GeneFo Webinar Explores Potential of Mushrooms to Help Manage MS

GeneFo Webinar Explores Potential of Mushrooms to Help Manage MS

GeneFo, an MS patient community that provides support, advice, and clinical trial matching, recently co-hosted an online conference with Trent Austin, MD, who reviewed the most updated research and clinical evidence of natural substances – including  medicinal mushrooms, vitamins, biotin and cannabinoids – to inform the public about the potential benefits of these natural resources to alleviate several symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis (MS).

According to a press release provided to Multiple Sclerosis News Today, the use of medicinal mushrooms was the highlight of the lecture.

Medicinal mushrooms long have been used in Asia, but only now are gaining acceptance elsewhere. They are used for a number of health problems, including cancer and enhancement of the immune system. Until now, research concerning their specific use for MS has been limited, but two medicinal mushrooms have shown promising potential, according to GeneFo:

  • Lion’s mane (Hericium erinaceus) – this mushroom has been studied for its potential in treating neurological disorders, including damaged nerve cells. In a 2013 study, published in the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, it was suggested that, in animals, lion’s mane can trigger the production of myelin and boost nerve growth.
  • Willow bracket (Phellinus igniarius) – this mushroom has been linked to suppression of demyelination and a decrease in the daily incidence rate of EAE (experimental autoimmune encephalitis; a frequently used animal model of MS). The Willow bracket mushroom seems to suppress the infiltration of several immune cells involved in MS, such as CD4+ T-cells and CD8+ T-cells, among others. The findings suggest this mushroom extract could have a high therapeutic potential for stopping MS progression, and were presented in a 2014 study published in BioMed Research International.

In regard to these medicinal mushrooms, Austin presented a case study of a 61-year-old man diagnosed with MS in 2009, who presented a rapid decline in cognition, energy, severe spasms, inability to walk for five years and no leg movement for two years. A protocol combining the two mushrooms mentioned above was introduced in this man’s treatment, with the following results:

  • Within one month cognition and fatigue had improved and severe muscle spasms had almost disappeared.
  • Within three months motion in the patient’s legs had been restored, he was able to initiate voluntary movement at the ankles, knees and hips and, alongside physical therapy, the he continued to improve. The patient slowly regained his ability to walk.

Pharmaceutical drugs are not always the best solution to every MS patient. Costs are increasingly high and side effects can be severe. Furthermore, most approved medications are used to slow disease progression, but they do not cure the condition.

Simultaneously, political and financial lobbying keeps natural treatments out of the spotlight and off the mainstream media channels, together with their documented relief of inflammatory processes, immune system enhancement, pain relief, etc.

Austin, a researcher and internist, is trying to raise awareness about the therapeutic potential of natural medicines, calling for both patients and clinicians to learn more about them in order to promote a less-expensive, less-toxic support to traditional MS drugs.

The full webinar is available here.

Patrícia holds her PhD in Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases from the Leiden University Medical Center in Leiden, The Netherlands. She has studied Applied Biology at Universidade do Minho and was a postdoctoral research fellow at Instituto de Medicina Molecular in Lisbon, Portugal. Her work has been focused on molecular genetic traits of infectious agents such as viruses and parasites.
Patrícia holds her PhD in Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases from the Leiden University Medical Center in Leiden, The Netherlands. She has studied Applied Biology at Universidade do Minho and was a postdoctoral research fellow at Instituto de Medicina Molecular in Lisbon, Portugal. Her work has been focused on molecular genetic traits of infectious agents such as viruses and parasites.
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  1. Rachel Naquin says:

    I have been taken Lions Mane extract for some time now after doing research for about a year and a half. Only problem is I haven’t been able to find Willow Bracket. Any recommendations on were I could get it?

    • Rachel Naquin says:

      Sorry I forgot to say that I have multiple sclerosis.I was diagnosed in 2007,by that time I already had 12 lesions on my brain. They told me that the look of my Mri that I have had this disease since I was a young teen.I am 35yrs old now

      • John Bradley says:

        Alibaba is a Chinese clearing house. You have to be careful of anything growing in China. Who knows what you are really buying. Buy from the USA but make sure its Organic.

    • Mary says:

      The best source for Lions mane is Orievda, a company in Holland. Check them out. The best source for properly extracted mushrooms in the U.S. is Mushroom Science.

      Regarding the Willow Bracket, it can be found in the extracts produced by Fungi Perfecti (the Host Defense line, etc.)

      The critique of Fungi Perfecti and other products is that they are grown on rice which lowers the actual amount of fungi you consume. Because Fungi Perfecti does not provide COAs, dosing is difficult to manage. That being said, there are few producers of any kind of Willow Bracket, so I would take it over nothing!

      Best luck.

  2. Simon says:

    I have m.s. and itchy feet (periphere neuropathy !?) is my worst symptom.
    Do you think lion’s mane could be helpful against this symptom ?
    And how long will it take to get some serults ?


    • Patrick says:

      Hi Simon,

      I don’t have ms, but I have a close friend who dose and that’s why I am in this site. However, I have started taken lions mare capsules that
      I bought on lion. I have only taken them for about two weeks now and
      I have to say I do feel a lot better and not sure if it’s the lions mare. For example, I feel more relaxed and alert. My man hood is starting to demand more attention lol. My sleep has improved. I think it’s worth a try Simon. It might help your condition. So far I am impressed.

      Good luck

      Kind regards

      Patrick John.

  3. Anja says:

    Hi. I am a biologist in Denmark. I work with Lions mane. I have some friends having MS. I want to give my friends Lions mane. What is the best to do with the Lions mane to help them?
    – to make an alcohol extract from mycelium and fruit bodies
    – make an dual extract?
    – dried fruit bodies
    – dried mycelium
    And in all the cases – what is the dosis?
    Many thank from Anja

  4. tom says:

    I’m looking to see if lions mane and willow bracket has worked for anybody and if so where they sourced it and best methods they have found. I successfully held me at bay for 10 yrs but now it has exploded taking me down fast.

      • MJDICK says:

        Wish the neurologist would help other then more dangerous drugs that not even the manufacturer knows how it works. Tsybri is dangerous but all they want to use on me. 🙁

        At this point, ready to give up, so if this works, who cares. Tired of the chemotherapy, ineffective pain meds, feeling stoned.

  5. James says:

    I would urge caution for anyone wanting to self-medicate with mushrooms. If you are on disease modifying therapy, definitely talk to your doctor, the immune bolstering properties of mushrooms are powerful, if you’re trying to throttle your immune system to stop attacking your body you might negate your DMT.

  6. Gudrun Fröhlich says:

    Hi, I am a German lady, born in 1944, 75 years old now. I was diagosed with MS in 1976, around half a year after giving birth to my 2nd son; another attack happend 3 years later after giving birth to my third son. Since I wanted to breastfeed him, I didn‘t want to take Cortisol and was adviced by a doctor, to at least take a highly dosed Vitamin B Complex, which I did ever since. I never believed in keeping my immune system down but took instead a lot of natural food supplements, vitamins, minerals, spirulina, MSM, and so on. My walking ability got gradually worse but after having worked as a part time teacher for a long time, I have even been able to work full time for 9 years without missing 1 single day beeing sick, until 2002, and I didn‘t tell anybody about my MS up to then, even not my boys, only my husband knew. Since 2002 I am using a cane, walking very slowly, but I can still walk stairs and I have always been singing in a choir, taking part in concerts.
    By now, since some months, I am also taking lion‘s mane, and it does help me, I think. My left leg I can definitely move better when I make my exercises. Unfortunately I have a bad knee on my right leg, which makes my walking more difficult than it would be otherwise. I take the Oriveda capsules, 4 a day. I buy them in a huge amount bag, they are expensive, but much cheaper that way than if you buy them in the small pots.
    When I am sitting, I feel quite fine and do not feel sick. But I have quite some pain in my body and my muscels, when I am standing or walking. I never go to a doctor, I only did when I had an attack like 2002. I never took the clinical medicine, because I don‘ t believe in it. I believe in strengthenig the immune system and my brain is working still fine. Of course every case is different, but this has been my way.
    All the best to you all!

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