Mushrooms are actually more than just simple fungi. These are even valued as a type of medicine for many years already aside from being an additional ingredient to a lot of exotic dishes. Recognized by many cultures all across the globe, these mushrooms are considered essential components of any healthy ecosystem. In addition to this, mushrooms are also considered to be potent herbs in boosting the immune system of the body. These days, studies and experiments have already produced many findings with regards to various medicinal mushrooms in the world. These mushrooms have great promises in preventing and curing many types of diseases and are also known to posses solutions to various maladies that a lot of us are already experiencing nowadays. One example of these beneficial mushrooms is called the Zhu Ling mushrooms.
What are Zhu Ling mushrooms?
The Zhu Ling mushrooms or scientifically known as Polyporus umbellatus is a rare type of inedible species of mushrooms that are found growing on the roots of old beeches or oak trees. The fruiting bodies of this mushroom are made up of numerous caps. These caps are about 1 to 4 centimeters in diameter and are light brown in color. These usually grow on the extremities of a strong and many branched stock. However, the compound fungus can grow up to 40 centimeters in diameter. The pores are also narrow and white in color while the stock is whitish grey and comes from a sturdy and tuber like nodule from the underground. The flesh is also white in color and is rather soft at a young age but hardens as it grows older.
The Shu Ling mushrooms or the Polyporus umbellatus is considered as one of the medicinal mushrooms since it contains immunostimulating properties and is found to have anticancer and anti inflammatory benefits. Aside from these, the Zhu Ling mushroom also contains hepatoprotective properties that are very useful for maintaining good liver health.
Benefits of the Zhu Ling Mushroom
This sclerotia-forming mushroom is commonly used in Chinese herbalism as a form of diuretic for many types of urinary infections and edema. Recent or contemporary scientific studies have also backed the claims of it as an antitumor agent. This mushroom likewise contains many therapeutic properties such as antibiotic and antimalarial effects. The Zhu Ling mushroom is also considered by many Chinese as an effective herbal medicine against cirrhosis and hepatitis B. This mushroom is also very useful in boosting the immune system especially in patients who are recovering from lung cancer chemotherapy. This medicinal mushroom can be ingested in the form of tea or capsule and can also be mixed with food.
More Interesting Facts on Zhu Ling Mushrooms
Zhu Ling mushrooms are usually grown in North America aside from China where it considered a basic part of the Chinese herbalism. Despite all the wonderful benefits of these mushrooms in our health, none of these claims have yet been approved by the FDA or the Food and Drug Association. These Zhu Ling mushrooms are considered as saprophytes, which are classifications for organisms that grow on dying roots of hardwood trees like maple and oak.
What are Saprophytes?
Saprophytes are actually organisms that grow on rotting or dying plant materials. These organisms do not produce their own foods rather they are considered as parasites since they benefit on their host without giving any benefits in return. These Zhu Ling mushrooms can also grow new caps every year in the same location or area if the conditions of the environment are still favorable. However, some of these mushrooms are also made up of mycelium. Mycelium is the branching system of the mushrooms that connects the fruiting bodies to the roots they feed on. All in all, the morphology of these Zhu Ling mushrooms is made up of the mycelium, the sclerotium and the fruiting bodies as well as the spores.
Caution about Using Zhu Ling Mushrooms
We all know that these mushrooms can be seen in the wild. However, it is advisable not to pick or use any of these mushrooms unless we are 100% sure that they are the Zhu Ling mushrooms. Not all mushrooms are beneficial for the health, in fact, many of these fungi are considered deadly and extremely poisonous. Some of these mushrooms even look similar to the edible ones, but are actually very hazardous and could be enough kill an average adult person even by touching. These medicinal mushrooms require an expert’s advise prior to using it as a remedy to different diseases.
These are just some of the important facts with regards to the benefits of the Zhu Ling mushrooms. Eating and/or using mushrooms can be very good, but we must be extremely careful when it comes to choosing or selecting the right types of these fungi in order to prevent any toward reactions to our body.