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Coriolus Versicolor

Coriolus versicolor ( also known under the names Trametes versicolor, Yun Zhi, Kawaratake and Turkey Tail ) is the most intensively researched medicinal mushroom in the world, due to its outstanding properties as a biological response modifier. (BRM : agent capable of stimulating the immune system and as a result of that expressing various therapeutic effects).


Even though this colorful mushroom can be found all over the world, until recently its medicinal qualities were only appreciated in South East-Asia, where mushrooms are highly valued and an important part of the traditional medicinal systems. In the old days teas and soup-like decoctions where a common way to use it.



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  • Brief history


    YunZhi (or Yun Zhi, which means 'cloud mushroom') was mentioned in the first written text on medicinal herbs, Shennong Ben Cao Jing, (around 200 BC – Han Dynasty). There is also a record in the Compendium of Materia Medica (Ben Cao Gang Mu) by Li ShiZhen (15th century – Ming dynasty): "The black and green Yun Zhi are beneficial to one's spirit and vital energy and strengthen one's tendon and bone. If Yun Zhi is taken for a long time, it will make one vigorous and live long". Teas and decoctions made of the mushrooms fruiting body were used to improve general health and vitality.


    Around 1965 Coriolus Versicolor was discovered by modern science. A popular (but unverifiable) story circulating on the internet goes as follows: a chemical engineer working for the Japanese Kureha Chemical Industry Company Ltd., observed his neighbor attempting to cure himself of gastric cancer after having been rejected for treatment by the hospitals. The man turned towards a traditional medicine, Saru-no-koshikake, a type of tea based on the Coriolus Versicolor and used it for several months. Amazingly enough, he managed to cure himself. The engineer was intrigued and convinced his employer to investigate this mushroom in depth. The rest is history. The mushroom contained a very specific type of protein-linked polysaccharide, which seemed to be responsible for its therapeutic effects.

    This PSK (PolySaccharide-Kureha) was discovered and isolated for the first time in 1969 and after several years of research and clinical trials was ratified as an official medicine under the brandname Krestin in 1977 by the Japanese Ministry of Health. Five years later the Chinese managed to isolate an even more potent variation from a different strain of mycelia; PSP (poly-saccharo-peptide). In 1992/93 PSP was ratified as an official medicine by the Chinese authorities.

  • Medicine or dietary supplement ?


    In the rest of the world both Krestin and PSP are not acknowlegded as official medication, not because they do not work, but, to quote the Spanish Health authorities when they rejected the registration request: 'due to the lack of a single identifiable active ingredient which could define the "mechanism of action"'. The American FDA shared this opinion a little bit later.


    We quote an American oncologist ( Dr. West, M.D.)  to illustrate the general knowledge (or lack thereof) about Krestin and related medication: "There may well be a significant literature on Krestin/PSK, but neither of these terms appears in the index of any of the four most complete tomes I have on the subject of oncology and cancer drugs, covering about 8500 pages on the subject in total. These are American books that I'm sure don't cover every drug used elsewhere, but those terms have never been mentioned in my presence or appeared on any page I've had occasion to read in my medical training. While it may be well-known in Asia, it's not really a topic covered in the US-based literature.".


    Around 1987 Krestin ranked as nr. 1 in Japan as the most used anti-cancer medication, taking 25% of the health insurance budget.
    Several dietary supplements are for sale in the rest of the world, but with few exceptions these are no more than simple hot water extracts of the fruiting body (instead of the mycelia, so a limited therapeutic effect) or, much worse, dried and powdered Coriolus fruiting bodies (the bio-availability of the actives will be less than 10%, so very limited therapeutic effect).
    Of course the sellers will refer to all the existing research and 'contains PSK/PSP !' can be read on more supplement labels than is justified. It indeed might contain some PSP/PSK, but it is not bio-available.

    Check our FAQ for the reason why extraction is absolutely crucial.

  • Differences between PSP and PSK (Krestin)


    Items compared Similarities Dissimilarities
    Fungi Coriolus versicolor (Fr.) Quel (Yun Zhi) mycellium PSP: Cov-1 strain
    : CM-101 strain
    Drug produced PSP: capsules @ 350 mg
    : powder in sachet @ 1 gram
    Powder color brown PSP: yellow-brown
    PSK: dark brown
    Raw materials deep-layer cultivated mycelia (2N)
    Fermentation technology with glucose as the main carbon source (25oC) PSP: nitrogenous source: soya bean cake powder, fermentation takes 64 hours

    PSK: nitrogenous source: peptone and yeast cake, fermentation takes 10 days

    Extract and isolate obtained by immersion in hot water PSP: isolate by alcoholic precipitation
    PSK: isolate by salting out with (NH4)2SO4
    Medicinal ingredients protein bound polysaccharide; average molecular wt. 1 x 105Dathe polysaccharide is formed from many monosaccharides containing
    alpha-1,4 and beta-1,3 glucoside linkage. Peptide mainly consists of aspartic and glutamic acids.
    PSP: polysaccharides contain arabinose and rhamnose, but no fucose
    PSK: polysaccharides do not contain arabinose and rhamnose, but contain fucose
    Pharmacological function inhibits the synthesis of nucleic acid of Ehrlich ascitic cells, and inhibit the accretion of cancer cells of Sarcoma-180, P388 leukocytes, etc. PSP: inhibiting rate on P388 is 90-96% (1mg/kg)

    PSK: inhibiting rate on P388 is 61-90% (1mg/kg)

    recover the delayed supersensitive reaction inhibited by chemo-therapeutic drugs such as cyclophosphamide and raise the lowered no. of white blood cells. Inhibiting rate, Sarcoma-180 (in Kunming mice)

    PSP: 43%;

    PSK: 28%.

    obviously raise the activity of NK cells and macrophages, raise the contents of immunoglobulin, complement C3,antibody HC50 and IL-2 and promote the increase of T-lymphocytes PSP can increase the alpha and gamma interferons produced by white blood cells 2 to 4 times
    Toxic test LD50>20g/kg; Ames test and the tests of abnormal chromosomes,nucleotide, reproduction, and abnormality are all negative. Used 50 times the clinical dosage with monkeys, consecutively for 6 months, caused no toxic reaction. PSP can produce the toxic reaction by making the aggregation of the chromosomes of the lung cancer cells, but there is no direct toxic function on the cancer cells of normal mice.
    Clinical effect lessens the toxic and side effects of chemo- and radiotherapy, increases the immune function, promotes the curative effect,and increases the quality of life and the survival rate PSP can not only increase appetite during treatment, but also relieves pain.


  • The Effects of PSP


    PSP is usually administered orally, it works as well as intravenously. Many patients have taken PSP consecutively for 9 years and no adverse effect or contraindication has ever been found.


    The effects in the body, when described in brief, are as follows. As said, PSP works on the immune system, so most (but not all) of its workings are indirect. It increases the number of white blood cells when this is too low, it will stimulate the creation and the activity of macrophages, T-cells (including T-helper cells, cytotoxic T-cells and lymphocytes) and NK (natural killer) -cells, all of which are part of the body's defense system against pathogens. It has both direct and indirect anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and detoxing properties and supports the liver function (our body's chemical processing plant).


    The human immune system is a very complex and not yet fully understood structure, essential for our survival. A major problem with pharmaceutical medication is its level of toxicity – quite a few pharmaceuticals are apart from their desired therapeutic action also causing direct or indirect damage to the immune system and/or the liver or kidneys, which can create a negative chain of events, in particular in the elderly or sick. (It is obvious that heavy medication like chemo cocktails etc. are the worst – they can cause over time the same conditions they are supposed to fight, like metastasis).


    It is known that in general after 35 the human immune system starts to get sloppy and after 50 it starts declining. Many old-age related diseases are a direct or indirect result of a flawed immune function. Add this to the pharmaceutical assaults we already mentioned and the general stress of life itself, and it is obvious that some support is needed if we want to maintain the same level of health we were used to when young.


    Both PSP and PSK have been the subject of an array of clinical tests, all performed during the 70′s, 80′s and 90′s. A very complete overview can be found here.

  • Oriveda PSP-50


    Oriveda PSP-50 was prepared in China using the original patented methods. Its properties are the properties of the original ratified PSP medicine, with the only real difference being a higher level of actives, the result of 21st century pharmaceutical techniques. In contrast with the Asian products we do specify both the percentage of polysaccharides and the exact percentage of (1>3)(1>6)beta-d-glucans: in our latest batch over 29% of the polysaccharides were beta-d-glucans with 100% bio-availability. The (1>4)beta-d-glucans (important in Coriolus versicolor) are not listed because no standardized analytical procedure exists currently.


    Our extracts are comparable to the extracts used in scientific research - the research results you read about you now can achieve yourself. Our mushroom extracts have the highest levels of active ingredients worldwide.

    If you want to verify this: Certificates of Analysis are .

◄ Return to the order page here.

  • images/coriolus.jpg

    The Turkey Tail is a very common mushroom

  • images/krestin.jpg

    The Japanese Krestin is sold as a powder in 1 gram sachets

Small slideshow about Coriolus Versicolor

The statements on this page have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. These products are not intended to treat, cure or prevent any disease. Do not use these products instead of regular medication.

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Which medicinal mushroom is the best?

Medicinal mushrooms seem like small miracles - their therapeutic properties seem to cover almost the full spectrum of human health and well-being. And this is not exaggerated. The majority of antibiotics, several chemo-therapeutic agents, most anti-cholesterol medication (statins) and some anti-HIV medication are based on fungi. Cyclosporin, a drug without which organ transplants would be impossible, is derived from a fungus as well. And so on.

In fact, most mushrooms have only been researched for a small number of therapeutic applications. The chart below gives an indication of the existing research results of the therapeutic properties that were investigated so far.

Please take notice: 'immune balancing' covers a lot of health problems, including many allergies and auto-immune related diseases. These have not been listed separately. This overview is also not complete - we will update it and refine it when more data becomes available.

Be aware of the fact that if a property is left blank for a particular mushroom this only means that this property so far has not been investigated in depth.

overview of positive results achieved with medicinal mushroom extracts as sold by ORIVeDA

These results have all been achieved with extracted mushroom products (extraction using e.g. hot water, ethanol, methanol, fermentation or combinations of these) - they are not applicable to biomass or un-extracted, dried and powdered mushroom products or tinctures. Check our FAQ for the reason why.

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Stone oil is a natural product, so depending on the origin the chemical composition may vary.
The 31 main chemical elements:
Chemical element g per 100 g
Al 1.0-8.0
Mg 2.4-6.0
Ca 0.3-3.6
Na 0.35-2.2
K 0.15-2.0
Mn 0.3-1.5
Fe 0.1-1.5
Si 0.2-1.0
Ni 0.05-0.2
Zn 0.02-0.1
Co 0.015-0.06
Cu 0.008-0.03
Cr 0.0008-0.01
Ti 0.00002-0.0003
P 0-0.05
Li 0-0.02
Zr 0-0.015
B 0-0.012
Sc 0-0.001
Ga 0-0.0025
V 0-0.0025
Be 0-0.002
W 0-0.0006
Nb 0-0.0006
Y 0-0.0005
Ba 0-0.0004
Sn 0-0.0003
Bi 0-0.00015
Mo 0-0.0001
Pb 0-0.0001
Ag 0-0.00004
(source: Chemical Science Research Institute of the Academy of Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan)

ORIVeDA is a registered brand name of Oriveda bv, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, a member of the Amsterdam Chamber of Commerce since 01-1997 (nr. 66136016).

Apart from some specialized items like rare adaptogenic herbs and Shilajit • Mumijo we in particular focus on selling well-researched medicinal mushroom extracts of superior quality.

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