Andrographis As An Immune Booster

Andrographis paniculata has the ability to interfere with viral infected cells and is one of the most strong immune enhancing herbs that there is. New researches has showed that the active constituents in Andrographis, known as andrographolides, possess immunomodulating activities. Andrographolides in the plant are thought to improve immune function such as production of white blood cells, release of interferon, and activity of the lymph system. Andrographis has shown conspicuous results against viruses in  studies, including the ability to interfere with the way virus replicates and affects DNA.

Andrographis and Upper Respiratory Tract Infections

In clinical studies, Andrographis paniculata extract has been examined for use as an immunostimulant in upper respiratory tract infections and HIV infection. Upper respiratory tract infections is a term used to define a collection of closely related diseases including the common pharyngitis, cold and influenza. The most common symptoms include fever, sore throat, cough, headaches, runny nose, watery eyes, malaise and fatigue. Andrographis is a potent stimulant for the immunological system, through both the antigen specific and non specific way. Researchers have discovered that A. paniculata helps to improve the immune system by stimulating the body’s production of antibodies and macrophages, which are large white blood cells that scavenge harmful microorganisms. Andrographis, with its immune system–enhancing effects, has been shown to reduce the severity of the common cold and may prevent the onset of a cold in healthy individuals.

A new review of seven double-blind, controlled studies found that andrographis paniculata was superior to placebo in relieving subjective symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections. Developments in muscle pain, cough, headache, throat symptoms, nasal symptoms, eye symptoms and temperature have been reported. A double-blind study of 158 patient with the common cold found that over the course of 4 days A. paniculata helped to relieve sore throat, earache and nasal congestion symptoms, compared to placebo.  In a double-blind study of 152 people with fever and sore throat, participants received A. paniculata (3 g or 6 g) or acetaminophen. The higher dose (6 g) of andrographis paniculata decreased symptoms of throat pain and fever to about the same extent as acetaminophen. Kan Jang, a standardized extract of A paniculata and Siberian ginseng has been studied in manufacturer-sponsored clinical trials for relief of respiratory symptoms from  flu and cold. Some researchs suggests combination of  Siberian ginseng and andrographis paniculata relieves cold symptoms better than. A study shows that taking a particular andrographis extract in combination with Siberian ginseng by mouth significantly improves symptoms of the common cold when started within 72 hours of feeling sick.

HIV Infection

Andrographis is a strong antiretroviral. A. paniculata has demonstrated significant results against viruses in clinical studies, including the capability to interfere with the way virus replicates and affects DNA. New researchs has dicated that extracts of  A. paniculata may have the potential for interfering with the viability of the HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) and advised that Andrographis could combine with modern drugs against acquired immunodeficiency syndromes (AIDS). Researchers have found that andrographis hinders HIV from taking over a ‘control enzyme’ in specific T-cells that triggers the multiplication of the virus. This property is the same as AZT, a commonly used AIDS medication with a number of debilitating adverse effects, including a low blood count.

Andrographis paniculata prevents the virus from infecting healthy T-cells and inhibits the spread of infection, while other researches show that the herb is able to fight HIV in cells even after they have been infected. Andrographis inhibits the cyclon-dependant kinases’ phosphorilation which is induced by the viruses thus that the cellular cycle of the infected CD4 cells stops, as well as the viruse’s dissemination. A clinical study found that andrographis may inhibit HIV-induced cell cycle dysregulation, leading to a rise in CD4+ lymphocyte levels in HIV-1 infected patients.

Avoid Cancer with Cordyceps

Cordyceps sinensis (CS) is an Ascomycetes fungus. The name Cordyceps comes from the Latin words cord and ceps, meaning ‘club’ and ‘head’, respectively. This mushroom it has been a highly regarded cornerstone of  Traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries; one that reportedly has a number of far-reaching therapeutic effects.

Cancer Treatment and Research Findings

Cordyceps, a Traditional Chinese Medicine is a mushroom that has been historically used for over 2,000 years throughout Asia and China as part of  treatment for a variety of conditions including many cancers. In the 1970s, a study demonstrated that C. sinensis inhibited the production of  DNA and RNA synthesis in cancer cells. In the 1980s other study demonstrated antitumor activity on lung, kidney, bladder and colon cancer. Scientists from the “University of Nottingham” have found that cordyceps is an effective therapy for cancer. Depending upon dosage levels, cordyceps directly impact the process of cell protein development, impeding the production of the mRNA molecules that create them. At high doses, cordyceps mushroom extracts inhibits protein development directly. Clinical studies with cancer patients have been performed in Japan and China, using a therapeutic dose of 6 g of Cordyceps per day.

Studies in vivo demonstrated C. sinensis  had an inhibitory effect on Ehrlich ascites carcinoma and meth-A fibrosarcoma. The survival time of mice inoculated with murine B16 melanoma cells and treated with a combination of water extracts from Cordyceps sinensis and the standard agent, methotrexate, has been shown to be substantially longer than that of either the untreated control group or those treated with methotrexate alone, indicating that some water extracts of  Cordyceps sinensis may be useful in the prevention of tumor metastasis. In a study,  water-extract from dried Cordyceps sinensis increased the median survival time of the allogeneic mice inoculated with Ehrlich ascites carcinoma cells to 316% and syngeneic mice inoculated with Meth A fibrosarcoma to 312% of the control with no cytotoxic activity on either EAC or Meth A in vitro.

A severe adverse effect of the use of  standard cancer chemotherapy and radiation treatment is the suppression of the patient’s immune system. The use of  Cordyceps sinensis in combination with chemotherapy appears to have an immuno-stimulatory property, which enhances the effectiveness of chemotherapy by balancing its adverse effects. Scientists in Japan reported that Cordyceps sinensis enhances the general reactivity of the immune system in patients with cancer. To discover this, they subcutaneously injected mice with cancerous cells and then orally administered C sinensis. This led to a reduction of tumour size and prolonged life. A study in cancer patients with different  types of tumors found Cordyceps sinensis mycelium (6 g/day 2 months) improved subjective symptoms in the majority of patients. White blood cell counts were maintained and tumor size was substantially reduced in approximately half of the patients. JSBC (Jinshuibao Capsule), produced by Jiangxi Jinshuibao pharmaceutical Company Limited, possesses the similar active principles and pharmacological activity with those of C. sinensis. The effect of  Jinshuibao Capsule on the immunological function of 36 patients with advanced cancer demonstrated that it could restore cellular immunological function improve quality of life.

Several studies of  Cordyceps have particularly focused on NK (natural killer) cells and Cordyceps’ effect on them as they relate to cancer formation. Research shows C. sinensis effect to significantly improve immune system functioning in cancer patients and destroy cancer cells. Chinese Integrated Traditional Western Med  showed that Cordyceps enhanced the NK (natural killer) cell activity of normal patients by 74% and increased the NK activity of leukemia patients by 400% and similar improvements of  NK cell activities was found in big melanoma cancer. In one study with 50 lung cancer patients administered Cordyceps sinensis mycelium in conjunction with chemotherapy, tumors reduced in size in 46% of patients.

Cordyceps sinensis increases the effectiveness of the spleen to help it filter out deleterious substances in the blood. Also, it increases the DNA, RNA and proteins in the spleen to promote faster healing. The medicinal mushroom in countries like China and Japan by cancer chemotherapy or radiation in addition to often used for adverse effects of standard therapies such as immunosuppression and the combat effectiveness of cancer treatment to increase. Chemotherapy and radiation usually lead to leukopenia. Scientists demonstrated in studies that Cordyceps provides for restoring the production of white blood cells after chemotherapy or radiation by restoring bone marrow function.

Cordyceps Improves Kidney Functions

Cordyceps sinensis is a interesting mushroom that grows at very high altitude in the Himalayas. The name cordyceps comes from Latin words meaning club and head. It grows only in high-altitude regions of 3800 m above sea level, in cold, grassy, alpine meadows of the Himalayan mountains. In China it is called ” winter worm, summer grass”, and the “caterpillar mushroom”. Cordyceps sinensis has been used for the therapy of renal diseases, such as chronic nephritis, chronic pyelonephritis, chronic renal dysfunction or failure, and nephritic syndrome.

Cordyceps and Kidney Function

Scientific researches has shown that Cordyceps sinensis is useful to the kidneys. A Chinese trial has shown a 51% improvement in chronic kidney disease after just 1 month of  supplementation with Cordyceps. Cordyceps sinensis improves kidney functions and it was shown to return levels of  infection-fighting T cells to normal in kidney transplant people. In one clinical study on Cordyceps sinensis,  scientists selected 7 kidney transplant patients who were taking the cocktail of anti-rejection medications. All the patients had developed low levels of infection-fighting white blood cells and other symptoms of organ rejection.

Cordyceps sinensis extract substantially improved renal function via antiapoptotic and anti-inflammatory activity in rats subjected to 60 minutes of ischemia and following three days of reperfusion of the kidneys. This mushroom protects the kidneys from damage oxidative stress and inflammation and deterioration of  kidney functions. Professor Li Shuo Shin discovered that Cordyceps can avoid kidney damage caused by antibiotics and other medications without reducing their antibiotic effect.

The high toxicity of cyclosporin has caused many patients suffer from severe kidney damage, related to the use of the medication. In 1995, a study was undertaken in China in which 69 kidney-transplant patients were given either cyclosporin alone or in conjunction with Cordyceps sinensis (3 g per day). After 15 days it was clearly evident that the group receiving Cordyceps sinensis in addition to cyclosporin had a much lower incidence of  kidney damage than the group receiving just cyclosporin, as measured by the levels of urinary NAG, serum creatinine, and blood urea nitrate. Other clinical study involved 57 patients with gentamicin-induced kidney damage, who were either treated with 4.5g of cordyceps sinensis per day or by other more conventional methods. After six days, the group that received Cordyceps had recovered 89% of their normal kidney function compare to a 45% recovery rate in the other group.

Research conducted on kidney patients who suffer from disorders of  blood pressure showed that after one month of treatment with cordyceps sinensis their blood pressure lowered by 15 percent. Also, they noticed an increasing of superoxide dismutase which, together with established reducing of  lipoperoxyde serum, suggests the possibility of neutralizing the free radicals, resulting in less damage to kidney cells. In a study among 51 people suffering from chronic renal failure, it was found that the administration of  (3–5 g per day) of  Cordyceps substantially improved both the kidney function and overall immune function of treated patients, compared to the untreated  group. In 1995, scientists in China reported that Cordyceps sinensis can help patients with CRF (chronic renal failure). A clinical study of 37 chronic renal failure patients treated with 5 g daily of C. sinensis for 30 days found important improvement. Compared with the results of pre-treatment tests, red blood cell and hemoglobin counts were significantly enhanced. The most improvement was shown in the creatinine clearance test. Tests demonstrated an improvement rate of approximately 39%.  Also, there was a 34% decrease in BUN (blood urea nitrogen). Was the 63% drop in proteins found in the urine, which is one of the strongest indicators of an overall correction of kidney function.

Cordyceps Potent Liver Protective

Clinical studies have shown that cordyceps sinensis can decrease fibrosis and boost liver function in patients with chronic hepatitis B. Cordyceps sinensis has a potential enhancing property on the immunological function of people suffering from chronic hepatitis B and from posthepatic cirrhosis.

Cordyceps and Liver Health

Cordyceps sinensis stimulates the liver, supports the immune system in fighting liver infections.Various research findings show that Cordyceps sinensis has a protecting property in liver patients, including those with chronic hepatitis B, chronic hepatitis C, hepatic fibrosis. It enhances organic cell immunological function, reverts HBeAg-positive to HBeAgnegative, improves liver function, inhibits hepatic fibrosis.

Cordyceps sinensis is commonly used as an adjunct in the treatment of chronic hepatitis B and C. In a study where a mixture of medicinal mushrooms such as Cordyceps sinensis were used to measure effectiveness of the antiviral medication lamivudine in the therapy of hepatitis B, it helped substantially. The group receiving C. sinensis along with other medicinal mushroom extracts had much better results in a shorter period of time than the group who received just lamivudine.

C. sinensis  may assist with the cure of hepatitis B by increasing serum gamma globulin levels and bolstering the immune system.  Research clinical studies on 33 patients with Hepatitis B and on another 8 patients with cirrhosis taking cordyceps extract showed 71.9% improvement on Thymol Turbidity  Test and 78.6% improvement in SGPT. Test both of these are enzyme test showing improving functions of the liver. One study using 3g/day Cordyceps sinensis  biomass to treat alcohol-induced liver steatosis in 14 patients demonstrated reductions of 70% in AST levels, 63% in ALT levels and 64% in GGT levels over a 90 day period. In 1990, a study was undertaken in which 32 hepatitis B sufferers were given 3750 mg of Cordyceps sinensis a day for one month. Positive antibodies to the virus changed to negative in 21 people. In 23 participant, tests demonstrated that liver function has improved. In one study, 83 participant, 2 to 15 years old, who carried the hepatitis B virus but demonstrated no symptoms were given Cordyceps sinensis for 3 months. A complete conversion of antibodies to the virus was found in 33 of the test participant, which indicates that the infection had been completely resolved and the virus was no longer contagious.

A study performed in China in 1994 with 70 patients diagnosed with chronic Hepatitis B and post hepatic cirrhosis were treated with either Cordyceps sinensis or other medicinal mushroom, Gandoerma applanatum. In this  study, 57% of the Ganoderma patients demonstrated important health effect, compared to 68% of the Cordyceps group. In a study using 22 people who were diagnosed with posthepatic cirrhosis, after 3 months of consuming 6–9 g of  C. sinensis per day, each patient demonstrated improvement in liver function tests. Cirrhotic cells had disappeared in 15 people and had decreased substantially in other 6 patients. In a new study, performed at the “Capital Medical University in Beijing“, scientists set to find out if cordyceps could cure liver problems naturally. 60 patient with chronic hepatitis B were evaluated. Cordyceps sinensis reduced serum AST and ALT levels, serum HA, PC-II and LN levels. 81% of the participants, who consumed Cordyceps sinensis, decreased liver inflammation one grade or more, and 52% decreased fibrosis stage one or more levels. The researchers, concluded that cordyceps can improve liver function, reduce liver inflammation and fight hepatic fibrosis.

Use of Reishi in Treating Liver Disease

Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma Lucidum) is a basidiomycete, lamellaless fungus belonging to the family of polyporaceae. Although there are more than 2000 known species of reishi mushroom, just 6 kinds have been investigated in greater detail to uncover probable health benefits black, red, white, blue purple and yellow reishi.  Of these 6 types, red and black reishi have showed the most important health-enhancing effects.

Reishi Mushroom Liver Benefits

Reishi mushroom has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for to treat liver disorders. Nowadays, the available findings from human trials together with evidence from animal studies demonstrate that reishi mushroom may have some positive effects for liver disease patients. Polysaccharides Ganoderma Lucidum extract reduced viral activity, improve immune parameters, enhance the production of its own interferon, which prevents the virus from replicating. Extract of  Ganoderma improves blood biochemical parameters that reflect the degree of  liver damage. Ganoderma Lucidum limit the activity of beta-glucuronidase, an enzyme that is elevated in many liver problems, including inflammation, jaundice and cirrhosis.

Reishi mushroom protects the liver from harm by chemical toxins such as carbon tetrachloride. Reishi extract demonstrated anti-hepatotoxic effect with administration of the extract to mice with carbon tetrachloride-induced liver damage. Researches done in Japan have shown that Reishi mushroom protects the liver from damage due to toxic chemicals, including pharmaceutical metabolites. Reishi mushroom may help prevent human hepatoma from spreading. Scientists at the National Chung Hsing University in Taiwan have discovered that Ganoderma Lucidum may help with liver cancer. Researchers found that a dose-response inhibition of  metastasis could be accomplished by giving mice Ganoderma Lucidum extract. The average size, volume and weight of tumors, as well as the number of affected organs, were suppressed with the reishi mushroom  extract. The findings of the study suggest that reishi mushroom could be a strong chemopreventive agent for the tumorigenesis and metastasis of highly invasive hepatoma cells.

Reishi mushroom increases immune-protective T cells and macrophages. The mushroom demonstrates anti-viral activity, and accelerates recovery time from infectious hepatitis. A study reported in 2005 in Food Reviews International found that reishi mushroom decreased the levels of serum hepatitis B virus DNA and hepatitis B antigens. Twenty-one hepatitis patients were treated with reishi extract. For 19 patients the major symptoms were gone within 10 days after reishi mushroom therapy and the hepatitis marker enzyme serum glutamic-pyruvic tansaminase value was returned to normal 45 days after the reishi mushroom therapy. A clinical study using Ganopoly® or placebo was conducted in chronic hepatitis B patients. Ganopoly therapy decreased the level of  hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA. Polysaccharide Ganopoly treatment for six months resulted in normalization of aminotransferase levels in 33% and cleared serum hepatitis B surface antigen in 13% of  patients compared with control. Reishi mushroom  is a traditionally used in the cure of hepatitis and in a clinical study of 355 cases of hepatitis B treated with Wulingdan Pill, of which reishi is the main component, 92.4% of patients were reported to have favorable results. An experimental study of patients suffering from hepatitis B and high liver enzymes and bilirubin, patients were given reishi for 3 months. After one month, pronounced reduction in SGPT and SGOT were seen, and 3 months later all values were within a normal range.