#4 – Coriolus Mushroom aka PSK, PSP, Krestin

This was an immune system booster that I happened upon.  Friends had been visiting the house and suggested that I contact a place in Toronto’s Chinatown that prepares traditional Chinese medicine.  I was looking for a very specific blend of natural roots, leaves, mushrooms, etc., when I came across this.  The Coriolus Mushroom is listed in the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database as “Possibly Effective” for Cancer.  Specifically the database referrences polysaccharide krestin (PSK) which” orally may improve response and survival in some patients with cancer.”  Additionally, it states that “It has been used in Japan for several decades for breast cancer, esophageal cancer, gastric cancer, lung cancer, hepatic cancer, colorectal cancer and nasopharyngeal cancer.” (Source:  naturaldatabase.therapeuticresearch.com, extracted August 13, 2014 – this database is available to subscribers only.)  The Coriolus Mushroom apparently has been used in folk medicine for a very long time.

The article had me hooked at “lung cancer”.  I searched for products on line that contained PSK and found one that I have since purchased.  When we went for our chemo session I asked the dietician if it was safe to use the product in conjunction with the chemotherapy.  She asked for more information and told me she wanted to check into it first.  Her main caveat was that any product that I considered must have been trialed on humans.  Since PSK has been in use in Japan as an adjuvant to cancer therapy she was satisfied about it’s clinical trials but still asked me to hold off until she looked further into it.  I have since heard back from her.  She was satisfied about the clinical trials and left the decision up to us as to whether my husband take this product.  Since the prouct is used to stimulate the immue system, improve energy levels and work towards minimizing the toxic effects while improving the effectiveness of chemotherapy, I believe this is one that we will commence using.  I have been taking the minimum dose as a preventive measure for myself, to determine if there were any side effects that I experienced.  It has been a week and I am fine.  We have discussed my husband taking the product and we have agreed to slowly introduce it into his daily dosage of medicines.  Slowly, while monitoring for any reactions.  I have also informed the visiting nurse, who has looked at the product I purchased and stated she knows of others using it during chemotherapy with no ill effects.  Wish us luck.

For those of you interested in this particular product, do your own research, don’t just  rely on mine – my research and my opinions are subjective.  I am only one person.  Do your own research or have other people help you.  Or if you come across something that you think may interest others, let me know, I will do a little investigating as well and see what I find.

#3 – Chaga

This was something I had no knowledge of whatsoever.  My sister was speaking with her neighbor one day and mentioned my husband’s cancer.  The neighbor happens to have a daughter that just recently attended and graduated as a doctor of homeopathy.  As a result I was given a vial with a chaga tincture in it.  My sister told me that chaga had been proven to have some results with respect to breast cancer, but encouraged me to research it’s efficacy relating to lung cancer.  Up until my sister handed me the vial i had no knowledge of this product.  So I started my research.

This natural product (known in some instances as a tree mushroom)  has been widely used for years by Europeans and Native Americans (Scientific Name: Inonotus Obliquus). It grows on the birch tree. It is believed to be an immune system booster, assist in reducing inflammation in the body, support a healthy liver function as well as fight viruses.  There doesn’t appear to be many clinical trials that support these claims, however, the use of chaga for medicinal purposes dates back hundreds if not thousands of years.

When I looked at some of the medical community generated sites they caution about administering chaga to a patient that could be on chemotherapy or using blood thinning products.  Needless to say, we are in the midst of chemotherapy right now.  I will continue to research this product to get more answers. 

Just sharing what I have found so far to those who are interested and want to research this further.