Healing with Nature: Protect Our Immune System with the Wisdom of the Sages

Healing with Nature: Protect Our Immune System with the Wisdom of the Sages

It is interesting to see how we usually conceptualize the immune system in Western society. Probably because the immune system fights our internal battles from external invading organisms, we are taught to conceptualize the immune system to be like an army protecting us from evil forces.

There certainly is a grain of truth in this idea. As health enthusiasts, we are tempted to increase the strength of our immunity, so that we have the strongest army around. What a Western way of looking at things!

To have a bunch of "Rambos" running around in our systems might be a good image for a B-grade Hollywood movie, but is that what we really want? Too weak of an immune system and we are susceptible to attack, too strong of an immune system and we will attack ourselves or produce an auto-immune disease. If an army is too strong for a government, it might produce a coup attempt to take over the government, similarly if our immune system is overcharged we can produce auto-immune issues such as arthritis, MS, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and even some forms of cancer.

A question of balance

As with almost everything else to do with health, it is a question of balance, not mere strength. A person with a double black belt in a martial art can usually defend him or herself quite well against a Western boxer. Flexibility and the wisdom of strategy usually defeats pure brute force. Many of the medicinal mushrooms have a profound effect on our immune system as well as other parts of our body. Using some medicinal mushrooms in our immune strategy gives an ability to have both strengthening and calming effects on the immune system. This is similar to Luke Skywalker having the counsel of the sage Yoda in the Star Wars movies.

From the vision-producing mushrooms the shamans used in their initiation rites, or the mushroom hunter of northern Europe, mushrooms have always held a great fascination for man. Many fairy tales have included members of the fungi kingdom as part of the backdrop.

Yes, mushrooms are members of the fungi kingdom. People often shudder when they hear the word "fungi." It brings up images of some life forms taking over a university student's refrigerator, athlete's foot, dirty showers or maybe a yeast infection. There are more than 100,000 different species of fungi, some beneficial to man, some not. Some are edible, some poisonous, some produce visions and some have strong medicinal properties. For the true richness of folklore on medicinal mushrooms, we have to delve into Asian culture, where there is more than 3,000 years of recorded fungi use, continuously maintaining a prominent spot in Asian medical systems.

Mushrooms' medicinal properties

It shouldn't be surprising that some mushrooms have strong medicinal properties when you consider their basic role is transmuting waste products into good, nutritious material. It is surprising that they are considered a panacea, making medicinal mushrooms almost seem magical. Claims from being tonic and energy enhancing, with beneficial effects on the immune, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, nervous, digestive and skeletal/muscular systems, make one wonder if they are a little overstated. The fact that they are used to reduce tumors, blood cholesterol, blood pressure, bronchial inflammation, nervous tension, viral infection, insomnia, duodenal ulcers, allergies, diabetes, hepatitis, progressive muscular dystrophy and high-altitude sickness cause us to consider how they work. They are also being used to reduce symptoms of AIDS, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, asthma, cancer and the side effects of chemotherapy. At the same time these wondrous medicinal mushrooms are being used to enhance overall energy, athletic feats, intellectual challenges, environmental stresses and are considered longevity herbs. ???

Article copyright Measurements & Data Corporation.

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By Terry Willard

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