Agaricus Blazel Murill (ABM) (Mushroom)

Agaricus Blazel Murill (ABM) (Mushroom)

"The polysaccharide contained in Agaricus Blazel Murill vitalizes production of interferon and interleukin in small animals (guinea pigs). This effect indirectly functions to destroy or prevent the proliferation of cancer cells. This refers to a cytokine inducing effect... Clinical results obtained in collaboration with university researchers and hospital since the report on the anti cancer effect of Agaricus Blazei Murril (ABM Mushroom) was released at the general convention of the Japan Cancer Association in 1980 proved that although many fungi polysaccharide only effect solid cancer and polysaccharide of Agaricus Blazei Murril is effective against Ehrlich’s ascites carcinoma sigmoid colonic cancer, ovarian cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, and liver cancer as well as against solid cancer."

mushroom magic


Far more than just a topping for pizza, mushrooms have been revered for centuries in Asia as powerful healing tonics. In the past several decades, hundreds of studies have supported the traditional uses of mushrooms for medicinal purposes.

Finding out about Fungus

Science has confirmed that mushrooms contain a variety of active compounds, including polysaccharides, glycoproteins, triterpenes and antibiotics. The most intensively researched compounds have been the polysaccharides, large, complex sugar molecules mat enhance immune function by increasing the activity of macrophages — big white blood cells that engulf harmful microorganisms and damaged cells.

While immune-enhancing compounds have held center stage, other compounds in mushrooms have been identified, too, as having health-protective properties. Reishi contains triterpenes that decrease blood pressure, maitake contains a glycoprotein that helps regulate blood sugar levels, and lion's mane contains hericenones that may help stimulate the growth of nerve cells in the brain.

The following mushrooms are among the most promising when it comes to health and beauty:


Also known as "mushroom of the sun," agaricus grows in a mountainous area near São Paulo, Brazil. A delicious edible mushroom with a rich almond flavor, agaricus is packed with immune-enhancing compounds called beta-glucans. In Japan, agaricus is commonly used as a cancer therapy. In a 2004 study, 100 patients with gynecological cancers treated with an extract of agaricus had increased activity of natural killer cells (a type of white blood cell that kills infectious microorganisms and tumor cells) and improved quality of life.


One of the more unusual members of the mushroom family, cordyceps is a parasitic fungus that grows on a Tibetan caterpillar (cordyceps produced commercially in Western countries is grown on rice, soybeans or other plant media). Regarded in China as a strength and energy tonic, cordyceps made headlines in 1994 when Chinese Olympic runners attributed their record-breaking success to the fungus. It's more than an energy tonic, though — in laboratory studies, cordyceps has shown anti-tumor properties.

Lion's Mane

The shaggy, beautiful lion's inane mushroom holds hope for restoring healthy brain function in patients with Alzheimer's. Laboratory studies have found that compounds in lion's mane called hericenones and erinacines stimulate the regrowth of neurons (cells in the brain that carry out neurological functions). In a study of Japanese patients suffering from dementia, those given 5g of lion's mane daily for six months showed improvement in symptoms.


Commonly called "hen of the woods" because it resembles the ruffled tail feathers of a hen, this mushroom has been prized for centuries in Asia as a longevity tonic. Compelling research indicates that maitake mushrooms strengthen immune function, have antiviral properties, fight cancer, lower blood pressure and improve blood sugar metabolism.


Called the "mushroom of immortality" in China, reishi is a hard, woody, inedible fungus. In laboratory studies, reishi has been shown to enhance immune function and inhibit tumor growth as well as to reduce cholesterol and blood pressure. Recent research has demonstrated that taking reishi can result in an increase in blood levels of antioxidants, offering protection against degenerative diseases.

Holistic physician Andrew Weif, MD, has formulated skin care products using mushrooms (including reishi and cordyceps) and other natural ingredients. The line (Plantidote by Origins) is designed to tame inflammation, which, according to Weil, can cause puffiness, wrinkles and fine lines as well as dry, red skin.

A jelly-like flowery fungus popular in Chinese cuisine, tremella has been used in China for centuries as a medicine, a delicacy and to beautify the skin and promote weight loss. Tremella contains polysaccharides that when applied topically can help the skin retain moisture and improve skin texture.

Turkey Tail/Coriolus

A common tree fungus, turkey tail looks — not surprisingly — like a turkey's tail, with a stiff, rounded shape and bands of varying colors. In traditional Chinese medicine, turkey tail is used to strengthen vitality and improve liver function. Scientists have identified polysaccharides in turkey tail that enhance immunity and stimulate the body's natural cancer-fighting ability.

PHOTO (COLOR): MAITAKE PRODUCTS INC. offers two ways get the beautifying benefits of tremella — SUPER TREMELLA CAPLETS and AQUAMELLA, an antiaging face cream that contains tremella extract, pearl powder, CoQ10, alpha-lipoic acid and other skin-softening ingredients.

PHOTO (COLOR): HEALTH KING REISHI LIVER GUARD HERB TEA has a great natural flavor (with added green tea and jasmine flower) and can be used to enhance detoxification and overall vitality. Let steep for 3-5 minutes for best results.
PHOTO (COLOR): Although best known for its Coriolus-PSP, MUSHROOM SCIENCE also sells a full range of mushroom supplements, including CORDYCEPS Cs-4 for energy and endurance (above). All products are made using a clinically researched "hot water extraction" process, said to preserve mushrooms' active compounds.
By Laurel Vukovic, MSW

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