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Wild Edible Mushrooms of North West Himalaya: Their Nutritional, Nutraceutical, and Sociobiological Aspects

  • N. S. Atri
  • Y. P. Sharma
  • Sanjeev Kumar
  • Mridu
Chapter

Abstract

North West Himalayan region is quite rich in mushroom microbiota. Many of their species are edible, few are hallucinogenic, and some are poisonous. The edible ones are being regularly collected during monsoon season year after year from the nearby forested areas by the local inhabitants mostly for their personal consumption as well as for trading so as to earn some additional money for meeting their day-to-day expenditure. Several such species either belong to ascomycetous fungi (e.g., Tuber P. Micheli ex F.H. Wigg., Morchella Dill. ex Pers., Geopora Harkn., etc.) or agaricomycetous fungi (e.g., Clavaria L., Ramaria Fr. ex Bonord., Hericium Pers., Sparassis Fr., Cantharellus Juss., Russula Pers., Lactarius Pers., Volvariella Speg., Pleurotus (Fr.) P. Kumm., Lentinus Fr., Amanita Pers., Termitomyces R. Heim, Macrolepiota Singer, Lycoperdon Pers., Boletus L., etc.). For some of them, especially morels, there is an organized trade syndicate which works right from Jammu and Kashmir to Uttarakhand in the North West Himalaya. Many of these mushrooms are being evaluated for their nutritional and nutraceutical constituents. The results of the analysis have revealed these mushrooms to be quite rich in proteins, carbohydrate, and important minerals, while their fat content is substantially low making them a low-energy or low-calorie functional food. From nutraceutical point of view, it has been found that these are quite rich in vitamins, phenols, flavonoids, steroids, carotenes, lycopenes, alkaloids, and a number of specific bioactive metabolites with extreme therapeutic relevance. Because of their significance in human welfare and ecosystem maintenance and replenishment, mushrooms are rightly treated as special creation of God in the nature’s treasure.

Keywords

Edible mushrooms Evaluation Health food Nutraceutical Trade Sociobiology 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Thanks are due to the Head of the Department of Botany, Punjabi University, Patiala, and the Head of the Department of Botany, University of Jammu, Jammu, for providing laboratory facilities to the respective authors. Financial support from UGC under SAP-II program and DST under FIST program to the Department of Botany, Punjabi University, Patiala, is gratefully acknowledged. YPS wishes to gratefully acknowledge the financial assistance received from UGC-MRP [F.No. 43-124/2014 (SR)]. Mridu is grateful to UGC for the grant of financial assistance under BSR fellowship scheme.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. S. Atri
    • 1
  • Y. P. Sharma
    • 2
  • Sanjeev Kumar
    • 2
  • Mridu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BotanyPunjabi UniversityPatialaIndia
  2. 2.Department of BotanyUniversity of JammuJammuIndia

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