A: In traditional Ayurvedic cooking, mushrooms are not highly regarded and you won’t find them widely used in India. Mushrooms are not technically vegetables, they are fungi, which Ayurveda identifies as being less than nourishing and creating some negative effects.
They grow on decaying matter and considered a polluted (dushta ahara), impure and unhygienic food (asuchi or ahara malina) and unlike plants that use chlorophyll to photosynthesize light, they lack light and it’s resulting affect on digestive capacity called agni and life force known as prana, and are thereby associated with physical and psychological disorders.
They are avoided in a mold free or anti-candida diet because they are a fungus and create damp heat in the body and contribute to fungal conditions seen on the skin, nails, hair and tongue.
For these reasons, mushrooms are considered tamasic, creating ama, which is like a toxic sludge in the body and mind, and therefore are not part of a yogic diet that also doesn’t normally include onions, garlic, or mushrooms. While not taken as food, onions and garlic can be taken as medicine depending upon the dosha and condition of the person.
Many people were brought up eating certain foods and dishes, developing a taste for tamasic foods, however they don’t have the same good effects on your mind and body and once you get used to the bright and lively flavors of prana enriched foods, you will not want to over consume tamasic foods again.