Agaricus blazei (Agaricus subrufescens) is native to a small village, called Piedade, in the rain forests of Brazil.
It has long history of use by the native peoples who harvested and used the mushroom, calling it "Cogumelo do sol."
It was only recently brought to the forefront as an actual species when discovered by a local farmer in Brazil. In addition, a mycologists, W.A. Murrill, in the 1940's found it growing it Florida. It then began to be studied and cultivated for it's effects a very powerful medicinal mushroom variety.
Today it is commercially cultivated in Japan, China and Brazil, as well as the U.S.
Agaricus is a gilled mushroom, like shiitake, and tends to do well in warmer climates, growing on the borders of forests in plant debris or well manured grasslands.
The "wild" Crimini and Portabella mushrooms are also cultivars of this species.
In addition the cultivated "white button" mushrooms sold in most produce markets are also from the same Agaricus family but hold little medicinal value.
These polysaccharides promote "natural killer cells" (NK cells), macrophage, and polymorphonuclear leukocytes that inhibit tumor growth and stimulate immune system responses.
Agaricus subrufescens also contains alpha-glucan and produces yellowish metobolite that has bactericidal properties.
It has been traditionally used to treat many common diseases like atherosclerosis, hepatitis, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, dermatitis and cancer.
Asian countries use it in the prevention and treatment of cancer for it's anti-tumor health properties.
In a study conducted by the Dept of Chinese Medicine in Taiwan,
Agaricus was shown to improve insulin resistance among subjects with
type 2 diabetes.
The European Food Safety Authority has approved health claims for Agaricus blazei mushroom.
These claims include:
The best and most medicinally effective way to use this mushroom is to use the powdered extracts. Mushroom Science is a high quality brand that offers a tested potent extraction of agaricus, by far one of the best on the market.
It is suggested by several health experts that rotating them is best.
Coriolus and Maitake first 3 months. Coriolus and Agaricus the next 3 months and Maitake and Agaricus the next 3 months.
This formula ensures the best possible, most potent results for optimizing immune support.
The powdered extracts also increase the level of digestibility and enhance bio-availability of the polysaccharides. It is another edible mushroom that can be steamed when picked fresh.
It has a strong slightly sweet almond-like flavor and is said to turn a yellow color when cooked soon after harvest.