Coriolus mushroom is a fungus. People have used the fruiting body and other parts as folk medicine for a long time. Recently, researchers have started to isolate and identify substances in coriolus that might act like pharmaceutical drugs. Two of these substances are polysaccharide peptide (PSP) and polysaccharide krestin (PSK). Scientists think these chemicals might be able to fight cancer and boost the immune system. Coriolus mushroom, PSP, and PSK are used for stimulating the immune system; treating herpes, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), hepatitis, and pulmonary disorders; reducing phlegm; improving bodybuilding results; increasing energy; curing ringworm and a skin condition called impetigo; treating upper respiratory, urinary, and digestive tract infections; curing liver disorders including hepatitis; reducing the toxic effects and pain of chemotherapy and radiation therapy; increasing the effectiveness of chemotherapy; prolonging life and raising the quality of life of cancer patients; and increasing appetite.
In the recently published edition of the Journal of Integrated Medicine (Online version), Dr. Jean Monro of the Breakspear Hospital outlines the impact of Coriolus versicolor supplementation as immunonutrition in thirty-six (36) Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS) patients over a six week period.
The 36 patients were selected on the basis of international criteria for the diagnosis of CFIDS. Ages ranged from 17 years to 83 years and there was a female-to-male ratio of 2:1. In addition, the patients had a combination of high antibody levels to Epstein Barr virus (EBV) and/or Herpes Simplex 6 virus (HHV6) and/or Cytomegalovirus. (CMV).
Patients were given Coriolus versicolor (non-extracted) 6 tablets daily for 15 days (3 g/day), followed by 3 tablets daily for 45 days (1.5 g/day). Immune parameters were measured before and after the sixty (60) day supplementation period.
Results were noted in two areas:
1) Natural Killer Cells–before treatment the average NK cell level was average=129.64/mm3. After treatment this had increased to 175/mm3, an increase of 35%.
2) T cells (CD3 CD26)–there was increased activation in 66% of patients and T cell depression in 22% of patients. T cell level was unchanged in 11% of the patients.
Supplementation with non-extracted Coriolus versicolor showed improvements in both immune parameters and viral levels in the majority of the thirty-six (36) CFIDS patients, indicating that Coriolus versicolor supplementation has the potential to play a significant role in the treatment of CFIDS.