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Fungi and Mushrooms

Fungi constitute an entire kingdom among the flora of Earth and include about 144,000 species of organism known to humans. It implies that there might be more undiscovered species of fungi present on Earth. These are neither plants nor animals, but not as simple as bacteria either. One prominent characteristic of fungi is that they have a eukaryotic cell membrane which makes them complex species. 

Fungi are of 4 main types with unique and complex characteristics. Molds, rust, smut, yeast, and mushrooms are included in this kingdom.

Role of Fungi in our lives:

Fungi provide many benefits to all living organisms, including plants, animals, and humans. In the following section, we will see their role in different fields of our world.

  • Soil: 

Fungi work as decomposers and break down the complex and difficult-to-digest organic matter into the smaller and easily digestible matter. This, in turn, provides many other organisms with nutrition. The fungus also increases the soil’s water-holding capacity by holding the soil particles together. This creates stable soil aggregates that have proved to be very beneficial. Fungi also have proven to increase the availability of phosphorus to plants. 

  • Agriculture:

Fungi provide many extracellular enzymes, and their ability to regulate carbon and nutrient level in the soil has played a massive role in agriculture. In farmlands, fungal activity helps grow plants by 70%. Fungi also contribute to the process of degeneration of plant and animal matter.

  • Biotechnology:

Fungi find an important place in the industry as well. Species of this kingdom are used to produce vitamins, enzymes, pigments, lipids, glycolipids, polysaccharides, polyhydric alcohols, etc. Recombinant DNA technology uses yeasts and other fungi as hosts have improved the market for microbial enzymes. 

  • Food Industry:

Yeast is used for the fermentation of wine, beer, and other alcoholic beverages. It is also used for the production of many kinds of cheese along with other fungi species. Filamentous fungi are used for food processing as these are the primary source of enzymes. These also enhance the quality of the final product. 

Mushrooms are frequently used in many dishes. These are eaten because of their nutritional value, taste, and medicinal benefits. These provide us with antioxidants, proteins, and high calories. 

  • Lion’s mane mushrooms:

Yamabushitake or lion’s mane mushroom is a white, sizeable shaggy mushroom that looks like a lion’s mane as it grows. It is known for its medicinal and culinary purposes in Asian countries such as Japan, China, Korea, and India.

This mushroom has bioactive substances which are beneficial for the gut, heart, brain, and body. Apart from these, lion mane’s mushroom is also known for protection against dementia, helpful for depression and anxiety, and speedy recovery from nervous system injuries. It is also beneficial for stomach and other digestive issues.

  • Reishi Mushroom:

This mushroom grows in many hot and humid areas in Asia. In Eastern medicine, it has been a staple for a long time because it boosts the immune system, has anti-cancer properties, helpful for depression and fatigue, and helps in sleeping. It can be used in powdered form as well as consumed fresh.

The majority of fungi have benefits for humans and serve us in various ways. Thank you for reading!


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Health with Coriolus versicolor mushroom

We have been hearing the phrase “Health is Wealth,” and it is very true. Humans are nothing without a well-functioning immune system, and medical sciences have been working for its betterment for thousands of years. Although the methods have changed these days immensely, compounds extracted from natural products are still in use. 

Coriolus Versicolor mushrooms are one such natural product. Their common name is Turkey Tail. It is found all over the world but is not included in any cuisine. Instead, this worldwide present mushroom finds its applications in medicine. It has been used for thousands of years in Asia for better immune health, and recent lab studies have shown it to be beneficial for cancer. Coriolus Versicolor is available in the market in the form of teas, capsules, and extracts.

Coriolus Versicolor extract has been used to treat Lung diseases in traditional Chinese medicine, and in Japan, it has been used to strengthen the immune system.

How it works: 

The polysaccharides extracted from Coriolus Versicolor were investigated. These polysaccharides show a macrophage stimulating effect, which was compared with Lipopolysaccharides. The polysaccharide obtained from the extract of Coriolus Versicolor showed 250% more effectiveness than the LPS. This way, Coriolus Versicolor extract was proved to be effective for the immune system scientifically.

  • For Cancer:

Cancer prevention studies were conducted with a hot water extract of Coriolus Versicolor mushroom in female Swiss mice. This extract was added to the diet that was fed to the animals. The mice were divided into three groups. They received the following treatment:

Group 1:

The first group of mice started receiving their dose at the age of 9 weeks. They received ten weekly subcutaneous injections with a ratio of 20micro/g body weight. The injection contained 1, 2-dimethylhydrazine dihydrochloride. 

Group 2:

In the second group, mice were given a 2% dose level starting at seven weeks. This dose was also followed by 1,2-dimethylhydrazine. 

Group 3:

Mice of group 3 also received a 1,2-dimethylhydrazine dose followed by a 2% dose level, and it started at the age of 21 weeks.

The number of animals with large intestinal tumors came out to be different in all three groups. The lowest range being in group 3. 

The extracts of Coriolus Versicolor are used as nutritional supplements for cancer patients in the U.S., especially in the Orient. 

The polysaccharopeptides and protein-bound polysaccharides produced by Coriolus Versicolor are efficient immunopotentiators, which is why it is used to supplement radiotherapy and chemotherapy for cancer patients and numerous other diseases. 

Extracts of Coriolus Versicolor are popular worldwide because of the presence of countless biologically active components. 

Coriolus Versicolor is termed as Yun Zhi in Chinese. For centuries, the Chinese have been using herbs along with conventional medical treatment. They believe it enhances the speed of recovery. In Asian cultures, various herbs are mixed with mushrooms and used for the treatment of different ailments. Mushrooms also find a huge role in strengthening the immune system. 

To learn more about mushrooms and how their extracts are helpful for your immune system, visit our website

                                        Thank you for reading!