Gucci Aka Morel Mushrooms BeeTribe

Gucci Aka Morel: The wonder-mushrooms from Himalayan Slopes

Fig no1. A smiling Tibetan old lady.
Its very common for us, nature's minions living in plains, away from the mountains, to look at the mountain dwelling folk and wonder as to how do they look so young? How do they seem so much fitter? And, how do they live so many happy long years than us? 
Research suggests that long term active lifestyle, in a hypoxic environment does contribute in it. Besides the active lifestyle that the mountains demand, another crucial aspect about these folks is their natural and antioxidant rich diet, which makes their bodies strong enough to endure the tribulations of these treacherous mountains!
Fig no 2. Fresh Morel Mushrooms Plucked from the jungle.
In today’s story, we will be talking about one such tasty superfood that Himalayas has to offer, and which if consumed even sparingly, proves to be incredibly health giving: Gucci aka Morel mushrooms!
So, what are Morels really?
Morels (Morchella spp.) are highly valued culinary jungle mushrooms having a desirable flavour, umami taste and unique texture. They have a characteristic shape, with a spongy, honeycomb-like cap that is attached to a stem. With a hollow interior and a spongy texture, they are described as having a unique Savory and “meaty” favor. In India, they are mostly found at a specific elevation and locations within Himalayas, and in some rare cases, also found in Nilgiris of the south. They are often consumed fresh or processed as a favoring agent, and also dried and sold as a precious culinary.
But, in addition to the prized sensory properties, morels are reported to be rich in proteins, fibers, vitamins and minerals, and low in carbohydrates and fats. Particularly, morels contain higher amounts of potassium, zinc, and selenium than many other common mushrooms. Besides their high nutritional value, the bioactive compounds of morels, including polysaccharides, phenolics, tocopherols, and ergosterols, also contribute to their health benefits and make them a potential functional food in nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals. The health benefits of morels include supporting immune functions, providing antioxidant protection, preventing cardiovascular diseases (CVD), and maintaining digestive health.
Total calories of 100 g morels in dry weight range from 355.6–386.5 kcal, with 7.5–35.8 g/100 g protein, 2.3–12.0 g/100 g fat, 36.8–80.5 g/100 g carbohydrate, 6.7–18.2 g/100 g ash, 8.5–44 g/100 g total sugar, and 4.8–28.8 g/100 g crude fibre. The following paragraph describes the nutritional breakup of the Morels:
Data per 100 grams of Morel mushrooms
Protein Values (M Conica): 24.5 grams;
Fat: 12 grams.
Carbohydrates: 36.8
Crude fiber: 4.8
Iron: 53.1mg
Zinc: 2.2mg
Copper: 3mg
Magnesium: 5.6mg
Thiamin(Vitamin B1): .52mg
Riboflavin(Vitamin B2): 1.3mg
Vitamin C: 100mg
Vitamin D2: 1.3-7.2mg
Total Phenolic content: 12.3 mgGAEs/g
Total Flavanoid content: .62mgQEs/g


Morels, have been known to possess incredible health-giving abilities, but which of its contents, contributes to what helps the consumer with informational clarity! Let’s take a detailed view of just a few.

Immune system: The immunoregulative effects of morels have been widely studied in recent years. It has been shown that polysaccharides are the primary components responsible for the protective effects of morels on the immune system. Glucans, as an important category of polysaccharides, greatly contribute to the immunomodulatory ability of morels. It has been widely reported that β-glucans in mushrooms can stimulate the production of white blood cells, which are important for fighting off infections and diseases. However, the evidence of detectable β- glucans in morels lacks documented evidence. Most reports showed the polysaccharides in morels mainly consist of α-glucans. Overall, the mechanisms of action of morels in preserving immune health includes the activation of immune cells and responses, phagocytosis enhancement, and regulation of gut microbiota, etc. In details, morel glucans bind to the receptors on immune cells, such as the TLR4 on macrophages, thus triggering the activation of the signalling cascade and downstream regulators which in turn leads to the release of cytokines and other molecules that enhance phagocytosis and help limit infections.

In the new world order post covid-19, we all are aware about the health risks that each day might pose, and in this context, its crucial to optimize our immune response. Morels, might be one great option for this.

Anti-Oxidant Abilities: Excessive ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species) are known to damage the cellular organelles and functions, leading to a lot of human diseases. Scavenging of free radicals has been shown as a basic mechanism for the prevention of many chronic diseases including CVD, obesity, and cancer. Different species of morels were reported to have antioxidant abilities correlated to their phenolic compounds and polysaccharide. Bioactive compounds extracted from plants have been extensively reported to impose health benefits by stabilizing oxidation processes and reducing the harm to cellular structures. The free radical scavenging ability of morel extracts have been also studied.

The anti-oxidative abilities of morels also partially attribute to their abundant phenolics. Several studies indicated that morels with higher total phenolic contents showed stronger antioxidative Power. Researchers have also found that the radical scavenging ability was maximum in M.conica (variety of Morel Found in India and Nepal), which had the most abundant phenolics. Phenols, including BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) Tocopherols also contribute to the antioxidative abilities but few scientific work has been focused on them due to comparatively small amounts while gallates were also reported as effective antioxidants, in mushroom fruiting bodies and mycelia (Stem of the Mushroom). Keeping body younger, obviously boosts life-span. Obviously, Morels with their strong anti-oxidation profile, does help in it!

The bioactive constituents in morels vary among species and origins, and they are mainly composed of polysaccharides, phenolics, tocopherols, ergosterols etc. These bioactive compounds in morels greatly contribute to their health benefits including anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, immunoregulative, gut protective, and anti-cancer abilities. The major underlying cell mechanisms of morels explaining their health benefits involved the regulation of TLR4-NF-κB and MAPK signaling. Up to now, most studies have focused on the polysaccharides and phenolics of morel fruiting bodies…” 

Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Moreover, Morel Mushrooms are also known to have anti-inflammatory effects. Inflammation is a natural response to injury or infection, but chronic inflammation has also been linked to the development of heart disease and other conditions. Some studies have suggested that morels and their mycelia (stem of the mushroom) may have anti-inflammatory effects, which could be beneficial for the cardiovascular system...

Both in vitro and in vivo studies indicated that different parts of various morel species were able to alleviate inflammations caused by distinct stimuli including exposure to fine particles, or administration of LPS (Lipo-polysaccharides) and other lipids. Thus, morels and their extracts might be natural anti-inflammatory ingredients in preventing inflammation-related diseases such as rheumatic-edema and CVD (Cardio Vascular Disease).

In Himalayan villages, it is long known wisdom, that Gucci aka Morels, reduce pain in body, especially in old age. Given research backs this, by authenticating Gucci’s anti-inflammatory properties, no wonder, it may well be really true.

Gut Health: Morels also contributes positively to gut health. Further, maintenance of balanced gut-microbiota is positively associated with the prevention of many chronic diseases including obesity, type 2 diabetes, CVD, and cancer. The investigation of morel polysaccharides and gut health has been a popular trend in recent years. Edible morels have been suggested to support digestive health through regulating the gut microbiota due to their rich dietary fiber and bioactive compounds

Morels contain a considerable amount of dietary fiber ranging from 4.8 to 28.8% DW (Dry Weight). Fibers are widely accepted as the most essential nutrient for gut health. In contract to insoluble dietary fiber, soluble dietary fiber is known to readily absorbed and digested by fiber-degrading bacteria in the colon, where it produces a number of functional metabolites including SCFAs (Short chain fatty acids). It has been shown that MUFA (Monounsaturated Fatty Acids) and PUFA (Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid) are the healthy type of fat which presents anti-oxidative abilities. Note that, unsaturated fatty acids raise the levels of healthy HDL fat (Good cholesterol), while reduces the LDL fat (Bad Cholesterol), thus boosting heart and cardiovascular health. Particularly, PUFA are precursors of some short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) which are known to contribute to a wide range of health benefits, including anti-inflammation, anti-cancer, and maintaining gut health. Those two types of fat are generally higher in morels than the unhealthy SFAs (Saturated fatty acids), indicating the potential health-promoting effects of morels.
We all know this fact…our stomachs are often our Achillies heal. Our happiness, often depend upon our tummy being really happy! Given that Morels do contribute in it, makes it one step ahead for being a food choice. High dietary fiber, and being a probiotic, is like food providing us a bonus over and above being a tasty culinary.
Anti-Cancer Effects: The anti-cancer activities of morels have been observed in colon cancer cell lines. A most recent study investigated the anti-carcinogenic abilities of three morel species....esculenta, and M. delicosa from Pakistan (72). Methanolic and Ethanolic extracts of the three species of morels showed different anti-proliferative activities toward the SW-480 colon cancer cell.

The bioactive compounds that possess the anti-tumor effects in the extracts were mainly amino acids, fatty acids, sterols, flavonoids and phenolic acids. Generally, the methanolic extract of M. esculenta showed a better performance in inhibiting the colon cancer growth compared to M.conica. The reason could be explained by their different extract compositions.

Similarly, the extract containing rich fungal sterols and trilinoleins significantly inhibited the NF-κB which was overactive in the cancer cells, indicating that M. esculenta might have potential positive effects on treating colon cancer.

Similarly, Me-OH extracts from M. esculenta fruiting body were reported to exhibit anti-cancer ability in the human lung adenocarcinoma cells. Eight compounds including three fatty acids and five sterols were identified in the Me-OH extract. Among the isolated compounds, they found that the derivatives of octadecanoic acid and ergosterol were the main constituents responsible for the ability to induce Apoptosis in Cancer cells. Other than morels, octadecanoic acid, and ergosterols from other mushrooms have been proven to exhibit anti-tumor abilities in many previous studies.

Overall, most cancer studies of morels have been targeting on the colon cancer, lung cancer, liver cancer, cervical cancer, and breast cancer. The mechanisms include directly inducing apoptosis of tumor-cells, enhancing the immune function, and facilitated chemotherapy.

These findings collectively supported that the fruiting bodies and mycelia of morels could be potential functional food ingredients or drugs for the prevention and treatment of cancer. However, more animal and clinic trials are still necessary to validate the function and the optimal doses for the morel extract…Given that Morels even instigate the Apoptosis of Cancer cells, only demonstrates, the incredible health imparting abilities of the Gucci mushrooms…if wish to keep our physical health better, we all must take notice of this information!

To conclude these finding, The bioactive constituents in morels vary among species and origins, and they are mainly composed of polysaccharides, phenolics, tocopherols, ergosterols etc. These bioactive compounds in morels greatly contribute to their health benefits including anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, immunoregulative, gut protective, and anti-cancer abilities. The major underlying cell mechanisms of morels explaining their health benefits involved the regulation of TLR4-NF-κB and MAPK signalling. Up to now, most studies have focused on the polysaccharides and phenolics of morel fruiting bodies

In conclusion, consuming Gucci, at least once a week if not more, can have significant positive effects on your health. The research parameters and findings, that have been described above, largely does match with the anecdotal evidence that is sprinkled across the Himalayan villages. Even today, old grannies of Himalayan mountains collect and cook morel mushrooms to get relief in their joint pains and arthritis! We at BEE TRIBE are thus trying to bring these nuggets of super food at your door steps, to boost your health! We hope, that this crucial information helps you including Gucci aka Morels in your diet!




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