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omen's Nutrition Detective

A Brand New Super Nutrient!

© Nan Kathryn Fuchs PhD

The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Women's Nutrition Detective by Nan Kathryn Fuchs PhD. View all columns in series
There’s an exciting new concept in supplements that’s out-performing other immune-supporting nutrients like crazy.

Whether you have an immune disease or just get sick frequently, this may be just what you need.

The new concept consists of growing medicinal mushrooms on herbs. The mushrooms take on some of the properties of the herbs on which they’re grown, and the result is an enhanced super nutrient that’s being used successfully for cancer and other immune problems. In the future, additional mushroom/herb combinations will be designed to target specific health problems. For now, we have one excellent example of a new, exciting type of supplement.

Growing medicinal mushrooms on medicinal Chinese herbs is a blending of ancient wisdom and current scientific information. It’s a new technique that creates a whole food with specific enhanced therapeutic qualities. It makes sense biochemically and energetically since the body can’t heal itself without both the proper nutrients and the energy to support and detoxify. This supplement does both.

My interest in medicinal mushrooms began nearly two years ago after writing an article on the subject. I began adding them to my personal supplement program and by-passed nearly every cold, flu, and bout of bronchitis I was exposed to. The few times I was sick, it was for a single day. This was a minor miracle. All my life, a simple cold progressed to bronchitis and/or pneumonia.

At that time, I heard about a project in its infancy consisting of growing medicinal mushrooms on a base of therapeutic herbs and organic rice rather than on the rice alone. It was thought that this process would increase the potency and benefits of both the herbs and medicinal mushrooms, creating a new type of beneficial nutrient. And it does.

This project is a result of the meeting of two extraordinary men: David Law, of Gourmet Mushrooms (a company that grows medicinal mushrooms for supplement companies), and Isaac Eliaz, MD and acupuncturist. David Law has an inquiring mind that never stops looking for new ideas and information. Dr. Isaac Eliaz is a well-respected physician and acupuncturist who has successfully used medicinal herbs and mushrooms for some of his cancer patients.

David spoke with Dr. Eliaz about the potential benefits of growing medicinal mushrooms on herbs and the two men joined their talents to create a totally new classification of nutraceuticals (nutritional products that act like pharmaceuticals without their side effects). Because both of these men are personal friends of mine, they allowed me to be the first to talk about this product.

The whole is greater than the sum of its two parts
A whole food supplement out-performs one that emphasizes a single ingredient because it contains co-factors and “minor” nutrients that haven’t yet been studied or understood. Any of these could be responsible for the supplement’s safety and effectiveness. When a single nutrient is emphasized, the natural balance is lost. The result is often a “natural” supplement that acts like a drug. It may work, but it can more easily upset your body’s natural balance and lead to side effects. Mushrooms grown on herbs provide two types of whole foods that combine into one enhanced whole-food product.

A lesson from the yew tree
Taxol is a potent — and expensive — anti-cancer substance found on the bark of the Pacific Yew tree that unnecessarily threatens the extinction of these trees. You see, taxol doesn’t come from the Yew tree itself. Recently, Andrea and Don Stirele, along with Gary Strobel, of Montana State University, made a startling discovery. They found that taxol is actually manufactured by a fungus that grows on Yew trees!

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About The Author
Nan Fuchs, Ph.D. is an authority on nutrition and the editor and writer of Women's Health Letter, the leading health advisory on nutritional healing for women. She is the author of the best-selling books, The Nutrition Detective: A Woman's Guide to Treating your Health Problems Through the Foods You Eat, Overcoming......more
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