The Ancient Mushroom Fungus of Immortality~
Poria Benefits and Uses:
It has been scientifically demonstrated that Poria is constituted of two main chemical groups, polysaccharides and triterpenes. It is also a source of histadine, enzymes, choline, steroids, potassium salts and amino acids, which are believed to help with the medical efficacy of the fungus.
Traditionally, Poria has been used in the treatment of insomnia, to rebalance electrolytes and to improve spleen function; it is also thought that the fungus has the ability to drain excess dampness from the body. In addition to its perceived ability to treat the aforementioned problems, modern alternative health practitioners also believe that Poria is capable of bestowing a variety of other health benefits on those who take it:
- Immune Booster: Results from animal studies suggest that Poria may have the ability to provide a boost to the immune system of those who use it.
- Anti-inflammatory: The anti-inflammatory properties of Poria make it useful for the treatment of a variety of skin problems including spots and psoriasis. It can also be used in moisturizers and is increasingly being added to products by cosmetic companies due to the calming effect it has on skin.
- Diabetes: There is some limited evidence to suggest that Poria may provide assistance in helping to manage diabetes. It has been demonstrated that mice, treated with the fungus, showed an improvement in insulin sensitivity and a decrease in their blood glucose levels. However, as of yet, there is a lack of clinical data to back up these results in humans and more information is required before Poria can be trusted as a reliable treatment in this area.
- Insomnia / Anxiety: Practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine, believe in the concept of shen; this translates roughly to ‘mind’ or ‘spirit’. They believe that Poria is able to target disturbances within a person’s shen and that it therefore relieves stress and has a calming effect on the minds of those who use it.
- Contact dermatitis: Human studies have been done which demonstrated that an emollient cream made from Poria was beneficial in treating the early stages of contact dermatitis. It had also shown that the cream did not irritate the healthy tissue surrounding the inflamed areas of skin. Results from the study showed that Poria was effective in blocking one of the enzymes that is key in producing an inflammatory reaction. Animal studies have been done on mice as well, where the results support the conclusion that Poria can be a helpful treatment option for those suffering from dermatitis.
- Digestive Aid: Poria is used to aid those suffering from problems with their digestive system such as constipation or diarrhea.
- Increased cerebral blood flow: Animal studies on rats, have shown that Poria has the potential to increase blood flow to the brain and proponents of Chinese traditional medicine believe that it is in turn capable of maximizing an individual’s potential intelligence and improving the symptoms of those suffering from memory loss.
- Diuretic: Poria helps to increase urination and is therefore often used in the treatment of problems with the urinary tract.
- In addition to the potential health benefits listed above, Poria is also anti-bacterial, anti-viral and an anti-oxidant, meaning that to it can help prevent cellular damage.
Skin conditions like psoriasis can be treated with poria. It contains powerful anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial to people suffering from psoriasis. The use of poria in various skin treatments is well known especially among Chinese women. This mushroom is used in topical applications to nourish, and moisturize the skin and eliminate problems like pimples, acne, oily skin, wrinkles, and dark spots. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, poria is now being commonly used in a number of cosmetic products to enhance beauty and youthfulness.
Preliminary research shows that poria may help fight Alzheimer's disease. In a 2009 study published in the German journal Die Pharmazie, tests on rat cells demonstrated that poria may inhibit Alzheimer's development by reducing oxidative stress. The study’s authors also found that poria may help shield the brain from the toxic effects of beta-amyloid (a substance that forms the brain plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease).
- Not recommend for pregnant woman and young children.There are no known problems associated with taking Poria, However, as there is a lack of clinical data on Poria use in humans, to be safe, it should be avoided throughout pregnancy. As with any other form of medical treatment, in the event that undesired side effects occur usage should be stopped immediately and, if necessary, help sort from an appropriate medical practitioner.
PORIA~Fu Ling (Sclerotium poriae cocos)
What is Poria?
Cinnamon and Poria
Poria also known as Fu Ling and WolfiPoria Extensa, is a fungal growth that is widely used throughout Asia for its medicinal properties. In China, the fungus is known as fu ling and its usage in Chinese traditional medicine dates back over 2000 years.