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The curative properties of Xianggu are unique which is confirmed by the centuries-old history of fungotherapy and numerous clinical researches in Europe, America and Russia. This mushroom has became a sensation in biochemistry due to two discoveries that have been made simultaneously: polysaccharide “lentinan” that was allocated for the first time and which possesses unique antineoplastic ability with no analogues in flora, and volatile compounds called the mushroom “phytoncides”, capable battling any viruses – from the most harmless rhinoviruses (viruses causing cold) up to viruses of AIDS.
Lentinan is being used in complex antineoplastic therapy as a preparation detaining the development of various tumors and blocking the formation of metastases through the activation of immune system (Moriya, 1984). Lentinan contacts the surface lymphocytes or with specific plasma protein which activate the macrophages, T helpers, natural killers and other effector cells. These activation mechanisms lead to the increase in creation of antibodies, interleukins (IL – I,lL – 2, IL – 12) and the y-interferon. Thus, the antineoplastic effect of Lentinan is expressed in the increase of macro-organism immune status.
However the immunomodulating action of the given polysaccharide expands the area of its application, allowing it to be used in various conditions of immunodeficiency. The application Lentinan Xianggu leads to the restoration of the reduced activity of immunocompetent cells. Here the restoration of “T” helpers activity, allocating a number of biologically active factors which raise the amount of activated macrophages, antigen-specific cytotoxic “T” lymphocytes, strengthens the cooperative interaction of immunocompetent cells. Thus, the correction of the organism’s immune status results from the action of polysaccharide.
Further more, the xianggil possesses a unique ability to remove cholesterol, promotes the normalization of arterial pressure, suppresses the pathogenic flora in the organism. Xianggu is a great immunoregulator and may be also used as preventive means for viral and catarrhal diseases.
In diabetes this mushroom is being used as a sugar-reducing means; its application is expedient even in the insulin dependent stage of the disease, especially for prophylaxis of complications. As a whole, the Fragrant mushroom differs by a very wide spectrum of curative actions.