Black Hoof Mushroom

Phellinus linteus

Herbs gallery - Black Hoof Mushroom

Common names

  • Black Hoof Mushroom
  • Meshima
  • Meshimakobu
  • Sanghwang
  • Song Gen

The black hoof mushroom is extremely popular in Asian countries like Korea, Japan and China, being considered a miraculous medicine that is able to boost longevity. It is a basidiomycete fungus part of the hymenomycetes group that includes the most effective medicinal mushrooms.

Modern science has validated the claims about the mushroom's powers. According to Stamets, it displayed the greatest macrophage activation of the seven species tested in his study, while Ikekawa reported the black hoof has the strongest anti-cancer effect of all mushrooms. Korean researchers have extensively investigated the species and concluded that it can be a very useful adjuvant to chemotherapy due to the strong anti-tumour effects and ability to improve immune response.

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Traditional Chinese medicine considers P. linteus to have a cold type of energy, the only medical mushroom given this classification. Black hoof mushroom is recommended against numerous chronic and lethal diseases like diabetes, HIV or cancer. It also speeds up the healing of wounds and can treat angina, leucorrhoea or diarrhea.

Modern research has focused on the polysaccharide and proteoglycan identified in black hoof mushroom. However, it includes very interesting flavonoid-like polyphenol pigments as well, which are known as anti-inflammatory, cytotoxic, antioxidant and anti-viral.

The name of the species comes from its shape, which is similar to a hoof. It is found in the wild on mulberry trees and has a dark color, from brown to black. Black hoof mushroom is known for its bitter taste and prepared as a hot tea when consumed as a medicine in Korea.

Parts used

Mushroom.

Uses

The black hoof mushroom (scientific name Phellinus linteus) is a mushroom found on mulberry trees, known for its medicinal benefits.

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Black hoof mushroom has a long usage history in traditional Chinese medicine and some alternative medical systems still use it today, due to its alleged ability to reduce the risk of a number of diseases by boosting the immune system. According to some experts in herbal medicine, the black hoof mushroom is a lot more powerful and can cure cancers of the prostate, breasts and lungs, as well as other tumours. Chinese medicine usually combines black hoof mushrooms with reishi, maitake and several other medicinal mushrooms, for a stronger effect.

Like all mushrooms, black hoof mushroom is very rich in bioactive compounds, of which only a few have been properly researched. Ellagic acid and caffeic acid are two powerful natural antioxidants that have been identified in its composition.

Black hoof mushroom is also considered a potential treatment for cancer. A serious study report published in the Current Medicinal Chemistry magazine in 2008 concluded that it can be effective against tumours. The authors also tested the mushroom as a secondary treatment alongside some of the current medicine against cancer and discovered that it can improve their action. Extracts from black hoof mushrooms were intensively tested in a number of preliminary studies attached to this report. They were found to limit the growth and extent of cancerous tumours, as well as provide a general immunity boost and reduce inflammation.

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The black hoof mushroom is also believed to reduce the risk of autoimmune diabetes. This type of diabetes has an autoimmune cause, the production of insulin decreases because the cells that produce it are mistakenly destroyed by the immune system.

The species is also considered a possible counter for a skin condition with immune causes, known as atopic dermatitis. Mushrooms extracts have been tested on both mice and humans who suffer from this disease. The results confirmed that the extracts balance the immune system and reduce the number of cells that cause inflammation, decreasing the severity and extent of the eczema.

Phellinus linteus is very popular in Korean medicine where it is recommended for daily consumption as a tea. Black hoof mushroom has been used since ancient times in Asian medicine as a counter for various digestive issues but also cancers, internal bleeding and other problems. Its ability to improve the immune system was well-known and has been confirmed by recent studies. It is explained by the presence of two polysaccharide-protein complexes, beta D-glutan and lectin, which influence the immune function.

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Another effect of the black hoof mushroom is the capacity to balance the level of glucose in the blood stream. A compound named interfungins A appears to explain this process. It seems to be especially strong in type 2 diabetes and people who suffer from this condition are advised to consume the black hoof mushrooms as part of their regular diet.

Black hoof mushroom is also a good natural option in the treatment of hemorrhage. It can limit excessive bleeding during menses and ovarian bleeding and it is also known to reduce bleeding in the intestines. Because of these known effects, it is currently being investigated as a potential treatment for hemophilia. This is a very serious genetic disease that prevents normal clotting of the blood and can have lethal consequences. A normal person only bleeds for a limited time when cut, until the mechanism of blood clotting starts and closes the wound, which is then repaired permanently. People with hemophilia lack this mechanism and can bleed to death, so the discovery of a cure would be a massive breakthrough.

Hispidin is a strong antioxidant agent found in Phellinus linteus extracts. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals and protect cells and tissues from the damage they cause. Free radicals are a product of the human metabolism but they can mutate and alter cells if not controlled, eventually causing cancer and other chronic conditions.

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Besides antioxidants, the black hoof mushroom might include some compounds with a direct action against cancer, according to a study published by the Harvard Medical School. Another article from the British Journal of Cancer reported that the black hoof mushroom can inhibit breast cancer by blocking the activity of the AKT enzyme that causes it.

Like most mushrooms, extracts from this one have a strong antiseptic action. CHCl3, n-BuOH and H2O are the compounds identified in methanoextracts that have a proven effect against bacteria. Black hoof mushroom extracts are able to kill even strains of bacteria that are immune to other types of drugs.

One example is Staphylococcus aureus, which resists methicillin. This harmful bacterium is widespread and can trigger numerous diseases. Some of the most common are the staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome in infants, as well as other infections such as furuncles. Pus from infections with this pathogen can spread it to other people when touched. People who use prosthetics can develop septic arthritis if infected. It can also cause more serious conditions, some of them lethal. Staphylococcal endocarditis is one of these, which happens when staphylococcus aureus infects the valves of the heart.

Another very dangerous condition started by Staphylococcus aureus is the clotting of blood plasma. Plasma is the liquid component of our blood, so this issue seriously disrupts the flow of nutrients through the body.

Extracts from this mushroom can eliminate bacteria, which also cures any conditions caused by it, such as diarrhea. Diarrhea is not usually a serious issue but if it lasts too long it can lead to dehydration. This can even have fatal consequences, so it's important to be treated as soon as possible. People who suffer from diarrhea are often rehydrated while in treatment.

Phellinus Linteus is also useful in the treatment of gastro-enteric dysfunction. This is a strange condition where bowels appear to be healthy but fail to work properly. There are many possible causes, the most common being a poor diet. This leads to constipation or the so-called IBS - irritable bowel syndrome. Many people today eat a lot of processed and refined foods, which irritates the stomach. This is why it is very important to have fibers in your diet. Foods with fibers are easy to include even in fast meals, for example as salads or cereals.

Using laxatives too often can also disturb the bowels in time. The human digestive system is like a cyclic mechanism, made to process the food, extract nutrients from it, then discard the remains. It is a very bad idea to interrupt this natural process, unless for very solid reasons, in cases of emergency. Laxatives weaken the bowel muscles, which can cause a permanent disruption of the system. Many laxatives use sodium bicarbonate as the main ingredient.

Constipation can be avoided with a diet rich in fibers and regular exercise to keep the muscles in shape. Frequent constipation is often the sign of a very unhealthy lifestyle and can lead to more serious issues, such as hemorrhoids or fissures.

The irritable bowel syndrome can easily be cured by consuming more fibers; a small amount of caffeine also helps. You might be sensitive to some foods, just identify those and eliminate them from your diet. Consuming whole foods is recommended against any kind of digestive disorder.

Some of the components of black hoof mushroom can reduce the appearance of wrinkles and decrease the signs of aging in general.

Constituents

The active ethylacetate fraction of the fruiting body has been chemically tested and a number of nine compounds have been isolated. These are ellagic acid, hispidin, davallialactone, hypholomine B, inoscavin A, protocatechuic acid, protocatechualdehyde, caffeic acid, as well as interfungin A, which inhibits protein glycation.

Black hoof mushroom extracts from both the mycelium and the fruiting body can boost the immune function, both cell-mediated and hormonal. They also destroy cancer cells, limiting their growth, and can reduce various forms of inflammation.

Side effects and cautions

For best results, consume black hoof mushroom in the morning on an empty stomach. Drinking a lot of water is also a good idea in order to release toxins and eliminate them.

Like all natural foods, there are some people who are sensitive to black hoof mushrooms. After you eat them for the first time, you might notice some itchiness, dizziness or upset stomach. This is actually a reaction to the mushroom's ability to release and counter some of the toxins inside your body, so it is actually beneficial in the end.

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