Ecology & History

Coriolus Versicolor Mushroom

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Trametes versicolor (Coriolus Versicolor) is not an edible mushroom but since ancient times extracts has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for therapeutic effects including the treatment of cancer.  TCM used the extracts that were derived from whole fruit-bodies.  Today two compounds, PSK (polysaccharide-K) and PSP (polysaccharide-peptide) are purified from this fungus by deep tank fermentation of the mycelium using a variety of strains.  PSK (Krestin) was first isolated in Japan in the late 1960s while PSP was isolated about 1983 in China.  Each compound has shown remarkable anticancer properties with few side-effects. Remarkably by 1987 PSK accounted for more than 25% of total national expenditure for anti-cancer agents in Japan.

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Basidiomycota
Class: Agaricomycetes
Subclass: Agaricomycetidae
Order: Polyporales
Family: Polyporaceae
Genus: Trametes
Species: T. versicolor

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