Selasa, 27 Oktober 2009

karvy medical plants in india


Common name: Karvy • Hindi: Maruadana • Manipuri: খুম Khum • Marathi: कारवी Karvy
Botanical name: Strobilanthes callosus Family: Acanthaceae (Ruellia family)
Synonyms: Carvia callosa

Karvy is a purplish-blue wild flower, which blooms once every seven years. The plant was first discovered by Nees, a resident Britisher of Mumbai in the last century. The Karvy plant grows wild around Mumbai, Madhya Pradesh, Parts of Gujarat and in large areas of Konkan and North Kannara Ghats. It is a shrub growing 2-6 m tall. Oppositely arranged, elliptic-lancelike toothed leaves are 10-20 cm long. Each year the plant comes alive with the advent of Monsoon,and once the rains are over, what is left behind is dry and dead-looking stems.This pattern repeats itself for seven years. In the seventh year, the plant explodes into mass flowering. The Karvy plant has many uses as well. The leaves and the stems are also used for thatched roofs after the season is over.
Medicinal uses: The Karvy leaves are crushed and the juice is believed to be a sure cure for stomach ailments.
Identification credit: Dinesh Valke

Mars barbel medical plants

Marsh Barbel
Native Shrub
Photo: Pravin Kawale
Common name: Marsh Barbel • Hindi: Gokula kanta • Marathi: तालीम ख़ाना Talim Khana • Tamil: Nirumuli • Malayalam: Voyal-chullai • Telugu: Kokilakshi • Kannada: Kalavankabija • Bengali: Shulamardan • Konkani: Kalaso • Sanskrit: कोकिलाक्ष Kokilaksha, Shrinkhali
Botanical name: Hygrophila schulli Family: Acanthaceae (Ruellia family)
Synonyms: Hygrophila auriculata

Marsh Barbel is a stout aquatic perennial herb, 1-2 m high. Erect unbranched stems are hairy near swollen nodes. Densely hairy, lance-like, stalkless leaves, 10-15 cm long, occur in whorls of 6 at each node on the stem. Straight, yellow, 4 cm long spines are present in the axil of each leaf. Flowers occur in 4 pairs at each node. The 3 cm long purple-blue flowers are 2-lipped - the upper lip is 2-lobed and the lower one 3-lobed with lengthwise folds. Flowers open in opposite pairs. Flowering: October-April.
Medicinal uses: Kokilaksha, as it is known in sanskrit, was extensively used in Ayurvedic system of medicine for various ailments like rheumatism, inflammation, jaundice, hepatic obstruction, pain, etc.

Identification credit: Pravin Kawale

hophead medical plants in india

N Native Shrub lanceshaped
Photo: Shaista Ahmad
Common name: Hophead, Philippine Violet • Bengali: Vishellakarani
Botanical name: Barleria lupulina Family: Acanthaceae (Ruellia family)

Hophead is a popular medicinal plant distributed in mountains of southern and western India. Shrubbery plant with single dark green leaves, red-brown branches, and flowers that bloom in upright spikes. It is an erect shrub with smooth, hairless stems and leaves. Leaves narrowly obovate, spine-tipped, 3.5-9 cm long, 0.8-1.2 cm wide. Flowers occur in a terminal spike with overlapping bracts which are broadly ovate, 15 mm long, green with purple upper half. Flower consists of a 3m long corolla tube, opening into 1 cm long petals. Longer stamen filaments 2 cm long; shorter stamens fertile. Style is 3 cm long and smooth.
Medicinal uses: Traditional and therapeutic use is anti-inflammatory for insect bites, herpes simplex use by its fresh leaves, and roots for anti-inflammatory centipede bites.

kariyat medical plants in india

Native Herb
Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Kariyat, Creat • Hindi: Kirayat, Kalpanath • Manipuri: ৱুবতী Vubati • Marathi: Oli-kiryata, Kalpa • Tamil: நீலவெம்பு Nilavembu • Malayalam: Nelavepu, Kiriyattu • Telugu: Nilavembu • Kannada: Nelaberu • Bengali: কলমেঘ Kalmegh • Oriya: Bhuinimba • Konkani: Vhadlem Kiratyem • Urdu: Naine-havandi • Assamese: কলমেঘ Kalmegh • Gujarati: Kariyatu • Sanskrit: Kalmegha, Bhunimba • Mizo: Hnakhapui
Botanical name: Andrographis paniculata Family: Acanthaceae (Ruellia family)
Synonyms: Justicia paniculata

Kariyat is an erect annual herb extremely bitter in taste in all parts of the plant. It grows erect to a height of 1-4 ft in moist shady places with smooth leaves and white flowers with rose-purple spots on the petals. Stem dark green, 0.3 - 1.0 m in height, 2-6 mm in diameter, quadrangular with longitudinal furrows and wings on the angles of the younger parts, slightly enlarged at the nodes; leaves glabrous, up to 8.0 cm long and 2.5 cm broad, lanceolate, pinnate; flowers small, in lax spreading axillary and terminal racemes or panicles; capsules linear-oblong, acute at both ends, 1.9 cm x 0.3 cm; seeds numerous, sub quadrate, yellowish brown.
Medicinal uses: Since ancient times, Kariyat is used as a wonder drug in traditional Siddha and Ayurvedic systems of medicine as well as in tribal medicine in India and some other countries for multiple clinical applications. The therapeutic value of Kalmegh is due to its mechanism of action which is perhaps by enzyme induction. The plant extract exhibits antityphoid and antifungal activities.
Identification credit: Prashant Awale

pandan/fragrant screw pine

Pandan (Pandanus tectorius)

Fragrant Screw Pine

Pandan (Pandanus tectorius) aka Screw Pine

The pandan tree grows as tall as 5 meters, with erect, small branches. Pandan is also known as Fragrant Screw Pine. Its trunk bears plenty of prop roots. Its leaves spirals the branches, and crowds at the end. Its male inflorescence emits a fragrant smell, and grows in length for up to 0.5 meters. The fruit of the pandan tree, which is usually about 20 centimeters long, are angular in shape, narrow in the end and the apex is truncate. It grows in the thickets lining the seashores of most places in the Philippines. In various parts of the world, the uses of this plant are very diverse. Some countries concentrate on the culinary uses of pandan, while others deeply rely on its medicinal values. For instance, many Asians regard this food as famine food. Others however mainly associate pandan with the flavoring and nice smell that it secretes.

In the Philippines, pandan leaves are being cooked along with rice to incorporate the flavor and smell to it. As can be observed, the uses of the pandan tree are not limited to cooking uses. Its leaves and roots are found to have medicinal benefits. Such parts of the plant have been found to have essential oils, tannin, alkaloids and glycosides, which are the reasons for the effective treatment of various health concerns. It functions as a pain reliever, mostly for headaches and pain caused by arthritis, and even hangover. It can also be used as antiseptic and anti-bacterial, which makes it ideal for healing wounds. In the same manner, a preparation derived from the bark of this plant may be used to address skin problems. Many people have also discovered that it is an effective remedy for cough. In India, pandan leaves are being used to treat skin disorders like leprosy and smallpox. The bitter tasting quality of the leaves makes it ideal for health problems which include, but are not limited to, diabetes fever, ulcer and wounds. In Hawaii, pandan flowers are being chewed by mothers who later give the chewed flowers to their children, as laxative. The juice extracted from pounded roots of this tree is used and mixed with other ingredients to ease chest pains. Also, it is used as tonic for women who have just given birth and who are still in weak states. Pandan flowers have also been traced with characteristics that function as aphrodisiac. Pandan also manifests anti-cancer activities, and that is why modern researches in the United States have subjected this plant for further experiments and investigation.

Pandan Health Benefits:

• Treats leprosy, smallpox and wounds.
• Helps reduce fever
• Solves several skin problems
• Relives headache and arthritis
• Treatment for ear pains
• Functions as a laxative for children
• Eases chest pains
• Helps in speeding up the recuperation of women who have just given birth and are still weak
• Pandan reduces stomach spasms and strengthens the gum.

Preparation & Use of Pandan:

• Decoction of the bark may be taken as tea, or mixed with water that is to be used in bathing, in order to remedy skin problems, cough, and urine-related concerns.
• Apply pulverized roots of pandan to affected wound areas to facilitate healing.
• The anthers of the male flowers are used for earaches, headaches and stomach spasms.
• Chew the roots to strengthen the gum.
• Extract oils and juices from the roots and flowers are used in preparing the decoction to relieve pains brought about by headache and arthritis.

the list of philiipine herbal

These is the list of the ten (10) medicinal plants that the Philippine Department of Health (DOH) through its "Traditional Health Program" have endorsed. All ten (10) herbs have been thoroughly tested and have been clinically proven to have medicinal value in the relief and treatment of various aliments:

1. Akapulko (Cassia alata) - also known as "bayabas-bayabasan" and "ringworm bush" in English, this herbal medicine is used to treat ringworms and skin fungal infections.

2. Ampalaya (Momordica charantia) - known as "bitter gourd" or "bitter melon" in English, it most known as a treatment of diabetes (diabetes mellitus), for the non-insulin dependent patients.

3. Bawang (Allium sativum) - popularly known as "garlic", it mainly reduces cholesterol in the blood and hence, helps control blood pressure.

4. Bayabas (Psidium guajava) - "guava" in English. It is primarily used as an antiseptic, to disinfect wounds. Also, it can be used as a mouth wash to treat tooth decay and gum infection.

5. Lagundi (Vitex negundo) - known in English as the "5-leaved chaste tree". It's main use is for the relief of coughs and asthma.

6. Niyog-niyogan (Quisqualis indica L.) - is a vine known as "Chinese honey suckle". It is effective in the elimination of intestinal worms, particularly the Ascaris and Trichina. Only the dried matured seeds are medicinal -crack and ingest the dried seeds two hours after eating (5 to 7 seeds for children & 8 to 10 seeds for adults). If one dose does not eliminate the worms, wait a week before repeating the dose.

7. Sambong (Blumea balsamifera)- English name: Blumea camphora. A diuretic that helps in the excretion of urinary stones. It can also be used as an edema.

8. Tsaang Gubat (Ehretia microphylla Lam.) - Prepared like tea, this herbal medicine is effective in treating intestinal motility and also used as a mouth wash since the leaves of this shrub has high fluoride content.

9. Ulasimang Bato Pansit-Pansitan (Peperomia pellucida) - It is effective in fighting arthritis and gout. The leaves can be eaten fresh (about a cupful) as salad or like tea. For the decoction, boil a cup of clean chopped leaves in 2 cups of water. Boil for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain, let cool and drink a cup after meals (3 times day).

10. Yerba Buena (Clinopodium douglasii) - commonly known as Peppermint, this vine is used as an analgesic to relive body aches and pain. It can be taken internally as a decoction or externally by pounding the leaves and applied directly on the afflicted area.

Tips on Handling Medicinal Plants / Herbs:

• If possible, buy herbs that are grown organically - without pesticides.

• Medicinal parts of plants are best harvested on sunny mornings. Avoid picking leaves, fruits or nuts during and after heavy rainfall.

• Leaves, fruits, flowers or nuts must be mature before harvesting. Less medicinal substances are found on young parts.

• After harvesting, if drying is required, it is advisable to dry the plant parts either in the oven or air-dried on screens above ground and never on concrete floors.

• Store plant parts in sealed plastic bags or brown bottles in a cool dry place without sunlight preferably with a moisture absorbent material like charcoal. Leaves and other plant parts that are prepared properly, well-dried and stored can be used up to six months.

Tips on Preparation for Intake of Herbal Medicines:

• Use only half the dosage prescribed for fresh parts like leaves when using dried parts.

• Do not use stainless steel utensils when boiling decoctions. Only use earthen, enamelled, glass or alike utensils.

• As a rule of thumb, when boiling leaves and other plant parts, do not cover the pot, and boil in low flame.

• Decoctions loose potency after some time. Dispose of decoctions after one day. To keep fresh during the day, keep lukewarm in a flask or thermos.

• Always consult with a doctor if symptoms persist or if any sign of allergic reaction develops.

ginger/luyang dilaw

Luyang Dilaw - Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

Herbal Medicine Picture: Ginger Root - Luyang Dialo (Zingiber officinale)

Luyang Dilaw, or Ginger Root (scientific name: Zingiber officinale) belongs to the family of, as its scientific name signifies, Zingiberaceae. The rootstocks of this erect, smooth plant are thick, and have strong aromatic qualities. Its edible roots, tops, and even its leaves are found to have medicinal value. Luyang Dilaw has long been used as a cold, cough, fever, and sore throat remedy.

Ginger helps in the digestion and absorption of food, lowering of cholesterol, alleviating nausea and vomiting. Luyang dilaw has antifungal, antiseptic, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties as well. In the same way, it has been found to contain potent anti-oxidant qualities, which come from the extract and active constituents of the plant. These uses are separate and distinct from the nutritional value of luyang dilaw.

The rhizomes of luyang dilaw is mainly associated as the main ingredient in a very popular local beverage, which is salabat. Recent studies have shown that luyang dilaw had been found with traces of antiemetic properties. Thus, it is now being recommended to be taken half an hour before one’s travel to avoid being travelsick and experience nausea during the voyage. Pregnant women should take precautionary measures in taking luyang dilaw for medicinal purposes although it has been proven that none of the plant’s substances triggers adverse side effects, even when it interacts with other drugs. This herbal plant is not recommended for expectant mothers for the very reason that there is a possibility of inhibition of testosterones that binds the fetus, as a result of some of the properties that luyang dilaw contains.

Medicinal Benefits of Luyang Dilao (Ginger Root):

• Relieves rheumatic pains & muscle pains
• Alleviates sore throat, fever and colds
• Ease nausea and vomiting
• Intestinal disorders and slow digestion
• Relief from tympanism and flatulence
• Treat intestinal worms
• Hinder diarrhea, gas pains
• Relieve indigestion (dyspepsia), toothaches
• Lower cholesterol levels
• Aids treatment of tuberculosis

Preparation & Use:

• Boil the ginger root in water and drink. The more concentrated the better.
• For sore throat and tooth ache, remove the skin and chew small portions.
• For cuts & bruises, apply the juice of luyang-dilao directly to the skin or use dried rhizomes with 70% alcohol then apply to afflicted areas.
• For rheumatism and muscle pains, pound roasted or fresh ginger and apply to painful areas -can be mixed with oil for easy application.

the function of garlic

Bawang, Bauang | Garlic (Allium sativum)

Herbal Medicine Picture: Garlic / Bawang (Allium Sativum)

Bawang or Garlic with scientific name Allium sativum, is a low herb, which only grows up to sixty centimeters high. This herb is one of the most widely used herbal medicines in the Philippines and can also be found commonly in the kitchen of Filipino households as it is used to spice up food preparations. The Philippine bawang or garlic variety is more pungent than the imported ones. Its medicinal properties have been known for a long time and have been especially proven during World War II when it was used to treat wounds and infections of soldiers. Garlic’s antibacterial compound known as allicin, saved many lives of the soldiers as this property prevented the wounds from being infected and developing into gangrene at a later stage by extracting the juice of bawang or garlic and applying to the wounds.

Bawang, sometimes spelled as bauang or in English, garlic is known as nature's antibiotic. Its juices inhibit the growth of fungi and viruses thus, prevent viral, yeast, and infections. The preliminary test conducted on this medicinal herb showed some positive results in the treatment of AIDS. Several clinical tests that followed and published studies have shown the efficacy of garlic in lowering cholesterol in the blood and is beneficial to the circulatory system of the body. Today, as more research is done on garlic, more medicinal and therapeutic properties become more evident. As of the present time, lowering of the blood pressure, reduction of platelet aggregation, and the boosting of fibrinolytic activities are among the list of herbal functions of garlic, which is supported by medical findings. Although more clinical studies are needed to support the contention stronger, marked improvements in benign breast diseases have been traced to make progress because of the regular intake of supplements, of which the primary ingredient is garlic.

Although controlled trials in terms of anti-cancer activities of garlic have been performed in medical research, it has been proven through population-based studies that substances contain in garlic help in reducing the risk of some types of cancer. These would include colorectal malignancies, and gastric cancer. Regular consumption of raw garlic has been proven to aid in many bleeding cases, especially those cases that are associated with procedures in surgeries and dental activities. All these considered, it appears that garlic have no concrete scientific basis to claim a significant effect in the level of glucose in our blood. It is remarkable to note though that the Philippine Department of Health has endorsed garlic as one of the top ten Philippine herbs with therapeutic value and the department recommends its use as an alternative herbal medicine in view of the positive results of thorough research and testing, which had been conducted on this herbal plant. Juice extracted from garlic bulbs can be used as tick and mosquito repellant when applied to skin.

Bad breath, due to the strong odor of garlic, is the most common side effect of taking this herb. Fresh garlic applications to the skin have been reported to cause skin burns and rashes. This goes true both for those who are in the initial stages of their garlic therapies, and those who consume it as an ingredient in food preparations.

Health Benefits of Bawang-Garlic:

• Good for the heart
• Helps lower bad cholesterol levels (LDL)
• Aids in lowering blood pressure
• Remedy for arteriosclerosis
• May help prevent certain types of cancer
• Boosts immune system to fight infection
• With antioxidant properties
• Cough and cold remedy
• Relives sore throat, toothache
• Aids in the treatment of tuberculosis
• Helps relieve rheumatism pain
• With anticoagulant properties

Preparation of Bawang-Garlic:

• For disinfecting wound, crush and juice the garlic bulb and apply. You may cover the afflicted area with a gauze and bandage.
• For sore throat and toothache, peal the skin and chew. Swallow the juice.
• Cloves of garlic may be crushed and applied to affected areas to reduce the pain caused by arthritis, toothache, headache, and rheumatism.
• Decoction of the bawang bulbs and leaves are used as treatment for fever.
• For nasal congestion, steam and inhale: vinegar, chopped garlic, and water.

philipine's herbal

Herbal Medicine: Ampalaya (Momordica charantia)

Herbal Medicine Picture: Ampalaya (Momordica Charantia)

Ampalaya (Bitter Melon) with a scientific name Momordica charantia, is a climbing vine and the tendrils of which grow up to 20 centimeters long. This herbal plant belongs to the family of Cucurbitaceae, and it is a tropical as well as a subtropical vine. Ampalaya leaves are heart-shaped, which are 5 to 10 centimeters in diameter. The fruits of the ampalaya vine are fleshy green with pointed ends at length. It can never be mistaken for any other variety because its ribbed and wrinkled surface had always been ampalaya’s distinct physical structure. The bitter taste of the ampalaya fruit had also been the distinguishing factor from the rest of the fruits with medicinal value, and this is due to the presence of a substance known as momorcidin.

Ampalaya has been a folkloric cure for generations but has now been proven to be an effective herbal medicine for many aliments. Most significant of which is for Diabetes. Ampalaya contains a mixture of flavanoids and alkaloids make the Pancreas produce more insulin that controls the blood sugar in diabetics. Aside from Ampalaya's medicinal value, it is good source of vitamins A, B and C, iron, folic acid, phosphorous and calcium.

The effectively of Ampalaya as an herbal medicine has been tried and tested by many research clinics and laboratories worldwide. In the Philippines, the Department of Health has endorsed Ampalaya as an alternative medicine to help alleviate various ailments including diabetes, liver problems and even HIV. Aside from these, ampalaya also helps treat skin diseases and cough. Its herbal value extends to increasing the sterility of women, in parasiticide, antipyretic, and has purgative functions, as well. Note: In large dozes, pure Ampalaya juice can be a purgative and abortifacient.

Herbal Benefits of Ampalaya:

• Good for rheumatism and gout
• And diseases of the spleen and liver
• Aids in lowering blood sugar levels
• Helps in lowering blood pressure
• Relives headaches
• Disinfects and heals wounds & burns
• Can be used as a cough & fever remedy
• Treatment of intestinal worms, diarrhea
• Helps prevent some types of cancer
• Enhances immune system to fight infection
• For treatment of hemorrhoids
• Is an antioxidant and parasiticide
• Is antibacterial and antipyretic

Preparation & Use of Ampalaya:

• For coughs, fever, worms, diarrhea, diabetes, juice Ampalaya leaves and drink a spoonful daily.
• For other ailments, the fruit and leaves can both be juiced and taken orally.
• For headaches wounds, burns and skin diseases, apply warmed leaves to afflicted area.
• Powdered leaves, and the root decoction, may be used as stringent and applied to treat hemorrhoids.
• Internal parasites are proven to be expelled when the ampalaya juice, made from its leaves, is extracted. The ampalaya juice, and grounded seeds is to be taken one spoonful thrice a day, which also treats diarrhea, dysentery, and chronic colitis.

philipne herbal medicine

Banaba (Lagerstroemia speciosa)

Banaba Herbal Plant

Banaba, the scientific name of which is Lagerstroemia speciosa, is a tropical flowery tree. It grows to a height as high as 20 meters. Its leaves are large, and ranges from the shape of elliptical-ovate to oblong. These leaves are shed by the plant during the first months of the year, and are bright orange or red during these times. Various research on Banaba conducted in Japan prove true the belief that this plant contains high levels of corosilic acid, a substance known as one of the many treatments for diabetes mellitus. Besides its medicinal value, banaba is also cultivated and known for its beautiful flowers.

Banaba has been used in Filipino folkloric herbal medicine for the treatment of diabetes for centuries. It is now gaining popularity and getting recognition as a herbal medicine not only in the Philippines but worldwide. Banaba is also known as Queen's Flower, Crepe Myrtle and the Pride of India. In India, Banaba has also been used to cure diabetes in Ayurvedic medicine for a long time.

Recent studies and laboratory test showed that it's active ingredient, corosolic acid is a potent compound that has insulin like effect to lower glucose in the body and is effective in treating diabetes. Banaba is rapidly becoming known as a natural plant insulin, and what makes it ideal is that, the herbal preparation may also be taken orally, without any risk of adverse side effects. However, caution is advised against taking Banaba with any diabetic drug or any other drug simultaneously. Always consult with a qualified physician or a medical practitioner before taking any medication or any herbal medicine for a correct dose. Also, extra precaution is highly recommended as initial findings show that Banaba extract may delay and reduce the absorption of carbohydrates in the body and promote weight loss, despite its useful medicinal value.

Other studies that were focused on this plant showed other potential medicinal benefits. These include antibacterial functions of seed extracts from this plant, and a water extract of the same manifest anti-oxidative functions. Another is the significant protection that Banaba seems to exhibit to treat HIV-infected cells. This is brought about by its ellagic acid constituents.

Aside from the medicinal value of Banaba, as a herbal medicine, it is also good for the health. Banaba contains high concentrations of dietary fiber and minerals such as zinc and magnesium. The leaves can be boiled and taken daily as tea.

Benefits and Treatment of Banaba:

• Diabetes
• Fights obesity
• Helps regulate blood pressure
• Good for the kidneys
• Aids the digestive system
• Helps ease urination

Banaba Preparation & Use:

Note: Fresh leaves, dried leaves, flowers, ripe fruit, root and bark of Banaba can all be used.
• Wash the leaves in running water (if fresh). Cut into smaller pieces if desired.
• Boil Banaba (one cup Banaba to cup of water) for 30 minutes. Drink like tea.

Senin, 26 Oktober 2009

kinds of mushroom


[edit] Ganoderma lucidum and Ganoderma tsugae (Reishi/Lingzhi)

Ganoderma lucidum
Ganoderma tsugae

Língzhī (Reishi Young-Ji, 灵芝, 영지) Chinese for "spirit plant" is the name for the mushroom Ganoderma lucidum. Several species of Ganoderma have been used in traditional Asian medicines for thousands of years. The medicinal effects of the mushroom are thought to be due to triterpenes like ganoderic acid, as well as beta-glucan compounds. The health benefits of reishi are described in Shen Nong's Herbal Classic and Pen T'sao Kang Mu ("Great Pharmacopoeia"). The Reishi mushroom is a symbol for health, and is depicted in the Emperor's residences in the Forbidden City as well as the Summer Palace. The Chinese goddess of healing Kuan Yin is sometimes depicted holding a Reishi mushroom. Modern scientific research examining the Ganoderma mushrooms has revealed a variety of potential health benefits:

[edit] Trametes versicolor (Coriolus versicolor)

Trametes versicolor
Trametes versicolor

Trametes versicolor (Coriolus versicolor, Turkey tail, Kawaratake, Yun-Zhi, 云芝) is probably the best documented medicinal mushroom. It is a mushroom which has provided the world with a leading cancer drug. The drug is known as Polysaccharide-K (Kresin, PSK, PSP) and its use is intended to counter-act the immune system depressing actions of common chemotherapeutic drugs. In Japan, the Health and Welfare Ministry (equivalent to the United State's Food and Drug Administration) approved Polysaccharide-K in the 1980s.[58] All health care plans in Japan cover the use of Polysaccharide-K.

Used in conjunction with chemotherapy, PSK has increased the survival time of cancer patients in randomized, control studies, with the following types of cancer[59]

The United State's top ranked[63] cancer hospital, the MD Anderson has reported that, Polysaccharide-K is a "promising candidate for chemoprevention due to the multiple effects on the malignant process, limited side effects and safety of daily oral doses for extended periods of time."[64]

[edit] Grifola frondosa (Maitake)

Grifola frondosa

Maitake (Hen of the Woods) is an edible mushroom commonly found on oak trees. This year, a phase I/II human trial, conducted by Memorial Sloan–Kettering Cancer Center, showed Maitake could stimulate the immune systems of breast cancer patients.[10] Small experiments with human cancer patients, have shown Maitake can stimulate immune system cells, like NK cells.[65][66] In vitro research has also shown Maitake can stimulate immune system cells.[67] An in vivo experiment showed that Maitake could stimulate both the innate immune system and adaptive immune system.[68]

In vitro research has shown Maitake can induce apoptosis in cancer cell lines (human prostatic cancer cells, Hep 3B cells, SGC-7901 cells, murine skin carcinoma cells)[69][70][71][72] as well as inhibit the growth of various types of cancer cells (canine cancer cells, bladder cancer cells).[73][74][75] Small studies with human cancer patients, revealed a portion of the Maitake mushroom, known as the "Maitake D-fraction", possess anti-cancer activity.[76][77] In vitro research demonstrated the mushroom has potential anti-metastatic properties.[78] In 1997, the FDA approved an Investigational New Drug Application for a portion of the mushroom.[79]

Research has shown Maitake has a hypoglycemic effect, and may be beneficial for the management of diabetes.[80][81][82][83][84][85] The reason Maitake lowers blood sugar is due to the fact the mushroom naturally contains a alpha glucosidase inhibitor.[86]

Maitake contains antioxidants and may partially inhibit the enzyme cyclooxygenase (the same enzyme which is the target of Advil, Tylenol, and other NSAIDS).[87] An experiment showed that an exact of Maitake inhibited angiogenesis via inhibition of the growth factor VEGF.[88]

[edit] Agaricus subrufescens (Agaricus blazei)

Agaricus blazei

Agaricus blazei (Agaricus brasiliensis, Himematsutake, 姫松茸) is a species of mushroom, that research has shown can stimulate the immune system and exhibit anti-cancer activity. These effects are thought to be due to the mushroom's high concentration of low molecular weight polysaccharides. Unlike some other medicinal mushrooms, Agaricus blazei was not cultivated in the East until fairly recently. This mushroom was imported to Japan from Brazil and cultivated in the 1970s. In Japan, Agaricus blazei is a highly popular alternative medicine, which is used by close to 500,000 people.[89]

Research into potential anti-cancer properties

Experimental Model Experimental Effect (in vitro) Experimental Effect (in vivo, mouse models)
Colon cancer
No effect[90]
Fibrosarcoma Inhibited growth via apoptosis induction (MethA tumor cells)[91] Inhibited growth[91]
Hepatocarcinoma Inhibited abnormal collagen formation (human hepatocarcinoma cells)[92]
Leukaemia Induced apoptosis (human myeloid leukemia cells)[93] (U937 cells)[94] (HL-60 cells)[95] Inhibited growth[93][96]
Lung cancer Induced apoptosis (human LU99 cancer cells)[97] Inhibited metastasis, growth[98]
Inhibited growth[99]
Ovarian cancer Inhibited growth and metastasis via apoptosis induction (human ovarian cancer HRA cells)[98] Inhibited metastasis, growth[98]
Prostate cancer Induced apoptosis (human PC3 cells)[100] Inhibited growth[100]
Inhibited angiogenesis[101][89][102]
Skin cancer
Inhibited growth[4]
Stomach cancer Induced apoptosis (KATO III cells)[97]

A human study of 100 gynecological cancer patients revealed Agaricus blazei consumption resulted in a significantly higher level of NK cell activity with a reduction in chemotherapy associated side effects.[103]

Research into effect on immune system cells, cytokines, and proteins
In addition, cellular and animal model experiments have shown that Agaricus blazei may stimulate immune system cytokines as shown in the table below.

Immune system protein Experimental effect on production (in vitro) Experimental effect on production (in vivo)
Interferon alpha and Interferon beta
Interferon-γ Up-regulated[105] Up-regulated[105]
Interleukin 1 Up-regulated[106]
Interleukin-1β and Interleukin-8 Up-regulated[107]
Interleukin-2 and Interleukin-4 Down-regulated[108][109] Down-regulated[108]
Interleukin 6
Interleukin 12 Up-regulated[110] Up-regulated[105]
Interleukin 18
TNF-α Up-regulated[112] Up-regulated[106]
TLR2 Up-regulated[107]
CXCL1, CXCL2, and CXCL3 Up-regulated[107]
RGS1 Up-regulated[107]
Integrin alpha M Up-regulated[106]
L-selectin Down-regulated[106]
CD80 and CD86 Up-regulated[113]

Additional research suggests, Agaricus blazei has a beneficial effect on cellular health,[114][115] blood glucose[116][117][118][119] , cholesterol,[116][116] inhibiting angiogenesis[102][120] (via inhibition of VEGF) and inhibiting pathogenic factors.[121][122][123][124] This mushroom also contains antioxidants.[125]

[edit] Pleurotus ostreatus (Oyster mushroom)

Pleurotus ostreatus

The Oyster mushroom (Hiratake, píng gū, 平菇) is a natural source of the statin drug Lovastatin[3] (brand name: Mevacor, Altoprev), a drug used to lower cholesterol. Tests have shown the oyster mushroom contains up to 2.8% Lovastatin on a dry weight basis.[126] Animal research has demonstrated that oyster mushroom consumption lowers cholesterol levels.[127][128][129][130][131][132][133][134][135][136][137][138][139][140] Research has also shown the oyster mushroom has anti-cancer properties. An in vivo experiment showed a beta-glucan isolated from the mushroom reduced colon cancer growths and increased antioxidant activities in rats.[141] An in vivo experiment, demonstrated the mushroom's anti-cancer activity in rats with 1,2-dimethylhydrazine induced cancer.[142]

[edit] Agaricus bisporus (Common mushroom)

Agaricus bisporus

The Common mushroom is the world's most popular edible mushroom, and is known by a large number of other names. Research at the City of Hope National Medical Center is studying whether this mushroom may inhibit breast cancer development.[8] The reason mushrooms may reduce the risk of breast cancer, is because immunoassays have shown the mushroom can inhibit the enzyme aromatase which is used by the body to create estrogen.[18][19] In 2009, a case control study examined the diets of 2018 women, half of whom had been diagnosed with breast cancer. It found a statistically significant decrease of incidence of the disease in those women whose diets included more than 10 grams of fresh mushrooms per day (or the dry equivalent). [143][144] A similar case control study with 362 Korean women, found another strong association between mushroom consumption and decreased risk of breast cancer.[145]

In vivo research has shown the table mushroom may be able to stimulate the immune system. In one study, the mushroom was found to enhance dendritic cell function.[146][147] In vitro testing has shown a compound present in the table mushroom has anti-cancer properties, inhibiting the growth of HT29 colon cancer cells, Caco-2 colon cancer cells, MCF-7 breast cancer cells, and Rama-27 rat mammary fibroblasts.[148] Agaricus bisporus, is a rare vegetable source of conjugated linoleic acid,[149] and naturally possess antioxidants,[150] like ergothioneine.[151]

[edit] Lentinula edodes (Shiitake)

Lentinula edodes

Shiitake (椎茸, 香菇, 표고) is a popular culinary mushroom used in dishes around the world. Research has demonstrated the Shiitake mushroom

Active Hexose Correlated Compound (AHCC) is an α-glucan rich compound isolated from Shiitake.[159] AHCC is a well tolerated compound[160] that possess antioxidant activity[161][162], and is metabolized via the CYP450 2D6 pathway.[163] Research has indicated AHCC possesses the following activity.

  • Increasing resistance to pathogens in vivo (influenza virus)[164] (west nile encephalitis)[165] (bacterial infection)[166] (various infectious agents)[167] (bacterial infection)[168] (influenza virus)[169]
  • Producing an anti-cancer effect (269 human hepatocellular carcinoma patients)[170] (1 patient case study)[171] (44 hepatocellular carcinoma patients)[172]
  • Enhancing immune function[173][174] (double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 21 people)[175]

Lentinan, a compound isolated from Shiitake, is used as an intravenous anti-cancer agent in some countries.[176] Lentinan was developed by the Japanese pharmaceutical company Ajinomoto, and designed to treat cancers of the stomach.[5] Studies have demonstrated lentinan, possesses anti-tumor properties,[177] and human clinical studies have associated lentinan with a higher survival rate, higher quality of life, and lower re-occurrence of cancer. Clinical research with lentinan includes studies with, 78 hepatocellular carcinoma patients[178] 32 gastric cancer patients,[179] a multi-institutional study of lentinan and gastric cancer,[180] a meta-analysis of lentinan and gastric cancer,[181] 80 colorectal cancer patients,[182] 20 gastric cancer patients,[183] 36 hepatocellular carcinoma patients,[184] and 29 pancreatic cancer patients.[185] The City of Hope National Medical Center is currently conducting clinical trials to determine if a select portion of the Shiitake mushroom, which includes lentinan, can inhibit lung cancer.[9]

[edit] Hericium erinaceus

Hericium erinaceus

Hericium erinaceus (Lion's Mane Mushroom, Yamabushitake, 山伏茸, 猴头菇) has been researched for possible anti-dementia activity. Primary research has demonstrated the following:

[edit] Flammulina velutipes (Enokitake)

Flammulina velutipes

Enokitake (えのき茸, 팽이버섯) are long, thin white mushrooms commonly used in Asian cuisines. Enokitake mushrooms contain compounds with anti-tumor activity and epidemiological studies in Japan have associated the mushroom with lower cancer rates.[190] In addition these mushrooms contain the antioxidant ergothioneine.[191] In vivo research showed that Proflamin, a compound isolated from Enokitake provided an 85% longer survival time in mice with cancer.[192] Another in vivo study showed that Enokitake demonstrated anti-cancer activity in Swiss albino mice with Sarcoma 180.[193]

[edit] Inonotus obliquus (Chaga mushroom)

Inonotus obliquus

The Chaga mushroom (Kabanoanatake) has anti-cancer properties and may be able to stimulate the immune system.[194][195][196] In one experiment, mice implanted with B16F10-melanoma, showed a 4.07-fold increase in survival rate when given a compound isolated from the Chaga mushroom.[197] The Chaga mushroom contains betulin and inotodiol, two compounds which have demonstrated ability to induce apoptosis of certain cancer cell lines (mouse leukemia P388 cells, Jurkat cells).[198][199] Researchers have noted the Chaga mushroom has potent antioxidant activity,[200][201][202] anti-inflammatory properties[203][204] and may be able to lower blood sugar levels.[194] For centuries, Chaga mushrooms have been used in Russia for medicinal purposes.[6]

[edit] Sparassis crispa

Sparassis crispa

Sparassis crispa (Cauliflower mushroom, Hanabiratake) has been found to contain compounds which stimulate the immune system and posses anti-cancer properties.[205] In vivo research showed a compound contained in the mushroom inhibited solid Sarcoma 180 tumors in mice.[206] One in vitro experiment with human blood cells noted an extract of the mushroom could stimulated IL-8 production.[207] An in vivo experiment with leukopenic mice, noted that a beta-glucan isolated from the mushroom stimulated white blood cell production.[208]

[edit] Pleurotus eryngii

Pleurotus eryngii

Pleurotus eryngii (King oyster mushroom, 杏鮑菇, エリンギ) is an edible mushroom. In vitro research has demonstrated the King Oyster mushroom naturally contains chemicals which may stimulate the immune system.[209]

[edit] Piptoporus betulinus

Piptoporus betulinus

Piptoporus betulinus (Birch bracket mushroom, Kanbatake) may posses anti-cancer properties (due to the mushroom's ability to inhibit matrix metalloproteinase enzymes),[210] anti-inflammatory properties,[211][212] anti-bacterial properties,[213] and anti-viral properties.[214] Ötzi the Iceman, a mummified human from 3300 BC, was found carrying Piptoporus betulinus wrapped in a leather string.[7] Some scientists have speculated it was used medicinally, due to the fact the mummy was found to have intestinal parasites, including whipworm.

[edit] Agrocybe aegerita

Agrocybe aegerita

Agrocybe aegerita (Chestnut mushroom, Velvet pioppino, Agrocybe cylindracea, Yanagimatsutake, Zhuzhuang-tiantougu) possess anti-cancer properties,[215] hypoglycemic properties,[216] antioxidant compounds,[217] as well as compounds with inhibitory properties against the enzyme cyclooxygenase (the same enzyme which is the target of Advil, Tylenol, and other NSAIDS).[218]

[edit] Fomes fomentarius

Fomes fomentarius (Tinder conk mushroom, Tsuriganetabe) contains compounds with anti-cancer activity.[219]

[edit] Cordyceps


Cordyceps (Caterpillar fungus, Tochukasu) are a parasitic fungi which grow out of insects it has infected. The fungus remains essentially dormant until the caterpillar dies; the fungus then replaces the caterpillar's body with its own material and grows its stalk upward and above-ground. The mushroom has a long history in traditional Chinese medicine as well as traditional Tibetan medicine.[220] In Tibet Cordyceps is a cash crop with an ever increasing value.[221] During the Nepalese Civil War fractions fought for control of the Cordyceps trade.[222]

The popularity of this fungus caught the world's attention due to three female Chinese athletes, Wang Junxia, Qu Yunxia, and Zhang Linli who set 5 new world records for 1,500, 3,000 and 10,000 meters in 1993 at the National Games in Beijing, China. The amount of new world records being set at a single track event caused much attention. Following the races, the women were expected by some, to fail drug tests for anabolic steroids. However, the athletes tests revealed no illegal substances, and coach Ma Junren told reporters the secret was that the runners were taking Cordyceps at his request. Modern research has indicated the mushroom has

[edit] Phellinus linteus

Extracts from Phellinus linteus (Mesima, Meshimakobu, Song-gen, Sang-hwang) have been used for centuries in traditional Korean medicine. A paper published by Harvard Medical School, reported that Phellinus linteus is a promising anti-cancer agent. However the paper states more research is needed to understand the mechanisms behind Phellinus linteus.[231] In vitro research published by the British Journal of Cancer, demonstrated one anti-cancer mechanism behind Phellinus linteus. It was found that the mushroom inhibited the growth of breast cancer cells by way of inhibiting the enzyme AKT, as well as inhibiting angiogenesis.[8]