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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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The Wondrous Maitake Mushroom

The Wondrous Maitake Mushroom

Maitake Mushrooms have been shown to help treat viruses, bacterial infections, cancers, and a plethora of issues. The Japanese call it Maitake, but it goes by a variety of other names such as Hen of the Woods, Sheep’s Head, and Ram’s Head. The proper name is Grifola frondosa. These mushrooms can be found growing in clusters at the bottom of trees. It is native to both North American and Japan, but is mostly known throughout Japanese herbology as a way to take body systems that are out of balance and put them into balance. Many find this mushroom to be quite appetizing, although some individuals may experience an allergic reaction, but this is very rare.

It is actually the underground tubers that the mushroom grows out of that is used in traditional Japanese and Chinese medicine. They are used to enhance the immune system. Research has also suggested that taking in whole Maitake has the capability of regulating glucose levels, blood pressure, and insulin. It may also be useful for weight loss because of the regulation of cholesterol, liver lipids, phospholipids, and triglycerides.

What makes Maitake Mushrooms so unique is the fact that they are rich in minerals such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium and they contain vitamins such as D2, Niacin, and B2. There are also certain fibers and amino acids that are essential for proper body function. Fortunately, just like many other mushrooms that are known to boost the immune system, Maitake contains polysaccharides, or complex sugars, that are needed to fight disease.

Deterring Cancer

Something that is particularly interesting about Maitake Mushrooms is that they are literally eaten as a food. It is their extract that is marketed in both Japan and the United States as a supplement. This is because of the beta-glucan that is included within it that is essential to sustain the immune system. This is a long chain sugar, which is called a complex sugar. It is a polysaccharide.

Tests have been conducted on lab animals that show the incredible immune boosting effects. Amongst these immune boosting effects is an impact against cancer. There has not been any thorough evidence that suggests that Maitake has a significant effect on cancer in humans, but there is human research underway. It is believed that there should not be any reason in which Maitake wouldn’t have a positive influence on someone battling cancer. It contains a plethora of other benefits that involve the introduction of vitamins and the immune boosting sugars.

It has also been suggested that the reversal of tumor growth is a possibility. There have been some cases in which this effect has been evaluated. Also, a person undergoing chemotherapy may experience less nausea, reduce pain, reduce hair loss, and feel relief from some of the other side effects of chemo. There have not been tests on humans to support these claims, but studies have been started.

Nevertheless, it is not dangerous to take in Maitake Mushrooms because there are no significant side effects except for allergic reaction in very few individuals. This is not something that is experienced by many and there may be other factors involved such as the use of certain medications while taking Maitake. There is also the fact that individuals should consult with a doctor regarding the ingestion of anything that is considered herbal to help health conditions.

As for research that has been conducted, it began in the 1980s in Japan and involved the D-fraction extract that is believed to have the biggest influence on cancer. This research has just spread to the United States. The evidence states that D-fraction contains that beta-glucan, which has already been mentioned as being a complex sugar with a lot of influence on the immune system. The beta-glucan is believed to stimulate the immune system so that it can fight off cancer and influence the growth of T-cells.

The Immunity Factor

Not only does Maitake Mushrooms possibly fight cancer, but the immune system effects are believed to fight off other diseases as well. Being that there are essential vitamins that occur naturally within the mushrooms, a person can receive some of their necessary nutrition. The immunity boost that is received can fight off many bacterial infections and anything that can interfere with the integrity of the immune system. By strengthening T-cells, the cells responsible for fighting off disease, Maitake is a great way to live a healthier lifestyle.

So if you’re looking for a way to feel better all around, improve body functions, have a positive influence on your heart, and increase your immune system, Maitake mushrooms is a great way to do that. They are readily available in both the United States and Japan. Although there is not scientific research yet available that etches the effects on cancer in stone, the nutritional benefits are worth making Maitake a part of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.

The Power Within the Mushroom
By Omid Jaffari

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Cordyceps – The Caterpillar Fungus

The Strange Mushroom with it’s Secrets

While most commonly known as Caterpillar Fungus, Dong Chong Xia Cao Tachukas and Deer Fungus, Cordyceps are a type of mushroom that is found scarcely in Sweden and Finland, very few Norwegian localities, and very isolated areas of southwest China. These incredibly rare types of mushrooms were first noticed more than 1500 years when the effects of their ingestion became evident in the health and vitality of grazing animals in the Tibetan Himalayan meadows. Herdsmen noticed that their sheep and cattle had become much stronger and healthier, thus drawing attention to their grazing patterns. Upon studying the diet of these animals, it was noted that much of their diet consisted of the thin, grass-like mushroom. As news of this miraculous mushroom spread, Chinese doctors soon attempted to use the medicinal properties of Cordyceps Mushrooms to treat diseases for which there had been no previous treatment. Simply by the spreading of the word, the Cordyceps became a revered drug in Chinese Culture.

Use in Medicine

In specific regions of China, many generations of proficient doctors have used the Cordycep Mushroom to address a great number of issues associated with circulation, respiration, sexual dysfunctions, and immune deficiencies. The Cordycep Mushrooms also are quite effective at staving off the effects of depression, many types of allergic conditions, colds and flues by means of helping to boost the energy supply of the lungs and adrenal glands. Due to the Cordyceps natural ability to boost stamina and energy and regulate one’s appetite and patterns of sleep, Cordyceps have won general health tonic classification. Quite often, it is recommended that those who suffer from the trials and tribulations of shortness of breath, depression, and general aches and pains due to stress ingest the Cordycep Mushroom due to their beneficial healing powers.

Of even greater importance, Cordycep Mushrooms have been proven to be quite beneficial to the treatment and prevention of various male potency issues, and a great number of diseases such as cirrhosis of the liver, rheumatoid arthritis, neurasthenia, and even the build up of excess fat around the waist and knee areas of the body. Various studies have also demonstrated that the Cordycep mushrooms are quite effective in the prevention of coronary heart disease, arteriosclerosis, and the reduction of the level of lipoproteinemia in the human blood stream. In traditional Chinese medical practices, the Cordycep Mushroom is quite often used for the kidney and lung meridians. In terms of relation to health benefits, it is well known that the Cordycep Mushroom also helps to prolong life and heighten the levels of naturally occurring antioxidants in the human bloodstream. Cordyceps are also quite adept at increasing the level of Andenoise Tri-phosphate in the mitochondrial part of human cells. This increase aids in increasing energy levels. It can be considerably beneficial to those who participate in sports and athletic events. Typically, those athletes who consumed the Cordycep Mushroom during their training cycle noticed significant gains in performance. In many instances, these athletes have succeeded in shattering world records and further legitimizing the Cordycep mushroom.

In terms of the kidney and lung meridians, Cordyceps are frequently prescribed for those with asthma, weak lung, coughs, asthma, shortness of breath, wheezing, and phlegm reduction. This also explains why those in sports seem to perform better. Those who need extra energy to perform certain tasks need stronger respiratory systems, which is what Cordyceps do for these individuals.

Cordyceps and Sexual Health

Cordyceps is said to be a natural aphrodisiac and is considered to be a type of sexual tonic for those suffering from sexual dysfunctions. The effect may not be as quick as other supplements for sexual dysfunction, but the strengthening effect is more profound. The kidney channel is fortified, which is the area that is responsible for desire and sexual energy. In countries such as China, Cordyceps are commonly used for those suffering from such conditions as erectile dysfunction, infertility, and impotence. Libido is improved, performance is improved, and sexual desire increases. Energy and physical endurance benefits as well. There have been a large number of studies that point out how Cordyceps stimulate the release of testosterone and improve blood flow in order to enable a stronger erection and make sexual sensations more improved. One such study was conducted at Beijing Medical University and it found that Cordyceps have a 64% success rate in those men suffering from erectile dysfunction.

Anti-Aging Effects of Cordyceps

There is also an anti-aging effect when it comes to Cordyceps, which is another ways in which it is considered a tonic. They help rejuvenate the body and they promote longevity. The Yin and Yang energy are replenished and strength is restored after physical activity. Studies have found that the powerful antioxidant superoxide dismutase is increased by Cordyceps and that these mushrooms also take out the free radicals that are responsible for premature aging and other diseases that are considered degenerative.

Overall, Cordyceps have been used to strengthen the body’s immune system against infections and diseases. Clinical studies have shown it to be a natural immune booster because the production of immune cells is increased significantly. In addition, the immune system is regulated. With all of these immune benefits, benefits to the bodily organs, and the effects on sexual disorders, Cordyceps make an excellent part of an individual’s diet.

The Power Within the Mushroom
By Omid Jaffari

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The Power Within the Reishi Mushroom

The Power Within the Reishi Mushroom

Reishi mushroom is arguably the most revered herbal substance in Asia. certainly ranking with Ginseng as the elite substance for attainment of radiant health, longevity and spiritual attainment. It has maintained that position for at least 2000 years, and its reputation and value are only increasing. Since Reishi mushroom has been known to have many functions, it has been the subject of a great deal of research in recent years. It is safe, being non-toxic.

Anti-Aging Effects of Reishi

Reishi mushroom has traditionally been used as an anti-aging herb and has been used for many diseases and disorders a well. Daoists have continuously claimed that Reishi mushroom promotes calmness, centeredness, balance, inner awareness and inner strength. They have used it to improve meditative practices and to protect the body, mind and spirit so that the adept could attain both long and healthy life and spiritual immortality.

Anti-Stress Effects of Reishi

Reishi is s superb ant-stress herb. Throughout history it has been used to bring balance into the lives of people who needed it the most in that department, and that means mostly everyone. Deep in antiquity, it was routinely used by mountain hermits, monks, Daoist adepts and spiritual seekers throughout Asia because it was and is believed to help calm the mind, ease tension, strengthen the nerves, strengthen memory, sharpen concentration, improve focus, build will power and, as a result help build wisdom. That is why it was called “Mushroom Spiritual Potency” by these seekers. The people of Asia have never lost their faith in Reishi Mushroom.

The Immune Building Effects of Reishi

Reishi is a profound immune potentator. It has been found to significantly improve the functioning of the immune system whether the immune system is deficient or excessive. In this sense, it is an immune “moleculator” – that is, it helps to modulate, or regulate, and fine-tune the immune system. Our immune system is virtually miraculous network of activates designed over millions of years to protect us from viruses, bacteria, parasites, molds, dust, pollen and malignant cells. It is the responsibly of the immune system to detect the intrusion, or invasion, of these entities and to mount a defense in order to eliminate them. A healthy immune system is capable of resisting most such intruders and a very hardy system may be able to resist invasions that many other people cannot. If the immune system is weakened or malfunctioning, the invading microbes can easily establish a foothold in our body and disease sets in. Antibiotics can often be used to stop the invasion at this time, but chronic use of antibiotics further weakens the immune response.

As we have seen very briefly the qualities of Reishi mushroom, but we could never know all of them. Thus, before leaving you to read on about other mushrooms, I just want to point another good quality of Reishi mushroom that is beneficial to us. Reishi mushroom has also been known in recent studies to help with reduce the side effects of many kinds of chemotherapy and radiation treatment and simultaneously contribute to the rebuilding of the immune system – an essential part of recovery from cancer. This process is triggered by stimulating the production of interferon and interleukins I and II, all being potent natural anticancer substances produced in our own bodies.

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