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International Research Journal of Plant Science

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Medicinal mushrooms - a novel crop for horticultural diversification in India

Abstract

S. S. Veena and Meera Pandey

Wide range of agro-climatic conditions that exists in India favour cultivation of a large variety of horticultural crops, including mushrooms. Mushrooms enjoy high economic value because of their nutraceutical properties. They can be successfully cultivated in an eco-friendly manner through efficient use of land and natural resources. Besides strengthening nutritional security, mushroom cultivation provides employment to resource less farmers and especially the womenfolk. In recent years, there has been a huge upsurge of interest in mushrooms as a vegetable and the production has increased to more than a lakh tonne in India. Even though cultivation of edible mushroom is expanding moderately, enough attention had not been given to either create awareness or cultivate medicinal mushrooms in India. Medicinal mushrooms are used as a remedy to treat more than 20 different illnesses, which include cardiovascular problems, cancer, leukemia, leucopoenia, hepatitis, nephritis, gastritis, insomnia, asthma and bronchitis. Scientific evidence has been accumulating during the last two decades on their disease curing and rejuvenating effects on human health. This paper deals with the importance, mushrooms, suitability and cultivation potential of medicinal mushrooms in India

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