This article is based on Mayo Clinic’s content.

¿What is Chronic bronchitis?

Chronic bronchitis is a disease characterised by the reduction of expiratory flow during forced expiration and it is typified by a phlegmy cough with mucus usually being a greenish yellow.

Other symptoms are shortness of breath, blueing of the skin due to low oxygen supply and headaches due to unusually high levels of carbon dioxide in the blood that could not be expelled from the lungs.

It is an inflammatory process that affects the airway and that results from an increase in the activity of oxidative aggressors and a decrease in antioxidant activity. A common cause is smoking tobacco, that locally generates many free radicals, producing harmful substance. Oxidative stress increases mucus secretion, produces substances that alter ciliary function, inhibits the immune function of the lungs. It has been shown that there is a dose-dependent relationship between the consumption of tobacco and the damage present in the lining of the lungs.

Air pollutants that exacerbate chronic bronchitis are frequently found in industrial areas with high air pollution, as well as in workers exposed to harmful gases and organic and inorganic dust.

Do you want to know more about chronic bronchitis?

We recommend that you continue reading the Disease and Conditions page of the Mayo Clinic for the public

¿Which mushrooms have useful properties for chronic bronchitis??

The mushrooms selected for bronchitis are Cordyceps, Reishi and Polyporus. Importantly they have properties that may repair lung tissue, reduce airway obstruction, lower mucous production and act as an anti-inflammatory.


Cordyceps mushroom is shown to lower inflammation, aid healthy immune response to defend against bacteria and prevent aging of the lungs. This mushroom also works to stimulate respiratory function responsible for breathing.


Reishi is a mushroom known to lower inflammation, prevent excessive mucus production and reduce constriction of the lungs leading to coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.


Polyporus has a special relationship with the lungs. Its has been shown be anti-inflammatory, anti viral and anti-bacterial, helpful in reducing infections connected to bronchitis.


  1. Akihisa T, Nakamura Y, Tagata M, Tokuda H, Yasukawa K, Uchiyama E, Suzuki T, Kimura Y (2007) Anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor-promoting effects of triterpene acids and sterols from the fungus Ganoderma lucidum. Chemistry & Biodiversity 4, 224-231.
  2. Alfageme Michavila I, Reyes Núñez N, Merino Sánchez M, Gallego Borrego J (2007) Fármacos anticolinérgicos. Anticholinergic agents. Archivos de Bronconeumología 43, 3-10.
  3. Dudhgaonkar S, Thyagarajan A, Sliva D (2009) Suppression of the inflammatory response by triterpenes isolated from the mushroom Ganoderma lucidum. International Immunopharmacology 9, 1272-1280.
  4. Fung CK, Ko WH (2012) Cordyceps extracts and the major ingredient, cordycepin: possible cellular mechanisms of their therapeutic effects on respiratory disease. Capítulo 1 en Respiratory Diseases (ed.: M. Ghanei). InTech.
  5. Gengtao L, Tiantong B, Xinyi N, Shuzhen L, Xhenyu S (1979) Some pharmacological actions of the spores of Ganoderma lucidum and the micelium of Ganoderma capense (Lloyd) Teng cultivated by submerged fermentation. Chinese Medical Journal 92, 496-500.
  6. Habijanič J, Berovič M, Boh B, Plankl M, Wraber B (2015) Submerged cultivation of Ganoderma lucidum and the effects of its polysaccharides on the production of human cytokines TNF-α, IL-12, IFN-γ, IL-2, IL-4, IL-10 and IL-17. New Biotechnology 32, 85-95.
  7. Kuo YC, Tsai WJ, Wang JY, Chang SC, Lin CY (2001) Regulation of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid cell function by the immunomodulatory agents from Cordyceps sinensis. Life Science 68, 1067-1082.
  8. Liu A, Wu J, Li A, Bi W, Liu T, Cao L, Liu Y, Dong L (2016) The inhibitory mechanism of Cordyceps sinensis on cigarette smoke extract-induced senescence in human bronchial epithelial cells. International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease 11, 1721-1731.
  9. Mishra RN, Upadhyay Y (2011) Cordiceps sinensis: the Chinese Rasayan- current research scenario. International Journal of Research in Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences 2, 1503-1519.
  10. Paterson RRM (2008) Cordyceps – A traditional Chinese medicine and another fungal therapeutic biofactory. Phytochemistry 69, 1469-1495.
  11. Patocka J (1999) Anti-inflammatory triterpenoids from mysterious mushroom Ganoderma lucidum and their potential possibility in modern medicine. Acta Medica (Hradec Kralove) 42, 123-125.
  12. Seth R, Haider SZ, Mohan M (2014) Pharmacology, phytochemistry and traditional uses of Cordyceps sinensis (Berk.) Sacc: a recent update for future prospects. Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge 13, 551-556.
  13. Stavinoha W, Satsangi N, Weintraub S (1995) Study of the antiinflammatory efficacy of Ganoderma lucidum. En: Kim B-K, Kim YS (Eds.). Recent Advances in Ganoderm lucidum Research. The Pharmaceutical Society of Korea, Seul, 3-7.
  14. Sun Y, Yasukawa K (2008) New anti-inflammatory ergostane-type ecdysteroids from the sclerotium of Polyporus umbellatus. Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters 18, 3417- 3420.
  15. Wang NQ, Jiang LD, Zhang XM, Li ZX (2007) Effect of dongchong xiacao capsule on airway inflammation of asthmatic patients. Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi, 32 1566-1568.
  16. Yue GGL, Lau CBS, Fung KP, Leung PC, Ko WH (2008) Effects of Cordyceps sinensis, Cordyceps militaris and their isolated compounds on ion transport in Calu-3 human airway epithelial cells. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 117, 92-101.