Book Review

Mushrooms For Health and Longevity
by Ken Babal

Cover: The Fungal Pharmacy

Ken Babal is a certified nutritionist with a practice in Los Angeles. He has written many articles for popular magazines as well as several books including Maitake Mushroom and D-Fraction (2004). This new 64-page book takes a narrow and shallow, consumer-oriented view of the role of mushrooms in health. The book begins with a little background on the mushroom kingdom then offers an overview of the culinary, nutritional and medicinal value of mushrooms in general. The second section of the book addresses the following mushrooms in a page or so each:

Each discussion provides a bit of lore about the mushroom and discusses its medicinal values based upon a, seemingly, random selection of research findings that are not cited.

The third section of the book is a collection of eleven recipes that use one or more of the following mushrooms: shiitake, enoki, maitake and Tremella. The final section addresses terminology and offers a short list of references and a few websites, including the authors own (

Overall, we consider this to be an 'ok', short and readable introduction for those interested in the variety of mushrooms they might find at their supermarket, although it doesn't provide enough depth to help the reader fully appreciate the medicinal properties of these mushrooms. The recipes are quite simple, but look like they would be tasty. The book is published by Book Publishing Company at The Farm in Summertown, Tennessee, under their "Books Alive" imprint. You can order it directly from them at: for $11.95 each or call 1-888-260-8495 for wholesale orders.