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Herbs & Plants

Epimedium grandiflorum

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Botanical Name : Epimedium grandiflorum
Family: Berberidaceae
Genus: Epimedium
Subgenus:Epimedium
Species:E. grandiflorum
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Ranunculales

Synonyms:
*Epimedium macranthum var. violaceum (C. Morren & Decne.) Franch.
*Epimedium grandiflorum forma violaceum
*Epimedium violaceum

Common Names: Large flowered barrenwort, Bishop’s hat, Barrenwort, Longspur Epimedium. It is known as dam du?ng hoac in Vietnamese.

Habitat: Epimedium grandiflorum is native to China, Japan and Korea. It grows in the moist deciduous woodlands in the hills. Calcareous rocks in moist woodland. (This entry refers to sub-species E. grandiflorum higoense. Shimau.)
Description:
Epimedium grandiflorum is a deciduous perennial plant, growing to 30 cm (12 in), with bright red stems with green heart-shaped leaves (copper-tinged when young) which are slightly hairy on the bottom. In spring it produces pink, white, yellow or purple long-spurred flowers.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Main Bloom Time: Early spring. Form: Spreading or horizontal. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.The plant is not self-fertile.
Cultivation:
Succeeds in any fertile humus-rich soil, preferring a moist but well-drained peaty loam. Requires a lime-free soil. Grows best in the light dappled shade of a woodland. Plants can succeed in the dry shade of trees. A shallow-rooting plant, the rhizomes creeping just below the soil and the finer roots occupying the top 30cm of the soil. A clump-forming species, the rhizomes making only short new growth each year, it needs to be divided every 3 – 4 years in order to maintain vigour. Plants are hardy to about -20°c, though the flowers in spring can be damaged by late frosts. A very ornamental plant, there are several named varieties. It grows well in the rock garden or wild garden. Plants are self-sterile and so more than one clone is required for cross-fertilization in order for seed to be produced. Plants will often hybridise with other species growing nearby. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits. Special Features: Attractive foliage, Naturalizing.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe in late summer. Sow stored seed as early as possible in the year in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in light shade in the cold frame or greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out in mid to late summer. Division, best carried out in August to September according to one report, in late spring according to another. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring. Cuttings in late summer
Edible Uses:    Young plant and young leaves – cooked & eaten. Soaked and then boiled. (This suggests that the leaves are bitter and need to be soaked in order to remove the bitterness.)
Medicinal Uses:

Antiasthmatic; Antibacterial; Antirheumatic; Antitussive; Aphrodisiac; Hypoglycaemic; Tonic; Vasodilator.

The aerial parts of the plant are antiasthmatic, antibacterial, antirheumatic, antitussive, aphrodisiac, hypoglycaemic, tonic and vasodilator. Its use lowers blood sugar levels. It is used in the treatment of impotence, seminal emissions, lumbago, arthritis, numbness and weakness of the limbs, hypertension and chronic bronchitis. It has an action on the genitals similar to the male sex hormone and can increase the weight of the prostate gland and seminal vesicle, it has increased copulation in animals and increases the secretion of semens. The leaves are used as an aphrodisiac. Administered orally, the leaf extract increases the frequency of copulation in animals.

Traditional Chinese medicine:
E. grandiflorum may have anti-impotence properties due to the presence of icariin, a relatively weak inhibitor of PDE5 in comparison to substances like sildenafil (viagra). Western peer-reviewed research into the efficacy of E. grandiflorum as an aphrodisiac is lacking; however, the herb has been used for this purpose in traditional Chinese medicine and is a common ingredient of herbal remedies for impotence.[citation needed] It is commonly packed in a capsule with other ingredients or sold as herbal flakes or powder with the name “horny goat weed”

Other Uses:
Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Ground cover, Rock garden, Woodland garden.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epimedium_grandiflorum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Epimedium+grandiflorum

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Herbs & Plants

Tagetes lucida

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Botanical Name : Tagetes lucida
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Tagetes
Species: T. lucida
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms:
*Tagetes anethina Sessé & Moc.
*Tagetes florida Sweet
*Tagetes gilletii De Wild.
*Tagetes lucida f. florida (Sweet) Voss
*Tagetes pineda La Llave
*Tagetes schiedeana Less
*Tagetes seleri Rydb.
Common Names: Mexican Tarragon, Sweetscented marigold , Mexican marigold, Mexican mint marigold, Mexican tarragon, Spanish tarragon, sweet mace, Texas tarragon, pericón, yerbaniz, and cempaxóchitl.

Habitat : Tagetes lucida is native to Central and Southern America – Mexico to Guatemala. It grows on woods, hillsides and rocky slopes.

Description:
Tagetes lucida is a perennial plant. It grows 18-30 inches (46–76 cm) tall. Depending on land race, the plant may be fairly upright, while other forms appear bushy with many unbranching stems. The leaves are linear to oblong, about 3 inches (7.6 cm) long, and shiny medium green, not blue-green as in French tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus var. sativa). In late summer it bears clusters of small golden yellow flower heads on the ends of the stems. The flower heads are about 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) across and have 3-5 golden-yellow ray florets. The flowers are hermaphroditic (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by insects…..CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Cultivation:
Requires a well-drained moderately fertile soil in a sunny position. Grows well in heavy clay soils and in sandy soils. Plants in general are not very cold-hardy when grown outdoors in Britain, though some forms will survive outdoors at least in the milder areas of the country. We have plants grown from seed collected in Oregon that have proved hardy to at least -5°c. A very ornamental plant, there are some named varieties. ‘Huichol’ is a traditional clone used by the Huichol Indians that grows at an elevation of 1500 – 1800m in Mexico. The blooms are amongst the most sweetly-scented of all flowers. Removing dead flowers before the seed is formed will extend the flowering season. Plants are prone to slugs, snails and botrytis. Grows well with tomatoes.

Propagation
Seed – sow March in a greenhouse. Only just cover the seed. Germination usually takes place within 2 weeks. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out after the last expected frosts. Basal cuttings in spring. Remove young shoots when about 5 – 10 cm tall, making sure to get as much of the underground stem as possible. Pot up into a sandy soil and keep in light shade until roots are formed, which usually takes 2- 3 weeks.

Phytochemistry:
The plant contains the following compounds:

*Anethole
*Chavicol
*Coumarin
*Estragole
*Isorhamnetin
*Methyleugenol
*Quercitin

Edible Uses:
Fresh or dried leaves are used as a tarragon substitute for flavoring soups, sauces etc.A pleasant anise-flavored tea is brewed using the dried leaves and flower heads. The leaves are dried and ground into a powder then used as a tarragon substitute for flavouring soups, sauces etc. They have an anise-like flavour. The leaves were an important flavouring of ‘chocolatl’, the foaming cocoa-based drink of the Aztecs. The dried leaves and flowering tops are brewed into a pleasant anise-flavoured tea. This is a very popular drink in Latin America. The petals are used as a condiment.

Medicinal Uses:
This is primarily used medicinally in Mexico and Central America. The leaves and whole plant are digestive, diuretic, febrifuge, hypotensive, narcotic, sedative and stimulant. Use of the plant depresses the central nervous system, whilst it is also reputedly anaesthetic and hallucinogenic. It is used internally in the treatment of diarrhoea, nausea, indigestion, colic, hiccups, malaria and feverish illnesses. Externally, it is used to treat scorpion bites and to remove ticks. The leaves can be harvested and used as required, whilst the whole plant is harvested when in flower and dried for later use.
Other Uses:
A yellow dye can be obtained from the flowers.The dried plant is burnt as an incense and to repel insects.

Tagetes lucida was used by the Aztecs in a ritual incense known as Yauhtli.The Aztecs allegedly used Tagetes lucida as one of the ingredients in a medicinal powder which was blown into the faces of those about to become the victims of human sacrifice and which may have possessed stupefying or anxiolytic properties.The plant was linked to the rain god Tlaloc. The plant is also used by the Huichol, mixed with Nicotiana rustica (a potent wild tobacco), for its claimed psychotropic and entheogenic effects.

In one study, methanolic extract from the flower inhibited growth of Staphylococcus aureus, E. coli, and Candida albicans cultures. This effect was enhanced with exposure to ultraviolet light. The roots, stems, and leaves also had the same effect when irradiated with UV light.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tagetes_lucida
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Tagetes+lucida
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm

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Herbs & Plants

Agaricus campestris

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Botanical Name :Agaricus campestris
Family: Agaricaceae
Genus: Agaricus
Species: A. campestris
Kingdom: Fungi
Phylum: Basidiomycota
Subphylum: Agaricomycotina
Class: Agaricomycetes
Subclass: Agaricomycetidae
Order: Agaricales
Common Name :Khumbi, Banger-chhata,The Meadow Mushroom or Field mushroom

Habitat : Agaricus campestris is common in fields and grassy areas after rain from late summer onwards worldwide. It is often found on lawns in suburban areas. Appearing in small groups, in fairy rings, or solitary. Owing to the demise of horse drawn vehicles, and the subsequent decrease in the number of horses on pasture, the old ‘white outs’ of years gone by are becoming rare events. This species is rarely found in woodland.

Saprobic; growing alone, gregariously, or sometimes in fairy rings, in meadows, fields, lawns, and grassy areas; late fall to early winter (occasionally in summer; sometimes year-long in California); widely distributed and common in North America.

Description:
The meadow mushroom, Agaricus campestris, is a beautiful white mushroom that is closely related to the cultivated “button mushrooms” (Agaricus bisporus) sold in North American grocery stores. In most areas it is a fall mushroom and, as its common and Latin names suggest, it comes up in meadows, fields, and grassy areas, after rains. It is recognized by its habitat, its pink gills (covered up by a thin white membrane when the mushroom is young) which become chocolate brown as the mushroom matures, its quickly collapsing white ring, and the fact that it does not discolor yellow when bruised.

........

Cap: 3-11 cm; convex to broadly convex, occasionally nearly flat; whitish; smooth and glossy to fibrous to nearly wooly or scaly.

Gills: Free from the stem; deep pink becoming brown and then dark chocolate brown in maturity; crowded; covered with a thin white partial veil when in the button stage.

Stem: 2-6 cm long; 1-2.5 cm thick; more or less equal; sometimes tapering slightly to base; with a quickly collapsing white ring; not bruising yellow.

Flesh: Thick and white throughout; not bruising yellow anywhere, even in the base of the stem; very rarely discoloring a pinkish wine color in wet weather.

Odor and Taste: Pleasant.

Chemical Reactions: Cap surface not yellowing with KOH.

Spore Print: Dark chocolate brown.

Microscopic Features: Spores: 5.5-10 x 4-7 µ; elliptical. Cheilocystidia to 10 µ wide. Universal veil hyphae (on cap surface and stem base) without inflated elements.

The North American forms of this mushroom are apparently numerous–and several closely related (identical?) species have been described, including Agaricus andrewii (cheilocystidia 11-18.5 µ wide; universal veil hyphae with inflated elements) and Agaricus solidipes (spores up to 12 µ long; cheilocystidia absent). See also Agaricus porphyrocephalus.

Edibil Uses:
It is widely collected and eaten, even by those who would not normally eat wild mushrooms. This mushroom is not commercially cultivated on account of its fast maturing and short shelf-life. Culinary uses of the meadow mushroom include eating it sauteed or fried, in sauces, or even sliced raw and included in salads. In flavor and texture, this mushroom is almost identical to the white button mushroom available in grocery stores in the United States. Be sure to rinse well to dislodge any sand, and also watch out for small, white larvae which tunnel through the stems and caps. Among the similar species mentioned above, there have been cases where the deadly toxic destroying angel (Amanita bisporigera) has been consumed by individuals who mistook it for this species. The edibility of specimens collected from lawns is uncertain because of possible contamination with pesticides or other chemicals.

Bioactive properties
Water extracts of A. campestris have been shown to enhance the secretion of insulin, and to have insulin-like effects on glucose metabolism in vitro, although the mechanism is not understood yet.

Medicinal Uses:
Research into fungal dressings for the treatment of ulcers, and bed sores, using fungal mycelial filaments, is on going. In the past, slices of A. campestris were applied to scalds, and burns in parts of Scotland.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Taxonomy
This species was originally noted and named in 1753 by Carolus Linnaeus as Agaricus campestris. It was placed in the genus Psalliota by Lucien Quelet in 1872. Some variants have been isolated over the years, a few of which now have species status, for example, Agaricus bernardii Quel. (1878), Agaricus bisporus (J.E. Lange) Imbach (1946), Agaricus bitorquis (Quel.) Sacc. (1887), Agaricus cappellianus Hlavacek (1987), and Agaricus silvicola (Vittad.) Peck (1872).
Some were so similar they did not warrant even variant status, others have retained it eg. Agaricus campestris var. equestris (F.H. Moller) Pilat (1951) is still valid, and presumably favors pasture where horses have been kept. Agaricus campestris var isabellinus (F.H. Moller) Pilat (1951), and Agaricus campestris var.radicatus, are possibly still valid too. The specific epithet campestris is derived from the Latin campus.

You may click to see :
*List of Agaricus species
*Agaricus campestris at MykoWeb
*Agaricus campestris at Agaricales of the Hawaiian Islands
*Agaricus campestris at Roger’s Mushrooms
*Agaricus campestris at Fungi of Poland

Resources:
http://vaniindia.org.whbus12.onlyfordemo.com/herbal/plantdir.asp
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agaricus_campestris
“field”.http://www.mushroomexpert.com/agaricus_campestris.html

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Herbs & Plants

Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum)

Botanical Name :Ganoderma lucidum
Family: Ganodermataceae
Genus: Ganoderma
Kingdom: Fungi
Phylum: Basidiomycota
Class: Agaricomycetes
Order: Polyporales
Species: G. lucidum

Common Names : Reishi , Ling-zhi, ling chih, ling chi mushroom
Other Names :Língzh? (traditional Chinese) Japanese: reishi; Korean: yeongji, hangul

Habitat :
Ganoderma lucidum, and its close relative Ganoderma tsugae, grow in the northern Eastern Hemlock forests. These two species of bracket fungus have a worldwide distribution in both tropical and temperate geographical regions, including North and South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia, growing as a parasite or saprotroph on a wide variety of trees. Similar species of Ganoderma have been found growing in the Amazon. In nature, Lingzhi grows at the base and stumps of deciduous trees, especially maple. Only two or three out of 10,000 such aged trees will have Lingzhi growth, and therefore its wild form is generally rare. Today, Lingzhi is effectively cultivated both indoors under sterile conditions and outdoors on either logs or woodchip beds.

Taxonomy and naming:
The name Ganoderma is derived from the Greek ganos “brightness, sheen”, hence “shining” and derma “skin”, while the specific epithet lucidum in Latin for “shining” and tsugae refers to being of the Hemlock (Tsuga). Another Japanese name is mannentake , meaning “10,000 year mushroom”.

There are multiple species of lingzhi, scientifically known to be within the Ganoderma lucidum species complex and mycologists are still researching the differences between species within this complex of species.

Description:
Lingzhi is a polypore mushroom that is soft (when fresh), corky, and flat, with a conspicuous red-varnished, kidney-shaped cap and, depending on specimen age, white to dull brown pores underneath. It lacks gills on its underside and releases its spores through fine pores, leading to its morphological classification as a polypore.

click to see the pictures…>…...(1).…….(2).……..(3)..…....(4).….(5).….……..…….
It is a Parasitic on living hardwoods (especially oaks) and saprobic on the deadwood of hardwoods; causing a white butt and root rot; growing alone or gregariously, usually near the base of the tree; annual; widely distributed east of the Rocky Mountains, and occasionally recorded in the western states.

Varieties:
Ganoderma lucidum generally occurs in two growth forms, one, found in North America, is sessile and rather large with only a small or no stalk, while the other is smaller and has a long, narrow stalk, and is found mainly in the tropics. However, many growth forms exist that are intermediate to the two types, or even exhibit very unusual morphologies, raising the possibility that they are separate species. Environmental conditions also play a substantial role in the different morphological characteristics lingzhi can exhibit. For example, elevated carbon dioxide levels result in stem elongation in lingzhi. Other forms show “antlers’, without a cap and these may be affected by carbon dioxide levels as well.

According to Compendium of Materia Medica, lingzhi may be classified into six categories according to their shapes and colors, each of which is believed to nourish a different part of the body. (Red-heart, Purple-joints, Green-liver, White-lungs/skin, Yellow-spleen, Black-kidneys/brain).

Biochemistry
Ganoderic acid A, a compound isolated from Lingzhi.Ganoderma lucidum produces a group of triterpenes, called ganoderic acids, which have a molecular structure similar to steroid hormones. It also contains other compounds many of which are typically found in fungal materials including polysaccharides such as beta-glucan, coumarin, mannitol, and alkaloids.

Medicinal Uses:
Common Uses: Alcoholism/Drug Abuse * Allergies/hay Fever * Anxiety/Panic * Bronchitis * Chronic Fatigue * General Health Tonics * Hypertension HBP * Immune System * Liver * Stress *

Properties: Immunostimulant* Hypoglycemic* Cardic tonic Cordial* Expectorant* AntiViral*
Parts Used: Fruiting body

Traditions: Traditional Chinese Medicine *

Reishi, or Ling zhi is the extract of the Ganoderma lucium mushroom. This mushroom has been used in traditional Chinese and Japanese medicines for thousands of years, who place it in the highest class of tonic medicines, those who benefit the vital life energy or Qi. Reishi mushrooms are commonly prescribed for a host of conditions such as anxiety, high blood pressure, bronchitis, insomnia, and asthma but is particularly renowned for its use in hepatitis and other diseases of the liver and for promoting longevity.

The Western focus on reishi is on the mushroom’s immuno-enhancing and anti-tumor activities, the exact mechanism is still unknown.

Lingzhi research and therapeutic usage:-
Lingzhi may possess anti-tumor, immunomodulatory and immunotherapeutic activities, supported by studies on polysaccharides, terpenes, and other bioactive compounds isolated from fruiting bodies and mycelia of this fungus (reviewed by R. R. Paterson and Lindequist et al.). It has also been found to inhibit platelet aggregation, and to lower blood pressure (via inhibition of angiotensin-converting enzyme), cholesterol, and blood sugar.

Laboratory studies have shown anti-neoplastic effects of fungal extracts or isolated compounds against some types of cancer. In an animal model, Ganoderma has been reported to prevent cancer metastasis, with potency comparable to Lentinan from Shiitake mushrooms.

The mechanisms by which G. lucidum may affect cancer are unknown and they may target different stages of cancer development: inhibition of angiogenesis (formation of new, tumor-induced blood vessels, created to supply nutrients to the tumor) mediated by cytokines, cytoxicity, inhibiting migration of the cancer cells and metastasis, and inducing and enhancing apoptosis of tumor cells. Nevertheless, G. lucidum extracts are already used in commercial pharmaceuticals such as MC-S for suppressing cancer cell proliferation and migration.

Additional studies indicate that ganoderic acid can help to strengthen the liver against liver injury by viruses and other toxic agents in mice, suggesting a potential benefit of this compound in the prevention of liver diseases in humans, and Ganoderma-derived sterols inhibit lanosterol 14?-demethylase activity in the biosynthesis of cholesterol . Ganoderma compounds inhibit 5-alpha reductase activity in the biosynthesis of dihydrotestosterone.

Besides effects on mammalian physiology, Ganoderma is reported to have anti-bacterial and anti-viral activities. Ganoderma is reported to exhibit direct anti-viral with the following viruses; HSV-1, HSV-2, influenza virus, vesicular stomatitis. Ganoderma mushrooms are reported to exhibit direct anti-microbial properties with the following organisms; Aspergillus niger, Bacillus cereus, Candida albicans, and Escherichia coli.

Preparation
Due to its bitter taste, Lingzhi is traditionally prepared as a hot water extract. Thinly sliced or pulverized lingzhi (either fresh or dried) is added to a pot of boiling water, the water is then brought to a simmer, and the pot is covered; the lingzhi is then simmered for two hours. The resulting liquid is fairly bitter in taste, with the more active red lingzhi more bitter than the black. The process is sometimes repeated. Alternatively, it can be used as an ingredient in a formula decoction or used to make an extract (in liquid, capsule, or powder form). The more active red forms of lingzhi are far too bitter to be consumed in a soup.


You may click to see: Ganoderma Lucidum – The Wonder Herb :

Can Ganoderma Lucidum cure your stubborn diseases?”

Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides can induce human monocytic leukemia cells into dendritic cells with immuno-stimulatory function:

Ganoderma lucidum, Reishi or Ling Zhi, a fungus used in oriental medicine. :

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.mushroomexpert.com/ganoderma_lucidum.html
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail299.php
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lingzhi_mushroom

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Herbs & Plants

Maitake Mushroom (Grifola frondosa)

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Botanical Name :Grifola frondosa
Family: Meripilaceae
Genus: Grifola
Kingdom: Fungi
Phylum: Basidiomycota
Class: Agaricomycetes
Order: Polyporales
Species: G. frondosaDietary supplement
Common Names:    Maitake mushroom , Hen of the Woods

The mushroom is commonly known among English speakers as Hen-of-the-Woods, Ram’s Head and Sheep’s Head. In the United States‘ supplement market, as well as in Asian grocery stores, the mushroom is known by its Japanese name “Maitake”, which means “dancing mushroom”. G. frondosa should not be confused with Laetiporus sulphureus, another edible bracket fungus that is commonly called chicken of the woods or “sulphur shelf“. The fungus becomes inedible like all polypores when they are older, because it is too tough to eat.


Habitat
: The fungus is native to the northeastern part of Japan and North America, and is prized in traditional Chinese and Japanese herbology as a medicinal mushroom, an aid to balance out altered body systems to a normal level. Grifola frondosa is a polypore mushroom that grows in clusters at the base of  old trees, particularly oaks.

Description:
Like the sulphur shelf mushroom, G. frondosa is a perennial fungus that often grows in the same place for a number of years in succession. It occurs most prolifically in the northeastern regions of the United States, but has been found as far west as Idaho.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Plant Class:perennial fungus – (edible mushroom)

Fruit: The fruiting body rises up from a underground tuber-like structure, about the size of a potato. Maitake mushrooms are very large, can grow up to over 50 pounds, occurring as large as 60 cm. The small multiple grayish-brown caps are fused together in a clusterand are often curled or spoon-shaped,overlapping with wavy margins and 2-7 cm broad.
G. frondosa grows from an underground tuber-like structure, about the size of a potato. The fruiting body, occurring as large as 60 cm, is a cluster consisting of multiple grayish-brown caps which are often curled or spoon-shaped, with wavy margins and 2-7 cm broad. The undersurface of each cap bears approximately one to three pores per millimeter, with the tubes rarely deeper than 3 mm. The milky-white stipe (stalk) has a branchy structure and becomes tough as the mushroom matures.

In Japan, the Maitake can grow to more than 50 pounds (20 kilograms), earning this giant mushroom the title “King of Mushrooms.” Maitake is one of the major culinary mushrooms used in Japan, the others being shiitake, shimeji and enoki. They are used in a wide variety of dishes, often being a key ingredient in nabemono or cooked in foil with butter.

Most Japanese people find its taste and texture enormously appealing,  though the mushroom has been alleged to cause allergic reactions in rare cases.

Use in traditional Oriental medicine:

Common Uses: Cancer Prevention * General Health Tonics * Hypertension HBP * Immune System * Liver *
Properties:  Adaptogens* Immunostimulant* Hepatic* Hypotensive*
Parts Used: whole mushroom
Constituents: complex immunostimulant polysaccharides,including beta-glucan starch, amino acids, water, minerals: potassium, calcium, and magnesium, vitamins (b2, d2 and niacin)

The underground tubers from which hen of the woods arises have been used in traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine to enhance the immune system. Researchers have also indicated that whole maitake has the ability to regulate blood pressure, glucose, insulin, and both serum and liver lipids, such as cholesterol, triglycerides, and phospholipids, and may also be useful for weight loss.

Maitake is rich in minerals (such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium), various vitamins (B2, D2 and niacin), fibers and amino acids. One active constituent in Maitake for enhancing the immune activity was identified in the late 1980s as a protein-bound beta-glucan compound.

Maitake’s use as an adaptogen?an herb arose in classic Chinese and Japanese medicine. Maitake and its extracts have been shown to significantly boost the immune system and build immune reserves. It also contains a number of polysaccharides ( beta-glucan) that have been shown to fight the formation and growth of tumors, putting maitake in use in cancer prevention strategies. Maitake helps to protect and support the liver and can lower blood pressure and blood-glucose levels, and may also be useful for weight loss.

Maitake mushroom for :Cancer

Maitake is a proven cancer fighter. In laboratory tests, powdered maitake increased the activity of three types of immune cell–macrophages, natural killer (NK) cells, and T cells–by 140, 186, and 160 percent, respectively. The anticancer compound in maitake, sold commercially as the maitake D-fraction, has shown positive results in American studies on breast and colorectal cancer.

Maitake research:
In 2009, a phase I/II human trial, conducted by Memorial Sloan–Kettering Cancer Center, showed Maitake could stimulate the immune systems of breast cancer patients. Small experiments with human cancer patients, have shown Maitake can stimulate immune system cells, like NK cells.In vitro research has also shown Maitake can stimulate immune system cells. An in vivo experiment showed that Maitake could stimulate both the innate immune system and adaptive immune system.

In vitro research has shown Maitake can induce apoptosis in cancer cell lines (human prostatic cancer cells, Hep 3B cells, SGC-7901 cells, murine skin carcinoma cells) as well as inhibit the growth of various types of cancer cells (canine cancer cells, bladder cancer cells).Small studies with human cancer patients, revealed a portion of the Maitake mushroom, known as the “Maitake D-fraction”, possess anti-cancer activity. In vitro research demonstrated the mushroom has potential anti-metastatic properties. In 1997, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved an Investigational New Drug Application for a portion of the mushroom.

Research has shown Maitake has a hypoglycemic effect, and may be beneficial for the management of diabetes. The reason Maitake lowers blood sugar is due to the fact the mushroom naturally contains a alpha glucosidase inhibitor.

Maitake contains antioxidants and may partially inhibit the enzyme cyclooxygenase. An experiment showed that an extract of Maitake inhibited angiogenesis via inhibition of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF).

Lys-N is a unique protease found in Maike. Lys-N is used for proteomics experiments due to its protein cleavage specifity.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grifola_frondosa
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail432.php

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