Phellinus mushroom is also known as Sang Hwang in China and Korea and Meshima in Japan. Over 470 species have been identified and the most highly desired medicinal properties exist in just two species: Phellinus linteus and Phellinus igniarius.

Sang Hwang has long been recognized in ancient texts as the “mushroom of immorality” and widely used in Japan, Korea and China as a tonic for a variety of ailments.

If you can find a thousand years old lingzhi on an old Mulberry tree, you can save a dying person

Learn more about Phellinus in history at

Phellinus linteus is included in the Phellinus genus of Hymenochaetaceae family of the Aphylloporales order of the mushroom class (Basidiomycetes) that mostly consists of fungi of medical use and edible fungi. Phellinus linteus is called Meshima in Japan (Danjo Island), Sanghwang in Korea and China.

Phellinus igniarius is a different species of mushroom from Phellinus linteus and the second most biologically active Phellinus species known of. Although not recorded to be as potent as Phellinus linteus, modern research reveals the presence of many beneficial compounds inside Phellinus igniarius natural fruiting body with a variety of useful health applications.

Phellinus linteus and Phellinus igniarius grow naturally on trunks of willow, paper mulberry and elm trees that have lifetimes of more than 100 years. The mushroom needs to grow for 30-40 years under perfect conditions for the fruiting body to have valuable health applications.

Super compounds inside

The many beneficial effects of natural Phellinus come from the very high concentrations of several components of wild Phellinus fruiting body over 30 years old. After decades of modern research, the scientific community now understands much more about the activity of these “super compounds” and how the specific ones inside the Phellinus fruiting body can be helpful for improved health.

It is important to remember that these super compounds are found at such high concentrations only under the right conditions:

  1. When taken from the fruiting body of the Phellinus that grows on outside the tree source, not the mycelium roots within
  2. The Phellinus is found wild in nature in ideal growth conditions and not lab-cultured
  3. The Phellinus is at least 30 years old, with the concentrations of super compounds increasing with age.

Beta glucan 1-3, 1-6 are specific fungal polysaccharides that studies show are linked to the boosting of innate immune functionality. These specific polysaccharides aide the production of the type of immature stem cells (CD 34 and CD 133) that give birth to new innate immune cells. These new innate immune cells will then support and enhance the performance of adaptive immune cells.

Several studies have shown natural Phellinus linteus and Phellinus igniarius fruiting bodies to contain very high numbers of beta glucan 1-3 and 1-6 which support new immature stems cells.

Beta glucans 1-3, 1-6 found in Phellinus fruiting body also aid overall digestive functionality by providing structures for helpful intestinal microflora to live in. These microflora need a physical home to thrive in, and the undigested remaining beta glucans provide the perfect structure for the microflora to fix themselves to.

Hispolon is a polyphenol compound found in the Phellinus linteus and Phellinus igniarius fruiting body. Hispolon has become an increasingly popular area of study in recent years as initial findings have shown this natural substance to have great potential for use in human health. Research has identified hispolon to have possible anti-tumour, anti-oxidant, antiviral and apoptosis- inducing properties.

Protocatechuic acid is a polyphenol compound found throughout members of the plant kingdom, especially in medicinal plants and in high concentrations inside Phellinus linteus. The past 20 years of research on this substance has revealed it to demonstrate strong antioxidant, antibacterial and antiviral properties. Studies have also showed that protocatechuic acid displays very strong anti-inflammatory activity and direct antitumour properties by inhibiting the binding of tumour cells to health cells.

Betulinic Acid, from the family of chemicals known as triterpernoids, is found in natural Phellinus fruiting body and been shown to have a wide range of health benefits. Studies conducted on this substance have demonstrated it has high anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. Research has also revealed Betulinic acid can aid in improving the liver’s metabolism and thus provide improved protection. 43 Like many of the other key components in natural Phellinus extract, betulinic acid has been shown through research to have direct anti-tumour and tumour growth inhibition activity.

Only as recently as 2008, hispidin was discovered to exist in high amounts in the Phellinus fruiting body. Hispidin is a type of antioxidant that studies show to have very strong free radical scavenging abilities and is another super compound inside Phellinus linteus and Phellinus igniarius that plays a strong role in supporting our health.

When our DNA is damaged by free radical binding to it (known as oxidation), it can lose normal functionality. Once the antioxidants found inside Phellinus linteus have gone to work removing the free radical, the DNA can begin to repair itself, but only if there is available supply of crucial amino and nucleic acids. Studies show that both nucleic acid and over 20 amino acids required for DNA repair occur naturally in high concentrations within the Phellinus fruiting body.

Telomeres trimmed

Interfungins A is the name given to a compound that was discovered in high levels inside natural fruiting body of Phellinus linteus. Studies showed it helps to control blood sugar by preventing protein glycation, which is the unassisted automatic bonding of a protein molecule to a sugar molecule. Normally bonds are formed between nutritional molecules with the help of an enzyme. In the case of protein glycation, the sugar molecule fixes itself to the protein without any enzymatic involvement. Glycation is considered a damaging oxidative process and an early step in a series of progressively worse reactions starting with high blood pressure and diabetes and leading to such illnesses as heart disease, Alzheimer’s, brain damage, sensory losses and cancer. 44

Interleukines are a type of signalling molecule that allows communication between cells. They play an important role in all aspects of immune responses, and different interleukins carry different messages. Studies confirm a high presence of IL4 and IL10 found inside natural Phellinus fruiting bodies, two specific interleukine messages that carry instructions beneficial to our innate immunity function. 45