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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 982317, 9 pages
Review Article

Natural Products and Biological Activity of the Pharmacologically Active Cauliflower Mushroom Sparassis crispa

Research & Development Center, Unitika Ltd., 23 Uji-Kozakura, Uji, Kyoto 611-0021, Japan

Received 4 October 2012; Accepted 25 February 2013

Academic Editor: Fabio Ferreira Perazzo

Copyright © 2013 Takashi Kimura. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Sparassis crispa, also known as cauliflower mushroom, is an edible mushroom with medicinal properties. Its cultivation became popular in Japan about 10 years ago, a phenomenon that has been attributed not only to the quality of its taste, but also to its potential for therapeutic applications. Herein, I present a comprehensive summary of the pharmacological activities and mechanisms of action of its bioactive components, such as beta-glucan, and other physiologically active substances. In particular, the immunomodulatory mechanisms of the beta-glucan components are presented herein in detail.