Sunday, March 12, 2017

Medicinal Properties of Tiger Milk Mushroom Confirmed

Preliminary tests by University of Malaya researchers on tiger milk mushroom powder extract (TM02) on rats indicate it may be useful for respiratory diseases and breast cancer treatment.

Tiger milk mushroom (Lignosus rhinocerotis) is a valuable traditional medicinal mushroom in China, East Africa, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Australia, Vanuatu, and Malaysia. 

This popular medicinal mushroom has been used by the indigenous communities of Southeast Asia as a tonic to maintain general health, boost immunity and as treatment for numerous ailments including cancer, asthma, and bronchitis. Some communities also use it to treat discomfort caused by fright, fever, coughing, vomiting, and cuts. However, there has been little scientific data for tiger milk mushroom.

An example of tiger milk mushroom (whole mushroom). 
Copyright : Associate Prof. Dr. Fung Shin Yee

In 2009, University of Malaya researchers and their industrial collaborators have successfully cultivated and identified the DNA sequences that produce the proteins in the tiger milk mushroom. 

The research has been awarded the gold medal recipient of ITEX 2011 and also as the prestigious Prix Du Salon International Des Inventions De Geneva recipient by Salon International Des Inventions De Geneva in 2011 with several patents in the pipeline.

One issue that researchers face is that the supply of wild type tiger milk mushroom is erratic and with inconsistent nutritive quality that depends on the harvest time of the sclerotium. The sclerotium is the compacted, hardened fungal mycelium containing food reserves. 

Sclerotium requires at least 6 months for formation and is prized as it contains a higher medicinal property compared to other parts of the mushroom. The University of Malaya powder extract of this is called TM02, which is grown using food based materials in a hygienic and controlled environment, and later harvested at optimum condition, hence retaining its high medicinal properties.

The sclerotia of tiger milk mushroom.
Copyright : Associate Prof. Dr. Fung Shin Yee

Clinical tests of TM02 on rats indicate the sclerotial powder of tiger milk mushroom extracted by researchers in University of Malaya is safe for consumption and have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. Further work is underway to explore the mechanism action of TM02 and its bioactive components.  

Active research is on-going as a continuous effort by the Medicinal Mushroom Research Group (MMRG) to validate the superiority of this mushroom for health and well-being. The MMRG also welcomes collaborative efforts.

Contacts and sources:
Associate Prof. Dr. Fung Shin Yee
Medicinal Mushroom Research Group (MMRG)
Department of Molecular Medicine
Faculty of Medicine
University of Malaya

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