Written by Reeta Immanuel, MA - English | 
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Nithin Jayan, MBBS, DNB on Jan 12, 2019


Mushrooms are undoubtedly, a connoisseur’s gastronomic delight and quite healthy too. Mushrooms do not fall under the animal or plant variety but belong to the kingdom of fungi. With over a thousand types of mushrooms, only a few of them have gained immense popularity. This is mainly due to the exotic flavor and taste besides their medicinal properties.

Mushroom Types - Edible and Poisonous

Different Types of Mushrooms

Although, some kinds of mushrooms belong to the medicinal group, a few others belong to the poisonous and ‘magical’ variety having mind-altering and hallucinogenic properties.

Edible Mushrooms with Medicinal Properties

Morel Mushroom

Super Food’ Morels, used in Eastern India, as traditional medicine, considering their therapeutic benefits hold healthy nutritive content. They help scavenge and destroy disease-causing bacteria, preventing occurrences of serious ailments. Besides promoting immune health, Morels are effective against cancers of the prostate and the breast. They promote metabolic function vision health, produce energy and combat tumors.

Shiitake Mushroom

One of the most popular varieties, commonly available in supermarkets, Shiitake is a classic vegan substitute for meat, boasting of several medicinal compounds. Abundant in vitamin D, these mushrooms with antiviral compounds help combat infections, keeping diseases at arm’s length. Known in the Japanese language, as the ‘Oak Fungus’ these shiitake mushrooms with loads of lentinan are highly beneficial for preventing the formation of cancerous tumors in the body.

Enoki Mushrooms

Enoki Mushrooms growing in willowy white clusters have heads resembling a cap. Cultivated in small glass containers, these mushrooms offer health-enhancing properties, boosting immunity and providing anti-cancerous benefits.

Oyster Mushroom

Oyster Mushrooms derive their name from oysters, owing to the similarity in appearance. Potent antioxidant compounds in oyster mushrooms have sent scientists researching their potential benefits for treating HIV diseases. Apart from this, these mushrooms are contenders for protecting against cancers and facilitating healthy cholesterol levels in the body.

Types of Mushrooms: Oyster Mushroom

Maitake Mushroom

Popularly known as "Hen of the Woods" these delectable Japanese delights comprising of potent anticancer elements, prevent hormone-related cancers of the bladder, ovary and the breast. Maitake mushrooms are known to treat cancer and are also used to relieve some of the side effects of chemotherapy. Owing to the existing antiviral properties, they boost immune health, besides lowering blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

Reishi Mushroom

Owing to the presence of Gandodermic acid, an active compound, the Reishi types offer healthy cardiac benefits. These keep the arteries from clogging, preventing sticking of blood clots to the arterial walls. Because of this, they help maintain healthy levels of blood pressure and cholesterol in the body.

Button Mushroom

Button Mushrooms, possessing specific kind of carbohydrates boost metabolism, thereby keeping blood sugar levels under check. In addition to its high metabolic activity, the white button mushrooms, loaded with selenium, help burn fat, affecting weight loss and preventing the incidence of prostate cancer.

Types of Mushrooms: Button Mushroom

Poisonous Mushrooms with Deadly Toxins

Although, certain varieties of edible mushrooms offer innumerable health benefits, a few others are lethal to the extent of causing death and allergic reactions.

Destroying Angel Mushroom

The most common poisonous variety of mushrooms, the oval-shaped Destroying Angel, possesses amatoxins, one of the major contributors towards mushroom poisoning called mycetism. Within a few hours of consumption, the amatoxin substances destroy the tissues in the kidney and liver ultimately causing mortality.

Death Cap Mushroom

Death caps are common to Asia and Europe. A highly poisonous variety, these are the primary cause for mushroom poisoning across the globe.

Types of Mushrooms: Death Cap Mushroom

False Morel Mushroom

False morels called sponge mushrooms resemble the brain’s exterior. Frequently misidentified as the true morel, the false morels with Mono Methyl Hydrazine (MMH), commonly alleged as carcinogenic, trigger diarrhea, giddiness and vomiting, and even lead to death.

Deadly Galerina Mushroom

The Deadly Gallerina mushroom consisting of amaniti, a critical toxin destroys the central nervous system, the kidneys and the liver.

Nevertheless, with such wide variety of mushrooms, it is advisable to exercise caution in identifying the nature of a mushroom variety before utilizing it for consumption.

Mushrooms, white, raw

The nutritional values of "Mushrooms, white, raw" per 100 grams are:
Nutrition Summary
Total Calories 22
Protein 3.1 g
Fat 0.4 g
Carbohydrate 3.3 g
NutrientsAmount%Daily Value
Calcium, Ca 3 mg 0.3 %
Copper, Cu 0.32 mg 15.9 %
Iron, Fe 0.5  mg 2.78 %
Magnesium, Mg 9 mg 2.25 %
Manganese, Mn 0.05 mg 2.35 %
Phosphorus, P 86 mg 8.6 %
Potassium, K 318  mg 9.09 %
Selenium, Se 9.3 mcg 13.29 %
Sodium, Na 5 mg 0.21 %
Zinc, Zn 0.52 mg 3.47 %
Vitamin A 0  IU 0 %
Vitamin C 2.1 mg 3.5 %
Vitamin B6 0.1 mg 5.2 %
Vitamin E 0.01 mg 0.03 %
Vitamin K 0  mcg 0 %
Riboflavin 0.4  mg 23.65 %
Thiamin 0.08 mg 5.4 %
Folate, DFE 17  mcg 4.25 %
Niacin 3.61  mg 18.04 %
Sugars 1.98 g
Fiber 1  g 4 %
Cholesterol 0 mg 0 %
Water 92.45 g
Carotene, alpha 0 mcg
Carotene, beta 0  mcg
Choline 17.3 mg
Lycopene 0  mcg
View all +
Data source: USDA Nutrient Database, R25
*Percent Daily Values (%DV) are based on a 2,000 calorie reference diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower based on your individual needs.


  1. What are the Different Types of Mushrooms? - (http://www.wisegeek.org/what-are-the-different-types-of-mushrooms.htm)
  2. Possible disease remission in patient with invasive bladder cancer with D-fraction regimen - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2840560/)

Latest Publications and Research on Mushroom Types

Most Popular on Medindia