Pharmaceutical value of edible and medicinal mushrooms (cont)

SECTION 2 – MEDICINAL MUSHROOMS

Lingzhi mushroom (also being known as Ganoderma lucidum)

Being widely-known for more than 2000 years, lingzhi mushroom, a type of fungus, has highly pharmaceutical value and contains biologically active compounds such as triterpenoid saponins, polysaccharides, steroids, macroelements and trace elements. Such compounds mentioned above, which are mainly located at the cap and spore of lingzhi mushroom, help a body protect itself against inflammation and fat fiber circuit, stabilize blood pressure, improve and restore liver function and cancer treatment as well. Aside from these, lingzhi mushroom may defend against oxidation thanks to triterpenoid saponins and polyphenols. China and Vietnam have proven that lingzhi mushroom may eliminate hydroxyl free radicals and improve the ability of anti-aging.

Trametes versicolor

Trametes versicolor plays a role in support of cancer treatment and improves the immune system thanks to polysaccharides PSK and PSP. Japan frequently uses drugs called Krestin and extracted from trametes versicolor to treat cancers.

Cordyceps

Cordyceps is a common name identifying the Cordiceps mushrooms including Cordiceps sinensis and Cordiceps militaris.

Cordyceps sinensis is sweet and acrid in taste and warm in nature. In ancient times, only kings or governors use such cordiceps sinensis because of its scarcity. China utilizes cordiceps in order to play as a kidney and lung care drug, increases the production of blood cells, restore the body after being exhausted or extending of deseases. Cordyceps is also used as tonic drug being cooked with duck meat.

Cordyceps contains 17 amino acids, fatty oil, many of the trace elements and other biologically active substances. Cordyceps enhances the immune system of the body, nourishs the lung and kidney, stops bleeding, dissolves phlegm, treats asthma and impotence, etc.

At present, China is the largest manufacturer of Cordiceps sinensis and Cordiceps militaris.

Fu Ling (Poria cocos) (also known as hoelen, poria, tuckahoe)

Fu Ling is a type of fungus that grows on the roots of pine trees and deep underground. It is believed that Fu ling mushroom is likely considered as the soul of pine tree. Fu ling mushroom in big size may weigh up to 10 kg. Its cover is black grey in color while its pore is white or rather pink grey. Chemical composition of Fu Ling mushroom includes 3 groups of substance as follows:

– Triterpen

– Sugar substances: pachyman sugar of Fu Ling mushroom may account for up to 75%

– ergosterol, choline, histidine, etc.

The effects of Fu Ling mushroom: Fu Ling mushroom is sweet in taste, neutral in nature and affiliated with 5 parts such as heart, lung, kidney, spleen and taste. Being often used as the tonic drug, it helps to discharge damp, keep calm and treat the cases of insomnia, fear or spermatorrhea.

Fu Ling is often included in Chinese herbs prescription. It is a white and small cubic and used as tonic drug. Fu Ling appears in large quantity in China. In Vietnam, Fu Ling is recorgnized to develop naturally but not yet being grown in Da Lat. Fu Ling that is used at present is Chinese herb.

Zhu ling (Polyporus umbellatus)

Zhu ling mushroom is a type of sclerotia – forming fungus and the fruiting bodies of this mushroom are made up of numerous caps.

Nutritious ingredients: 8% protein; 47% cellulose; 5% carbohydrate; 7% sol.

Regarding to the pharmaceutical value of this mushroom, we have to express that Zhu ling mushroom have anticancer and anti inflammatory benefits. Especially, Zhu Ling mushroom helps the patients who have faced up to lung cancer and taken radiation eat well, reduce pain and boost the functions of the immune system. Ying (1987) who took a mouse experiment realized that this mushroom would help to reduce 70% tumor. Miyaski (1983) saw that Zhu ling mushroom would prevent the body from sarcoma. According to Bo and Yun-sun (1985), the Chinese pharmacists, they have utilized the substances extracted from the scherotia of Zhu ling mushroom to treat the deseases such as lung cancer, cervical cancer, esophageal cancer, stomach cancer, liver cancer, colon cancer, breast cancer and lymphangioma.

As originating from the cold weather, Zhu Ling mushroom is mainly grown in China. Fresh mushroom is used as food while sclerotica of this mushroom is exported. This mushroom has not been grown in Vietnam and North America yet.

Translated by Hoang Oanh – The Mushrooms World (Source: Master Co Duc Trong)

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