The Nootropics Library: Black Hoof Mushroom

Everything You Need To Know About Black Hoof Mushroom

General Information

Scientific Name: Phellinus linteus

Any Other Names: Meshima, Meshimakobu, Sanghwang, Song Gen, Sanghuang

Primary Constituents: Polysaccharides, Triterpenoids, Phenylpropanoids, and Furans

Country or Region of Origin: Asia, Africa, Americas, and Warmer Regions

Known Uses: Antioxidant, Brain Booster, Treating Chronic Diseases and Conditions, Anti-Cancer, Anti-inflammatory, Abrasions, Bruises, Cuts, Topical Treatments

General History & Introduction

Black Hoof Mushroom has strong traditional roots and retains popularity throughout many Asian countries.  Some of the countries the herb is found widely available and used include China, Korea, and Japan (Chen et al., 2019). In these countries it is highly revered for its purported longevity-granting properties (2019).  Longevity in this case translates in this case into mental and physical destressing and overall vitality. The range of chronic diseases or conditions which have been shown to see benefits from the introduction of Black Hoof Mushroom is wide and extensive.

The Black Hoof Mushroom gets its name from the physical shape of the species resembling that of a hoof. It is darker in color, from dark brown to black.  The mushroom has a proclivity for growing on mulberry trees.  The more empirical data, the more promising the mushroom looks in terms of medicinal use.  And while much more research stands to be done, there is a lot to be said about the studies and trials which have already been performed and there is no doubt Black Hoof Mushroom should not be ignored!

Nootropic Benefits of Black Hoof Mushroom

Antioxidant, Neuroprotective

Counteracting oxidative stress is very important in maintaining balance in the human body (Pham-Huy et al., 2008).  It is for this reason the body has created natural ways to reduce this oxidative stress, such as the production of antioxidants (2008). Occasionally, however, the body does not produce enough antioxidants and it benefits from the introduction of exogenuous antioxidants [such as those that are obtained from diet or dietary supplements] (2008).  Black Hoof Mushroom possesses a strong supply of polysaccharides which are excellent conductors of antioxidant activities (Wang et al., 2014).  And the polyphenol pigment flavonoids found in the mushroom are proven antioxidants (Song et al., 2003). And the neuroprotective effects of the mushroom have been studied enough to warrant further investigation on the herb’s potential to prevent or reduce neurodegenerative disease (Choi et al., 2016).

Chronic Diseases

Some of the diseases and conditions which Black Hoof Mushroom might help with are serious, even lethal.  It is commonly used to treat diabetes, HIV, and cancer (Kim et al., 2010). In fact, the mushroom has even been shown to inhibit the development of some disease (2010).  One example of this could be the mushroom’s ability to regulate cytokine expression to inhibit the development of autoimmune diabetes (2010).



Although previously mentioned, it is arguable to say that any herb which has even the slightest potential at substantiated, empirical evidence of being able to help with cancer deserves its own category. Based upon evidence revealed in recent studies, it has been suggested that Black Hoof Mushroom may have potential to be used as an alternative treatment for cancer (Sliva, 2010).  The effects of Black Hoof have been studied on tumors and cancers of the bladder, breasts, colon, lungs, and prostate (2010). There are studies which have been suggesting that the mushroom possesses anti-angiogenic properties as well, meaning, it inhibits the growth of tumors by reducing their ability to grow off of their own blood supply (Song et al., 2003).  It also possesses a purported ability to improve immune response (Harikrishnan et al., 2011).

Anti-inflammatory and Topical Treatments

The flavonoid polyphenol pigments found in Black Hoof mushrooms are well-studied and known to offer anti-inflammatory properties (Chen et al., 2019).  It has been traditionally used for its healing, antiviral, and antibacterial properties (Osińska-Jaroszuk, 2020).  The mushroom contains polysaccharide-proteins which are useful for speeding up the healing process in burns, cuts, infections, and abrasions (2020).  The analgesic properties have also made the mushroom desirable in treatment for many topical wounds (Chang et al., 2011).  And the ability for Black Hoof Mushrooms to produce immunostimulatory action (Uskoković et al., 2020) makes the herb a candidate for being a cornerstone herb in the grand book of holistic healing and recipes.

Other Uses

The mushroom has been used for its purported ability to aid with angina (chest pain and blood supply issues), leucorrhoea (a type of vaginal discharge), hemorrhage, gastroenteric dysfunction, and diarrhea (Zhu et al., 2008). For these reasons it is very commonly used to treat pain and overall digestive health.  It is quite normal to hear of Black Hoof Mushrooms being used to improve metabolic function, cellular function, energy, and endurance. It has even been suggested to offer radioprotective properties (Huang et al., 2016).

Dosing and Usage Information

Black Hoof Mushrooms have extremely bitter taste.  Still, it is most used around the world as an herbal tea (Chen et al., 2019).  In Western culture, it is more common to find the herb in powder or extract form, served in capsules. Extracts of the mushroom have especially begun to pick up in popularity, probably due to increased use of the mushroom in disease and cancer treatments (Sliva, 2010). And these dietary supplement servings are usually around 300-500mg of extract.

Side Effects

The side effects of using Black Hoof Mushroom, though minimal, are sometimes reported in clinical trials or studies.  In general, there is not enough empirical data to know its true dietary limitations or benefits, but its long standing traditional and holistic use makes the herb a definite candidate for future research.  It could be argued, however, that it may be ill-advised to use Black Hoof Mushroom if suffering from an autoimmune disorder.  The mushroom has not been cleared as safe for pregnant or nursing women.  It is also possible that the mushroom could offer different effects for individuals diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and that these individuals should consult their physician before adopting the herb into their daily regimen (Li et al., 2014).

Other Important Information

Black Hoof Mushroom is sometimes used in combination with other medicinal mushrooms including red reishi and chaga mushrooms (Zhu et al., 2008). The recent studies which have indicated the mushroom’s potential to be used in treatment of cancerous disease makes it worth investing further (Sliva, 2010). Whether the mushroom’s use is classified as preventative or treatment, however, does not take from the fact the herb has made the appearance it is valuable in the world of holistic healing.


Although the research is young on modern use of the mushroom, it has a strong foundation of use in traditional, Chinese medicine (Zhu et al., 2008). Modern times have offered Black Hoof Mushroom a spotlight and a spike of popularity. Although a lot of the modern use of the herb has surrounded its benefits as a brain boosting nootropic (mostly through the application of its antioxidant and neuroprotective properties), it is still popular for many of its traditional uses as well.  And while it is important to reiterate that the mushroom is only lightly researched by today’s empirical standards, it is still a part of so many over the counter, dietary supplements and proprietary blends.

A Note from NooFiles

This article is intended to be used for information only.  We want to remind you that consulting your physician is recommended before adding any dietary supplement of any kind to your daily regimen.


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Choi, D., Cho, S., Yeon Seo, J., Burm Lee, H., and Park, Y. (2016). Neuroprotective effects of the Phellinus linteus ethyl acetate extract against H2O2-induced apoptotic cell death of SK-N-MC cells. Nutrition Research. Vol. 36(1). Pp. 31-43. ISSN 0271-5317. DOI:

Harikrishnan, R., Balasundaram, C., Heo, M. (2011). Diet enriched with mushroom Phellinus linteus extract enhances the growth, innate immune response, and disease resistance of kelp grouper, Epinephelus bruneus against vibriosis. Fish & Shellfish Immunology. Vol. 30(1). Pp. 128-134. ISSN 1050-4648. DOI:

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