Poria (Fu Ling)
Botanical Name: Wolfiporia extensa, Sclerotium poriae cocos.
Poria (Fu Ling) is an herb with a long and respected history in China. It is considered one of the premier Yin tonic herbs. Next to Licorice it is the most frequently used herb in Chinese herbalism. It is used to cook with and it is also used as a medicinal herb.
Below is an overview of poria, combining and interpreting the best of Western Science, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Shamanism, Folklore and more. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of poria.
Western Name: Poria
Also Known As: China Root, Chinese Tuckahoe
Organs/Systems: Stomach, Nerves, Intestines, Joints
Key Western Actions & Medicinal Uses: Diuretic, Antibacterial, Sedating.
Pin Yin: Fu Ling
Also Known As: Fu Shen, Matsuhodo
Meridians: Lung, Liver, Heart
Key TCM Actions & Medicinal Uses: Eliminate Dampness/Tonify the Heart and Spleen: Anorexia, poor appetite, loose stools, palpations, insomnia, amnesia, edema, eliminate phlegm, promote urination, dizziness. Calms Shen: Soothes the heart and mind. Yin and Energy Tonic. Soothes the Lungs.
Parts Most Frequently Used: Whole fruit or sclerotium (looks like a mushroom)
Flavors/Temps: Sweet, Bland, Neutral
Caution: Not recommended in large doses for daily long term use.
History/Folklore: It was once used to make a variety of delicacies and snacks for members of the royal family. The fungus has an especially long history of use in Southern China where it was ground into a powder and used daily. In China it is an important herb for treating edema and signs of dampness in the body. Considered to be an excellent Yin tonic, it also is a good balancing agent to Yang tonic herbs such as ginseng. The ancients of China said that Fu Ling (Poria), “Restores and refreshes the body and mind, and if used regularly it will prolong life.” It is used in China as both an herb and a food in traditional cooking. The part used is the inner white part of the fungus mass. It is said to benefit the Triple Warmer (San Jiao) which plays a vital role in maintaining the health of the internal organs. The Triple Warmer (San Jiao) regulates the production of energy from food and air as well as the elimination of wastes. Poria is helpful in regulating blood sugar. It is a perfect herb for anyone getting over a long or debilitating illness as it tonifies the Spleen, helping to building both Qi and Blood (Xue).
Triterpenoids, Polysaccharides, Ergosterol, Caprylic acid, Undecanoic acid, Lauric acid, Histamines, Fats, Glucose and other Elements.
Not True Tackahoe
Do not confuse Chinese Tuckahoe (Poria) with true Tackahoe (Arrow Arum, Peltandra virginica). Tackahoe is used by Native Americans to make bread.
Solid and Heavy
Good quality poria is solid and heavy. The outer skin should have deep wrinkles and a lustrous reddish color.
Widely Used Herb
Next to Licorice, poria is the most widely used herb in Chinese herbalism.
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