What is Tiger milk Mushroom?
Tiger milk mushroom has been used for hundreds of years to aid recovery for respiratory issues and in Eastern medicine to boost the Lung meridian. There has never been a better time to find a natural response to an age-old problem.
Tiger milk mushroom or Lignosus Rhinocerus, to give it it’s scientific name is a mushroom that is native to tropical forests in South East Asia. According to aboriginal folklore, this relatively unknown fungus is said to grow on the spot where tiger milk falls to the ground when a mother is feeding her cubs (we now know this isn’t true but it is a cute story). It has been used in traditional medicine and as a health tonic by Aborigines and indigenous populations to treat many medical ailments. Many Chinese families in the 1950s and 60s kept Tiger Milk Mushroom in their homes as a handy medicine for cough, cold, asthma and food poisoning.
Tiger Milk Mushroom, was first brought to light in 1664 when a government agent from Europe was given this mythical product when he sailed to the South East Asian region. Published on 22 June 1664, The Diary of John Evelyn records the name of this product as Lac tygridis, meaning tiger’s milk, and reports that this fungus was used by local people to treat diseases that European doctors could find no cure for.
Unlike most, if not all other mushroom species, which mainly grow in groups or dense clusters, Lignosus rhinocerus grows in isolation: you’ll only find one stalk at a time. And that’s not all, what makes it precious and rare is that you won’t or can’t find another stalk within a radius of 5km. And, even if you do happen to find one, chances are that it may have grown to a stage by which it has sprouted out from the ground and produced a stem and cap. Unfortunately, the medicinal properties of L. rhinocerus are only found in the underground tuber or sclerotium before a mushroom has sprouted. By the time the fruiting body has appeared, most of the active compound in the sclerotium will have been depleted.
After many years of trial and error in 2010, an attempt at cultivating this rare mushroom was successful and now Manitari has teamed up with the scientists that made this possible to make Tiger milk mushroom (TM02) accessible to everyone.
Numerous studies have been done so far to verify the efficacy and safety profile of their cultivated Tiger Milk Mushroom (TM02 Freeze dried powder). Infact over 90% of all clinical studies on Tiger milk mushroom have been carried out using TM02.
Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Asthma, chronic cough, COPD and bronchitis, etc., are conditions in which the lungs’ airways become inflamed and constricted. TM02 contains bioactive agents that have anti-inflammatory effects that can help to unblock the airways by reducing or even removing the inflammation.1
Immunomodulating Effects: TM02 is able to stimulate our immune system’s second line of defence to a desired level to fight foreign agents or substances. As a result, our body benefits from stronger immunity to defend itself against respiratory disorders caused by bacteria and viruses.2
Antiproliferative Effects: TM02 can inhibit the growth of certain rogue cells (without affecting other healthy cells). More studies need to be done to substantiate this particular function.3
Antioxidant Effects:TM02 is able to counter some free radicals, thereby preventing oxidative stress, which may be detrimental to the airways and lung function.4
According to OECD guidelines, various stringent toxicity studies have been done and they have not established any adverse change in body weight, liver, kidney, heart, spleen and lung function, and fertility.5
According to a recent paper in the British Journal of Pharmacology, for example, cough is an unmet clinical need. So far, research efforts to improve diagnostic capabilities and develop more effective therapeutic agents with fewer unwanted adverse side-effects have been disappointing.6 Further, in a report published in 2007, the global asthma market was projected to reach $17 billion by 2010.7 Based on the National Health Interview Survey, 2012, there were 18.7 million asthmatic adults and 6.8 million asthmatic children in the US alone.8 And, according to WHO, 100–150 million people around the globe currently suffer from asthma — and the number is rising.
References1. S.S. Lee, et al., “Anti-Inflammatory Effect of the Sclerotium of Lignosus rhinocerotis (Cooke) Ryvarden, the Tiger Milk Mushroom,” BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 14, 359 (2014).
- K.H. Wong, et al., “Stimulation of Human Innate Immune Cells by Mushroom Sclerotial Polysaccharides,” International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms 11, 215–223 (2009); K.H. Wong, et al., “Immuno-Modulatory Activities of Mushroom Sclerotial Polysaccharides,” Food Hydrocolloids 25, 150–158 (2010); C. Guo, et al., “Hot Water Extract of the Sclerotium of Polyporus rhinocerus Cooke Enhances the Immune Functions of Murine Macrophages,” International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms 13(3), 237–244 (2011).
- M.L. Lee, et al., “The Antiproliferative Activity of Sclerotia of Lignosus rhinocerus (Tiger Milk Mushroom),” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine: http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/697603 (2012).
- Y.H. Yap, et al., “Nutrient Composition, Antioxidant Properties and Anti-Proliferative Activity of Lignosus rhinocerus Cooke Sclerotium,” Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 93(12), 2945–2952 (2013).
- S.S. Lee, et al., “Evaluation of the Sub-Acute Toxicity of the Sclerotium of Lignosus rhinocerus (Cooke), The Tiger Milk Mushroom,” Journal of Ethnopharmacology 138, 192–200 (2011): S.S. Lee, et al., “Preclinical Toxicological Evaluations of the Sclerotium of Lignosus rhinocerus (Cooke), The Tiger Milk Mushroom,” Journal of Ethnopharmacology 147, 157–163 (2013).
- P.V. Dicpinigaitis, “Cough: An Unmet Clinical Need,” Br. J. Pharmacology 163(1), 116–124 (2011).