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Also known as Himematsutake, Cogumelo de Deus and Cogumelo do Sol, Agaricus Blazei Murill is a mushroom that is native to Piedade, a small village located in the suburbs of Sao Paulo, Brazil.
The climatic conditions prevalent in Piedade, day time temperatures of 35 C-38 C, night time temperatures of 20 C – 25 C and average humidity of 80%, are perfect for the Agaricus Blazei Murill Mushroom (ABM) to grow and flourish. In fact the very survival of ABM is affected by the presence or absence of these external conditions.
History of Agaricus Blazei Murill Mushroom
It was Dr. Takatoshi Furumoto who first discovered Agaricus Blazei Murill Mushroom. He stumbled upon it when he was trying to determine why the inhabitants of Piedade and its surrounding regions were healthier than the general population and had lower incidences of cancer and geriatric diseases. He suspected that this was due to their abundant intake of this mushroom.
Further research by Dr. Tetsuo Ikegawa of the National Cancer Center and Dr. Shobo Shibata, professor in the pharmacological Department of Tokyo University and other researchers confirmed the pharmacological actions and healing properties of this rare mushroom native only to this region.
Pharmacological Properties of Agaricus Blazei Murill Mushroom
Agaricus Blazei Murill Mushroom contains large quantities of polysaccharide compounds, which help boost the immune system by increasing the number of white blood cells and boosting the production of tumor necrosis factor- alpha. In addition it also helps in establishing an equilibrium in the system as a whole by lowering the hyper-reaction of the immune system.
Agaricus Blazei Murill Mushroom has the highest concentrations of polysaccharides (Beta) 1,6-D Glucan and (Beta) 1,3-D Glucan as compared to any other mushroom type including Shitake, Maitake and Reishi. These elements, together with ribonucleic acid protein compounds, xyloglucan, cid heteroglucan and lectin are responsible for enhancing the activity of macrophages that destroy or inhibit the proliferation of damaged cells. Agaricus Blazei Murill Mushroom also contains high levels of Vitamins B6 and B12, palmitorenic acid, linoleic acid and ergosterols.
There is a significant reduction in side effects when Agaricus Blazei Murill mushroom is taken during Chemotherapy.
Availability of Agaricus Blazei Murill Mushroom
The high price of Agaricus Blazei Murill Mushroom is attributed to the fact that this plant is very difficult to cultivate. It requires very specific climatic conditions and only grows between the months of October and April. Extreme cold or heat can shock the mushroom and severely inhibit its growth.
The amount of Agaricus Blazei Murill Mushroom found in nature is far too little to meet the ever increasing demands and more and more mushroom producers are now planting and harvesting this mushroom on a larger scale. Unlike other mushroom varieties, which thrive under lower temperatures and shady conditions, Agaricus Blazei Murill Mushroom flourishes with plenty of sunlight. It’s normal growth size is approximately 10 to 15 centimeters.
Currently, Agaricus Blazei Murill Mushroom is being cultivated not only in Brazil but also in several other countries including the US, Korea and Japan.
– Zach Thompson