our mushrooms, כללי

The Agaricus Blazei Mushroom

Monograph: Agaricus mushroom

Botanical Scientific Name: Agaricus Blazei Murill, Agaric Blazei Murill, Agaricus Brasiliensis

Common Name: Agaricus, Agaric, Royal Sun Agaricus, Royal Sun Agaric, Fungus of God, Mushroom of Life, Brazil Mushroom, Brazilian Mushroom, Brazilian Sun Mushroom, Callampa Agaricus, Champignon Agaric, Champignon Brésilien, Champignon du Brésil, Cogumelo do Sol

Chinese Name: Ji Song Rong

Japanese Name: Himematsutake, Agarikusutake, Kawarihiratake

 

 

The Agaricus mushroom, originally native to the Amazon rainforest in Brazil, is also called the Royal Sun Mushroom, or the Mushroom of Life.  Despite the fact that it is relatively new to the medicinal mushrooms market, in Brazil, this is the best-selling medicinal mushroom, and in Japan, it is thought to be the third best-selling medicinal mushroom.

In the year 1945, William Alphonso Murrill discovered an unfamiliar strain of the Agaricus mushroom growing on his friend R.W. Blaze’s grass, who lived in Gainsville, California.  In honor of his friend, he called the new strain Agaricus Blazei Murrill in a little-known scientific journal.

Since then the mushroom remained unrecognized until it was rediscovered in 1960 by Japanese coffee growers working in Brazil.  One of the growers, a scientist by the name of Takatoshi Furumoto, was fascinated by the unique taste of the mushroom which reminded him of the taste of the Matsutake mushroom, another strain of the Agaricus mushroom that was very rare and expensive in Japan. He claimed that the mushroom had medicinal properties. He said that adults from the village Piedade in a mountainous area on the outskirts of Sao Paulo in Brazil, where the mushrooms grew were sick less often due to their regular consumption of the mushroom.  It’s possible that this is a fictional story, and there are those that claim that the residents of Piedade never ate the mushroom.  What is known for sure is that Furumoto sent samples of the mushroom Agaricus Blazei Murrill to Japanese University laboratories, and even consulted with a well-known Belgian agroecologist, Dr. Paul Heinemann, who recognized the strain as Blazei Murrill.  In Japanese laboratory tests they found that the mushroom is largely comprised of polysaccharides such as beta glucans and proteins such as proteoglycans with immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.

Since then the Japanese have cultivated the mushroom.  In the beginning they called it “Kawariharatake”, which describes its structure, until a Japanese boy who was excited by its elegant look declared: “They look like real princesses!”. After that the Japanese decided to call this strain of the mushroom “Princess Mushrooms”, or in Japanese “Himematsutake”.  Quickly it was evident that the mycelium of the mushroom and its fruiting body has very high concentrations of beta glucans, polysaccharides with immune capability as well as the ability to assist in delaying the development of cancerous growths.  As a result, this mushroom has been the most researched with impressive data suggesting that it contributes to improvement in many health conditions.

 

Parts of the mushroom for use:

All parts of the mushroom:

  • Mycelium
  • Fruiting Body

 

Route of Administration:

  • Oral

 

TCM Characteristics:

Temperature: warm

Moisture: neutral

Taste: sweet, nutty

Meridians: liver, kidneys

 

Bioactive Ingredients:

Polysaccharides:

  • β-1,3-D-Glucan
  • β-1,4-D-Glucan
  • β-1,6-D-Glucan
  • -1,3-D-Glucan
  • -1,4-D-Glucan
  • -1,6-D-Glucan
  • Agaricon
  • Protein-bound polysaccharides A-PBP
  • Protein-bound polysaccharides L-PBP
  • Glucomannan
  • β-1,2-linked d-mannopyranosyl

Proteoglycans:

  • Water-soluble proteoglycan

Phenolic Compounds:

  • Pyrogallol
  • Benzoic acid 
  • Myricetin
  • Quercetin
  • Lignin derivatives

Sterols:

  • Ergosterol

Vitamins:

  • Vitamins from the B-complex family
  • Vitamin D2 (Ergocalciferol)

Minerals:

  • Potassium
  • Boron
  • Barium
  • Calcium
  • Chromium
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Iron
  • Molybdenum
  • Phosphorus
  • Zinc
  • Copper
  • Vanadium
  • Sulfur
  • Strontium
  • Sodium

Fatty Acids:

  • Oleic acid
  • Linoleic acid
  • Linolenic acid
  • Arachidic acid
  • Palmitic acid
  • Trans-vaccenic acid
  • Lignoceric acid
  • Stearic acid
  • Myristic acid
  • Pentadecanoic acid
  • Hepadecanoic acid
  • Cis-10-Hepadecanoic acid
  • Behenic acid

Amino Acids:

  • Oleic acid
  • Linoleic acid
  • Linolenic acid
  • Arachidic acid
  • Palmitic acid
  • Trans-vaccenic acid
  • Lignoceric acid
  • Stearic acid
  • Myristic acid
  • Pentadecanoic acid
  • Hepadecanoic acid
  • Cis-10-Hepadecanoic acid
  • Behenic acid

Unique Proteins:

  • Pyroglutamate
  • Agaritine
  • Agarol

 

Studied Activities:

Immunomodulatory (balance of the immune system), anticancer, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, hypoglycemic, hypolipidemic, hypotensive (balances blood pressure), hepatoprotective (liver protection), and prebiotic.

 

Uses supported by clinical research:

Weakened immune system, cancer, autoimmune diseases, inflammatory bowel diseases (Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis), allergies, skin allergies, atopic dermatitis, liver infections (hepatitis B and C), type II diabetes, insulin resistance, hyperlipidemia (excess blood lipids), atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, viral and bacterial infections, and foot and mouth disease.

 

Traditional uses that have yet to be supported by clinical evidence:

Tremors, osteoporosis, and osteopenia.

 

Effects according to Traditional Chinese Medicine:

Fortifies the protective Qi (Wei Qi), strengthens and nourishes the kidneys, and builds up the bones.

Strengthens the Yin and the Yang of the kidneys and maintains the essence.

 

Manners of use and recommended dosage according to the literature:

Liquid extract (tincture): at a concentration of 1:3, 30% alcohol, 9-15 ml per day.

Dry extract: standardized extract at a concentration of 40% polysaccharides, 3-6 grams per day.

Decoction: 2-10 grams per day.

As part of a formula: 25-40%

 

Safety, Toxicity, Interactions, and Side effects:

The Agaricus mushroom is safe to use.

People allergic to mushrooms should avoid eating the mushroom or consuming the mushroom as a food supplement.

Due to its immunostimulant activity, transplant patients should not use the mushroom.

There is lack of data to support the safety of use during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Stop using if hypersensitivity/allergy occurs.

 

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