in Bucerias, or if you are interested in purchasing Dr. Irving’s CBD oil (5000mg or 10,000mg) without THC, please contact Loren Hayes on WhatsApp at 322-167-7570.

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