The medicinal mushroom with the highest content of polysaccharides and zinc

The sun mushroom (Agaricus blazei Murill) is one of the best known and most studied medicinal mushrooms due to its high content of polysaccharides and minerals such as zinc, of utmost importance for the immune system. Its qualities were described from specimens found in the Brazilian rainforest, hence the popular names ‘Piedade mushroom’, ‘Cogumelo do sol’ or ‘Brazilian oyster mushroom’. Other names for this medicinal mushroom are: ‘Agaricus brasiliensis’, ‘Ji Song Rong’ or ‘Himematsutake’.

Essential notes on the ‘great fungus of the sun’

Agaricus blazei Murill is notable for the quantity of active biomolecules, especially of β-glucans (immunomodulatory polysaccharides) and minerals such as zinc. In our R&D department we also investigate the natural GABA content, which is studied for its role in the health of the intestinal microbiota and neurogenesis, and natural lovastatin, related to cardiovascular health. These and other biomolecules make the Sun Mushroom the subject of continuous scientific research for its relevant role in areas of health such as:

  • Immunology: especially in allergies
  • Integrative support: studies on its activity in combination with conventional treatments and its effect on quality of life

The most striking fact related to the discovery of this fungus is “the low rate of cancer in the populations that regularly consume it” in the mountainous regions of the southern Atlantic Forest, in the state of São Paulo (Brazil). This relationship led many researchers to focus on the  observing relevant substances with highly active therapeutic properties for various types of diseases. As a result of this early research, consumption of this medicinal mushroom increased worldwide, with the consequent expansion of its cultivation and further scientific work to investigate its behaviour as a nutraceutical. AbM is a superior fungus particularly rich in polysaccharides, which makes it a particularly effective natural product for functional use.

Properties, uses and applications of Sun Mushroom

The Sun Mushroom has been introduced into the human diet mainly for its functional properties, in the same way that species such as Reishi or Lion’s Mane have. The sun mushroom can be eaten like the Paris mushroom or chanterelles, and can be included in one’s diet. This species has white flesh and is slightly fibrous. In cooking it stands out for its almondy aroma and taste, which is why in this context it is also referred to as the ‘almond mushroom’.

However, this is not the preferred mode of consumption for functional purposes, as the therapeutic effect is achieved with high concentrations of its active biomolecules. The extract is the most concentrated form in which the active biomolecules of Sun Mushroom can be found, which can be in capsules as a single ingredient (Mico-Sol) or in combination with other medicinal mushrooms (Mico-Five). It can also be found in liquid form in the Dr. Immune Five infant formula. Extracts can be obtained through sustainable technologies, without denaturing their compounds. The result of this process is a higher concentration of the substances of medicinal interest and, therefore, a better use of their properties.

Sun Mushroom products


Mico Sol



Mico Five

See more

Nutrient highlights

This species possesses nutrients of therapeutic interest, active biomolecules among which the most important are:



B1, B2, B3, B5 and B6

Folic Acid











Antioxidant Enzymes (SOD, superoxide dismutase)





Habitat and distribution

This medicinal fungus lives as a saprophyte (feeds on decaying organic matter) in wooded areas, colonising the organic-rich substrate of the forest floor, where average temperatures are around 25 °C and rainfall helps to create a warm, moist environment. As prerequisites, it requires a warm, humid environment typical of the region of Brazil from which it originates: temperatures in its native region range from a maximum of 35 °C during the day to a minimum of 22 °C at night. Also growing in the southeastern part of the United States (Florida and Louisiana). Since the 1980s, it has been found in other regions where it is cultivated using different methods depending on its commercial use. Nowadays, this fungus has acquired great importance, spreading to various countries in America, Asia and, to a lesser extent, Europe.

Mycological notes

In 1893 the fungus was first described as Agaricus subrefrescens Peck in the United States. In 1947, the American taxonomist Dr. Murrill described it again and published it under his own name, Agaricus blazei Murrill. At that time the Brazilian ‘almond mushroom’ (Agaricus brasiliensis) was already known, but no connection was made and it was thought to be three different species. In-depth studies in 2002 by researchers Wassermann and Didukh and genome sequence analysis by researcher Kerrigan showed that it is the same fungus. Although the oldest scientific name used is Agaricus subrefrescens Peck, Agaricus blazei Murill has been widely used. Interestingly, the cultivation of the Brazilian mushroom was initiated by a Japanese mycologist living in Brazil, which explains why this medicinal mushroom has been cultivated in many Asian countries since the 1980s. Agaricus blazei has a carpophore about 12 cm in diameter, with a golden-brown cuticle, convex shape and fleshy consistency. The lamellae are dark brown in colour.

Cultivation of the Sun Mushroom

Agaricus blazei, like other species of the genus Agaricus, can be grown on decomposing herbaceous substrates or artificial substrates composed of plant debris, animal manures and other mineral substances which are subsequently pasteurised or sterilised.

However, if production is aimed at improving human health, more sophisticated systems with controlled environments, organic substrates, etc. are used.

Cultivation in bioreactors

Highest quality, purity and performance in our production systems

One of the most powerful lines of research at Hifas da Terra focuses on the continuous improvement of the cultivation of different species in bioreactors (Reishi, Lion's Mane, Shiitake and Maitake) using certified organic substrates, as well as the standardisation of the quality of  source ingredients to guarantee excellence in the final product  with each medicinal mushroom.

Hifas Quality System (HQS)

Through our own quality standards, we identify biomolecules and active ingredients with therapeutic actions, selecting the fungal strains that contain the optimum amounts, and use our own specific analytical systems to apply analysis protocols at different stages of productionThanks to this rigorous system, we offer natural products, supplements and nutraceuticals with the Hifas Quality System guarantee, setting us apart from other products in terms of quality, safety and efficacy.  

Learn more

Sun Mushroom R&D and research

Learn more

Fun Facts

  • The properties of Sun Mushroom were first investigated because of a low cancer rate in a community where the mushroom was regularly consumed.
  • The Sun Mushroom, unlike other species that prefer semi-shade, can grow directly in the sun.
  • Jiang L, Yu Z, Lin Y, Cui L, Yao S, Lv L, Liu J. Low-molecular-weight polysaccharides from Agaricus blazei Murrill modulate the Th1 response in cancer immunity. Oncol Lett. 2018 Mar;15(3):3429-3436. doi: 10.3892/ol.2018.7794.
  • Tangen JM, Holien T, Mirlashari MR, Misund K, Hetland G. Cytotoxic Effect on Human Myeloma Cells and Leukemic Cells by the Agaricus blazei Murill Based Mushroom Extract, Andosan™. Biomed Res Int. 2017; 2017:2059825. doi: 10.1155/2017/2059825
  • Martins PR, de Campos Soares ÂMV, da Silva Pinto Domeneghini AV, Golim MA, Kaneno R. Agaricus brasiliensis polysaccharides stimulate human monocytes to capture Candida albicans, express toll-like receptors 2 and 4, and produce pro-inflammatory cytokines. J Venom Anim Toxins Incl Trop Dis. 2017 Mar 23;23:17. doi: 10.1186/s40409-017-0102-2
  • Hetland G, Eide DM, Tangen JM, Haugen MH, Mirlashari MR, Paulsen JE. The Agaricus blazei-Based Mushroom Extract, Andosan™, Protects against Intestinal Tumorigenesis in the A/J Min/+ Mouse. PLoS One. 2016 Dec 21;11(12):e0167754. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0167754.
  • Therkelsen SP, Hetland G, Lyberg T, Lygren I, Johnson E. Cytokine Levels After Consumption of a Medicinal Agaricus blazei Murill-Based Mushroom Extract, AndoSan™ , in Patients with Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis in a Randomized Single-Blinded Placebo-Controlled Study. Scand J Immunol. 2016 Dec;84(6):323-331. doi: 10.1111/sji.12476.
  • Therkelsen SP, Hetland G, Lyberg T, Lygren I, Johnson E. Effect of the Medicinal Agaricus blazei Murill-Based Mushroom Extract, AndoSanTM, on Symptoms, Fatigue and Quality of Life in Patients with Crohn’s Disease in a Randomized Single-Blinded Placebo Controlled Study. PLoS One. 2016 Jul 14;11(7):e0159288. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0159288.
  • Therkelsen SP, Hetland G, Lyberg T, Lygren I, Johnson E. Effect of a Medicinal Agaricus blazei Murill-Based Mushroom Extract, AndoSan™, on Symptoms, Fatigue and Quality of Life in Patients with Ulcerative Colitis in a Randomized Single-Blinded Placebo Controlled Study. PLoS One. 2016 Mar 2;11(3):e0150191. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0150191.
  • Singh R, Dhingra GS, Shri R. Evaluation of Antianxiety Potential of Four Ganoderma (Agaricomycetes) Species from India in Mice. Int J Med Mushrooms. 2016;18(11):991-998. doi: 10.1615
  • Jiang WG, Sanders AJ, Katoh M, Ungefroren H, Gieseler F, Prince M, Thompson SK, Zollo M, Spano D, Dhawan P, Sliva D, Subbarayan PR, Sarkar M, Honoki K, Fujii H, Georgakilas AG, Amedei A, Niccolai E, Amin A, Ashraf SS, Ye L, Helferich WG, Yang X, Boosani CS, Guha G, Ciriolo MR, Aquilano K, Chen S, Azmi AS, Keith WN, Bilsland A, Bhakta D, Halicka D, Nowsheen S, Pantano F, Santini D. Tissue invasion and metastasis: Molecular, biological and clinical perspectives. Semin Cancer Biol. 2015 Dec;35 Suppl:S244-S275. doi: 10.1016/j.semcancer.2015.03.008.
  • Liu Y, Zhang L, Zhu X, Wang Y, Liu W, Gong W. Polysaccharide Agaricus blazei Murill stimulates myeloid derived suppressor cell differentiation from M2 to M1 type, which mediates inhibition of tumour immune-evasion via the Toll-like receptor 2 pathway. Immunology. 2015 Nov;146(3):379-91. doi: 10.1111/imm.12508.
  • Val CH, Brant F, Miranda AS, Rodrigues FG, Oliveira BC, Santos EA, Assis DR, Esper L, Silva BC, Rachid MA, Tanowitz HB, Teixeira AL, Teixeira MM, Régis WC, Machado FS. Effect of mushroom Agaricus blazei on immune response and development of experimental cerebral malaria. Malar J. 2015 Aug 11;14:311. doi: 10.1186/s12936-015-0832-y
  • Yeh MY, Shang HS, Lu HF, Chou J, Yeh C, Chang JB, Hung HF, Kuo WL, Wu LY, Chung JG. Chitosan oligosaccharides in combination with Agaricus blazei Murill extract reduces hepatoma formation in mice with severe combined immunodeficiency. Mol Med Rep. 2015 Jul;12(1):133-40. doi: 10.3892/mmr.2015.3454.
  • de Jesus Pereira NC, Régis WC, Costa LE, de Oliveira JS, da Silva AG, Martins VT, Duarte MC, de Souza JR, Lage PS, Schneider MS, Melo MN, Soto M, Soares SA, Tavares CA, Chávez-Fumagalli MA, Coelho EA. Evaluation of adjuvant activity of fractions derived from Agaricus blazei, when in association with the recombinant LiHyp1 protein, to protect against visceral leishmaniasis. Exp Parasitol. 2015 Jun;153:180-90. doi: 10.1016/j.exppara.2015.03.027.
  • Tangen JM, Tierens A, Caers J, Binsfeld M, Olstad OK, Trøseid AM, Wang J, Tjønnfjord GE, Hetland G. Immunomodulatory effects of the Agaricus blazei Murrill-based mushroom extract AndoSan in patients with multiple myeloma undergoing high dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation: a randomized, double blinded clinical study. Biomed Res Int. 2015;2015:718539. doi: 10.1155/2015/718539.
  • Socala K, Nieoczym D, Grzywnowicz K, Stefaniuk D, Wlaz P. Evaluation of Anticonvulsant, Antidepressant-, and Anxiolytic-like Effects of an Aqueous Extract from Cultured Mycelia of the Lingzhi or Reishi Medicinal Mushroom Ganoderma lucidum (Higher Basidiomycetes) in Mice. Int J Med Mushrooms. 2015;17(3):209-18.
  • de Sá-Nakanishi AB, Soares AA, Natali MR, Comar JF, Peralta RM, Bracht A. Effects of the continuous administration of an Agaricus blazei extract to rats on oxidative parameters of the brain and liver during aging. Molecules. 2014 Nov 13;19(11):18590-603. doi: 10.3390/molecules191118590.
  • Wang H, Li G, Zhang W, Han C, Xu X, Li YP. The protective effect of Agaricus blazei Murrill, submerged culture using the optimized medium composition, on alcohol-induced liver injury. Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:573978. doi: 10.1155/2014/573978.
  • Matsuzaki H, Shimizu Y, Iwata N, Kamiuchi S, Suzuki F, Iizuka H, Hibino Y, Okazaki M. Antidepressant-like effects of a water-soluble extract from the culture medium of Ganoderma lucidum mycelia in rats. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2013 Dec 26;13:370. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-13-370.
  • Wang P, Li XT, Sun L, Shen L. Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Water-Soluble Polysaccharide of Agaricus blazei Murill on Ovariectomized Osteopenic Rats. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:164817. doi: 10.1155/2013/164817.
  • Cui L, Sun Y, Xu H, Xu H, Cong H, Liu J. A polysaccharide isolated from Agaricus blazei Murill (ABP-AW1) as a potential Th1 immunity-stimulating adjuvant. Oncol Lett. 2013 Oct;6(4):1039-1044.
  • Hakime-Silva RA, Vellosa JC, Khalil NM, Khalil OA, Brunetti IL, Oliveira OM. Chemical, enzymatic and cellular antioxidant activity studies of Agaricus blazei Murrill. An Acad Bras Cienc. 2013 Sep;85(3):1073-81. doi: 10.1590/S0001-37652013005000044.
  • Lima CU, Souza VC, Morita MC, Chiarello MD, Karnikowski MG. Agaricus blazei Murrill and inflammatory mediators in elderly women: a randomized clinical trial. Scand J Immunol. 2012 Mar;75(3):336-41. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3083.2011.02656.x.
  • Hsu CH, Hwang KC, Chiang YH, Chou P. The mushroom Agaricus blazei Murill extract normalizes liver function in patients with chronic hepatitis B. J Altern Complement Med. 2008 Apr;14(3):299-301. doi: 10.1089/acm.2006.6344.
  • Kimura N, Fujino E, Urabe S, Mizutani H, Sako T, Imai S, Toyoda Y, Arai T. Effect of supplementation of Agaricus mushroom meal extracts on enzyme activities in peripheral leukocytes of calves. Res Vet Sci. 2007 Feb;82(1):7-10.
  • Hsu CH, Liao YL, Lin SC, Hwang KC, Chou P. The mushroom Agaricus Blazei Murill in combination with metformin and gliclazide improves insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes: a randomized, double-blinded, and placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Altern Complement Med. 2007 Jan-Feb;13(1):97-102.
  • Grinde B, Hetland G, Johnson E. Effects on gene expression and viral load of a medicinal extract from Agaricus blazei in patients with chronic hepatitis C infection. Int Immunopharmacol. 2006 Aug;6(8):1311-4.
  • Ahn WS, Kim DJ, Chae GT, Lee JM, Bae SM, Sin JI, Kim YW, Namkoong SE, Lee IP. Natural killer cell activity and quality of life were improved by consumption of a mushroom extract, Agaricus blazei Murill Kyowa, in gynecological cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Int J Gynecol Cancer. 2004 Jul-Aug;14(4):589-94.

POP UP Travel wash bag onco