Up to the seventeenth century, only the wild types of mushrooms found growing in fields were known. Even though the modern cultivated type is readily available and relatively nutritious, wild mushrooms have stronger properties and are worth finding.
We would like to make the point that it is VERY important not to consume mushroom you have foraged unless you know what you're doing!
Some mushrooms may be deadly. If in doubt, err on the side of caution and avoid consumption.
Mushrooms are a good source of B vitamins (including B12) and germanium, an element that improves cellular oxygenation, counteracts the effects of pollutants and enhances immunity.
The Chinese Ganoderma (ling zhi) mushroom is thought to tonify immunity the best and appears to have a strong effect against tumors and cancers.
The physical cellular structure of mushrooms has been shown to be very similar to that of deer and other animal horn. This may explain some of their medicinal properties and their lack of usage in Ayurvedic medicine, as well as their Tamasic quality.
If marinated in oil and lemon juice mushrooms can be tolerated by Vata, otherwise best left for Pitta and Kapha.
Mushroom decreases the fat level in the blood, helps to rid the respiratory system of excess mucus,and has antibiotic properties. Mushroom can be used to treat contagious hepatitis, increases white blood cell count and thereby bolster immunity against disease-producing microorganisms. They have anti-tumor activity and can help stop post-surgery cancer metastasis,they promotes appetite, improve recovery time from measles by causing them to ripen.
Most mushrooms, including the button variety, have the ability to reduce the "heat toxins" from meat-eating (toxic reactions with heat signs).
Shiitake mushrooms have more salty and pungent taste than regular mushrooms and are beneficial to the stomach and said to be a natural source of interferon, a protein which appears to induce an immune response against cancer and viral diseases. Used in the treatment of cancer, especially cancers of the stomach and cervix. It decreases both fat and cholesterol in the blood and helps discharge the excess residues of accumulated animal protein.
Caution: Long-term vegans should use all mushrooms sparingly unless a specific mushroom is needed for treating a disease process. Consumption of mushrooms can be too cleansing during convalescence.