Q:

Do mushrooms provide medicinal benefits?

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Quick Answer

Certain mushrooms, such as shitake, enoki, reiki and maitake, have medicinal benefits that include lowering cholesterol, fighting cancer and viruses, reducing blood pressure and sugar and strengthening the immune system, advises Andrew Weil, M.D. White or button mushrooms have natural carcinogens, and people should not consume them raw.

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Do mushrooms provide medicinal benefits?
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Full Answer

People can consume some exotic mushrooms as either food or medicine while other mushrooms are only for medicinal purposes, explains Andrew Weil, M.D. Purely medicinal mushrooms may be available in powder, extract or capsule form. White or button mushrooms are safe for consumption after they are cooked at high temperatures to destroy the natural carcinogens they contain. Mushrooms that have medicinal benefits do not contain natural carcinogens.

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