What is Chronic bronchitis?

Chronic bronchitis is a disease characterised by the reduction of expiratory flow during forced expiration and it is typified by a phlegmy cough with mucus usually being a greenish yellow.

Other symptoms are shortness of breath, blueing of the skin due to low oxygen supply and headaches due to unusually high levels of carbon dioxide in the blood that could not be expelled from the lungs.

It is an inflammatory process that affects the airway and that results from an increase in the activity of oxidative aggressors and a decrease in antioxidant activity. A common cause is smoking tobacco, that locally generates many free radicals, producing harmful substance. Oxidative stress increases mucus secretion, produces substances that alter ciliary function, inhibits the immune function of the lungs. It has been shown that there is a dose-dependent relationship between the consumption of tobacco and the damage present in the lining of the lungs.

Air pollutants that exacerbate chronic bronchitis are frequently found in industrial areas with high air pollution, as well as in workers exposed to harmful gases and organic and inorganic dust.

Which mushrooms have useful properties for chronic bronchitis?

The fungi selected for the treatment of bronchitis must have anti-inflammatory, lung tissue regenerating, bronchodilatory and inhibiting excessive mucus production.

Cordyceps

Reduces inflammation, promotes immune response and prevents aging of bronchial cells
In a study in asthmatic patients, the use of Cordyceps as an adjuvant to pharmacological treatment shows a reduction in inflammation of the respiratory tract. Also, there is evidence of the positive effect of Cordyceps on the balance of the immune response through the respiratory epithelium.

These results explain the traditional use of Cordyceps in the treatment of respiratory diseases such as asthma and COPD.

Preventively, Cordyceps can also decrease the aging of bronchial cells caused by exposure to cigarette smoke.

Reishi

Reduces inflammation, inhibits excessive mucus production and bronchoconstriction
It is also possible to reduce the inflammatory response thanks to the triterpenoids present in the Reishi extract. The anti-inflammatory activity of Reishi is comparable to the effects of some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as indomethacin or hydrocortisone. The treatment based on Reishi extract plays an essential role in the modulation of inflammatory responses, preventing its chronification.

Reishi also inhibits bronchoconstriction and excessive mucus production.

Polyporus

Draining and mucolytic capacity
Polyporus is a very interesting fungus for this pathology due to its tropism (lung), used in Traditional Chinese Medicine in the pulmonary processes where there is an excess of moisture or mucus, it also helps eliminate toxins from the body and has anti-inflammatory activity.

References

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  2. Alfageme Michavila I, Reyes Núñez N, Merino Sánchez M, Gallego Borrego J (2007) Fármacos anticolinérgicos. Anticholinergic agents. Archivos de Bronconeumología 43, 3-10.
  3. Dudhgaonkar S, Thyagarajan A, Sliva D (2009) Suppression of the inflammatory response by triterpenes isolated from the mushroom Ganoderma lucidum. International Immunopharmacology 9, 1272-1280.
  4. Fung CK, Ko WH (2012) Cordyceps extracts and the major ingredient, cordycepin: possible cellular mechanisms of their therapeutic effects on respiratory disease. Capítulo 1 en Respiratory Diseases (ed.: M. Ghanei). InTech.
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  6. Habijanič J, Berovič M, Boh B, Plankl M, Wraber B (2015) Submerged cultivation of Ganoderma lucidum and the effects of its polysaccharides on the production of human cytokines TNF-α, IL-12, IFN-γ, IL-2, IL-4, IL-10 and IL-17. New Biotechnology 32, 85-95.
  7. Kuo YC, Tsai WJ, Wang JY, Chang SC, Lin CY (2001) Regulation of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid cell function by the immunomodulatory agents from Cordyceps sinensis. Life Science 68, 1067-1082.
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  10. Paterson RRM (2008) Cordyceps – A traditional Chinese medicine and another fungal therapeutic biofactory. Phytochemistry 69, 1469-1495.
  11. Patocka J (1999) Anti-inflammatory triterpenoids from mysterious mushroom Ganoderma lucidum and their potential possibility in modern medicine. Acta Medica (Hradec Kralove) 42, 123-125.
  12. Seth R, Haider SZ, Mohan M (2014) Pharmacology, phytochemistry and traditional uses of Cordyceps sinensis (Berk.) Sacc: a recent update for future prospects. Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge 13, 551-556.
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  14. Sun Y, Yasukawa K (2008) New anti-inflammatory ergostane-type ecdysteroids from the sclerotium of Polyporus umbellatus. Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters 18, 3417- 3420.
  15. Wang NQ, Jiang LD, Zhang XM, Li ZX (2007) Effect of dongchong xiacao capsule on airway inflammation of asthmatic patients. Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi, 32 1566-1568.
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