All mushrooms are classified as low-fat foods and are rich in nutrients. They are a great source of minerals like iron, copper, magnesium, calcium, potassium and phosphorus, as well as vitamins B, C, and D. Besides supplying nutrients, mushrooms play additional roles and are considered functional foods rather than regular ones. Mushrooms have medicinal and health benefits due to the rich package of bioactive compounds in their composition. Some of the most famous belong to the Ganoderma species, with the reishi or ling zhi being the ones with therapeutic effects. The market for Ganoderma varieties is estimated at over 1.5 billion dollars in the United States, which proves their popularity and very high commercial value. Some of these mushrooms are believed to provide a range of health benefits from liver protection and blood sugar balance to the activation of the immune system. Many other mushrooms are cultivated for medicinal purposes. These include the shiitake mushroom (Lentinula edodes) and the so-called Chinese mushroom, also known as the straw mushroom or Volvariella volvacea in scientific terms. A variety with significant benefits that is harvested from the wild is the chaga mushroom, or Inonotus obliquus. Cordyceps sinensis is another type with commercial importance, cultivated in Asian countries like Nepal or China. Like many other mushrooms, gilled polypore is known to have anti-tumour properties. It was also found to kill the influenza virus and to improve the circulation of blood. Most species are effective antibiotics and antivirals; some are also able to eliminate parasites, bacteria and fungi. Even common edible mushrooms like Oudemansiella mucida or Agaricus blazei provide such benefits, a third example often consumed as food is Hypsizygus marmoreus. Fungi with antiviral effects are Ganoderma applanatum, Inonotus obliquus, Volvariella volvacea, Armillaria mellea, Agrocybe aegerita and Dendropolyporus umbellatus. Anti-inflammatory properties have been identified in edible mushrooms such as Laetiporus sulphureus and Marasmius androsaceus. Varieties that can't be consumed have similar properties, for example gilled polypore, Fomes fomentarius and Piptoporus betulinus. Mushrooms are known to have anti-tumour properties and are being investigated as part of the search for a cure for cancer. Gilled polypore is one of the species that slows down the expansion of tumours, as well as an oyster mushroom with the scientific name Pleurotus pulmonarius. This was confirmed by the preliminary results of some animal studies. Mushrooms pair very well with chemotherapy. Grifola frondosa is useful in natural remedies against hyperlipidemia and hypercholesterolaemia. It can balance the level of cholesterol and fats in the blood, which is useful for people who suffer from heart diseases. The liver can also be protected in a natural way with the help of mushrooms, using the power of fungi like Ganoderma lucidum or Lentinula edodes. There are several ways to take advantage of the health benefits of mushrooms. They are often included in preparations like soups, tonics, tinctures, herbal teas. However, some of these formulas have not been scientifically tested, so it's a good idea to ask for an advice from your doctor, who can decide on the proper prescription. This is especially important if you suffer from chronic or serious diseases. Never abandon your normal medication and be aware that herbal remedies can have unexpected consequences. They can serve as supplements, rather than the main treatment.
The gilled polypore decomposes dead wood of hardwoods and rarely conifers, living as a saprobic species. Gilled polypore is found in both Europe and North America. Except the extreme southwest, gilled polypore is widespread all across the United States. The most common host tree in Europe is the birch, which actually explains the scientific name of the species, while in the USA it can be found on many hardwoods. The fruiting bodies are found during the summer and autumn but have a very tough structure, so can persist on trees for the entire year.