Okinawan Longevity Secrets: Agaricus Subrufescens
Agaricus Subrufescens (also known as Agaricus Blazei Murill) is an edible mushroom originally grown in Brazil, where it is known as "God's mushroom", and has long been said to be effective against a variety of illnesses. It is shaped like a temple bell, with a brown cap and white stalk. Aside from the difference in color, it resembles a button mushroom, but it is somewhat larger, with a cap of 5–10cm. Agaricus subrufescens is said to have first been introduced to Japan as a health food product around 1965. Research was to follow, and around 1980, its medicinal benefits and composition were reported upon by the Japanese Cancer Association, the Japanese Pharmacological Society, and other groups. Its antitumor effects have attracted the most attention, and it is said to strengthen the immune system and contain many components effective in terms of anti-cancer action, and the amelioration of conditions such as hepatitis C, diabetes, high blood pressure. Its chief components are macromolecular polysaccharides such as β‐D‐glucan, in addition to which it contains abundant amounts of linoleic acid, vitamins, and minerals. It is hoped that these components will promote activation and multiplication of white blood cells, strengthening antitumor effects and anticancer action. Though agaricus subrufescens may be a relatively recent arrival to the area, Okinawa is strongly associated with health. Perhaps for this reason, it is cultivated in the region, and many distributors market it nationwide as an "Okinawa-produced" health food product. At first, artificial cultivation and mass production seemed difficult, but these problems were overcome due to the establishment of biotechnological production methods. Recently, while agaricus subrufescens products have also become available from South Korea and other neighboring countries, manufacturers in Okinawa are developing products that retain the unique Okinawa character through techniques such as the use of bagasse (fibrous sugarcane residue). As a mushroom, agaricus subrufescens can naturally also be eaten raw, but it is rarely seen on display in local supermarkets or other shops. What has been commercialized is predominantly dried granules or extract. Please have a look at our agaricus blazei and other medicinal mushroom products.