ANTI-INFECTIOUS TERPENOIDS IN MUSHROOMS
Many medicinal mushrooms contain terpenoids, which are anti-infectious agents.
Terpenoids help the immune system and the healing process in various ways.
Generally speaking, they are good at killing bacteria and viruses.
Some terpenoids protect the arteries of the heart, and many of them are anti-inflammatory. This means that they prevent the immune system from overreacting.
The word terpenoid comes from the same root as “turp” in turpentine. Turpentine, made from the resin of pine trees, has been used as an antiseptic since the time of the ancient Greeks.
Terpenoids are found throughout nature, not just in turpentine.
Like turpentine, many substances and plants that contain terpenoids give off a slightly bitter aromatic odor.
The anti-inflammatory role of terpenoids is especially valuable to the healing process.
To see why consider what happens when you get a cold.
The cold virus causes the nose and throat to swell and redness to appear around the nostrils and nose.
The swelling and the redness are part of the inflammatory process due to reactions of the immune system.
The immune system sends white blood cells to attack the infection, and as more white blood cells arrive, the area around the infection starts swelling.
Sometimes, however, there is too much swelling and an inflammatory reaction occurs. In the case of a cold, the inflammatory process exceeds it goal and the nose and throat constrict, and breathing becomes difficult.
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