Medicinal Mushrooms: History and Uses

Mushrooms are classified as fungi and have been used for centuries for medicinal and food purposes. There are edible, medicinal and poisonous species of fungus. Studies to exploit the medicinal properties of mushrooms and to produce medicines from them were officially explored and made after 1928, after Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin. Several mushrooms and their by-products are used today to produce medicines for different purposes. Lichens were also used in ancient medicine, however, in modern medicine, fungi, fungi and yeast are the main products.

Medicinal mushrooms

Mushrooms were probably used for medicine in the early years, but modern medicine began to derive medicine from mushrooms after 1928. Ganoderma Lucidum or Reishi mushrooms were used in ancient Chinese medicine and are said to be the most widely used fungus. for medicinal purposes.

Pharmacological research today has found fungi-containing antiprotozoal, antiviral and antifungal strains. Mushrooms have been used in modern medicine to produce antibiotics and penicillium mold has given rise to many antibiotics such as cephalosporin, vermiculine, citromycin, cerulenin and many other antibiotics. Aspergillus Flavus produces solamargine which is used in anticancer drugs. Asparaginase, a drug used for leukemia, is obtained from penicillin. Cholesterol-lowering drugs such as statins can also be obtained from fungi.

The fermentation of Aspergillus terreus produced the first commercialized statin, Lovastatina. Antifungal agents such as the Penicillium and Aspergillus species are used to produce antifungals. Immunosuppressive drugs such as ciclosporin derive from Tolypocladium inflatum, Bredinin from Eupenicillium brefeldianum and many others. Malaria drugs such as efrapeptins, codinaeopsin, antiamoebic and Zerrvamicins are also made from fungi. Some diabetic medicines also come from fungi. There are drugs used for their therapeutic effects on the central nervous system, such as cabergoline, ergotamine and pergolide. Ergot produced by Claviceps purpurea is used to make drugs.

Edible mushrooms

Edible mushrooms are mostly grown on farms and belong to the Agaricus bisporus group. This species is found locally in North America and Europe. The Subrufences of Agaricus or the Almond mushrooms are found mainly in Brazil and Japan. Mushrooms are rich in pantothenic acid, vitamin B, vitamin D and phosphorus. China is the largest producer of edible mushrooms with half of the world’s edible mushrooms from China. Most edible mushrooms are grown today to give more, but there are those that grow in the wild. Wild edible mushrooms must be well identified before consuming them. The matsutake variety, Morrell and edible and truffle mushrooms are rare. The phytase used in feed is taken from Aspergillus Niger.

other uses

The fungus has also been used to produce dyes for the death of natural fibers such as wool in the past. There are also a group of psychedelic mushrooms known to have psychotropic effects and are consumed for recreational purposes due to their effects. Amanita Muscaria is one of the species of fungi with psychotropic effects. The species of the group, Amanita Phalloides or death cap, are highly poisonous. Candida, a type of yeast, is used in the commercial sector to produce riboflavin and ascorbic acid or vitamin C.

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