Q & A Library

Print this page | Sign up for free e-bulletins
 | Bookmark This Page

Medicinal Mushrooms Grown on Purple Kculli?

I have read that mushrooms grown on purple kculli corn are a super healing food. True? 

Answer (Published 9/11/2009)

I'm a great believer in the immune-enhancing and cancer-protective properties of such mushrooms as shiitake, oyster, maitake, enoki, and other Asian species. Many are edible and delicious. Some, like reishi, are too woody or bitter to eat but can be used in the form of extracts. Medicinal mushrooms grown on purple kculli corn from Peru are being promoted on the Internet as having greater healing and health-protective power than those grown on wood, straw, or other material. I'm skeptical about those claims, so I consulted an expert, Paul Stamets, a noted mycologist and founder of Fungi Perfecti, a well-known and reputable supplier of medicinal mushrooms.

Related Weil Products
Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor for Your Whole Body - Foods, herbs and drugs can all interact, sometimes in unexpected ways. Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor takes known interactions into account when developing nutritional supplement recommendations, to help safeguard against adverse effects. Learn more, and get your free, personalized Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor recommendation today.

Paul voiced some misgivings about the practice of growing mushrooms on purple kculli corn and about the safety of these products. His biggest concern is that there is no easy way to tell if undesirable species of fungi, such as the toxic Aspergillus flavus, are also growing on the blue corn, since the color of the corn masks these contaminants.

Stamets added that while Fungi Perfecti typically loses about five bags of mycelium per 1,000, other companies often have up to a 10 percent contamination rate. This could mean that mushrooms growing on blue corn will likely carry blue green molds (he noted that Aspergillus flavus can be blue green) into the production line, and with them various natural toxins, including aflatoxin, known to cause liver cancer.

Unless quality control is in the hands of a top-notch mycologist, Stamets said that consuming mushroom products can be a form of Russian roulette. He added that he personally would not ingest mushrooms grown on purple kculli corn without being fully satisfied as to the expertise of the personnel involved in production.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved Creative Commons Copyright Notice
A portion of the original material created by Weil Lifestyle on (specifically, all question and answer-type articles in the Dr. Weil Q&A Library) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

The Weil Vitamin Advisor
Get your FREE personalized vitamin recommendation & supplement plan today!

Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging
Your Online Guide to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet. Start eating for your health - begin your free trial now.

Dr. Weil's Spontaneous Happiness
Achieve emotional well-being in just eight weeks! Start your 10-day free trial now!

Vitamin Library
Supplement your knowledge with Dr. Weil's essential vitamin facts. Learn why they are necessary and more.

Dr. Weil's Optimum Health Plan
Your 8-week plan to wellness.
Begin your journey today!

Dr. Weil's Head-to-Toe Wellness Guide
Your guide to natural health.
Use the Wellness Guide today!

Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Food Pyramid

Our interactive tool can help improve overall health through diet.

Condition Care Guide
Learn about health conditions from acne to vertigo, and Dr. Weil's view of the best treatment options for each.

Healthy Recipes
Discover a treasure trove of healthy, healing foods and creative, delicious ways to prepare them.

Q&A Library
Over 2,000 questions from you and their corresponding answers from Dr. Weil.

Copyright © 2015 Weil Lifestyle
Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

Ad Choice
Advertising Notice

This Site and third parties who place advertisements on this Site may collect and use information about your visits to this Site and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like to obtain more information about these advertising practices and to make choices about online behavioral advertising, please click here