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

Treatment

Mico Sol

£32.00£59.00

Treatment

Mico Five

£59.00
£24.00
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Nutrient highlights

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

Nucleotides

VITAMINS:

B1, B2, B3, B5 and B6

Folic Acid

Biotin

MINERALS:

Zinc

Magnesium

Potassium

Copper

Phosphorous

LIPIDS

ENZYMES:

Tyrosinase

Antioxidant Enzymes (SOD, superoxide dismutase)

Glutathione

Catalases

Laccases

Pectinases

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.  

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Sun Mushroom R&D and research

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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.
References
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