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Thursday, April 27, 2006 

Get to Know Some Friendly Fungi - Part II

When we experience a cold or the flu, our immune system is sending out an SOS. Mushroom soup is a great choice for two reasons; one, because it is a hot liquid, which warms the throat and retards viral replication, and two, because it contains special compounds that bolster the immune system. The active substances derived from mushrooms stimulate cell regeneration and activate the defense cells. This results in the production of several regulatory proteins being released.

The Agaricus mushroom, has several well known varieties including meadow mushroom (agaricus campestris). During the past 10 years, the medicinal mushroom known as agaricus blazei has been studied and developed as a foodstuff in Asia. Agaricus bisporus is the most common edible mushroom in Western countries.

You may have heard of Kombucha, a very popular remedy, but it is not a mushroom at all. It is the common name for a fermentation of sweetened black tea using lactobacilli and yeast cultures. The species of yeast found in the tea can vary, and it is the yeast culture, which looks a bit like a large pancake, which is sometimes mistaken for a mushroom. Kombucha is regarded to properties that protect against cancer by supporting the liver in detoxifying the body.

Maitake and Reishi are two mushrooms that the Chinese and Japanese have called upon for thousands of years. The reishi mushroom treats liver disorders, hypertension and arthritis, the Maitake mushroom for its positive impact on the immune system. It has been found to inhibit the growth of tumors and now in the United States there are clinical studies underway of patients with breast and colorectal cancers.


Take Good Care of Yourself