PJBMB 50 (4) Dec 2018

The use of mushrooms in folk medicine has been a common practice by most cultures around the world. Though most mushrooms may not be considered edible, the act of consuming mushrooms dates back to Paleolithic period. Although the first reliable evidence of mushroom consumption dates to several hundred years BC in China, edible mushroom species have been found in association with 13,000-year-old archaeological sites in Chile [1]. While edible mushrooms are mainly consumed for their nutritional value, their consumption may also be occasioned by their supposed medicinal properties2. The concept of medicinal mushroom has a history spanning millennia in parts of Asia, mainly in traditional Chinese medicine3. Preliminary research on some mushrooms extracts such as polysaccharide-K (PSK),[4] polysaccharide peptide or lentinan5. revealed anti-disease properties. Some of these mushroom extracts have widespread use in Japan, Korea and China, as potential adjuvants to radiation treatments and chemotherapy6,7 . One notable mushroom, whose extracts has shown anti-disease properties is the Turkey tail mushroom.