See also Agaricus species (Field mushrooms)
Agaricus Blazei, Royal Sun agaricus, Almond portobello, Cogumelo de Deus (Brazil), Kawariharatake (Japan)
Wild Agaricus species tend to be softer and more pliable than those commercially grown. There are about 30 known species.
Colour ranges from an off white to a light brown. The gills begin as an off-white colour but within three days, turn to a pink, purple, and then black.
When cooked, they have a nutty flavour.
The caps range in size from an inch to twelve and are first seen as little buttons emerging from the soil.
The medicinal effects of this particular species of Agaricus was virtually unknown until the 1960s, except to villagers of Brazil. Its origin can be traced to a small mountain town called Piedade, located some 120 miles southeast of Sao Paulo.
When Dr. Cinden of the Pennsylvania State University, who was in the area to study this unknown mushroom, wrote an article for Science Magazine about the longevity of the locals who ate this mushroom, its notoriety began to spread.
The blazei species does not grow as easily as the other Agaricus species. It requires hot and humid environments whereas the other species prefer shade and dampness.
Today, because of the demand, the mushroom is cultivated in such countries as Japan, Korea, USA, Denmark, the Netherlands, and of course, Brazil.
To some, this mushroom is nothing more than one of “internet and junk mail fame” (Kuo, p. 113) but studies have proven otherwise (see below).
Agaricus blazei contains a polysaccharide called beta glucan, which is known to regulate the immune system as well as having significant anti-tumor activity.
Evidence-based healing benefits of Beta Glucans, including numerous studies that confirm its anticancer and immune-regulating properties.
One established that it strengthens the immune system and prolongs and improves the quality of life for cancer patients on chemotherapy as well as reducing the side effects of those drugs. In addition, this study found that the mushroom was beneficial in treating those with multi-antibiotic-resistant infections.
Agaricus Blazei has proven to be beneficial for the following conditions:
- improves diabetic conditions in those already on diabetes medication
- normalizes liver function in those with Hep B
- increases natural killer cells in some cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy
- inhibits myelomas
- prevents allergies
- suppresses metastatic cancers
- protects against the effects of radiation – along with the reishi mushroom
- inhibits for formation of leukemia cells
- prevents gastric cancer
- prevents lung and stomach cancers
- suppresses prostate tumor growth