Antrodia and Its Health Benefits

Purported Health Benefits of Antrodia

  • Supports liver function: studies show that it helps improve liver function damaged by excessive alcohol consumption, food poisoning, or hepatitis C
  • Protects against viral infection: studies report that it exhibits anti-hepatitis B effects
  • Combats inflammation
  • Exhibits antioxidant properties: reduces oxidative damage caused by free radicals
  • Boosts immune system: studies reveal that it prevents infection by stimulating the production of T lymphocytes
  • Used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to inhibit and treat liver cancer

Rare Indigenous Medicinal Mushroom in Taiwan

Often called the fungus of fortune, Antrodia cinnamomea is known as “niu zhang zhi” or “zhang-yi” in Taiwan. Growing only inside the rotting heartwood of the indigenous Bull Camphor Tree, Cinnamomum kanekirai, Antrodia cinnamomea has been used as a natural therapeutic ingredient in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for its antioxidative, anti-tumor, anti-cancer, anti-hepatitis, vasorelaxatory, anti-inflammatory, cytotoxic, and neuroprotective activities.

Discovered by Taiwanese aborigines, the mushroom is often used as an anecdote to treat intoxication caused by food, alcohol, or drug poisoning by promoting the recovery of liver cells and enhancing the body’s metabolism. Liver damage caused by liver cancer and hepatitis B is one of the deadliest problems affecting Taiwanese adults today. According to statistics provided by the Taiwan Department of Health, liver cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths for men and the second leading cause of cancer deaths for women. In fact, liver cancer is one of the four most prevalent malignant diseases affecting Chinese, Taiwanese, Korean, and sub-African adults. In addition, over 95% of adults over age 30 are infected with hepatitis B, and 15-20% of that population becomes carriers of the virus. The modern day lifestyle also contributes to the proliferation of liver damage in Taiwan’s society. Many individuals lead a high stress lifestyle with late nights at the office, incorrect eating habits, smoking, and even drug abuse. In Taiwan, Antrodia cinnamomea has recently been widely studied for its effectiveness in restoring damaged liver function and inhibiting cancer cells. In addition, recent research suggests its ability to restore liver function for hepatitis C patients suffering from long-term liver damage and to inhibit the infection of hepatitis B.

The mushroom has also been used to treat diarrhea, abdominal pain, itchy skin, hypertension, inflammation, diabetes, systemic lupus, and tumorigenic diseases. The mushroom has been said to be effective in naturally stimulating the immune system. Studies have also shown that Antrodia cinnamomea has antioxidant properties and can reduce oxidative damage caused by free radicals that arise naturally due to the process of aging or the onset of diseases.

Antrodia cinnamomea has recently attracted pharmaceutical attention for its anti-tumor properties. In fact, it has been called a promising chemotherapeutic drug for cancer by researchers and may even be used in the future for chemoprevention, which uses natural agents to prevent the initiation or spread of symptoms caused by carcinogenesis. This mushroom has garnered an explosion of media attention within the past few years for its pharmacological effects and medicinal properties.

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. In fact, we believe that in order to obtain optimal health, there is the need for a radical transformation in one’s lifestyle that should include the adherence to a balanced diet, regular exercise, proper methods of breathing, and positive and healthy ways of thinking. In this sense then, the mushrooms can be seen as adjuvants for health. It should be noted that the activities of wild-type Antrodia are being shared here for educational purposes only. Interested readers can pursue further literature research to assess the validity and the reliability of these activities and to arrive at an impartial and educated view of this species of mushroom.