Everything You Need to Know About Meshima (aka Phellinus)

Traditional Chinese medicine has understood the benefits of medicinal mushrooms like phellinus for centuries.

Finally, modern western medicine is starting to catch up with studies.

Still, many people have no idea just how powerful medicinal mushrooms are.

Mushrooms are filled with special substances that have incredible anti-inflammatory and immune- boosting properties.

Here's everything you need to know about the meshima mushroom.

What is Meshima Mushroom?

Meshima mushroom goes by many names including phellinus linteus, sang hwang, and black hoof mushroom.

Phellinus gets its name "black hoof" because it sometimes resembles a horse hoof. In the wild, you can find black or brown meshima growing on mulberry trees.

Meshima is not to be confused with phellinus igniarius: which produces white rot on trees and root rot.

Both phellinus species belong to the hymenochaetaceae family.

As a staple in traditional Chinese medicine, people in Asian cultures reached for meshima for treating digestive problems like diarrhea and upset stomach.

Not only that, but Japanese, Korean, and Chinese practitioners also used meshima for defending against and treating cancers.

Today, early research shows that meshima does in fact effectively kill breast cancer cells.

Phellinus gets its name "black hoof" because it resembles a horse hoof. In the wild, you can find black or brown meshima growing on mulberry trees.

What are the Main Health Benefits of Meshima Mushroom Extract?

Like many medicinal mushrooms, meshima is packed with special carbohydrates called polysaccharides and beta-glucans.

Beta-glucans give medicinal mushrooms powerful immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties. 

To top it off, medicinal mushrooms like meshima mushroom are also some of the world's best edible sources of antioxidants.

1. May Help with Eczema and Skin Conditions

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Certain types of eczema stem from immune system problems and chronic inflammation.

One study found that meshima mushroom is an effective natural treatment for atopic dermatitis, likely because it has an inhibitory effect on the immune cells responsible for triggering inflammation that causes eczema. (1)

The immune system plays an important role in inflammation flare-ups and this is a perfect example of how a mushroom can reduce a certain type of immune cells while stimulating other kinds.

2. Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Many people don't realize that chronic inflammation can lead to devastating conditions like heart disease, diabetes, allergies, and arthritis.

Fortunately, medicinal mushrooms may supply a natural solution to combating inflammation.

According to recent research, the polysaccharides, phenylpropanoids, amino acids, triterpenoids, furans, as well as other bioactive compounds and antioxidants in medicinal mushrooms like meshima have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities. (2)

3. Supports the Immune System

Thanks to its polyphenols, beta-glucans, and intense antioxidant effects, phellinus mushroom is an excellent choice for boosting your immune response.

Meshima won't just defend your immune system against short-term illness.

It also has hepatoprotective qualities to cleanse the liver and protect your cells against substances that trigger cytotoxicity.

Plus, a healthy digestive system is crucial for supporting a strong immune system. By improving gastrointestinal health, meshima mushrooms can add an extra level of protection to the immune system.

4. Potential Anti-Cancer Properties

Many types of medicinal mushrooms, such as meshima mushrooms, have potentially powerful anti-cancer and antitumor properties.

By supporting immune function, providing antitumor effects, and supporting the immune system, studies say that meshima shows promise for fighting cancer.

Not only that, but the research shows that meshima can increase the effectiveness of anti-cancer prescription drugs. (3)

5. Diabetes

Many people with diabetes reach for this medicinal mushroom extract due to its ability to lower blood sugar and help keep diabetes symptoms under control.

Research looking at polysaccharides, hispolon, and other compounds from this mushroom have found that it can improve insulin production and improve the immune response to defend against autoimmune forms of diabetes. (4)

6. May Block Allergy Symptoms

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Chronic inflammation and a hyperactive immune system are two factors behind debilitating and annoying allergy symptoms.

Medicinal mushrooms like phellinus have unique effects on the immune system and everyone reacts to them differently.

Many people find that mushrooms like meshina and reishi -- especially when taken together -- may block allergy symptoms in the first place by balancing the immune system and reducing inflammation.

How is Phellinus Used?

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When you look for a high-quality meshima mushroom supplement, make sure you only purchase organic mushroom extracts made from the whole fruiting body rather than mycelium on grain.

The fruit bodies are the part of a mushroom that well, looks like a mushroom.

Mycelium, on the other hand, looks more like plant roots.

A lot of manufacturers are just out to make a quick buck. Instead of waiting for the mushroom to grow, they'll grind up the mycelium on grain like brown rice.

At the end of the day, you're just paying for rice and mushroom roots -- not beta-glucans and important antioxidants.

You can use your meshima mushroom extract in teas, coffees, smoothies, stews, and much more.

Since medicinal mushroom extracts are ground up into powder, they're easy to incorporate into your daily routine.

Traditionally, Koreans and Chinese brewed meshima mushrooms into tea. However, you can also buy a capsule maker and create your own.

What are the Potential Side Effects and Interactions with Other Substances?

Since this mushroom has a stimulating effect on the immune system, people with autoimmune disorders should first consider talking to a health care practitioner.

Taking meshima mushroom if you have a condition like lupus, MS, or rheumatoid arthritis could make your symptoms worse in this case.

Men with an enlarged prostate or at risk for developing an enlarged prostate may also consider avoiding this particular mushroom.

If you fit into one of these categories, you can still find plenty of other medicinal mushrooms that impact the immune system in different ways and won't cause these same problems.

Meshima mushroom has no known interactions with medications or other supplements. (5)

The Bottom Line

Phellinus is a powerful medicinal mushroom for stimulating the immune system and much more.

Since it's available in powders and extracts, it's easy to incorporate this powerful mushroom into your daily routine!

About the Author

Tegan Shields

Hi, I'm Tegan. I have a degree in Nutrition and Food Science and a deep passion for real food and natural health. I am a huge believer in the power of mushrooms, and want to help you get some in your life!

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