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The Versatile Shiitake Mushroom

The Versatile Shiitake Mushroom

The Shiitake Mushroom is quite versatile in that it is raised and it is consumed amongst individuals in Asian countries. It is also dried and then exported to other countries all over the world. However, it is not just used for medicinal purposes, but it is also used in Japanese, Chinese, Thai, and Korean cuisines. It is native to China, but has also been grown in Japan since prehistoric times. The first written record of the cultivation of Shiitake was approximately 1,000 years ago.

Shiitake in the Kitchen

In the kitchen, Shiitake can be fresh or it can be dried. They are frequently found in vegetarian dishes in China and found in soup in Japan. However, Shiitake is frequently found pre-packaged, which means they have to be rehydrated before they are consumed. Some individuals do prefer them dried over being fresh because the superior flavor is drawn out and the proteins are turned into amino acids. Furthermore, egosterol is turned into Vitamin D, making this mushroom something that is delicious and nutritional. Nevertheless, it isn’t just the nutrition factor that draws people to it. It is the fact that this mushroom has 10 times the taste of regular white button mushrooms.

Another aspect to the drying of Shiitake Mushrooms is that the drying process allows for them to be stored indefinitely. Just know that they do not sauté well, but work fantastically in soups, gravies, stews, and baked dishes. This is more or less a delicacy to many because of the fantastic taste, which is why many crave to have these mushrooms in their kitchen. Because they keep for long periods of time and can be rejuvenated simply by putting them in water, they are a very versatile food with a lot of healthy qualities. It’s especially helpful that Shiitake has a high Vitamin D content when dried.

Medicinal Uses

The medicinal effects of Shiitake Mushrooms have been researched and it has been found that they do have an anti-tumor effect in laboratory mice. Part of this is due to the presence of a polysaccharide called lentinan, which is a D-glucan. These are complex sugars that have an impact on the overall performance of the immune system.

Extracts from Shiitake mushrooms have also been researched for their immune system benefits. These benefits range from treatments to severe allergies to anti-viral effects. There is also evidence that Shiitake mushrooms have an incredible impact on arthritis. For thrombosis, Shiitake is commonly used because of a key flavor compound within it called Lenthionine that allows platelet aggregation.

In addition to the anti-tymor effect, lentinan stimulates the immune system in order to strengthen its defenses against cancer, fungal infections, and viruses. There have been clinical trials that state lentinans can increase the chance of survival of people with stomach cancer, colon cancer, and breast cancer.

As for how many Shiitake mushrooms you should intake to take advantage of the cancer fighting effects, you should consume around 5g and 15g per day. Just make sure they are not consumed in large doses because large doses have been known to cause upset stomach. Women who are pregnant or who are breast feeding should not consume shiitake mushrooms.

Shiitake in Cosmetics

Shiitake is even being incorporated into skin creams in order to tighten and brighten the skin. This is because they contain what is called Kojic acid. What that acid does is prevent the formation of melanin I the skin. This makes for a brighter complexion. The astringent quality of the acid also helps the skin tighten, which makes it look more youthful. These skin creams have proven to be quite popular amongst those looking to try something more natural.

So if you’re interested in incorporating the benefits of Shiitake Mushrooms into your life, it is very easy. You may be able to find them at your local food mart or you can order some dried Shiitake Mushrooms online. Be sure to look for skin creams containing Shiitake so that you can enjoy the benefits of Kojic acid. Most importantly, enjoy the benefits that Shiitake provides the immune system so that you can be proactive in halting cancer and other diseases that compromise your immune system. At least while you do it you can enjoy the taste and the joy these mushrooms bring. Just make sure you consult with your doctor if you are taking other supplements or if you have any diagnosed health conditions. If you feel that you may have a condition, still consult with your doctor to ensure that you receive the proper treatment and can find out if taking Shiitake Mushrooms is for you. These mushrooms have been used for centuries in cuisines and for medicinal purposes before they could even be researched. It was just because these people knew. They had experienced the effects and knew what these mushrooms are capable of.

The Power Within the Mushroom
By Omid Jaffari

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Agaricus Blazei – God’s Mushroom

Agaricus Blazei Murill or ABM Mushroom

The Wonders of Agaricus

The Agaricus Mushroom, originating from Brazilian rain forests, are among the most common of pre-packaged, fresh mushrooms that can be found in local supermarkets and grocery stores. Nicknamed God’s Mushroom, the Agaricus mushroom is most commonly harvested in the tropical regions of China. However, it can be found in stores around the world. Japan is one of the heaviest consumers of Agaricus because of a high number of advantages that come along with consuming this mushroom.

There are health benefits provided by the Agaricus Mushroom that has been cited amongst the medical community. Such effects as lowering blood glucose have been observed. Perhaps it is the high concentration of glucagons, which have been observed as having extraordinary health benefits, such as aiding in the controlling of cancer. It is frequently added to treatments that help individuals get their cancer under control. The glucagons are the main reason in which Agaricus is added to such products as the Detox Foot Patch to aid in removing the over 400 toxins from the body that embed within the cells, tissues, and in the muscles. These glucagons also have other health benefits that are being studied and are already observed in some places around the world.

The effects of Agaricus on Viruses

Agaricus has also been nicknamed the Sun Mushroom and it has been the subject of recently published medical papers that cite certain effects on the immune system. An extract of the Agaricus has been shown to protect against streptococcus pneumoniae 6B in mice. This gives reason to believe that Agaricus may be useful in treating infections, bacterial in particular, in humans. Also amongst the research conducted, it was found that Agaricus extract increased the immune system response to foot-and-mouth disease.

What makes Agaricus so effective against such bacterial infections is the fact that it is rich in polysaccharides. One of those polysaccharides is beta-glucan. Other research has shown that beta-glucan vitalizes the immune system and has shown anti-tumor effects in mice. Additionally, schizophyllan, a Beta D-glucan has been used in cancer therapy throughout Japan for quite some time.

Overall Body Benefits of Agaricus

The increased publication of the benefits of Agaricus throughout Japan has resulted in a market that has garnered $450 million in Agaricus sales alone. Part of this is due to the fact that more and more people are becoming aware of what Agaricus can do for their health and partly because Agaricus is the most common variety of mushroom that is prepackaged in supermarkets. They are canned, frozen, and fresh.

The curative benefits are outstanding in that it helps alleviate and even cure certain ailments when used as part of a treatment regimen. It has already been mentioned that there are immune boosting properties that fights certain viruses. Research has also found that Agaricus benefits digestion, the cardiovascular system, diabetes, promotes weight loss, helps with cataracts, chronic fatigue, stress, hearing issues, liver disorders, and intestinal problems.

In addition to glucagons, Agaricus also contains aromatase inhbitors. In addition to Beta-glucan showing anti-tumor effects in lab mice, aromatase inhibitors have shown to actually slow the growth of tumors. Of the cancers most influenced is breast cancer. These inhibitors slow down the progression of the cancerous cells. Much of this has to do with the boost that is provided to the immune system to fight the cancer cells and other types of invaders that try to compromise the human body.

Agaricus as a Delicacy

Because Agaricus is so readily available in supermarkets, individuals make a point to include Agaricus in their diets. The health benefits are a plus, but Agaricus makes for a very delicious food when eaten raw. Some do choose to cook it, but it is important to keep food in its original form so that none of the nutrients and other health benefits are stripped from it. High temperatures can strip raw foods of their nutrients and other benefits, causing a person to not reap all of the benefits that nature intended. Fortunately, the Agaricus does not have to be cooked in order for it to be enjoyed. Fresh Agaricus Mushrooms can be enjoyed as they are.

The benefits of the Agaricus have been evaluated very briefly as a component in treatments for disease and ailments. It has also been evaluated as a food that is enjoyed in many in its original form. Many have incorporated these mushrooms into their diets because of the health benefits in an effort to prevent disease, treat current disease, promote longevity, eliminate stress, and so much more. Many feel that the Agaricus is a large part of having an incredible sense of well-being. With its growing popularity, many are able to enjoy the many health benefits while also enjoying a food with an excellent taste and a reputation that far exceeds many of the foods that people are used to.

The Power Within the Mushroom
By Omid Jaffari