Phellinus linteus (Japanese “meshimakobu”, Chinese “song gen”, Korean “sanghwang”, English “Meshima”, American English “black hoof mushroom”) is a medicinal mushroom used in Japan, Korea and China for centuries to prevent ailments as diverse as gastroenteric dysfunction, diarrhea, haemorrhage and cancers.
It is shaped like a hoof, has a bitter taste, and in the wild grows on mulberry trees. The stem’s color ranges from dark brown to black. In Korean traditional medicine, the mushroom is consumed in the form of hot tea.
A paper published by Harvard Medical School reported that Phellinus linteus is a promising anti-cancer agent, but that more research is required to understand the mechanisms behind its anti-cancer activity.
Nine compounds were isolated from the active ethylacetate fraction of the fruiting body and identified as protocatechuic acid, protocatechualdehyde, caffeic acid, ellagic acid, hispidin, davallialactone, hypholomine B, interfungins A and inoscavin A of which interfungins A is a potent inhibitor of protein glycation.
Extracts from fruit-bodies or mycelium of Phellinus linteus stimulate the hormonal and cell-mediated immune function, quench the inflammatory reactions caused by a variety of stimuli, and suppress tumor growth and metastasis.
- Lu TL, Huang GJ, Lu TJ, et al. (August 2009). “Hispolon from Phellinus linteus has antiproliferative effects via MDM2-recruited ERK1/2 activity in breast and bladder cancer cells”. Food and Chemical Toxicology. 47 (8): 2013–21. doi:10.1016/j.fct.2009.05.023. PMID 19477214.
- Sliva D, Jedinak A, Kawasaki J, Harvey K, Slivova V (April 2008). “Phellinus linteus suppresses growth, angiogenesis and invasive behaviour of breast cancer cells through the inhibition of AKT signalling”. British Journal of Cancer. 98 (8): 1348–56. doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6604319. PMC 2361714. PMID 18362935.
- Zhu T, Kim SH, Chen CY (2008). “A medicinal mushroom: Phellinus linteus“. Current Medicinal Chemistry. 15 (13): 1330–5. doi:10.2174/092986708784534929. PMID 18537612.
- Lee YS, Kang YH, Jung JY, et al. (October 2008). “Protein glycation inhibitors from the fruiting body of Phellinus linteus“. Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin. 31 (10): 1968–72. doi:10.1248/bpb.31.1968. PMID 18827365.
- Zhu, Tongbo; Sung-Hoon Kim; Chang-Yan Chen.”A Medicinal Mushroom: Phellinus Linteus”. Current Medicinal Chemistry, 2008, Vol. 15 Issue 13, p1330-1335, 6p, Archived 2012-04-26 at the Wayback Machine
- Cho, S.H. “The Effects of Mesima-Ex, the Immunomodulator in Curatively Resected Gastric Cancer”, Journal of Korean Cancer Association (1997),29(5):800-806.
- Ikekawa, T. et al. “Antitumor action of some Basidiomycetes, especially Phellinus linteus”, Gann (1968),59(2):155-157.
- Kim, S. “Anti-tumor Effects of Mesima EX in Various Types of Cancer Patients”, Journal of Korean Cancer Association (1991),23(2):211-217.
- Song, K.-S. et al. ”Protein-bound polysaccharide from Phellinus linteus inhibits tumor growth, invasion, and angiogenesis and alters Wnt/β-catenin in SW480 human colon cancer cells”, BMC Cancer (2011),11:307.
- Tsuji, T. et al. ”Phellinus Linteus Extract Sensitizes Advanced Prostate Cancer Cells to Apoptosis in Athymic Nude Mice”, PLoS ONE (2010),5(3):e9885.
- Reuters UK article on use of Phellinus linteus in fighting breast cancer cells
- Medicinal Mushrooms: Their Therapeutic Properties and Current Medical Usage with Special Emphasis on Cancer Treatments by Cancer Research UK (the American equivalent to the US National Cancer Institute), 2001, Richard Sullivan
- Scientific Studies on Phellinus linteus (PubMed)
- Updated Scientific Studies on Phellinus linteus