Everything You Need to Know About Poria Mushroom
Scientific Name: Wolfiporia extensa (of the Polyporaceae family)
Any Other Names: Bai Fu Ling, Bokryung, Champignon Poria, China Root, Cocos, Fu Ling, Hoelen, Matsuhodo, Poria cocos, Tuckahoe, Wolfiporia cocos
Primary Constituents: Amino Acids, Monosaccharides, Triterpene derivatives (primarily Pachymic acid)
Country or Region of Origin: Found in Subterranean Habitats; Grows on Decaying Wood; Native to China (not the same as Native American Tuckahoe);
Known Uses: Memory, Anti-Fatigue, Promotes Cellular Function, Improves Immunity, Stress and Anxiety, Digestive Support, and More
General History & Introduction
Poria mushroom holds a strong place in traditional Chinese medicine (Cheng et al., 2015). In fact, it has been considered an edible, medicinal mushroom in Chinese medicine for more than two thousand years (Li et al., 2019). Recently, the fungus has been receiving more attention in modern studies and research. Poria is typically hailed for its primary triterpene derivative, Pachymic acid (PA), which has been used for a lexicon on effects (Cheng et al., 2015). These therapeutic constituents are extracted from the spores of the fungus and used as a supplement and medicine (Prieto et al., 2003). The benefits of these extractions are extensive. In fact, some of the effects the constituents purportedly offer even includes anticancer benefits (Cheng et al., 2015).
Nootropic Benefits of Poria Mushroom
Brain Health and Memory
Poria Mushroom has a long history of being used as a memory booster (Lin et al., 2012). The herb’s innate support for cerebral blood flow has been suggested to contribute to its cognitive enhancing and memory improving properties (Sun et al., 2021). For similar reasons, the fungus has been suggested for use as a treatment for dementia, as it has the potential to repair the memory (Lin et al., 2012). Traditional Chinese medicine has turned to the mushroom to treat many neurogenetic disorders (2012). It is used to enhance learning ability and associated memory recall (Wu et al., 2020).
Promotes Cellular Function, Prevents Fatigue, Improves Immunity
Poria Mushroom has been referenced in many ancient Chinese texts, dating as far back as three thousand years ago (Lin et al., 2012). It has been used by many renown physicians throughout these generations for its ability to improve general vitality (2012). Poria is a traditional, holistic remedy for chronic fatigue syndrome (Chen et al., 2010). The mushroom is also considered in many studies to be an immune-modulatory herb (Sun, 2014), meaning the herb has the ability to offer favorable modifications to the immune system.
Stress, Anxiety and Depression
The mushroom has purported anti-depressant-like properties and may have a significantly favorable impact on mood (Huang et al., 2020). Poria’s antioxidant effects contribute heavily to its anti-anxiety properties (Lin et al., 2012). The fungus has been studied for its relaxation and sleep-improving qualities (Chen et al., 2010). Poria’s reported sedative and relaxation effects have only briefly been investigated, however, the promising results which exist thus far warrant further investigation (Huang et al., 2020).
Poria Mushroom is well-known for its use in providing aid and relief to the digestive tract (Gong et al., 1989). As a supplement, the mushroom can ease the symptoms of diarrhea and relax the stomach (Li et al., 2019). The mushroom is also an effective diuretic (Huang et al., 2020), which means it promotes the production of urine.
Poria has a long history of being used for respiratory support and to treat kidney disease (Li et al., 2019). The herb can provide aid for people suffering from insomnia, cough, and various types of infections (2019). Poria Mushroom is being investigated for its purported positive effects on pancreatic cancer patients (Cheng et al., 2015). A polysaccharidum-based solution of Poria cocos has been approved as an oral medicine to treat many types of cancers (Li et al., 2019). The Chinese FDA has also cleared the herb to treat hepatitis and to help with radiation and chemotherapy. And many studies have determined Poria to possess remarkable antitumor properties (2019). The fungi has been known to prevent some cancers from forming (Cuellar et al., 1997).
Poria has been traditionally used for its anti-inflammation effects (Li et al., 2019). The mushroom is considered anti-hemorrhagic, which basically means it promotes hemostasis. It has been called an anti-ageing herb. It can reduce the symptoms and help resist the development of diabetes (2019). Like its anti-inflammation properties, the mushroom has the purported ability to reduce swelling (Cuellar et al., 1997). It can significantly improve immune function (1997).
Dosing and Usage Information
Poria Mushroom is typically offered as a dietary supplement in capsule form. Sometimes, it is used as a powder (much like a pre-work out supplement), although the capsules are far more popular. Daily serving sizes of Poria in terms of dietary supplements can vary greatly with some supplements including as little as 50 mg of extract. With that said, the mainstream brands of Poria supplements range from suggesting 400 to 1000 mg of extract per day.
Although research is still a little young, Poria Mushroom is generally considered safe for most individuals. Still, the fungus has been used for a variety of purposes throughout traditional Chinese medicine and has been accepted in Chinese culture for its therapeutic benefits. No side effects are typically reported, although pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoid use of Poria.
Although Poria Mushroom is less known and less discussed than other nootropics, the herb is still being investigated for its therapeutic benefits (and with promising results pouring in). Chinese medicine has fully incorporated the herb for its distinguished and proven pharmaceutical effects (Li et al., 2019). While the verdict is still out in Western culture, it has become more popular around the rest of the world. And Poria’s versatile uses more than make it worth further research. The mushroom is an excellent candidate for many nootropic stacks.
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.
Chen, R., Moriya, J., Yamakawa, J., Takahashi, T., and Kanda, T. (2010). Traditional chinese medicine for chronic fatigue syndrome. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine. Vol. 7(1). Pp. 3–10. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/ecam/nen017
Cheng, S., Swanson, K., Eliaz, I., McClintick, J. N., Sandusky, G. E., and Sliva, D. (2015). Pachymic acid inhibits growth and induces apoptosis of pancreatic cancer in vitro and in vivo by targeting ER stress. PloS one. Vol. 10(4) [e0122270]. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0122270
Cuellar, M., Giner, R., and Recio, M. (1997). Effect of the basidiomycete Poria cocos on experimental dermatitis and other inflammatory conditions. Chem Pharm Bull. Tokyo. Vol. 45. Pp. 492-4.
Gong, Q., Wang, S., and Gan, C. (1989). A clinical study on the treatment of acute upper digestive tract hemorrhage with wen-she decoction. Chung Hsi I Chieh Ho Tsa Chih. Vol. 9. Pp. 260-273.
Huang, Y., Hsu, N., Lu, K., Lin, Y., Lin, S., Lu, Y., Liu, W., Chen, M., and Sheen, L. (2020). Poria cocos water extract ameliorates the behavioral deficits induced by unpredictable chronic mild stress in rats by down-regulating inflammation. J Ethnopharmacol. Vol. 258. DOI: 10.1016/j.jep.2020.112566
Li, X., He, Y., Zeng, P., Liu, Y., Zhang, M., Hao, C., Wang, H., Lv, Z., & Zhang, L. (2019). Molecular basis for Poria cocos mushroom polysaccharide used as an antitumour drug in China. Journal of cellular and molecular medicine. Vol. 23(1). Pp. 4–20. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/jcmm.13564
Lin, Z., Gu, J., Xiu, J., Mi, T., Dong, J., and Tiwari, J. K. (2012). Traditional chinese medicine for senile dementia. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine. PMID: 21808655. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/692621
Sun Y, Liu Z, Pi Z, Song F, Wu J, and Liu S. (2021). Poria cocos could ameliorate cognitive dysfunction in APP/PS1 mice by restoring imbalance of Aβ production and clearance and gut microbiota dysbiosis. Phytother Res. DOI: 10.1002/ptr.7014
Sun, Y. (2014). Biological activities and potential health benefits of polysaccharides from Poria cocos and their derivatives. Int J Biol Macromol. Vol. 68. Pp. 131-4. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2014.04.010
Wu, F., Li, S., Dong, C., Dai, Y., and Papp, V. (2020). The Genus Pachyma (Syn. Wolfiporia): Reinstated and Species Clarification of the Cultivated Medicinal Mushroom “Fuling” in China. Frontiers in Microbiology. Vol. 11. DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2020.590788