The hen of the woods can be recognized by its numerous and fleshy caps, which are 3-10 cm in diameter, wavy and wedge-shaped at the base. The top of the leg and the bottom of the cap are covered with a layer of fine tubes, where the spores are formed. The surface of the cap, depending on the light, can vary from grayish-greenish to grayish-pink tones. The cap of the mushroom is fleshy- leathery, rough, radially wrinkled surface with an uneven, wavy edge. The legs are branched, flat, coming from one base, becoming grayish or creamy when dry. Central trunk thick and short. The white pulp is brittle, edible, tasty, slightly reminiscent of the taste of nuts with a pronounced "mushroom" smell. The tubes under the cap are 2-4mm long. Spore powder in white color.
The fungus grows on the stumps and bases of old oaks, hemlocks and other deciduous trees, damaging the wood, causing white rot. Grifolas appear on trees from mid-August to mid-October. Although the fungus can live on one tree for years, it may not appear for other years and then grow again.
Such a mushroom growth can reach up to 20 kg in weight and up to 1 meter in diameter. This mushroom has a huge advantage - its growth speed: a 10 kilogram mushroom can grow in 8-10 days. And neither worms nor insects eat this mushroom.
This mushroom is harvested in August and September. Young mushrooms are harvested for medicinal purposes as well as for food, as an old mushroom is fibrous and bitter. The young mushroom is cut from the ground or a tree with a sharp knife and cleaned of sand and various leaves and needles. The cleaned mushroom is dried at a temperature not exceeding 50-60C. If necessary, the resulting mass is ground into powder. It can be stored for up to 3 years.
Hen of the woods contains polysaccharides (grifolan, lentinan, beta-D-glucan), steroids, flavonoids, saponins, amino acids, triterpenes, chitin, phytoncides, niacin, group B and D vitamins, minerals - calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, selenium, etc.
This mushroom is widely used in US pharmacology, as this mushroom is one of the 7 most powerful mushrooms with anti-oncology effects in the world. The active substances contained in the mushroom slow down and even stop the development of tumor metastases, protect healthy cells from chemotherapy and radiation, stop the growth of tumors in the early stages. Of course, mushrooms are not only used in oncology, they are also widely used in gynecology - therapeutic effect in the treatment of fibroids, uterine fibroids, mastopathy, cysts. This mushroom has been used since ancient times to reduce climatic and menstrual symptoms, it helps to remove nervousness, sweating, frequency of seizures. Grifola stabilizes a woman's hormonal background.
This mushroom has a unique property - it helps to reduce weight by normalizing metabolism and hormonal background. And the extract of this mushroom has long been included in various diets, such as the popular Japanese "Jamakiro".
Mushrooms are used in diabetes, various fungal diseases, infections, autoimmune diseases, hypertension and cardiovascular pathologies. This mushroom can also be used in liver diseases, as it will have a protective effect.
Grifola extract is used in chronic hepatitis and liver cirrhosis. The mushroom enhances interferon synthesis, strengthens immunity, normalizes blood sugar content, and also normalizes the amount of cholesterol. Thanks to the fact that grifola normalizes the hormonal and metabolic processes of the body, it is able to reduce weight.
As it is already understood, this mushroom is also widely used in pharmacology. Organic polysaccharides from the d-fraction, which are part of grifola, and beta-glucan grifolan properties, have a therapeutic effect on the human body.
Foreign mycologists together with pharmacologists have discovered the valuable properties of this mushroom. Buckwheat has the strongest anti-tumor properties, antiviral activity against the HIV virus, which was confirmed by the US National Cancer Institute.
This fungus is often able to act more effectively than anticancer drugs, which are based on various chemical compounds. According to the experiments of American scientists, the substances contained in the mushroom suppress the growth of tumors, prevent the development of cancer cells, and stimulate the activity of CD4-cells and T-lymphocytes. Polysaccharides regulate blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Preparations made on the basis of grifola extract stand out with very good tolerability, because they do not have a toxic effect, as chemotherapy preparations do. Beneficially affects type 2 diabetics.
Hen of the woods is recommended for use in case of arterial hypertension, diabetes, atherosclerosis, overweight, hepatitis B and C, chronic fatigue syndrome.
The hen of the woods is known not only in pharmacology, but has also been widely used in folk medicine since ancient times. Already in Chinese medical treatises, this mushroom was mentioned in 1200 BC.
This mushroom, dried and ground into powder, is used as an antiseptic to heal burns, ulcers and slow-healing wounds. Also used to treat various skin diseases.
Dried mushroom powder is also used for water infusions, which are used as a remedy for headaches, bronchial and lung diseases, tuberculosis. Grifola infusions are used to treat hypertension, diseases of the digestive organs, stomach ulcers, constipation and flatulence.
Mushroom decoction is used as an antihelminthic remedy, and this decoction also strengthens the body.
This mushroom is also used in dermatology and cosmetology. This mushroom is used as a component of various face and body creams because of its anti-inflammatory, soothing, antioxidant properties. Creams and masks, which are made on the basis of the hen of the woods , restore and nourish the existing skin cells, restore the firmness of the skin, fighting the effect of premature aging. The active components of the mushroom clean the skin pores and treat "black dots" on the skin.
Grifola contains a lot of biologically valuable substances, but their excessive use can also be harmful - causing stomach upset, because the mushroom also contains chitin (a cell envelope that cannot be digested by humans). Of course, Grifola should not be used by pregnant women, lactating mothers and children under 12 years of age. Of course, even if there is an individual intolerance to the plant and a tendency to allergies.