Mushrooms are valuable health food - low in calories, high in vegetable proteins, chitin, iron, zinc, fiber, essential amino acids, vitamins & minerals.
Mushrooms also have a long history of use in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Their legendary effects on promoting good health and vitality and increasing your body's adaptive abilities have been supported by recent studies. These studies suggest that Mushrooms are probiotic - they help our body strengthen itself and fight off illness by maintaining physiological homeostasis - restoring our bodies balance and natural resistance to disease.
In the world of natural health, "medicinal" mushrooms are known as some of the most potent immune boosters and disease fighters.
The terms "mushroom" and "toadstool" go back centuries and were never precisely defined, nor was there consensus on application. The term "toadstool" was often but not exclusively applied to poisonous mushrooms or to those that have the classic umbrella-like cap-and-stem form.
Perhaps the most potent of all is the Agaricus Blazei Murrill mushroom, known in it's native Brazil as "The Mushroom of God"; however many others have also proven to be very effective and popular.
Here are some of the very best:
Agaricus Blazei Murrill Mushroom Extract
Agaricus is the most widely consumed mushroom in many countries, where it is regarded as a health food, due to its medicinal properties.
Agaricus is traditionally known as "God's Mushroom" because of its near miraculous curative benefits to a wide range of disorders. People have used it to overcome numerous diseases and disorders relating to the immune system, cardiovascular system, digestion, and for weight management, diabetes, chronic and acute allergies, cataracts, hearing difficulties, stress syndrome, chronic fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, and disorders of the liver.
A few decades ago, researchers noticed that in the mountain region of Ideate near Sao Paulo, Brazil , a regular part of the local inhabitants' diet was a mushroom known as "Cogmelo de Deus" or "Mushroom of God". The researchers also noted that the local inhabitants were extraordinarily healthy and had a very low incidence of disease, which they attributed to this magical mushroom.
The scientific name of the mushroom is Agaricus Blazei Murrill, more commonly called the ABM mushroom and sometimes referred to as Agaricus Brasiliennis. So potent is this mushroom that one well-known rainforest herbal manufacturer, uses it as the main ingredients in herbal supplements that have been credited with success against cancer and other diseases around the world.
In a study conducted by Dr. Shoji Shibata, a professor at Tokyo University , several other well known cancer-fighting and immune-boosting mushrooms were compared to the ABM, including Reishi and Shitake. Dr. Shibata's results found that the other mushrooms were not as effective as the ABM mushroom, and so the ABM was ranked at the top of the list of potent mushrooms - a spot befitting the "Mushroom of God"! Other Japanese and British studies have also shown the ABM mushroom to have the highest concentration of beta-glucan of any mushroom.
Contains Beta-(1-3)-D-glucan, Beta-(1-4)-a -D-glucan & Beta - (1-6)-D-glucan. Known collectively as Beta-glucans, these long-chain polysaccharides are the most potent immuno-potentiating (immune enhancing) substances yet found. They also have very powerful anti-tumor properties. When human subjects are given AMB in their diet, a 3000% increase of NK cells, a type of anti-tumor white blood cell known as Natural Killer cells, is seen in the blood within 2-4 days.
In addition to beta glucans, agaricus also contains derivatives of ergosterol, a potent anti-tumor agent; double stranded RNA, an anti-viral agent; proteoglucans and protein bound polysaccharides of low molecular weight, which are immune enhancers; and, protein bound polysaccharides of high molecular weight, vitamins B1 and B2, proteins in the form of amino acids, niacin, iron, and calcium.
There are many verified reports from around the world of this mushroom being used successfully in late stage cancers that had been determined hopeless and some clinics in Europe base their entire treatment protocols on agaricus blazei murrill mushroom extracts and other complimentary botanicals. In fact, in many published studies, the rate of cure for all types of cancer has been in the high ninety percentile range, even for stage 4 lung cancer, where many complete remissions are often seen in just a few weeks.
Coriolus Versicolor extract - from the Asian Turkey Tail mushroom.
Contains polysaccharides [PSK] and polysaccharopeptides [PSP] effective for acute leukemia and stomach, esophagus, colorectal, lung cancer; PS is effective with many types of cancer (at least early and mid-stage cancer), including lung cancer and particularly stomach & colon cancer.
NCI reportedly stated that PSK has been "contemplated for use against... mammary cancer, gastrointestinal cancers, such as those of the esophagus, stomach, colon, lung and brain tumors" and that PSP "has...anti-tumor activities, inhibiting Ehrlich ascites tumors, leukemia, and sarcoma, gastric tumor, lymph, and monocytic leukemia". Good to take during chemo & radiation - including acute leukemia patients)
Shiitake (for centuries called "Elixir of Life" ) has been licensed as a anti-cancer drug by the Japanese FDA. Lentinan has shown some effect on bowel cancer, liver cancer, stomach cancer, ovarian cancer and lung cancer.
Lentinan stimulates the production of T lymphocytes and natural killer cells and can potentiate the effect of AZT in the anti-viral treatment of A.I.D.S. Shiitake is rich in several anti-oxidants (Selenium, Uric acid & Vitamin A, E, & C) as well as Vitamin D.
Shiitake mushrooms may also lower blood pressure in those with hypertension, lower serum cholesterol levels, increase libido, stimulate the production of Interferon which has anti-viral effects, and has proven effective against Hepatitis in some cases.
The shiitake (Lentinula edodes) is an edible mushroom native to East Asia. It is generally known in the English-speaking world by its Japanese name, shiitake. Shiitake are native to China but have been grown in both Japan and China since prehistoric times. They have been cultivated for over 1000 years. Fresh and dried shiitake have many uses in the cuisines of East Asia. In Chinese cuisine, they are often sauteed in vegetarian dishes such as Buddha's delight. In Japan, they are served in miso soup, used as the basis for a kind of vegetarian dashi, and also as an ingredient in many steamed and simmered dishes. (lowers cholesterol and improves immune system function, good for preventing high blood pressure and heart disease, for controlling cholesterol level, building resistance against viruses, and fighting diseases such as AIDS/HIV and cancers. Often available fresh, Shitake mushrooms are very flavorful when used in cooking! If you cannot find fresh, available as a supplement also.)
Maitake is also known by the name Dancing Mushroom, famous for its taste and health benefits. In Japan, Maitake Mushroom is called "King of Mushroom". The fruiting body and the mycelium of Maitake are used medicinally. In China and Japan, Maitake Mushrooms have been consumed for 3000 years.
Years ago in Japan, the Maitake had monetary value and was worth its weight in silver. Historically, Maitake has been used as a tonic and adaptogen. It was used as a food to help promote wellness and vitality. Traditionally, consumption of the mushroom was thought to prevent high blood pressure and cancer - two applications that have been the focal point of modern research.
Clinical research with Maitake Mushroom has increased dramatically in the past several years. Laboratory studies have shown that Maitake Mushroom extract can inhibit the growth of tumors and stimulate the immune system of cancerous mice.
Grifola frondosa, referring to a mythical griffin, commonly known as Sheep's Head, Ram's Head and Hen of the Woods or Maitake, is an edible polypore mushroom.
It grows in clusters at the foot of trees, especially oak. The Japanese call it "maitake" (pronounced [maitake]), literally meaning "dancing mushroom." The underground tubers from which hen of the woods arises has been used in traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine to enhance the immune system.
Researchers have also indicated that whole maitake has the ability to regulate blood pressure, glucose, insulin, and both serum and liver lipids, such as cholesterol, triglycerides, and phospholipids, and may also be useful for weight loss. (high in nutrients including Vitamins B-2, C, D, niacin, magnesium, potassium, fiber, and amino acids, contains the polysaccharide compound beta-1.6-glucan which naturally stimulates the immune system and lowers blood pressure. Beneficial for obesity and diabetic patients, the Maitake mushroom may be best known for its cancer fighting ability. Tests in mice prove that it blocks tumor formation and boosts the immune system. Available fresh or as supplement).
Reishi has been called an "immune potentiator." Recent studies have indicated that Reishi can have a number of other effects: Analgesic, Anti-inflammatory, Antioxidant, Antiviral through inducing interferon production, Lowers blood pressure, Cardiotonic action through lowering serum cholesterol, Expectorant & Antitussive, Liver (Hepatitis)-protecting and detoxifying, protection against ionizing radiation, Antibacterial, and Anti-HIV activity. Reishi contains calcium, iron and phosphorus as well as vitamins C, D, and B - including pantothenic acid, which is essential to nerve function and the adrenal glands.
The reishi mushroom is also known as Ling-Zhi in Chinese. They are an Asian form of Ganoderma lucidum and a polypore mushroom which are categorized as tough and leathery. Physically, "reishi mushrooms are large, very dark and woody-looking mushrooms. While most mushrooms are 90% water, reishi mushrooms are 75% water." In order to consume them internally, they must be made into a tea or an extract. (The Reishi mushroom can increase the production of interleukin1 and 2, resulting in inhibition of tumor growth. Studies show that Reishi can have a number of other positive effects on the body such as analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-viral (through its interferon production), lowers blood pressure. It also acts as a cardiotonic by lowering serum and increasing the production of interleukin 1 and 2, which results in inhibition of tumor cholesterol, expectorant, anti-tissue, liver protecting and detoxifying, protection against ionizing radiation, antibacterial, and anti-HIV activity. Available fresh or as supplement).
Cordyceps Ophioglossoides Mushroom
(Cordyceps, like many other medicinal mushrooms, contains complex sugars (especially beta 1,3 glucan) and other nutrients (nucleosides, triterpeniods) which seem to strongly nourish and activate various components of the immune system, useful in treating cancer, chronic fatigue and other immune disorders.
Cordyceps can be a powerful stimulant for macrophage activity, strengthening your immune system's ability to fight against bacterial and viral infection.
Human clinical studies indicate that Cordyceps can be effective for treatment of high cholesterol, poor libido/impotence, arrhythmia, lung cancer, and chronic kidney failure. It is also reported that Cordyceps causes smooth muscle relaxation. This can make it especially helpful for treating chronic coughs, asthma, and other bronchial conditions.
It also seems to have value in treating nephritis, may help the immune system recognize tumors that otherwise might escape immune surveillance, and has positive effects on the cardiovascular and nervous systems, and an anti-aging effect.)
Yun Zhi Mushroom
Yun-zhi, generally called "zhi" in ancient times, refers to a cloud-like mushroom with health-promoting qualities.
Yun Zhi, or the Cloud Mushroom, has been used to dispel dampness, reduce phlegm, treat pulmonary infections, to strengthen the tendons and bones, for vital energy, and to support liver health.
Researchers and traditional herbalists have discovered that polysaccharides in Yunzhi mushroom possess broad immune stimulatory properties that helps to boster the body's defenses against microbes and an array of cancers.
Benefits - Assists with immune function, high in vegetable proteins, promotes good health and vitality. Yunzhi polysaccharides have been shown to maintain the immune system in a healthy condition, or boost an immune system by increasing white blood cell count, the primary agents of the body responsible for fighting infection, helping to reduce nausea and discomfort.
The world of natural health has an abundance of botanicals, vitamins, minerals and supplements to help fight illness and boost the immune system. As you can see, the so-called "medicinal mushrooms" are important parts of that world. Live long, live healthy, live happy!
Warning: It is extremely important that you research mushrooms thoroughly if you intend to harvest your own wild mushrooms because many varieties are highly poisonous! It is advisable to purchase mushrooms from a reputable grower or grocer rather than hunting them yourself.