There are at least 270 species of mushrooms known to have various therapeutic properties. The practice of using mushrooms in Chinese herbal medicines has been recorded in early records of the Materia Medica. The earliest book on medicinal compounds in China, the Shen Noug’s Herbel (100-200AD), recorded the medicinal effects of several mushrooms, including Ganoderma lucidum, Wolfiporia extensa, Tremella fuciformis and others.
Although mushrooms are still harvested in their natural habitats, our ability to cultivate many different mushroom species has improved greatly over the past few decades. As a result, large numbers of scientific studies on medicinal mushrooms over the past three decades, especially in Japan, China and Korea, have confirmed the traditional uses and also demonstrated new applications for health benefits.