Herbs & Botanicals
What is polyporus? What is it used for?
Polyporus is a large, golden brown mushroom that grows in wooded areas,
especially on and around trees. It is characterized by a large, bracket-
or saddle-shaped body, with a white underside and large pores, and has
a bland or slightly sweet taste. The body of the mushroom is used medicinally.
As a standalone product, polyporus has both diuretic and anti-inflammatory
properties. It has been traditionally been used to treat edema, genitouninary
infections, urinary retention, diarrhea, and vaginal discharges. It also
enhances the capabilities of the immune system. There is anecdotal evidence
that polyporus may have antitumor properties, which have caused some people
to promote its use in treating some forms of cancer.
Polyporus is often combined with other products to create potent herbal
formulas. It is sometimes taken in combination with poria, red atractylodes,
corn silk and alisma to promote urinary and reduce inflammation; other
herbalists combine polyporus with ganoderma, poria, astragalus, coriolus
and shitake to strengthen the immune system.
How much polyporus should I take?
The amount of polyporus to be taken depends on the condition being treated.
Many practitioners recommend between 6-15 grams of polyporus daily (less
if being used in conjunction with other products). Be sure to consult
with a trained, licensed health care professional before taking polyporus
or any other herbal remedy.
What forms of polyporus are available?
Dried polyporus is available at many Asian markets and specialty health
food stores. It is also sold as a powder.
What can happen if I don't get enough polyporus?
What can happen if I take too much? Are there any side-effects I should
be aware of?
Polyporus should not be used by women who are pregnant or lactating.
It should also not be taken by patients with an acute illness. There are
no known drug interactions with polyporus.
- Han J. Traditional Chinese medicine and the search
for new antineoplastic drugs. J Ethnopharmacol 1988 Sep;24(1):1-17.
- Hobbs C. Medicinal Mushrooms. An Exploration of
Tradition, Healing & Culture. Reishi, Shiitake, Maitake, Kombucha,
and More. Santa Cruz, CA: Botanica Press, 1986, p. 116.
- Huang KC. The Pharmacology of Chinese Herbs.
CRC Press, 1993, p. 237.
- Mowrey DB. Herbal Tonic Therapies: Remedies from
Nature's Own Pharmacy to Strengthen and Support Each Vital Body
System. Keats Publishing, 1993, pp. 342-47, 356-57.
- Murray MT. The Healing Power of Herbs. The Enlightened
Person's Guide to the Wonders of Medicinal Plants. Prima Publishing,
1992, pp. 286-93, 306-13.