Medicinal mushrooms have an established history of use in traditional oriental therapies. Contemporary research has validated and documented much of the ancient knowledge. The interdisciplinary field of medicinal mushrooms studies was developed and continues to reveal unique and potent properties of compounds extracted from a wide range of medicinal mushroom species in the last three decades. Currently, the field is growing into a very fruitful area. Modern clinical practice in Japan, China, Korea, and other Asian countries rely on mushroom-derived preparations.
Mushrooms are being evaluated for their nutritional value and acceptability as well as for their pharmacological properties. Recent studied medicinal actions of mushrooms include antitumor, immunomodulating, antioxidant, radical scavenging, cardiovascular, anti-hypercholesterolemia, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-parasitic, hepatoprotective, and anti-diabetic effects.
The majority of studies in medicinal mushroom science today include the anticancer action of mushroom components.