The Poria cocos
Fu ling – the mushroom used for centuries in East Asia supports the regulation of the water balance in the body. It calms the heart and mind and strengthens the spleen.
Poria cocos has a very long tradition in natural medicine, both in Traditional Chinese Medicine and in the folk medicine of other cultures. It was already used by the Indian tribes in North America. It is traditionally considered as a proven tonic to strengthen vitality and general wellbeing. It is also valued for its support of the harmonious flow of lifeblood, especially at an advanced age.
This natural medicine occurs in nature primarily in the East of China. It can also be found in Australia and in parts of the USA. It grows in the ground under pine trees. Poria cocos is also associated with “coconut” but this has nothing to do with its taste but is due to its appearance. Its round shape and brown skin resemble a coconut. In English Poria cocos is also called “Indian Bread”, “Indian Potato” or “Tuckahoe”. Its Chinese name is Fu ling.
Poria cocos contains a wide range of important vital substances, proteins and very interesting polysaccharides, including the beta-glucan Pachyman and poriatin with a diuretic effect.
Its content of various triterpene acids and choline, such as lecithin, must also be emphasised. Like all medicinal mushrooms, Poria cocos also contains ergosterol (precursor to vitamin D2) and valuable trace elements such as zinc, copper and manganese.
Significance in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, Poria cocos has a significant association with organs such as the kidneys, the spleen and the heart. Consequently, it has a high therapeutic value for complaints and diseases that are caused by functional disorders of these organs.
Poria cocos contributes to the healthy physiological regulation of the water balance in the body. It stimulates the elimination of excess and accumulated fluids and mucous. It supports diuresis, meaning the elimination of water through the kidneys. However, its use – even long-term – leads neither to the elimination of the valuable mineral potassium nor to dehydration. It is also a valuable medicinal mushroom for a weak spleen. This is very significant, because a weak spleen can lead to a lack of appetite, nausea, pain in the upper abdomen with bloating and diarrhoea. It also has the effect of reducing blood sugar.
Main areas of use in mycotherapy and Traditional Chinese Medicine:
Characteristics: sweet, neutral
- Problems when urinating such as too little or no urine
- Residual urine
- Diarrhoea and soft stool
- Bloating in the stomach
- Pain in the upper abdomen
- Loss of appetite
- Oedema and mucous stagnation
- Weak spleen with pooling of pathogenic moisture
- Exhaustion and apathy
- Tiredness after eating
- Restlessness and insomnia
Note: the described effects are based on taking medicinal mushroom powder made from the whole mushroom. Please consult your therapist before use.