Mushroooms have been part of the Chinese herbal medicines available and have beneficial effects towards cancer. Many of the medicinal mushrooms, including chaga mushroom, maitake mushroom, ganoderma mushroom, and cordyceps mushroom, contain cancer-preventive and cancer-fighting actions. Research has focused on the polysaccharides with beta 1,3 glucan linkages. Indole-3-carbinol is a nutrient found in large quantities in cruciferous vegetables. It is a potent antagonist of breast cancer, reducing formation of cancerous compounds from hormones and participating in blockage of cancer cell progression.–The One Earth Herbal Sourcebook: Everything You Need to Know About Chinese, Western, and Ayurvedic Herbal Treatmentsby Alan Keith Tillotson, Ph.D., A.H.G., D.Ay
First, mushrooms are very healthy. They ae low in calories and a good source of potassium, riboflavin, niacin and selenium. Potassium helps lower blood pressure and is said to reduce risk of stroke. Selenium is an antioxidant and when conbined with vit E, protects cells from free radical damage. It also cuts the risk of prostate cancer by 65%.
There are also claims and studies suggesting that mushrooms play a role in anticancer activities, anticholeserol, psychotropic, antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, antiinflammatory, antihormone and glycemic activities.
Please keep in mind that not all mushrooms are safe to eat. It is important to know before you pick mushrooms or try to use mushrooms for medicinal purposes.
There are lots of chemicals involved and if you are curious, I would suggest going to the wikipedia site I have listed.
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