Mushrooms as medicinal and therapeutic agents
Main Article Content
Mushrooms constitute a broad group of macrofungi, distributed all over the world, and serves as a reliable source of nutrients and medicine. While the importance of mushroom as single cell protein is well characterized, its potentiality in medical application is much less addressed and characterized. Mushrooms harbor several bioactive compounds of pharmacological significance like β-glucans, terpenes, steroids, proteins and peptides which exhibit antimicrobial, antiviral, anticancer, anti-angiogenic, anti-neurodegenerative, antioxidant, anti-thrombotic, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, immunomodulatory and hypoglycemic properties. Agaricus blazei, Ganoderma, Auricularia, Lentinus, Flammulina, Grifola, Trametes (Coriolus), Tremella and Pleurotus are some of the mushrooms which have been used in medicines. However, there are yet unidentified and uncharacterized mushrooms available in nature and large scale exploitation of mushrooms to resolve clinical symptoms will depend on more research in identifying novel compounds and conducting extensive clinical trials in human subjects.
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