Agaricus blazei (Agaricus blazei murrill)
Agaricus mushroom is known also as “The Golden Mushroom ” and „The mushroom of Life and Longevity “. The Conference on Mycology and Mycotherapy in New York, 2006, declared Agaricus blazei the most promising mushroom in cancer therapy and gerontology (the science of aging). Scientists state that its compounds not only kill cancer cells but also slow down aging processes. Agaricus blazei was discovered and described only in 1945 by the American mycologist Murrill. The National Cancer Centre of Japan announced the first results from the investigation of this mushroom in 1980. Since then a lot of data have been published in the USA.
Agaricus Blazei Murill originated from the rainforests of Brazil. Local people called it “The mushroom of God” and used it as a last remedy in the attempts to treat severe diseases. Images of Agaricus blazei can be seen on frescoes and clay fragments from the Aztecs times. For a long time it was believed that the image was of some magic or hallucinogenic mushroom used by priests to induce a trance. Much later it was proven that this was simply an edible mushroom.
Examination of 90 to 100 years old indigenous inhabitants of tropical forests near Sao Paulo showed that their biological age was much lower than the real one. Researchers found that their body cells’ division rate was much lower than the normal one, which slows down aging processes. These people were regularly consuming Agaricus Blazei.
The wild Agaricus mushroom is often called “Button mushroom” (wild mushrooms look like small white buttons, sticking up from the earth). It has a very strong characteristic odour and unique sweet-acid taste. Local people locate it with the help of dogs. They use the Agaricus mushroom daily in the form of powder added to sauces and meat dishes and for preparation of tinctures. In the world there are about 30 species related to the Brazilian Agaricus. However, only Agaricus blazei murrill has got the credit of curative properties and only this species is called “The Sun Mushroom of Aztecs”.
In addition to valuable vitamins and minerals, the amount of polysaccharids, mostly beta D- glucan in Agaricus Blazei Murill is bigger than in any other mushroom species. The concentrations of all these substances are considerably higher in the mushroom extract. According to scientific publications Agaricus Blazei Murill is a strong immunostimulator. Its usage activates and increases the number of the macrophages and the cells called “natural killers”, i.e. the cells responsible for destruction of atypical cells, bacteria and viruses, for elimination of foreign matter and for the creation of chemical “carriers” (interferon, interleukin), which also participate in the body defense mechanisms.