Did you know… that a mushroom used initially in traditional Chinese medicine as a tonic is now being seriously studied as a cancer treatment?
Derivatives of Coriolus versicolor (Yun Zhi), a time-honored mushroom that has been used in Asian medicine for centuries, have shown increasing promise as integrative cancer treatments. Clinical trials suggest that these derived substances, known for their strong antioxidant properties, can increase the survival rates and lengthen the remission times of individuals suffering from certain types of cancers.
While very little is known about the effects of the raw mushroom itself on cancer, scientific evidence is unveiling much about the beneficial nature of two substances extracted from the mushroom: polysaccharide K (PSK) and polysaccharide-peptide (PSP). Don’t let the long names confuse you; polysaccharides are carbohydrates composed of long chains of sugar molecules that help store energy and provide structural support to the walls of plant and bacterial cells.
A Top-Selling Anti-Cancer Drug in Japan
PSK has received the most attention as an anti-cancer fighting agent. Approved as an anti-cancer drug in the 1980s by the Japanese government, this mushroom extract is already a top-selling anti-cancer drug in Japan, where it is used in conjunction with chemotherapy, surgery and radiation therapy.
Researchers at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center examined 2 dozen human clinical trials that analyzed the effects of PSK on cancer patients, particularly those suffering from cancer of the esophagus, stomach, colon and breast.
Comprehensive results showed that most patients benefited from Coriolus versicolor: When administered with other treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation, PSK increased the amount of time that patients were free of disease, and also increased survival rates. Smaller studies indicate that PSK may not be as effective against leukemia and liver cancer.
Animal studies testing PSK confirm the results of human clinical trials of Coriolus versicolor. PSK has been shown to slow the growth and spread of cancer cells…boost the immune systems of cancer victims…and reduce the extreme side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Extract Stalls the Growth of Lung Cancer, Sarcoma and Brain Tumors
The Coriolus versicolor extract PSP is a more recent discovery that has not been as extensively studied as PSK. Preliminary Chinese studies conducted on cell cultures or animals suggest that PSP may defend against the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation, but human clinical trials are needed to back up such results.
A small human clinical trial reviewing the effects of PSP on lung cancer patients showed that those taking PSP sustained health longer than those undergoing standard treatment without PSP. Animal studies also suggest that PSP might stall the growth of lung cancer and sarcoma and enhance the effectiveness of radiation therapy in treating brain tumors.
Extracts of Coriolus versicolor have been used to boost the immune system and treat many other ailments such as…
• Chronic fatigue syndrome
• Lung disorders
• Skin infections, including impetigo
• Urinary tract infections
• Digestive tract infections
• Poor appetite
You can find extracts of Coriolus versicolor in capsule, extract or tea form online, in health food stores and in herbal medicine shops. Healthcare practitioners recommend 1 to 9 grams daily, depending on the type and severity of your condition. Side effects are mild and rare but can include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite and diarrhea.
More rare complications are darkening of the fingernails and low blood cell counts. Check with your healthcare provider before beginning any healthcare regimen.