Mushrooms,  Treasures of Chinese Dietetics

Mushrooms – Part Two


(Coriolus versicolor, Trametes versicolor, outkovka pestrá, Turkey Tail Mushroom, Chinese Yun Zhi (云芝), Japanese Kawaratake) is a wood-decaying mushroom, which belongs to the Polyporaceae. Coriolus grows throughout the entire year and can be found predominantly on the living wounded and dead stumps of deciduous trees in the mild climate belt of Asia, North America and Europe. Sporocarps of the fungus are fan-shaped, hence the English name, and they form clusters, which are roof-shaped. The cap itself has a diameter of about 2-8 cm and it has typical beige strips on brown or grey background, the surface of the cap velvety.

Yun Zhi is a cloud-shaped fungus that grows in the deep mountains of Yunnan and Guizhou in China. Known as “Zhi” in ancient times, its health benefits have been documented in the Chinese Pharmacopoeia “Compendium of Materia Medica” for thousands of years. According to the records of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), wild Yun Zhi can promote physical recovery and prolong life by reducing fever, reducing phlegm, detoxifying and replenishing qi. Earlier records even referred to wild versicolor as an elixir. Up to now, wild versicolor is still one of the widely studied and valued medicinal fungi, and it is often used in conventional therapy, especially in patients in remission.

Coriolus is still used as a “medicinal plant” in traditional Chinese medicine. The “scientific” world discovered it only in the 1960s-70s. At that time, thanks to a Japanese Goro Chihara scientist, the polysaccharide PKS was extracted from Coriolus, which soon showed immunostimulating effects.

Property – Sweet, neutral; heart, spleen, liver and kidney meridians entered.
Actions – Strengthen the spleen and promote diuresis, clear heat and remove toxicity.


Ganoderma lucidum (lingzhi 灵芝, reishi, lesklokorka lesklá, polypor mushroom )is known as the “plant of immortality”, “spiritual plant” or “plant of spiritual power”. For centuries in China and Japan, Reishi has been highly valued for its health-supporting properties. The mushroom is believed to have the ability to “enlighten the spirit”, as its name suggests. In traditional Chinese medicine, reishi is considered a top-class tonic that promotes long life. In the work of Bencao gangmu (1578 AD), it is said about this mushroom that “its constant use reduces weight and increases the average age of life”.

Like other rare mushrooms with great health benefits, Reishi was traditionally very expensive. There are many stories of people who suffered from cancer or degenerative diseases and who underwent long journeys just to find this mushroom. Thanks to the pioneering work of Japanese professor Shigeake
Mori today, Reishi can be cultivated, making its healing properties available and affordable. If you’re looking for a way to improve your health and well-being, reishi mushrooms are a great option. You can find them in capsules, powders, and teas at most health food stores.

Property – Sweet, neutral; heart, lung, liver and kidney meridians entered.
Actions – Tonify qi, nourish the blood, induce tranquilization and profit wisdom, relieve cough and dyspnea.


If you’ve ever seen a Hericium (Hericium Erinaceus, yamabushitake, Hou Tou Gu – 猴头菇, lion’s mane mushroom, Korálovec ježatý)before, you know that they’re pretty amazing mushrooms. Also known as lion’s mane mushrooms, Hericium are white, spongy, and look a bit like coral. They’re native to North America, Europe, and Asia, and have a long history of use in traditional Chinese medicine.

Today, Hericium is gaining popularity for its potential health benefits. Some studies suggest that they can help improve cognitive function and protect the brain from age-related damage. Additionally, Hericium is a good source of antioxidants and polysaccharides, which are believed to promote a healthy immune system.

If you’re looking for a delicious and nutritious way to add mushrooms to your diet, Hericium is a great option. They can be enjoyed cooked or raw, and are versatile.

Property – Sweet, neutral.
Actions – Benefit the five internal organs (heart, liver, spleen, lungs and kidneys), tonification, anti-cancer, and promote digestion.

Mushrooms can be found here

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