Why Mushrooms Might Be The Ultimate Superfood [Infographic]

February 11 2013 | Body System Health | Circulatory System | Immune Health

For thousands of years, people have been using various types of mushrooms for a range of health benefits. Mushrooms abosorb vitamins, minerals and any nutrient from plants, soil, and wherever they grow. On trees, they often soak up nutrients that have been building for decades, creating powerhouse supplements. Check out our most recent graphic showing some of the benefits of one of nature's true superfoods. Click the image to make it bigger.

You can find mushrooms in the following Nature's Sunshine Supplements: Immune StimulatorCollustrum with Immune Factors and Cordyceps.

Click to Make Image Larger



The Fungi Your Immune System Has Been Waiting For

  • Did you know humans have more in common with fungi than any other kingdom?  We share the same pathogens, meaning bacteria and viruses. 
  • Chinese medicine has used mushrooms for over 1,000 years.
  • 50 years of research has yielded very positive results, particularly for immune health. 

Why Your Immune System Loves Mushrooms

  • Polysaccharides, enzymes, proteins and antioxidants! 
  • Several prominent polysaccharides, including beta-glucans, actually stimulate, or turn on, your body’s natural defense mechanisms. 

Where do mushrooms get these beneficial compounds? 

  • From the mushroom’s host -- usually a tree or other plant that has absorbed and stored healthful nutrients for decades. 
  • Mushrooms embrace and soak up these special nutrients, transforming into a little medicinal powerhouses.

Health benefits of Mushrooms:

  • Increased longevity
  • Improved blood flow
  • Cholesterol and blood sugar normalization
  • Liver protection
  • Kidney support
  • Anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal properties
  • Respiratory support
  • Decreased platelet aggregation
  • Reduced risk of heart disease
  • Nerve regeneration
  • Improved skin and hair
  • Increased stamina 

Mushrooms are Packed with These Vitamins and Minerals

  • Niacin
  • Riboflavin
  • Folate
  • Phosphorus
  • Iron 
  • Panthothenic Acid
  • Zinc
  • Potassium
  • Copper
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin B6
  • Selenium
  • Thiamin

It’s best to blend several mushroom species. A good trio includes: 

Reishi Mushroom

Reishi has been called the “Mushroom of Immortality,” and has been used in Asia for thousands of years.  It has ganoderic acid, which is being used to support cellular abnormalities.

Other Benefits: 

  • Anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Regulation of the immune system
  • Normalization of blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels

Shiitake Mushroom

A key component of Shiitake is Lentinan, which has been found to protect the liver and provide relief for a variety of stomach ailments. Lentinan has also been linked to combating illnesses that attack the immune system. 

Other Benefits:

  • May offer anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal effects
  • Stabilizes blood sugar levels,
  • Reduces platelet aggregation
  • Supports lower cholesterol levels

Cordyceps Mushroom

Called “Caterpillar Fungus,” Cordyceps is unique in that it grows out of an insect host rather than a plant host. This parasitic mushroom has a long and storied history in traditional Chinese and Tibetan medicine. Cordyceps is perhaps best known as the supplement that members of the Chinese women’s track and field team used in training before they broke several records in 1993 and 1994. Team members tested negative for using illegal substances, and their coach revealed that the athletes’ diets were supplemented with a Chinese “caterpillar fungus.”

A natural Chinese supplement, cordyceps benefits several body systems, including the circulatory, immune, respiratory and glandular systems. Cordyceps has properties similar to those of ginseng and is traditionally used to help the body build strength and endurance. In traditional Chinese medicine, cordyceps has been used to benefit the glandular system in both women and men. In addition, cordyceps supports the kidneys, aids the upper respiratory tract and may help the body maintain proper blood viscosity.

Other Benefits: 

  • Increases ATP production, improving strength and endurance
  • Offers anti-aging effects
  • Protects the liver and kidneys,
  • Increases blood flow & normalizes cholesterol levels


Mushrooms are extremely hearty organisms that thrive in good, and bad, environments. In ideal conditions, they absorb and concentrate healthful compounds. In poor conditions, they absorb and concentrate unhealthy, harmful, and even deadly substances. Be sure your mushrooms come from a reputable, safely grown source. 

Sources: MedicalMushrooms.net, healing-mushrooms.net and Mercola.com.


4 OTHER Ways to Support the Immune System

January 28 2013 | Immune Health

For the immune system, things like Vitamin C, Echinacea, Zinc, Elderberry, Vitamin D, etc. is common knowledge. But there is much more that can also help the immune system work efficiently.

Here are 4 other ways to support the immune system. They include supplements that help the lymphatic system, thyroid, spleen, and something else that helps stimulate the immune system into action by producing macrophage, T-cells, B-cells, natural killer cells and cytokines. 



Lymphomax is a blend of reported blood-purifying, cleansing and supporting herbs for the respiratory and lymphatic systems. Mullein helps promote natural respiratory function. Lobelia contains lobeline, an ingredient that helps stimulate the respiratory system, which supports breathing function. Plantain may help protect the liver against cellular damage due to its antioxidant effects, and it helps maintain the lymphatic system. Cleavers (also known as clivers) has reported diuretic, astringent and tonic effects. This herb is used historically to cleanse the lymphatic and other glandular systems. Red root is traditionally used for supporting the lymph system. It contains components that help make the body environment more acceptable to microorganic balance.


Mullein leaves, bayberry root bark, clivers aerial parts, plantain leaves, alfalfa aerial parts, chamomile flowers, echinacea root, yarrow aerial parts, garlic bulb, red root, lobelia aerial parts and chlorophyll.


Thyroid Support

Thyroid Support is a blend of nutritional and herbal supplements specially designed to nourish the thyroid gland and to support the actions of the thyroid hormones. The thyroid hormones regulate many body functions, including oxygen use, basal metabolic rate, cellular metabolism, growth and development, and body temperature.


Vitamin B6, zinc, copper, manganese, l-tyrosine, kelp leaves and stems, thyroid substance, nettle leaves, protease blend, pituitary substance and hypothalamus substance.

Immune Stimulator

Immune Stimulator provides powerful support for the immune system. Beta-glucans stimulate the immune system into action. By tricking the body into thinking it's being attacked, they increase the production of macrophages, T-cells, B-cells, natural killer cells and cytokines, all of which strengthens the body’s natural defense system.

Arabinogalactan stimulates natural killer cell and macrophage activity. It also helps increase Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus flora, two beneficial types of bacteria. Rich in protein and immune-enhancing transfer factors, colostrum supports the immune system of the newborn. It also helps protect beneficial microorganisms in the intestinal tract to bolster defenses. Reishi and maitake mushroom are thought to boost immune activity, increase the activation of natural killer cells and activate macrophages. Cordyceps increases T-cell and B-cell activity, important to immune response.


Beta-glucans, arabinogalactan, colostrum, cordyceps mycelia, reishi mushroom mycelia and maitake whole mushroom.

Spleen Activator

When you want to restore strength to the body, the best place to start is with the digestive and circulatory systems. Proper nutrient absorption and an efficient transport system allow the whole body to be more easily strengthened. Spleen Activator is based on the remarkable effects of both ginseng root and licorice root. Both are considered key glandular nutrients. Ginseng is world renowned as an anti-aging supplement, and licorice aids both digestion and adrenal function. These two plants are favored more than any other in the entire Chinese herbal pharmacopoeia. Fifteen other herbs support these functions and add their own benefits to magnify or balance all others in the formula.


Concentrated extract of ginseng root, astragalus root, atractylodes rhizome, hoelen sclerotium, dioscorea rhizome, lotus seed, chaenomeles fruit, citrus peel, galangal rhizome, ginger rhizome, hyacinth bean, licorice root, magnolia bark, tang-kuei root, typhonium rhizome, cardamon fruit and zanthoxylum hull of seed.



How Our CEO Uses Nature's Sunshine Products to Support His Health

October 18 2012 | Children's Health | Immune Health | Product Quality

By Michael Dean, CEO of Nature's Sunshine Products

I cannot count the number of personal testimonials I’ve heard from colleagues and distributors from around the world, attesting to the power of our people and our quality products.

After 40 years, I can only imagine how many millions of people Nature's Sunshine has helped in their lives and with their health. It is staggering to me, and it humbles me to think of the impact that we had as a company, as a family and as individuals.

I’d like to share my own testimonial. While my story is not amazing or overwhelming, it is personal and true.

Nature's Harvest green drink was a hit at Dallas Leaders Conference.

When I joined Nature's Sunshine, I was new to the business of helping people with their health, as I had come from industries that were not related to health and wellness. I also did not have a full appreciation of the value of dietary supplementation. I have very rarely taken pharmaceuticals, including virtually no use of pain killers or aspirin. I did not take vitamins or herbs either, nor did I see much reason to (mistakenly!).

How Nature's Sunshine Has Supported Health in Michael's Family


I have enjoyed excellent health my whole life, without a single serious illness, and I have never stayed a night in a hospital or even broken a bone. I am not a good customer for doctors, having provided them little to prescribe. The joke among my buddies is that I’m the healthiest man alive (they somehow meant it as an insult, but I still don’t get the joke).

However, I now have three kids that are 11 years and under. And for the last decade, I seem to have contracted almost every cold and flu that they had. I don’t get too sick and I recover quickly, but I contract the sickness nonetheless. As long as you don’t ask me at the time of sickness, I will tell you that it is a reasonable cost of being close to my children. This has happened several times every single year without fail.

When I became the CEO of Nature's Sunshine, it was important for me to begin using our products so that I could have firsthand familiarity and understanding of them. I have used a regimen of products (Super Trio®, SmartMealNature’s Harvest, Nutri-Calm® and many more) almost every day now for nearly three years.

And I think I’ve had only one stuffy nose during this entire time. Nature’s Sunshine products clearly provides my immune system with the support it needs. My kids continued to get the typical seasonal colds and illnesses, so of course, I now have them taking our products, too. The only thing left is to get their entire schools on Nature's Sunshine products, and then we’ll have all of our bases covered! And maybe a few future distributors? Okay, I’ve gone too far.

So you see, my story is not miraculous, and perhaps many of you have similar ones. But then, we impact lives in ways both big and small. All that matters is that we help. I am clearly healthier now that I use Nature's Sunshine products daily.

This is my small story, but it is a part of why I have such belief in what we do and such optimism for our future.


About Michael Dean

Michael D. Dean is the President and CEO of Nature’s Sunshine and serves as a member of the Board of Nature’s Sunshine Products. Prior, Mr. Dean served as Chief Executive Officer of Mediaur Technologies Inc., responsible for all aspects of the privately-owned satellite technology company that provides proprietary antenna system solutions for both private industries and governments. Before joining Mediaur, Mr. Dean worked at The Walt Disney Company from 1997 to 2003. He was Executive Vice President of ABC Cable Networks, a multi-billion dollar global division of Disney, where he was responsible for the non-creative, day-to-day business, including Affiliate Sales and Marketing, Finance, Legal, Broadcasting Operations, IT, Human Resources, and Business Development. Earlier at Disney, he was Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategic Planning and Development, responsible for all corporate strategy, development and deal work in Disney’s broadcasting, cable, and film studio businesses. Before Disney, Mr. Dean was a strategy consultant with Bain & Company and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.

23 Facts About the Immune System and 14 Ways to Strengthen it [Slideshow]

September 13 2012 | Body System Health | Immune Health | Respiratory Health

The immune defense system is the most diverse and fascinating of all the body systems. It's extremely complex and intricate. To help support your immune system, it's important to understand first how it works and the natural ways your body fights off disease and foreign invaders.

Colloidal Silver Benefits from Silver Shield

October 4 2011 | Immune Health

Colloidal Silver for Immune HealthColloidal silver benefits include reducing exposure to disease-causing agents and can be used as an internal remedy for immune system support. Silver Shield, a colloidal silver product, has been proven to effectively combat health issues caused by anthrax, yeast, food poisoning, fungal infections of the skin, bacterial infections of the skin, respiratory infections, pink eye and more.

Proven by in vitro testing, the colloidal silver in Silver Shield helps rid the body of invasive microorganisms. This is done when the colloidal silver ingredients disable the enzymes that are metabolizing oxygen for harmful bacteria and viruses.

Many turn to antibiotics to combat invasive microorganisms attacking the immune system. Antibiotics often solve the problem, but can prove harmful in other areas. Most antibiotics attack all bacteria, both good and bad, minimizing the good bacteria found in the colon required for healthy digestion and adequate immune support.

The colloidal silver in Silver Shield benefits the immune system in similar ways antibiotics do. However, because Silver Shield is processed in the kidneys it is likely that it does not affect the population of beneficial bacteria in the colon—keeping the immune and digestive system strong and healthy.

Silver Shield has been tested for safety and effectiveness. It is non-toxic and does not contain any heavy metal contamination that many other colloidal silver supplements do. Nature’s Sunshine observes a strict quality control process to verify the atomic absorption of Silver Shield. As a result, the product delivers fine, particle-sized silver colloids with 99% bioavailability. Many other popular colloidal silver products were tested and deliver only 15-65% colloids with bioavailability.

Boost your immune system with colloidal silver. The quality of Nature’s Sunshine’s Silver Shield product surpasses the market standard for colloidal silver supplements. Give your body the strength it needs to combat the harmful bacteria and viruses we face every day.

Garlic—A Natural Way to Boost Your Immune System

November 19 2010 | Immune Health


Garlic has been present in many cultures for thousands of years in more ways than just as a flavoring for a tasty pasta dish. Roman soldiers used to gobble down cloves of garlic before battle in hopes that its power would give them the heroic strength to conquer. Damsels in distress used to arm themselves with garlic to keep vampires away. We know that the Egyptians used garlic as a means of commerce with fifteen bulbs matching the price of a slave.

Aside from these more frivolous uses of garlic, there is one ancient use that still holds true today—garlic’s ability to strengthen the immune system. Sanskrit records show that garlic was used for medicinal purposes as far back as 3000 BCE. Hippocrates, an ancient Greek physician, recommended garlic as a remedy for infections, digestive disorders and even cancer.
Until Alexander Fleming’s discovery of penicillin in 1928, garlic was a treatment for many illnesses. But Flemmings discovery brought on what some may call the antibiotic binge of the 20th century medical field, quickly pushing garlic to the ranks of the “poor man’s” medicine. However, as the public looks for more natural ways to boost the immune system, garlic is creeping back into the forefront of immune system strengtheners.

This member of the onion family contains three particular organosulfur compounds that act as antioxidants, reduce the risk of heart disease and prevent blood clots. Clinical studies show that they even strengthen our immune system’s cancer-fighting abilities.

From fighting off the common cold to reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer, you can’t go wrong with garlic. As garlic is known as the “stinky rose,” most are aware of the detrimental effects garlic breath can have on our social life. So you’ll be happy to hear that there are many ways to receive all of the health benefits garlic has to offer in more subtle ways—garlic supplements. Give your immune system the help it needs with an added boost of garlic strength. And don’t forget to check out our list of garlic supplements:

Capsicum & Garlic w/ Parsley (100 caps)
Garlic (100 caps)
Garlic Oil (60 softgel caps) 
Garlic, High Potency, SynerPro (60 tabs)

The Immune System – The Body’s Weapon Against Disease

November 15 2010 | Immune Health

Why Do We Get Sick?

Because the world lacked the understanding of the immune system, until Hippocrates, civilization believed the causes of illness were the results of angry gods, bad karma or even magic. Hippocrates turned away from these superstitious notions for answers moving us closer to identifying the immune system. He hypothesized people get sick because of an imbalance of bodily fluids such as blood and phlegm.

However, the enlightenment of the Renaissance brought more curious minds to attempt another scientific explanation of the causes of illness. Paracelsus, a Renaissance man known for his research regarding these causes, concluded that many factors play a part in making people feel “under the weather.”  He explained that the environment, poisoning, genealogical inheritance, emotions and a person’s spiritual state could all be factors making people sick, thus taking us strides closer to what we now know about the immune system.

Since Paracelsus’ time we’ve come a long way in understanding the cause of both infectious and non-infectious diseases. We know that infectious diseases are contagious as they are contracted from an external source. Non-infectious diseases can stem from genetics, lifestyle or even harmful chemicals and are not contagious. We also know much more about what the body needs to combat these illnesses. For example, we know that without a healthy immune system, our bodies can fall victim to every type of disease.

The immune system is made up of several components—both external and internal. Starting with the skin, nose, eyes and mouth, the body puts up a thick guard against outside invaders. Moving inside, the body is armed with anti-bacterial tears, mucus and saliva—all ready to kill outsiders.

Even with the body’s heavily armed defense system, we still seem to suffer the effects of disease. That’s because immune systems cannot fully function without our help. We need to make sure we get lots of rest, stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer, and most importantly, give our body all of the vitamins and minerals it needs—especially immune boosting vitamins. Next time you get sick, or better yet, before you get sick again, consider what you’re doing to help your immune system stay strong.

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