Asthma

Ophiocordyceps sinensis has traditionally been used to treat respiratory disorders including asthma and serum markers of airway inflammation were seen to be reduced in patients with mild asthma given O. sinensis capsules1. O. sinensis also improved lung function in sensitized guinea pigs and reduced airway inflammation in sensitized rats2. An in vitro study on human airway epithelial cells showed O. sinensis and its components to alter ion transport and regulate Th1/Th2 balance3,4.

Ganoderma lucidum has also traditionally been used to treat asthma and its triterpenoid components are known to have strong anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine activity. Research on a closely related species, Ganoderma tsugae, in murine models of allergic asthma shows that triterpenoid extracts reduce bronchoalveolar inflammation and attenuate Th2 responses without overall immunosuppressive effects5-7. In addition, mushroom polysaccharide extracts are known to shift immune balance away from Th2 dominance and towards Th1 dominance and have been shown to help correct a skewed Th1/Th2 balance in an animal asthma model, indicating their potential in the management of this condition, as well as other allergic disorders8.

CLINICAL NOTE
O. sinensis mycelial biomass combines well with triterpene-rich or triterpene/polysaccharide extracts from G. lucidum to treat a wide range of lung disorders. 3g/day O. sinensis mycelial biomass with 1-3g/day G. lucidum extract.

REFERENCES
1. Medicinal value of the caterpillar fungi species of the genus Cordyceps. Holliday J, Cleaver M. Int J Med Mushr. 2008;10(3):219-234.
2. Effect of dongchong xiacao capsule on airway inflammation of asthmatic patients. Wang NQ, Jiang LD, Zhang XM, Li ZX. Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2007;32(15):1566-8.
3. Effects of fermented Cordyceps powder on pulmonary function in sensitized guinea pigs and airway inflammation in sensitized rats. Lin XX, Xie QM, Shen WH, Chen Y. Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2001;26(9):622-5.
4. Effects of Cordyceps sinensis, Cordyceps militaris and their isolated compounds on ion transport in Calu-3 human airway epithelial cells. Yue GG, Lau CB, Fung K, Leung P, Ko W. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2008;117(1):92-1014.
5. Regulation of bronchoalveolar lavage fluids cell function by the immunomodulatory agents from Cordyceps sinensis. Kuo YC, Tsai WJ, Wang JY, Chang SC, Lin CY, Shiao MS. Life Sci. 2001;68(9):1067-82.
6. Ganoderma tsugae supplementation alleviates bronchoalveolar inflammation in an airway sensitization and challenge mouse model. Lin JY, Chen ML, Chiang BL, Lin BF. Int Immunopharmacol. 2006;6(2):241-51.
7. Effects of triterpenoid-rich extracts of Ganoderma tsugae on airway hyperreactivity and Th2 responses in vivo. Chen ML, Lin BF. Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 2007;143(1):21-30.
8. Amelioration of skewed Th1/Th2 balance in tumour-bearing and asthma-induced mice by oral administration of Agaricus blazei extracts. Takimoto H, Kato H, Kaneko M, Kumazawa Y. Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 2008;30(4):747-60.