Skin diseases in animals - vital mushrooms help
Skin diseases can have many causes
March 10, 2021
Petra Remsing – veterinary practitioner
The skin is one of the largest and heaviest organs of the body. It is the boundary organ between the outside world and the inside of the body, and it performs important functions for the immune system and metabolism. Skin diseases can have many causes, but they all have one thing in common: An animal with a disturbed skin metabolism is always physically ill! The functional state of the internal organs can be seen in the skin and coat.
Causes of skin diseases
Among the causes of skin disease, pollutants from feed or the environment are in first place. These are numerous in today’s world. Pesticides and fertilizers from the fields are ingested by mice, for example, which in turn serve as a food source for cats. Or the food grown in the fields is further processed into animal feed and thus enters the food chain via this route.
Direct skin contact with pesticides may cause skin eczema and contact allergies. However, this is only one example of many that lead to overload of the organism. Exogenous factors include not only industrial and automobile exhaust, but also acid rain, increased UV radiation, and much more.
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Radiation of ever greater importance
Increased UV radiation in particular is becoming an increasing problem. We distinguish between UV-A, UV-B and UV-C rays. The latter are largely intercepted by the Earth’s ozone layer. If they do reach the ground, they are largely filtered out by the skin, or more precisely by the stratum corneum.
In contrast to UV-C radiation, a large proportion of UV-A rays and about ten percent of UV-B rays reach the earth’s surface. Both are absorbed by the melanin of the basal layer. UV radiation also stimulates the synthesis of melanin.
Both UV-A and UV-B radiation are of great importance for human and animal health. For example, they are fundamental for the production of vitamin D2. However, constantly rising radiation levels are increasingly causing acute and chronic health problems and, in addition, increasing incidences of skin cancer.
Scientific studies of UV-B radiation
UV-B radiation in particular disrupts the skin’s immune system. Experiments have shown that skin irradiated with UV-B can no longer build up an immune response against UV-B induced tumors. This particularly affects white animals, but also those that spend a lot of time outdoors. The use of vital mushrooms can specifically prevent skin damage.
Two studies are of particular interest here. A 2004 study by Souza-Paccola. He demonstrated in an experiment on eukaryotic cells that both shiitake and Agaricus blazei murill can protect eukaryotic cells from UV light and also have antimutagenic effects.
The second study was conducted by Bae in 2005 on human cell lines. This vitro study demonstrated that the exopolysaccharides of maitake can protect against UV damage. They inhibit the production of collagen-degrading enzymes.
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Other causes of skin symptoms
In addition to harmful substances from feed, a deficiency or excess of nutrients in feed or colorants, flavorings, preservatives and artificial vitamins contained therein can also lead to skin diseases. These are not recognized by the body due to their unnaturalness and chemical composition and, in the best case, are deposited as pollutants. Far more often, however, it comes to diseases of the stomach and intestines, kidney and liver stress or allergies. The meat of slaughtered animals from factory farming is contaminated with an excess of pharmaceuticals such as fattening agents and antibiotics, this increasingly leads to an overload of the excretory organs such as the liver.
One factor that should not be underestimated is the issue of stress. It has a massive impact on the hormonal regulatory system, especially on the adrenal gland. The limit of stress varies from animal to animal, what is stress for one animal is normal everyday life for another. Due to an increasing lack of time, our pets also lack an important element to reduce stress: sufficient exercise. Excessive stress leads to hormonal disorders, and diseases of the stomach and intestines, as well as adaptation diseases such as allergies, which again show on the skin.
Toxins burden the body and skin
The body deposits stressful toxins in a very specific order in the body. First, the foreign substances are deposited in the hair, then in the skin. Only later the harmful substances are stored in the mucous membrane and finally in the muscles and organs. At this point at the latest, muscular and organ disorders but also allergies can occur. However, toxins affect the body’s control systems even as they accumulate on the skin.
An intact skin protects the body and ensures that these toxins do not enter the body. In addition to its function as a protective and sensory organ, the skin is also an important excretory organ and thus a metabolic organ. It is connected with all other excretory organs of the body.
In case of intoxication, the organism uses the skin as another excretory organ after a relatively short time. The kidneys and liver make massive use of this detoxification pathway. Metabolic toxins that cannot be excreted through feces or urine are always released through the skin by the liver and kidneys. The secretions, some of which are aggressive, can cause itching, redness and eczema.
Such an attempt to relieve the toxically overloaded body is often the origin of chronic skin diseases. As a respiratory organ, the skin also has a relationship with the lungs. The skin is also affected after a short time in the case of independent functional disorders or diseases of the liver, kidneys or other organs.
Vital mushrooms for skin diseases
Hericium - the most important basic fungus for the treatment of skin diseases.
The most important fungus for skin diseases is Hericium. It promotes the build-up of the mucous membranes of the digestive tract – especially the intestinal mucosa – and thus reduces the permeability of the intestinal wall. It also inhibits bacterial inflammation of the skin, this promotes healing of eczema and other skin conditions. It also has a very special effect on the nerves. Hericium stimulates the nerve growth factor and is able to rebuild the myelin sheaths of the nerves. Thus, it has a direct effect on the nerves.
The vital mushroom Reishi - important immune regulator
Along with Hericium, Reishi is a basic fungus for skin diseases. It is an immune regulator and contains the most triterpenes of all vital mushrooms. These have a chemical relationship with steroid hormones and act similarly to them. Thus, the Reishi is anti-inflammatory and has a cortisone-like effect. Its triterpenes also inhibit histamine release and protect the liver. Its bile flow stimulating effect improves liver detoxification and aids digestion. It also has a balancing effect on inner restlessness.
Pleurotus for healthy intestinal flora
In case of disturbed intestinal flora due to antibiotic administration, additional administration of Pleurotus is recommended. It supports the growth of probiotic bacteria and restores the intestinal bacteria to their natural balance. It contains the beta-glucan pleuran, which makes it a valuable antioxidant.
The vital mushroom Cordyceps - supporter of the kidneys
If hormonal involvement is suspected, we additionally use cordyceps. This vital mushroom regulates the hormonal system and thus has a stress-relieving effect. Due to its ingredient tryptophan, it also has a mood-lifting effect. The Cordyceps supports the kidney function. This makes it an important fungus in weakened animals and prolonged diseases. It also stimulates Peyer` s plaques in the intestine. This has a positive effect on the entire immune system.
The medicinal mushroom Coriolus has a strong antitumor effect
Another fungus used for skin diseases is Coriolus. It has a very strong immunostimulant effect. Its polysaccharides PSK and PSP have cell-damaging effects on cancer cells. Taking Coriolus activates the cellular defense, the part of the defense system responsible for destroying viruses and bacteria. Coriolus also promotes the production of antibodies and cytokines. In addition to bacterial and mycotic skin diseases, we also use this fungus in cases of severe parasitic infestation. Pathogens such as parasites and fungi require an unhealthy skin environment to exist and multiply. A parasite infestation is always a sign that the animal’s metabolism is not in order and that the immune system is compromised.
If the lymphatic system is involved, the administration of Polyporus is recommended. It supports both the lymphatic vessels of the skin and the lymphatic system of the body. Firstly, through this vital mushroom, the elimination of toxins from the tissues gets underway. On the other hand, defense cells can pass through the lymphatic vessels more quickly. In addition, a wide variety of triterpenes have been discovered in Polyporus.
The vital mushroom Agaricus blazei murrill (ABM)
Let’s move on to the last mushroom, the ABM (Agaricus blazei murrill). We use this fungus primarily for autoimmune diseases of the skin. It has the highest concentration of beta-glucans in its glycoproteins of all medicinal mushrooms. Glycoproteins are complex molecules of polysaccharides and proteins. The ABM has an adaptogenic effect on the immune system. It can therefore help with both immune system weakness and susceptibility to infection, but is just as effective for overreactions such as allergies, inflammation and autoimmune diseases.
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