Mushrooms may help boost immunity for cancer patients

Mushroom called turkey tail may help boost cancer patients' immune system

Published On: Dec 28 2012 04:46:22 PM EST   Updated On: Dec 28 2012 06:55:44 PM EST
Turkey Tail Mushroom
DETROIT -

Turkey Tail Mushroom The secret to treating millions of cancer patients might be hidden in a mushroom.

There are countless medicines and treatments found in nature.

Aspirin is made up of a compound originally derived from willow bark.

Digitalis, a medicine once commonly used to to treat heart problems is made from the simple foxglove plant. 

It's just a matter of looking in the right place.

Lisa Clinton has a gift for teaching children on the ice, then came her breast cancer.

"Once I was diagnosed I kind of shut everything down," said Clinton.

Clinton is convinced she is back on the ice today because after her surgery, she turned to an additional natural remedy currently under study.

 "We consider cancer a failure of the immune system, " said Dr. Leanna Standish, cancer researcher.

The doctor introduce Clinton to the turkey tail, a small mushroom commonly found in northwest forests.

Physicians in other parts of the world have been using turkey tail for centuries to boost the body's immune system.

It's not mainstream, but the researchers have permission from the Food and Drug Administration to study the mushroom's healing qualities.

"When they are ingested, they stimulate immune cells that line the intestines and then those cells stimulate other immune cells all over the body," said Standish.

Until it's carefully studied, therapies like this are highly experimental and shouldn't be used exclusively to treat any condition. 

Always talk to a doctor to map out a comprehensive cancer treatment plan.

But, for now Clinton remains very optimistic.

Lisa Clinton

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