Poria, also called Fu Ling, is a famous home-grown bulk Chinese herb, which has been used medicinally for about 2,000 years. Owing to its wide range of medical uses and neutral nature, it is honored as dampness-eliminating panacea and one out of Eight Treasures. As a result, this herb is commonly used in not only many clinical formulas but also the production of numerous Chinese patent medicines. What’s more, thanks to its amazing health benefits, it was once used to make a variety of delicacies and snacks for the enjoyment of all members of the royal family.
What is poria?
Also known as Wolfiporia cocos(Schw.) Ryv.& Gibn in Latin name, poria herb refers to the sclerotium poriae cocos, which is the dried sclerotia of Poria cocos (Schw.) Wolf, a fungus in the family Polyporaceae. This herb has a few other common names, such as Indian buead, China root, Fu Ling Pi, tuckahoe, Fu Shen, hoelen, and so on. As a matter of fact, this is a white fungus on wood, in particular on the roots of Japanese red pine and masson pine in the Pinaceae family. Today it is wild or cultivated, mainly produced in Yunnan, Anhui, Hubei, Henan, Sichuan and other places in China. The species that grow in Yunnan, called “Yun Ling”, is better in quality. Us
The common form of poria fungus is its sclerotium, most of which are in the shape of irregular chunk, sphere, compressiform, oblong, or oval. They are in different sizes, usually less than 10cm in the smaller ones and 20cm to 30cm, even larger, in bigger ones. Skin is grayish brown or dark brown, in the shape of shrinking tumor, white with slightly pin inside, and composed of numerous hyphae. Fruiting body looks like mushroom, 0.5 to 2mm in diameter. It has a special odor.
Main chemical constituents of poria sclerotium are triterpenoids, polysaccharide, ergosterol, caprylic acid, undecanoic acid, lauric acid, dodecenoic acid, palmitic acid, dodecanoate, caprylate, and other elements. Triterpenoids mainly include pachymic acid, tumulosic acid, 3β-hydroxylanosta-7.9(11), 24-TCMLIBien-21-oic acid, pachymic acid methyl ester, tumulosic acid methyl ester, polypenic acid C methyl ester, and so on. And polysaccharide mainly includes pachyman, Pachymaran, and gluan H11.
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