Almond mushroom (Agaricus subrufescens) is a type of medicinal mushroom belonging to the Agaricaceae family of mushrooms. The mushroom was initially discovered in 1893, and named after its almond-like taste. Since it's discovery, it has been cultivated worldwide as a valuable health food source and use in alternative medicine. A. subrufescens has been used as a medicinal food for the prevention of cancer, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, arteriosclerosis, and chronic hepatitis, and is known to stimulate the immune system in humans.
The bioactive compounds isolated from A. subrufescens are mainly polysaccharides such as riboglucans and glucomannans. It's fruiting bodies contain high levels of valuable minerals, e.g. potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and zinc.
Almond mushroom is shown to serve as an immune system booster if added to the chickens' diet.
Anti-tumor and anti-cancer activities
There have been many studies showing the anti-tumor activity of almond mushroom, which are generally attributed to polysaccharides with beta glucan branches. The main polysaccharides in A. subrufescens are from the beta glucan protein complex.