IM 3

Mushrooms possess multiple therapeutic applications that can be used in the treatment strategies for COVID-19.


Cordyceps sinensis can be effective agents for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 by immunomodulating, reducing the proinflammatory cytokines, preventing lung fibrosis, improving tolerance to hypoxemia and inhibiting the viral enzymes.

Moreover, they can also be used either to maintain the lung functions after overcoming the disease. Cordyceps sinensis might be used for the treatment of the COVID-19 for reducing inflammation and fibrosis, increasing immune response and antiviral effect [1].


A review through the activation of adenosine receptors A1, A2A, A2B, and A3, adenosine plays an important role in the pathological process of acute lung injury, such as anti-inflammatory, inhibiting cytokine storm, protecting organ damage, and repairing and remodeling tissues. Cordycepin is also an activator of adenosine receptors. it can enhance human immunity, inhibit RNA virus reproduction, anti-inflammatory, inhibit cytokine storm, protect liver, heart, kidney, and lung fibrosis in clin. or animal models. Cordyceps and cordycepin, as a safe food supplement and(or) potential adenosine receptor agonist drug, can play a pos. role in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 pneumonia [2].


Cordycepin (3′-deoxyadenosine), exerts an antiviral effect through a protein kinase inhibitory mechanism. Also, its inhibitory role toward RNA synthesis has been implicated in virus multiplication. The epigenetic mode of antiviral effects has also been linked with cordycepin [3].


1. Promising Potential Pharmaceuticals from the Genus Cordyceps for COVID-19 Treatment: A Review Study. Bezmialem Science ; 8:140-144, 2020.

2. Possible pharmacological mechanisms of adenosine receptor and cordycepin from Cordyceps militaris in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 pneumonia.

3. Rationalization of Mushroom-Based Preventive and Therapeutic Approaches to COVID-19: Review. International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms · April 2021 DOI: 10.1615/2021038285


Ganoderma lucidum
Mushrooms in Maintaining Ace/Ace2 Balance. Because the impaired ACE/ACE2 ratio has been linked with the COVID-19 pathomechanism, treatment strategies targeting this ratio have received immense attention [1]. ACE inhibitory proteins have been isolated from different edible and medicinal mushrooms, of which the most notable are Ganoderma lucidum, Grifola frondosa, Agrocybe species, Auricularia auricula-judae, Hericium erinaceus, Hypsizygus marmoreus, Pleurotus cystidiosus, P. eryngii, P. flabellatus, P. florida, P. sajor-caju, Schizophyllum commune, Tricholoma giganteum, and Volvariella volvaceae [2,3].
In addition, RNA-dependent RNA polymerase inhibitors (remdesivir and favilavir) have been applied as a COVID-19 treatment in different countries [4]. Different protease inhibitors have been isolated from edible and medicinal mushrooms such as G. lucidum, G. colossum, G. sinense, Lignosus rhinoceros, A. polytricha, Russula paludosa, Cordyceps militaris, and Agaricus bisporus. Compared to others, Ganoderma species seem promising in protease inhibition–based antiviral therapeutic approaches. Up to the present day, biocomponents derived from Ganoderma (ganocompounds) have been found effective in thwarting HIV-1 protease, which corroborates utilization of ganocompounds against SARS-CoV-2 [5].
G. lucidum has a great significant role in reducing the COVID-19 malicious effect on the studied hematological parameters. G. lucidum can be used to help in the treatment of COVID-19 infections [6]. G. lucidum polysaccharides exhibit immunomodulatory properties through boosting the action of antigen-presenting cells, mononuclear phagocyte system, along with humoral and cellular immunity. Triterpenoids from G. lucidum produce antiviral effects through inhibiting various enzymes like neuraminidase, HIV-protease, DENV2 NS2B-NS3 protease and HSV multiplication [7].
Conclusion: Mushrooms possess multiple therapeutic applications that can be used in the treatment strategies for COVID-19.

1. ACE2 (angiotensin-converting enzyme 2), COVID-19, and ACE inhibitor and Ang II (angiotensin II) receptor blocker use during the pandemic: The pediatric perspective. Hypertension. 2020;76(1):16–22.
2. Ansor NM, Abdullah N, Aminudin N. Anti-angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) proteins from mycelia of Ganoderma lucidum (Curtis) P. Karst. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2013;13:256.
3. Evaluation of selected culinary-medicinal mushrooms for antioxidant and ACE inhibitory activities. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:464238.
4. Remdesivir and chloroquine effectively inhibit the recently emerged novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in vitro. Cell Res. 2020;30(3):269–71.
5. Rationalization of Mushroom-Based Preventive and Therapeutic Approaches to COVID-19: Review. International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, 23(5):1 – 11 (2021) DOI: 10.1615/IntJMedMushrooms.2021038285
6. The Role of Ganoderma lucidum Uptake on Some Hematological and Immunological Response in Patients with Coronavirus (COVID-19). Sys Rev Pharm 2020;11(8):537-541
7. Ganoderma lucidum: A potential source to surmount viral infections through β-glucans immunomodulatory and triterpenoids antiviral properties. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, Volume 187, 30 September 2021, Pages 769-779