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Zhu Ling Mushroom – A Chinese Pharmacy Staple

Posted Jul 07 2010 10:50pm

Zhu Ling Mushroom sells widely through Chinese apothecaries in the form of thin slivers. It’s traditionally used as a potent antibiotic and anti-tumor remedy, as well as a diuretic and to treat urinary tract infections. [300]

Like the better known Truffle, Zhu Ling is a subterranean mushroom that grows on rotting wood. The fact that it can stay fresh in wet soil conditions for over a year proves that it has a potent antimicrobial immune system.

In confirmation of its use in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for urogenital infections, one study showed Zhu Ling having an inhibitory effect on Chlamydia trachomatis. [302]

Some of the most promising modern research on Zhu Ling has been on its effect against parasites, for the treatment of Hepatitis B, to boost the immune system, [303, 304] and for the treatment of certain cancers [305, 306, 307, 308] including liver cancer, [309] bladder cancer and leukemia [310, 311] – in particular to help the immune system rebound [312] and to prevent the recurrence of cancer after chemotherapy and radiation. Two studies from 1991 and 1994 showed 68% and 50% reduction rates of cancer recurrence when Zhu Ling was administered after the conclusion of conventional cancer treatments. [313, 314]

In terms of its anti-parasitic effects, lab tests have shown Zhu Ling to be 100% effective against both Brucella spp. (brucellosis) and Plasmodium falciparum (malaria). [310] However, it has not yet to our knowledge been tested on live patients afflicted with malaria.

In tests on live subjects with brucellosis, Zhu Ling was reported to help reverse the immune system suppression that is a symptom of this debilitating disease. [315, 316]

Traditional Chinese Medicine also prescribes Zhu Ling for the treatment of hepatitis B. Several research papers have affirmed this use of Zhu Ling. [317, 318] However, a 2001 study by Liu et al. reported that although useful against hepatitis B, Zhu Ling’s effect was not strong enough to be used as a standalone treatment. [319, 320] Another research article also reported positive findings with toxic hepatitis. [321]

A 2008 paper reported Zhu Ling being powerfully anti-inflammatory, [322] which could make it useful in a large number of conditions involving inflammation.

One modern study showed that Zhu Ling extract appears to balance urine production by increasing low urinary output and decreasing it if it’s too high. [301]

A logical conclusion from this is that Zhu Ling could be conveniently given to patients waiting to provide a urine sample in order to expedite the process. [300]

In his book Mycelium Running, medicinal mushroom expert Paul Stamets also lists viruses and respiratory conditions as areas where research has shown Zhu Ling extract to have a beneficial effect. [134]

Note: The statements on this page have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Never use any medicinal mushroom or herb without prior approval by medical doctor.

Credit: Thank you to Paul Stamets for source material.

Dr. Markho Rafael has worked with natural health since finishing Chiropractic College in 1996. He currently specializes in medicinal fungi, specifically working with the extracts of Paul Stamets’ Fungi Perfecti. (Paul Stamets incorporates Zhu Ling in his Stamets 7 Mushroom Blend .) For research references to this article, please go to Zhu Ling page. Click on number indicating reference.

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