My 13-year old and I were both home sick. He wasn't so sick he couldn't watch TV and talk about doing his homework, and I wasn't so sick, I couldn't check my email, but we were both stuffed-up and lethargic, or as my SAT-studying-17-year old might say, overcome with lassitude.
In a study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, dogs with hemangiosarcoma -- an aggressive, malignant cancer that develops in the cells of blood vessels -- were given a compound derived from a type of mushroom, Coriolus versicolor.
She grew up in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, where a meal meant "the three-point landing -- a huge hunk of meat and two little piles of something vegetable-ish." She moved to Portland for culinary school but kept her Sheboygan mindset. Food meant "midwest fare -- always meatcentric," she says.
Feeding upon the dead roots of aging trees, maitake mushrooms emerge from dark grey mounds that form a few inches under the soil at that base of the tree. From the underside of their flaring leaf-like protrusions, white spores dust the ground below or are sent adrift into the wind.
While we cannot yet state that reishi mushrooms extend the disease-free period of cancer patients, reishi remains as an excellent candidate for augmenting chemotherapy, according to some cancer researchers.
I am convinced Agarikon and other polypore mushrooms hold yet-undiscovered medicines of incalculable value. If Agarikon's antivirals prove to be effective in clinical trials, I do not think it is an exaggeration to say we should save our old growth forests as a matter of national defense.