Please note that you should never self-prescribe TCM ingredients. A TCM ingredient is almost never eaten on its own but as part of a formula containing several ingredients that act together. Please consult a professional TCM practitioner, they will be best able to guide you.
Preparation: Soak in water, wash, steam slightly, remove the outside skin, cut into pieces or thick slices, dry.
Dosage: 10 to 15g
Main actions according to TCM*: Encourages urination and drains Dampness. Tonic to the Spleen/Stomach. Assists the Heart and calms the Spirit.
Contraindications*: Should not be used when there is frequent and copious urination when associated with a Cold Deficiency.
Source date: 220 AD
Number of ingredients: 5 herbs
Formula key actions: Promotes Blood and lymphatic circulation, thus eleminates Blood Stagnation. Softens and resolves hard lumps such as cysts and fibroids.
Fu Ling is a king ingredient in Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.
In Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan, Fu Ling helps promote the downward circulation of Blood in cases of Blood Stagnation. It also nourishes the Qi of the Heart and Spleen, quiets the Heart, and calms the Mind (Shen), all of which helps calm the fetus in case this formula is taken by a pregnant woman. Poria-cocos mushrooms also have a strong diuretic action and hence help eliminate any Phlegm / Dampness that would complicate the Blood Stagnation.
Source date: 1107 AD
Number of ingredients: 5 herbs
Formula key actions: Reduces edema, diuretic. Regulates and strengthens Spleen Qi.
Fu Ling is a king ingredient in Wu Pi Yin. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.
Source date: 220 AD
Number of ingredients: 4 herbs
Formula key actions: Warms and transforms Phlegm-Fluids. Strengthens the Spleen. Resolves Dampness.
Fu Ling is a king ingredient in Ling Gui Zhu Gan Tang. Like the name indicates, it means it has more power than other ingredients in the formula.
In Ling Gui Zhu Gan Tang, Fu Ling strengthens the Spleen and release Dampness. It thereby transforms Phlegm-Fluids by addressing the root of this disorder which is the malfunction of metabolism of Body Fluids.
The combination of Fu Ling and Gui Zhi (Cinnamon twigs) is a delicate way of dealing with mucus and Phlegm accumulation due to cold. One increases the Body Fluids circulation, while the other warms the Qi flow.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), poria-cocos mushrooms are plants that belong to the 'Herbs that drain Dampness' category. These herbs are typically diuretics, meaning that they promotes the increased production of urine in order to remove Dampness that has accumulated in the body. According to TCM Dampness accumulates first in the lower limbs, causing edema and impaired movement. From there, if unchecked, it can move upward and impair digestion and eventually the respiratory system.
Furthermore poria-cocos mushrooms are plants that are Neutral in nature. This means that poria-cocos mushrooms typically don't affect the balance in your body. Balance between Yin and Yang is a key health concept in TCM. Eating too many "Hot" (Yang) ingredients can lead to an imbalance whereby one has a Yang Excess. The inverse is true as well: too many "Cold" (Yin) ingredients can lead to a Yin Excess. The Neutral nature of poria-cocos mushrooms means that you don't have to worry about that!
Poria-cocos mushrooms also taste Sweet. The so-called 'Five Phases' theory in Chinese Medicine states that the taste of TCM ingredients is a key determinant of their action in the body. Sweet ingredients like poria-cocos mushrooms tend to slow down acute reactions and detoxify the body. They also have a tonic effect because they replenish Qi and Blood.
The tastes of ingredients in TCM also determine what Organs and Meridians they target. As such poria-cocos mushrooms are thought to target the Heart, the Kidney, the Lung and the Spleen. In addition to regulating Blood flow, in TCM the Heart is believed to be the store of the 'Mind' which basically refers to someone's vitality. The Kidneys do not only regulate the urinary system but also play a key role in the reproductive system and the growth and aging process of the body. In addition to performing respiration, the Lungs are thought in TCM to be a key part of the production chain for Qi and the Body Fluids that nourish the body. The Spleen assists with digestion, Blood coagulation and Fluids metabolism in the body.
Poria-cocos mushrooms is a key source of pachymic acid which may be useful to target endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and thus may represent a promising new framework in the treatment of currently incurable pancreatic cancer. 1.
Poria-cocos mushrooms capsules achieved obvious effects in the treatment of uterine fibroids, pelvic inflammatory disease, dysmenorrheal, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, breast hyperplasia and other gynecological diseases.2.
1. Cheng S, Swanson K, Eliaz I, McClintick JN, Sandusky GE, Sliva D (2015). "Pachymic acid inhibits growth and induces apoptosis of pancreatic cancer in vitro and in vivo by targeting ER stress"
2. Su ZZ, Li N, Cao L, Wang TJ, Zhang CF, Ding G, Wang ZZ, Xiao W. (2015). Main progress on studies of pharmacological activities and clinical applications of Guizhi Fuling capsule. Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. , 40(6):989-92.
Poria-cocos mushrooms are also eaten as food. It is used as an ingredient in dishes such as Sweet poria cakes or Fuling tonic soup.