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Polypore versicolor, Trametes versicolor, Coriolus versicolor : Crédit Wikipedia


Mushrooms are part of the traditional pharmacopoeias of many Asian countries.

Coriolus = Trametes versicolor is a fungus used in traditional Chinese medicine for several thousand years, recent research has also registered it in the Japanese pharmacopoeia:
- to strengthen immunity and natural organic defenses,
- to slow down cancers development ,
- and increase the chances of recovery from several types of cancer in association with modern anti-cancer treatments (chemotherapy and radiotherapy).

Other fungi are also widely used for healing or maintaining good health in Asia
such as Ganoderma lucidum (or reishi) .
or Grifola frondosa (maitake).

The TURKEYTAIL polypore, Coriolus = Trametes versicolor is a fungus which attacks wood (lignivorous fungus), it is widespread, it seems, all over the world and very present in European forests.
It attacks deciduous trees (eg beech, birch) in poor health, or dead or felled (logs) and can also develop on frames or furniture not protected from humidity.
The fungus mycelium (white filament network very small) that invades the wood, emits when it is developed a very recognizable reproductive organ, the fruiting body or "fruit" of the fungus or "cap".

The growth of this "cap" is made by the periphery which remains light in color, the older parts are colored (brown, yellow, blue, black or green).
The green coloring is due to microscopic algae which take advantage of this substrate to develop.
The fungus does not have a foot, the "fans" with wavy margins are often in groups and very nested, the lower part of the "fan" is clear and pierced by numerous small pores through which the spores escape, this fungus does not have a characteristic odor.

It is a mushroom with a very firm or even hard consistency that persists for many months unlike most other mushrooms.

The traditional medicinal part is the colored carpophore but the mycelium is also very interesting on a pharmacological point of view.



Trametes = Coriolus versicolor is barely an edible mushroom


Pharmacologically interesting substances in this polypore are complex carbohydrates (associated with proteins), the chemical structures of which are not well known.

In vitro and in vivo this mixture of polysaccharides increases the activity of cells which are responsible for the defense of the body: NK lymphocytes (killer cells) which are the body's first line of defense and which also stimulate the response of other immune cells (B and T lymphocytes) through chemical mediators.

This increase in the activity of killer "cells" makes it possible to more easily eliminate cells infected with bacteria or viruses, as well as cancer cells.

But the artificial increase in the immune response must be considered as it can also lead to an abnormal self-destruct response (autoimmune disease).

Japanese researchers have been studying this mushroom for more than 40 years. In the 1980s, they isolated two groups of substances: the K polysaccharide or "Krestin" and the PSP with a higher protein content.

These two "phytomedicines" are regularly prescribed in Asia to complement anti-cancer and anti-leukemia treatments, perhaps limit metastases and facilitate a return of natural immunity after anti-cancer treatments which are known to dangerously lower the body's defenses.

These aqueous or hydro-alcoholic extracts of Trametes-Coriolus versicolor have been tested in vitro or in vivo on several types of cancerous cells, the best results are obtained on digestive cancers, prostate cancer, certain bronchopulmonary cancers.

Turkeytail extracts also help to better fight against certain bacterial infections (such as tuberculosis) and appear to be active against several types of infectious virus (human papillomavirus, possibly hepatitis C virus)

The aqueous extracts of Trametes = Coriolus versicolor are anti-oxidants and contain metals, in particular selenium.

Selenium may protect in low doses against certain types of cancer (prostate, colon) and degenerative cardiovascular diseases.

The action of trace elements is not easy to know because, as their name suggests, they exist in trace amounts in food; at too high a dose, they are quite often toxic or can induce cancer (this is valid for selenium).



This is the main uses of the polypore versicolor:

- WEAKNESS OF IMMUNE SYSTEM RESPONSE following a prolonged viral or bacterial infection (eg tuberculosis, hepatitis, herpes ).

- RESTORATION OF NATURAL DEFENSES after treatment with chemotherapy or radiotherapy (cancer, leukemia).
Cancer treatments dramatically lower the level of immune defense, which delays healing or remission, makes patients susceptible to infections, and induces chronic physical and "mental" fatigue.

- ASSOCIATION (adjuvant) with an anti-cancer or anti-leukemia treatment:

It seems that extracts of coriolus = trametes versicolor potentiate the action of anti-cancer chemo or radio-therapy by increasing the rate of apoptosis (cell death) of cancer cells.
This association would be interesting in the event of prostate cancer, cancer of the digestive tract (stomach and large intestine), bronchopulmonary cancer with large and small cells.

- MAINTAINING A GOOD LEVEL OF IMMUNITY in people in apparent good health but weakened by age or a chronic disease (type 2 diabetes for example).


Trametes = Coriolus versicolor extracts are not part of the European pharmacopoeias, and for administrative reasons they cannot be imported from Asia as medicines or manufactured and sold as medicines in the majority of European countries as well as in the USA .

On the other hand, the fungus can be sold as a DIETARY SUPPLEMENT, it is found on the internet in most countries.
Suppliers who define the precise geographical origin of the fungus should be preferred (avoid, for example, fungi from Eastern Europe or the Balkans because of the risk of post-Chernobyl radionuclide concentration).

PSK (krestin) or PSP mushroom extracts are over the counter in Asia, for the dosage refer to the laboratory instructions.

DOSAGE of the carpophore powder of Trametes = Coriolus versicolor mushroom or dehydrated mushroom or fresh mushroom:

3 to 10 g per day of dehydrated mushroom powder, which corresponds to approximately 10 to 30 g of fresh mushroom (which can be collected in the wild or cultivated).
It is possible to increase this dosage, (double it for example), and it is obvious that we stop the treatment in the event of side effects which signify an intolerance: hives or urticaria, digestive disorders, migraines ...
We can make capsules of dehydrated mushroom powder or consumed as a prolonged infusion, or incorporate it into food.


This mushroom or its extracts should not be used in case of autoimmune diseases or in patients awaiting a transplant or having undergone an organ transplant.

Cultivation of Trametes = Coriolus versicolor

The fungus can of course be harvested from the wild, but it often contains insects, plant debris, and algae and like all fungi it may have concentrated potentially toxic heavy metals.
The cultivation of this mushroom is therefore an interesting solution to have a plant of medicinal use.
Wood-eating fungi are fairly easy to grow, but preparing a pure mycelium culture necessary for seeding wood debris takes practice and knowledge.

One can bypass this step by buying ready-made "kits" where the wood is already seeded with mycelium.

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Trametes = Coriolus versicolor is a fungus that grows on dead wood.
It contains complex carbohydrates which strengthen immunity and serve as an adjunct in the treatment of many cancers and leukemias in Asia (KRESTIN, PSK and PSP).
This mushroom is not marketed as a medicine or medicinal plant in the majority of Western countries but it is part of the traditional medicinal plants in Asia.
It can be grown on a wood-based substrate.