Enoki paddenstoel (fluweelpootje), enokitake, Flammulina velutipes, gouden naald, gouden naaldpaddenstoelen, jīnzhēngū (金針菇).

De gecultiveerde versie van het fluweelpootje. Omdat de enoki in het donker wordt geteeld blijft hij mooi wit. En omdat hij met extra CO2 wordt geteeld, krijgt hij de karakteristieke lange, dunne steeltjes. De wilde versie lijkt veel meer op een normale paddenstoel dan op enoki. De enoki wordt in kleine bundeltjes gekweekt en verkocht.

Hoe te gebruiken?

Snij een paar centimeter van de onderkant af en maak de steeltjes voorzichtig los van elkaar. De verse enoki kan rauw in salades gegeten worden. Vaker zie je ‘m als een soort vermicelli in de soep. Of samen met andere paddenstoelen in een paddenstoelengerecht.

Medicinal Properties of Enoki

The Enoki mushroom has antioxidant properties. A research done established the existent of ergothioneine, an antioxidant in the mushroom. In the research, Proflamin, a compound in the Enoki mushroom helped mice suffering from cancer to lengthen their lives by 85%. The Enoki suppressed further cancer growth and spread when tested on Swiss albino mice that were suffering from Sarcoma 180. In Japan, epidemiological studies have shown that the Enokitake mushrooms have tumour fighting compounds.

Enokitake has antioxidants that rid the body of free radicals hence boosting the immune system. One such antioxidant in the mushroom is ergothioneine. Research performed on animals indicates there is potential to develop an anti-cancer vaccine using this antioxidant. The Enoki mushroom impacted greatly in tests relating to treatment of lymphoma and prostate cancer. Researchers further say that the flammulin and polysaccharides in the mushroom act as anti-cancer agents.

According to researcher Wang et al, in his book Purification, characterization and immuno-modulating properties of polysaccharides isolated from Flammulinavelutipes mycelium he observed that cancer prevalence is low in areas of Japan where the Enokitake mushroom is grown. They particularly cited Nagano in Japan where Enokitake is farmed, as having significantly low numbers of cancer patients.

According to another research done by the National University of Singapore, which was published for the first time in 2005, the stipe of the Golden Needle mushroom has protein in large quantities. These proteins, known as ‘Five’, assist in regulating the immune system. The research found that the Golden Needle mushroom also has flammutoxina, a protein that is cardiotoxic and cytolytic. The tests further showed that the protein could be taken orally without any risk of toxicity.

The Enokitake mushroom also has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. The active ingredients in the Enokitake mushroom include lectin and beta-D-glucan. Lectin is an immune-modulatory protein which enhances production of antioxidants. According to researchers Wichers et al., Immunomodulatory capacity of fungal proteins on the cytokine production of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells.,IntImmunopharmacol these ingredients help to balance the immune system and to keep the liver healthy.

The Enoki is able to fight against diseases of degenerative sicknesses such as dementia and Alzheimers. It also has anti-inflammatory substances that help lower the risk of ailments. The detoxifying nature of these substances also protects you from the risk of heart diseases.

The Enokitake mushroom is valued very highly in Japan, not just for its culinary properties, but more so for its contribution to health. The Japanese produce the tender species known as Enokitake. It is very conspicuous in Japanese cuisines especially in gourmet restaurants. The Japanese also like the Enokitake mushroom in salads. According to studies done (Ying et al, 1987;Yoshioka et al, 1973), Flammulina Velutipes can prevent or even cure gastroenteric ulcers and liver disease, when taken consistently. It can also be used in treating staphylococcus aureus.

The same research showed that the Enokitake mushroom has many amino acids. These amino acids were also essential in curtailing the development of sarcoma 180 and Ehrlich ascities tumour in the mice. Lysine on the other hand contributed to the body growth, both in weight and in height.

Warning: The potency of the cardiotoxic protein, flammutoxin and its bad effects are disabled when exposed to 100 degrees of heat for 20 consecutive minutes. Since it is still not clear the levels that can adversely affect a human being when taken consistently therefore it is better to take Enokitake when cooked. For those who like it raw however, you may need to reduce your frequency of consumption.

Enoki as Medicine

Generally regarded as an important health tonic food in Japanese and Chinese cultures, F. velutipes has also been the subject of deeper study into it’s chemical constituents and their interplay with human health.

A study in Japan found that Enoki growers near the city of Nagano had unusually low cancer rates. Proximity to the mushroom lead to frequent consumption and is cited as the main reason for what seemed a phenomenon.

F. velutipes appears to reduce allergic immune response in the case of food allergies (Hsieh, K.-Y. et al. 2003), and is said to cure stomach ulcers and liver disease if taken on a regular basis. Mannick et al. (1996) found Enoki to be effective against stomach infections of Helicobacter pylori.

Polysaccharides and Glycoproteins abound:

PA3DE: D-glucose, D-mannose, L-fucose, a beta-glycosidic linkage; anti-tumor glyco-protein proflamin, fucose, and arabinose

Flammulin: water soluble polysaccharide, has been shown to be 80-100 percent effective against Ehrlich carcinoma and sarcoma 180

FIP-fve: shows immunomodulatory activity against HeLa cervical cancer lines ( Lee, S. L. et al. 2010)

EA6: inhibits Meth-A fibrosarcoma tumor in conjunction with surgical excision

Proflammin: showing activity against allogeneic and syngeneic tumors

Enokipodins A-D: active against Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, and Cladosporium herbarum