With powerful aliases like “mushroom of the sun,” “God's mushroom” and “mushroom of life,” it’s no wonder that Agaricus blazei has a reputation for inspiring longevity and vitality in its devout users. Used for many years in Traditional Medicine, the mushroom has long been believed to help in situations of high cholesterol and management of insulin in people with type 2 diabetes. Today, many turn to the mushroom for its ability to help support a strong immune system. To understand how this mushroom benefits whole-body health, here’s everything you need to know about its origins and how to best incorporate it into your wellness regime.
A Brief History of Agaricus blazei
Originating in the Brazilian rainforest, Agaricus blazei has been used in traditional medicine and as a nutritional aid for the prevention of infections and certain allergies. In the late ’60s, researchers found a significantly low incidence of chronic illnesses among local people in the Atlantic Rainforest region in southeastern Brazil, including cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. This led them to investigate Agaricus blazei as a contributing factor. It is described as having a flavor and aroma similar to those of almonds — earning it yet another alias “almond mushroom.” Researchers found that Agaricus blazei has larger quantities of polysaccharides, which have immune-enhancing and modulating effects. Overall, the mushroom functions as a highly effective preventive aid, helping to maintain health and promoting immune system enhancement.
Benefits of Agaricus blazei
Along with being high in immunomodulating polysaccharides, Agaricus blazei is also high in β-glucans. It has been shown to have anti-infection, antiallergic and antiasthmatic properties in mouse models as well as anti-inflammatory effects in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. β-glucan extracts from the mushroom have been reported to help reduce blood glucose, triglyceride and cholesterol levels, exhibiting insulin-like action and making it useful for those managing their cholesterol level.
Who Should Take Agaricus blazei?
A supplement containing Agaricus blazei could be helpful for those seeking a stronger immune system — especially those whose immune systems are often compromised, including teachers, nurses or those whose work requires frequent travel. While those struggling with high cholesterol should always seek the professional advice of their doctor, the evidence shows that Agaricus blazei may also be a useful supplement in these situations.
How to Take This Mushroom
With Om’s Immune blend, it’s easy to incorporate the health-supporting properties of certified organic Agaricus blazei into your daily routine. The broad-spectrum powder also contains the natural beta glucan power of reishi, turkey tail and maitake, and it can be added to your favorite drink daily for immune support. For further immunity, try Immune Defense capsules, which adds a 100-percent daily value of Vitamin C to the mushroom blend, or Immune+, which includes 2 billion probiotics for a healthy gut and a battle-ready body.
Erica Garza is an author and essayist from Los Angeles. Her writing has appeared in TIME, Health, Glamour, Good Housekeeping, Women's Health, and VICE.