Biomedical effects of mushrooms with emphasis on pure compounds

Biomed J. 2014 Nov-Dec;37(6):357-68. doi: 10.4103/2319-4170.143502.


Medicinal mushrooms show great promise for disease treatments. They have been employed in the Orient and Occident for thousands of years, although the practice has persisted in the East. They remain highly valuable. Authentic human trials and pure compounds are emphasized in this review of the most current literature. Polysaccharides from the fungi appear effective in cancer treatments and low-molecular-weight compounds also attract much interest. However, reports of toxicity must be taken seriously. Prescriptions for mushrooms and preparations need to be given by qualified medical practitioners. The reason why these preparations are not more widely used in the West is related to problems of (A) intellectual property rights, (B) mass production, and (C) obtaining pure compounds that retain activity. Mushroom compounds require testing against infectious diseases such as those caused by bacteria, because the current antibiotics are failing from resistances. Overall, the future is assured for medicinal mushrooms.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Agaricales*
  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Communicable Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Weight
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Prescriptions


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Plant Extracts