What is Coriolus Versicolor?

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  • Written By: Deborah Walker
  • Edited By: R. Halprin
  • Last Modified Date: 02 March 2020
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Coriolus versicolor, also known as turkey-tail mushroom, is a fungus in the Polyporaceae family. In Japan, this medicinal mushroom is widely used alongside conventional cancer treatments. Polysaccharide K (PSK) and protein-bound polysaccharide (PSP) are components of this mushroom that may be a good treatment for certain types of cancer. PSK and PSP may also help reduce chemotherapy side effects and stimulate the immune system. If side effects occur after taking Coriolus versicolor, they are usually minor. Consumers may purchase this product locally or online.

For hundreds of years, Asian herbal medicine practitioners have used Coriolus versicolor to support the immune and respiratory systems. Over the last decade, scientists have begun to validate its medicinal value, especially with cancer patients. In one study, participants who had had stomach cancer tumors removed were divided into three groups. For one year, one group took 0.105 ounces (3 grams) of PSK alone, one group underwent only chemotherapy, and the third group had both chemotherapy and took 0.105 ounces (3 grams) of PSK. At the five-year mark, the group that received chemotherapy and PSK had the highest survival rate.


Research into the effectiveness of PSP as a cancer treatment revealed that this compound may enhance the immune system by encouraging the development of T-lymphocytes, i.e., cells that kill intruders. In animal and some human studies, PSP has been shown to slow the growth of tumors by up to 64%. In addition, it was able to stop atrophy of the cancerous organ. Some studies indicate that PSP may be more powerful than PSK at inhibiting cancer growth.

Other medicinal uses of Coriolus versicolor include diminishing side effects of chemotherapy and stimulating the immune system. While undergoing chemotherapy, cancer patients who took this supplement had better appetites and were able to maintain their weight better than cancer patients who did not. In addition, animal studies indicate that PSK and PSP may be able to prevent chemotherapy-induced immune suppression.

Mild side effects were noted during the studies of Coriolus versicolor. These included nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and diarrhea. Seen less often were low blood counts and darkened nails.

Coriolus versicolor is usually taken in doses between 0.04-0.32 ounces (1-9 grams) per day. It is available in capsules, as an extract, and a tea. It is sold over-the-counter; a prescription is not necessary. It may be purchased at local health food stores, markets, or online. As with many alternative treatments, however, it is often best to consult a healthcare professional first.


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Post 1

Krestin is a protected brand name and is no over the counter supplement.

There are plenty of Coriolus products that are using slogans like 'contains PSK/PSP!'. This is in general not true. First, these products are usually made from the fruiting body, and are most of the time just powdered dried mushroom (indigestible by humans) or simple hot water extracts (very limited effect, but absolutely no relation to PSK/PSP. Both have a specific extraction procedure and are derived from cultured mycelia of specific strains! Do not be fooled by shiny websites and sound bites - they want your money.

A few tips: check if the level of ingredients is on the label. If not, forget it - it is useless. Check if

it is a mycelia extract (it should be!) Check if it has been produced according to GMP, HACCP and ISO standards. You are about to purchase a pharmaceutical supplement, so make sure it is safe and well made.

Actually, the best way to confirm the quality is to ask for a Certificate of Analysis - a good seller will have no problem with mailing it to you. If they don't want to give it, they have something to hide, in my opinion.

I collected some COAs from JHS, CanadaRNA and Oriveda, all good products but the most potent one and the only fully certified one was Oriveda.

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