Agaricus blazei Murill
Agaricus blazei is one of the most exciting medicinal mushrooms. In Brazil, it is called Cogumelo de Deus (mushroom of God) or Cogumelo da Vida (mushroom of life). In the mountainous regions of southeastern Brazil (in Piedade and its environs) people ate the mushroom regularly, and they lived longer than average.
Medicinal actions of Agaricus blazei include counteracting and preventing tumors, fighting viruses, lowering cholesterol, regulating blood sugar levels, and enhancing the immune system. The mushroom’s extract positively effects metabolism, digestion and keeps the arteries flexible and young. The scientists observed that the mushroom induced apoptosis (programmed cell death) in the malignant cells. Some ingredients (sodium pyroglutamate, ergosterol) cut off the blood supply to tumors and inhibit the growth of blood vessels required to nourish cancer cells (inhibition of angiogenesis).
Many studies seem to show that active ingredients in Agaricus blazei are more potent than that of any other mushrooms. Its beta-glucans due to their low molecular weight can be absorbed into the body more easily than beta-glucans from other mushrooms. This is believed to make them more effective.