Over 12% of the UK population (around 8 million) has been diagnosed with asthma, a long-term disease that causes the airways to be too sensitive and make breathing difficult when triggered. An asthma attack's severity can range from mild to potentially fatal. Asthma is most common among children, although adults can also acquire the disease at a later stage.
Can Mushrooms Help with Asthma?
What is Asthma?
Symptoms of Asthma
According to the NHS, Asthma’s symptoms include:
- Breathing faster
- Rapid heartbeat
- Constant chest tightness
- Confusion and drowsiness
- Blue lips and fingers
What Causes Asthma?
Asthma is primarily caused by swelling of the breathing tubes that circulate air in and out of our lungs. Asthma patients have sensitive tubes that tend to temporarily narrow when exposed to the following triggers:
- Smoke and various pollution
- Cold air
- Strenuous exercise
- Infections like the flu
- Allergies (pollen, animal fur, dust mites, etc.)
The Quality of Life of People with Asthma
While asthma is common enough that you can control it in multiple ways (such as avoiding triggers), it can still be a burden to those who carry it.
If not adequately controlled, asthma patients tend to experience the following:
- Chronic fatigue
- Underperformance at work or school
- Depression or anxiety
- Unplanned visits to the hospital due to a trigger, which disrupts daily life
- Delayed growth or puberty
- Lung infections
Can Mushrooms Help with Asthma?
Most available asthma treatments revolve around steroid use, and not many people are fond of them due to potential long-term side effects such as:
- Hair loss
- High blood pressure and diabetes
- Mood changes
- Muscle weakness
- Weight gain
- Glaucoma and cataracts
There is a demand for a no-side effect natural alternative to asthma treatment, and studies shine the light on mushrooms, especially cordyceps and reishi.
Cordyceps for Asthma
Cordyceps is a popular healing mushroom associated with traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. This mushroom has been used to treat conditions including respiration and pulmonary diseases.
The mushroom also possesses potent anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, research suggests exposing human cells to unique compounds found in cordyceps suppresses inflammatory proteins. 
- Animal studies confirm that the anti-inflammatory nature of cordyceps is the driving force behind why it’s a suitable treatment alternative for asthma, especially when studies about how it can reduce airway inflammation have been published. 
- Specifically, cordyceps can suppress immune hypersensitivity through lowering histamine activity. Histamine is a compound that worsens asthma symptoms. 
- Cordyceps have also been found to support oxygen transport to the muscles. Boosting physical performance can lower the risk of an attack and is why many asthma advocates say cordyceps is an excellent pre-workout supplement. 
Reishi for Asthma
Reishi mushrooms possess many health benefits, including benefits for asthma symptoms. They also help with stress and fatigue, lower inflammation, assist to manage cholesterol levels, and blood pressure, and support efficient oxygen transport and lung function.
Research suggests that the reishi mushroom can strengthen respiratory function, specifically by improving oxygen utilization, which significantly reduces risks or the severity of asthma attacks.
- One animal study indicates how reishi acts as an immunomodulator (stimulates the immune system) and anti-inflammatory agent against markers of asthma. 
- Another study also found that taking reishi reduces inflammatory cell activity caused by asthma, which lowered airway hyperactivity, and “infiltration of inflammatory cells in lung tissue of asthmatic mice.” 
What Should You Look for when choosing a Quality Mushroom Supplement?
When searching for cordyceps, you should consider the following:
- Cordycepin and beta-glucans content. Both cordycepin and beta-glucans are the essential compounds in the mushroom. They both strengthen immunity and are responsible for many benefits associated with cordyceps supplementation.
- Tested for purity and pesticides. This is important, no matter if you are purchasing europe grown mushrooms or mushrooms grown in Asia.
- Needs water-based extraction. Water-based extraction of cordyceps mushrooms yields the highest beta-glucans content.
- Triterpenes: Triterpenes have been shown to relieve allergy symptoms, one of asthma's major triggers. Ganoderic acid, the triterpenes found in reishi, are also molecularly similar in structure to steroids and reduces allergy symptoms by mimicking antihistamines which happen to be also steroidal. 
- Dual Extraction method: The active compounds are both alcohol-soluble and water-soluble. To get full spectrum support, a dual extract is needed.
Cordyceps is not suitable for individuals with hormone dependent cancers such as prostate and breast due to increased levels of oestrogen and testosterone. If you have a mushroom allergy, you should not use mushroom extracts. Caution is advised if using mushrooms along with blood thinning medication.
In conclusion, Asthma is one of the most common lung diseases that affects millions of people all over the world.
There are various ways to treat asthma symptoms or prevent an attack from happening, but many carry short- and long-term side effects.
Fortunately, herbal science and medicine have progressed to a point where we’re starting to take natural alternatives for asthma.
Cordyceps and reishi both have compounds that can alleviate inflammatory markers and reduce the risks of triggers, which can lead to a higher quality of life for those diagnosed with asthma.
What to look out for when choosing a mushroom supplement?
Choosing a good quality mushroom supplement can be a daunting task, as there are many options available in the market. However, there are a few key things to consider when selecting a high-quality mushroom supplement.
Our mushrooms undergo various safety tests such as heavy metals and pesticides tests ensuring they are safe for you to consume.
We source our mushrooms from farms that are certified organic within the EU and USDA Organic Certification Programs. We also perform multiple lab tests on all mushrooms for purity, heavy metals, and pesticides.
Third Party Lab Reports
Our Mushroom Extracts are third party tested by Eurofins UK. The test shows the active ingredient testing of the mushrooms, ensuring they meet clinical grade benchmarks.
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Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog post is for educational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice. Please consult with a qualified healthcare professional before making any changes to your asthma treatment plan.
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