What is Agaricus, the “Mushroom of God”?
“What is Agaricus, the “Mushroom of God”?
Another powerful ingredient contained in Umi No Shizuku, alongside fucoidan, is agaricus. The scientific name of this mushroom is Agaricus blazei Murill, while in Japan it is called either “hime-matsutake” or “kawari-haratake”.
The agaricus mushroom has been long treasured; certainly by the late 1800s there are records showing that its medicinal properties were recognized. Despite this, it is only recently that researchers around the world have started to focus their attention on this incredible mushroom.
Back in the 1960s, the inhabitants of the Piedade region of São Paulo in Brazil were widely known for their good health and longevity. In the process of trying to understand why, researchers discovered that the agaricus mushroom, which grew in the region, formed part of the daily diet of the Piedade villagers. This led to the pharmacological effects of the agaricus mushroom being studied in the United States.
The agaricus mushroom is rich in nutrients, including proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Most importantly, it has a higher concentration of the polysaccharide β-glucan–found only in mushrooms–than other types. β-glucan is thought to help support immunity, and its discovery provides evidence to the long-held belief that there are health benefits to ingesting the agaricus mushroom.
Fucoidan and agaricus together: a synergistic effect
The research and development process for Umi No Shizuku focused on creating a supplement that offered ultimate immunity support. The agaricus mushroom was one of the materials we considered pairing with fucoidan.
As we developed Umi No Shizuku, we experimented with combinations of fucoidan and various other ingredients believed to offer outstanding immunity support: Black hoof mushroom (Phellinus linteus), Caterpillar fungus (Ophiocordyceps sinensis), Golden oyster mushroom (Pleurotus citrinopileatus), Lion’s mane mushroom (Hericium erinaceum), Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum), propolis, turmeric, ginseng, and isoflavone. Our results showed that the most effective combination was the agaricus mushroom together with two types of fucoidan: a unique blend we called Fucoidan Mix AG.
Choosing mycelium over the fruiting body
Mushrooms have two distinct parts: what we call the “fruiting body”, which is the part normally consumed, and something called “mycelium”, which is the thread-like structure of its rooting system. The composition of these two parts is different, and the agaricus mushroom is no exception. In the agaricus mushroom, the highest concentration of β-glucan–thought to be the source of its beneficial effects–is found in the fruiting body. However, at Umi No Shizuku, we use the mycelium, since it is safer and, as well as the β-glucan, contains a better balance of other nutrients, including proteins, amino acids, and minerals.
Sugarcane bagasse cultivated agaricus means high functionality
The agaricus mushroom used in Umi No Shizuku is distinct in other ways too. In general, mushrooms are cultivated using sawdust and wood scrap as a culture medium. However, the agaricus mushroom is vulnerable to a wide range of bacteria, making it challenging to grow them on sawdust. It is possible to grow agaricus quickly in liquid culture, but the speed of cultivation results in decreased functionality. In response, at Umi No Shizuku we use a unique alternative to sawdust: sugarcane bagasse cultivation.
“Bagasse” refers to the fibrous material left after the juice has been extracted from sugarcane. Bagasse-cultivated agaricus mushrooms are packed with nutrients, having been able to lay down roots in a solid culture medium that’s clean and nutrient-rich.
Umi No Shizuku is formulated with a unique blend of bagasse-cultivated agaricus mycelium and two types of fucoidan (Mozuku [Cladosiphon okamuranus] and Mekabu [Undaria pinnatifida], developed to offer ultimate immunity support.