We live in an age in which human health issues are openly and publically discussed, including leading killer diseases such as cancers, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and hypertension influenced by changes in lifestyles and dietary intake. We urgently need to increase our knowledge and technology required for a fair and effective global response. Human health disadvantages are not limited to poor nations or poor segments of societies. Even the highly educated, wealthier families in both less developed and well-developed countries live with health problems. Numerous studies have shown that regular consumption of mushroom species, as either a regular health food (nutraceuticals) or as dietary supplements (nutriceuticals) from extracted compounds, is effective in both preventing and treating diseases, mainly through immune-stimulating activity. The mushroom nutriceuticals are often polysaccharides (especially β-glucans), which come from fruit bodies, but can also be derived from mycelia, culture broths, spores, and sclerotium. Human health may be divided into three states: health, sub-health, and illness; mushrooms are relevant for all these states. Mushrooms can be mainly used as -food for a healthy state, as medicine for ill states, and as dietary supplements for a sub-healthy state as well as for both healthy and ill states.

Nowadays, medicinal mushrooms (MM)s are used as: a) dietary food (world mushroom production was 30 min tons in 2012); b) dietary supplement (DS) products (the market of MM DS products is quickly growing and comprises a value of more than 18 billion US dollars per year); c) a new class of drugs called "Mushroom Pharmaceuticals"; d) natural bio-control agents in plant protection with insecticidal, fungicidal, bactericidal, herbicidal, nematocidal, and antyphytoviral activities; and e) cosmeceuticals, different compounds of MMs including polysaccharides, such as soluble β-glucans, glucuronoxylomannan, sacchachitin, tyrosinase, and other enzymes are used by cosmetic companies for their film-forming capability, activation epidermal growth factor, antioxidative, antiallergic, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory activities, stimulation of collagen activity, inhibition of autoimmune vitiligo, and acne.

MM science made great progress in the last 30 years. A really successful new branch of science (Medicinal Mushroom Science) has been recognized. New classes of MM drugs and different types of MM products were developed. A unique journal in the field, the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms (Begell House, USA) was organized. Every 2 years an International Medicinal Mushroom Conference has been organized; the next one (8th) will take place in August 2015 in Colombia.

Approximately 400 clinical trial studies were published on different illnesses using MMs. More than 50,000 scientific papers were published and approximately 15,000 patents dedicated to studying different aspects of MMs were received. From 2005, each year 250-350 patents were registered for Lingzhi or Reishi –Ganoderma lucidum.

Almost three years after conceiving the idea of forming a society devoted to research, development, improvement, and dissemination of medicinal mushrooms in the world, a new society was finally born in Beijing in August 2013. The International Society for Medicinal Mushrooms emphasized both the academic (research) and the applied (industry) aspects of medicinal mushrooms. In practically every science there are always these two aspects to consider-it is like two sides of a coin: inseparable and yet distinct. Knowledge of one is bound to enhance that of the other. The two are invariably complementary to one another and only by combining the existing knowledge of both in the same treatise, as will be done in this Society, can we hope to integrate the science of MMs to the fullest extent, and hopefully for the mutual benefit of the researchers, on the one hand, and the industrialists, on the other. This Society, therefore, is undertaking a gigantic task but unless the members and all other concerned people start something tangible towards this end, nothing would be accomplished.

Establishing and supporting a Society that promotes better health for mankind through the consumption of MMs as a food or as dietary supplements will benefit succeeding generations. We urge all scientists, industrialists, biotechnologists, and health professionals in all fields to unite in this global effort.

Professor Shu Ting Chang

Professor Solomon P. Wasser


Dear friends,

As the ISMM’s official website comes into service, let us celebrate the establishment of this new international exchange platform for Medicinal Mushroom Sciences together. The platform represents not only friendship, cooperation and exchange of medicinal mushroom professionals, but also the fabulous achievements of scientific and technological innovations in medicinal mushrooms. Meanwhile, it illuminates the harmony between medicinal mushrooms and human beings, as well as the invaluable benefits that they offer to our lives.

With the development of medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, cell biology, molecular biology and other related disciplines, global efforts have been taken to conduct in-depth researches on chemical structures, pharmacological effects and clinical application of a series compounds derived from medicinal mushrooms, which have greatly advanced the process of exploitation of medicinal mushrooms. Medicinal properties derived from medicinal mushrooms such as polysaccharides, glycoproteins, polypeptides and a variety of compounds with small molecules, have become more and more popular. The emergence of the mushroom-derived chemical constituents shows bright prospects to the global pharmaceutical industry.

Codyceps spp. is of common interest to global professionals, and provides a good example. It is far from the “Cordyceps Development Rush” caused by a piece of news in which a famous athletic team in China called “Ma’s team” and one of its members, Wang Junxia claimed that their success in winning a few world championship was attributed to taking Cordyceps. Instead, research interests are no longer focused on the single species- Ophiocordyceps sinensis (Cordyceps sinensis), but expanded to the entire “Cordyceps world”. Statistics from Google website showed that the search results of the word “Cordycops” had 547 thousand entries on December 15, 2013, 201 times of the number of literature reporting on Cordyceps (27,200). Although the number of the entries reached only 1.2% of that in the Chinese Web Search - Baidu (Ca. 45.1 million entries), its increase rate is already amazing.

To all nationalities in the world, the traditional medicines, a concurrent theory to modern fungal medicines, is a complete theory of its own, which plays an essential role on providing guidelines for the research and development of fungal medicines, which further demonstrates the uniqueness and advantages of medicinal mushrooms. Therefore, the integration of traditional and modern medicines can provide a significant and substantial efficient way to research.

“Watching her reaching her snow-white hands into the holy river, pluck the gracefully dark Lingzhi from the roaring current, I was charmed by her elegance and beauty, my heart was stirred and lost.” (From The Ode of the Luo River Goddess, in appraisal of the beauty, by the celebrated poet Cao Zhi, lived 192-232 A.D, during the period of Three Kingdoms). This verse in one of the most appreciated poems from two thousand years ago, portraits the affection of people over fungal medicine. Today, I would like to join my global fellow scientists and colleagues of medicinal mushrooms with a cheerful heart, to celebrate the opening of the website. I would also encourage all of us to continuously make contributions to this platform, and let us make the future brilliant in a joint effort!

I would like to thank Prof. S. T. Chang, the world-renowned mushroom scientist, Prof. S. P. Wasser, chief editor of International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, as well as other specialists, scientists for their efforts and support. I am sure that we would not make them disappointed, but spare no effort to make it successful. This website will be a compilation of creativeness work and strength of people from the industry world-wide, posting updates of the industry, communication of the latest achievements, and analysis of the industry, by doing so, we hope that we will be making greater contributions to the happiness and health of human beings.

“The fresh lotus just buds, showing its tender tip of its leaves, a dragonfly is soothing himself by clinging to it.” (From The Little Pond, written by Yang Wanli, a great poet in Song Dynasty). As another Chinese poem pictures, the official website of the International Society of Medicinal Mushrooms, overflowing with vigor, will become popular to the world rapidly.

Yu Li, Professor 
President of ISMM 
Member of Chinese Academy of Engineering


Dear friends,

The website of International Society for Medicinal Mushrooms steadily serves as an Internet platform in high quality for our global academics and industry professionals. Through this global platform, we are looking forward to provide our continue contributions to the human health and welfare in a joint effort by gathering scientist, technicians and engineers in medicinal mushroom research and industrialization, as well as industry entrepreneurs and employees.

Let us work together for this promising prospect!

Hui Chen 
Executive chairman of ISMM

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