Coriolus versicolor is a common tree fungus, often seen by hikers as a stiff, rounded, horizontal protuberance from tree trunks, with concentric lines of varying color. In traditional Chinese herbal medicine , this fungus is used to strengthen overall vitality and treat lung and liver problems as well as other conditions.
Currently, extracts of Coriolus versicolor called polysaccharide-K (PSK) and polysaccharopeptide (PSP) are under study as immune stimulants for use alongside chemotherapy in the treatment of cancer. These two related substances, made from slightly different strains of the fungus, are thought to act as “biological response modifiers,” meaning that they affect the body’s response to cancer.
A typical dosage of PSK or PSP as an adjunct to standard cancer treatment is 2 to 6 grams daily. For prevention of cancer, some experts recommend 500 mg daily, but there is no real scientific basis for this recommendation.
Few side effects have been reported in clinical trials. However, safety in young children, pregnant or nursing women, or people with severe liver or kidney disease has not been established.
- Reviewer: EBSCO CAM Review Board
- Review Date: 08/2013 -
- Update Date: 08/22/2013 -