We’ve now gone over the specific benefits of the Agaricus blazei and Cordyceps sinensis. Today we will discuss the Coriolus versicolor mushroom.
The Coriolus is a highly studied mushroom, with more than 400 studies published on its significant immuno-modulating properties in both healthy and afflicted people.
The mushroom is found in temperate forests in the U.S. and across the world, growing on logs or the injured wood of trees. Coriolus is also known as “turkey tail” in the West because of its multicolored fan-shaped cap. In China, it is called the “cloud mushroom.”
Uses of the mushroom in Japan include it as a folk remedy for cancer, and in TCM, Coriolus is used to treat pulmonary infections, hepatitis, cancer, and to dispel phlegm.
The mushroom began being brought to light in the West in the 60s, when a chemical engineer learned his neighbor with late-stage stomach cancer was treating himself with it. The engineer’s coworkers started studying the mushroom and developed an extract, PSK, the abbreviation for polysaccharide-K. The K stands for the first letter of Kureha Chemical, the company that developed the top-selling cancer drug Krestin.
Chinese researchers followed suit; they named theirs PSP, polysaccharide-peptide, a slightly different extract. PSK have protein linked by beta-glucans; PSP has peptides linked by beta-glucans.
The beta-glucans act as biological response modifiers, in that they activate many components of the immune system. Beta-glucans pass through the gut wall unchanged and into the bloodstream. Remember the “lock and key” format of beta-glucans? Receptors for them are found on neutrophils, monocytes/macrophages, natural killer cells, and also T and B lymphocytes. These polysaccharides have also been shown to act as potent inducers of proliferation, tumor cytotoxicity and lymphokine production.
The mushroom, combined with radiotherapy, has significantly improved the five-year survival-rate statistics of patients with stages I-III of epidermoid carcinoma of the lung. Also, patients 70 or older who received PSK and radiation had a significantly higher survival rate than those who received radiation alone.
In a 10-year double-blind trial in colorectal cancer patients, those in remission or disease free was more than double in the Coriolus group compared to the placebo group, with the white blood cells showing “remarkable enhancement in their activities.”
Ailments Addressed by Coriolus versicolor (humans and pets)
Ancillary treatment for esophageal, lung, stomach, breast and colon cancer. Used to prevent side effects and immune suppression from chemo and radiation treatments. Used for infections of the respiratory, urinary and digestive tracts, hepatitis B and other liver ailments, HIV, general immune weakness, and ringworm.