Introduction of Fu Ling:Poria Cocos or Poria.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Poria Cocos, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source one fungus species, ①.Poria cocos (Schw.) Wolf., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of this fungus species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of this fungus species, the features of the herb Poria Cocos, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Poria(Poria Cocos).

Poria Cocos Pin Yin Name: Fú Línɡ.
 English Name: Poria Cocos.
 Latin Name: Poria.
 Property and flavor: neutral in nature,sweet,tasteless.

 Brief introduction: The herb Poria is the dried sclerotium of the fungus Poria cocos(Schw.) Wolf, used (1).as a diuretic in cases of edema and oliguria,(2).to invigorate the spleen for treating anorexia and diarrhea, and (3).to induce tranquilization in cases of palpitation and insomnia. The herb is commonly known as Poria, Poria Cocos, Fú Línɡ.

 Botanical source: Herbal classic book defined the herb Poria(Poria Cocos) as the dried sclerotium of the species (1). Poria cocos(Schw.) Wolf, it is a fungus of the Wolfiporia genus, the Fomitopsidaceae family (Polyporaceae, bracket fungus family), the Polyporales order. This commonly used species is introduced:

(1).Poria cocos (Schw.) Wolf.

 Poria cocos Schw Wolf.01 Botanical description: The Poria cocos (Schw.) Wolf., is a fungus of the Polyporaceae family (Polyporaceae, bracket fungus family) and Wolfiporia genus, it is also known as "Wolfiporia extensa", "Wolfiporia extensa (Peck) Ginns (syn. Poria cocos F.A.Wolf)", the fungus is also known as "hoelen, poria, tuckahoe, China root, fu ling.", and classified into Fomitopsidaceae family in some latest classification system. Sclerotia spherical, oval to an irregular shape, length is 10~30 cm or longer, the weight is not the same, usually weighing 500~5,000 grams. Thick and wrinkled skin outside, dark brown, hardened when fresh, soft and dry, white or light pink inside, powdery and granular. Entomophores grow in the surface of the sclerotia, all flat, thickness 3~8 cm, white, fleshy, aged or dried into a light brown. Trichoderma long 2~3 mm with thin tube wall, nozzle is round, polygonal or irregular shape, diameter is 0.5~1.5 cm, split lip toothed. Spore is rectangular to nearly cylindrical, smooth, with a crooked tip, size (7.5~9) μm × (3~3.5) μm.

 Poria cocos Schw Wolf.02 The Poria showed three different morphological characteristics at different stages of development, namely mycelium, sclerotia and fruiting bodies.

 (1).Mycelium, including mononuclear and dual-core two mycelia. Monomer nuclear mycelium, also known as primary mycelium, is made by the Poria spores germination, only in the early germination. Binuclear mycelium, also known as secondary mycelium, is the main form of mycelium, by two different sex mononuclear mycelia meet, by the quality of the formation. Mycelium is white fluffy appearance, with a unique multi-concentric ring-shaped colony. Observed under a microscope, we can see mycelium by a number of branched mycelia, hyphae by the diaphragm is divided into linear cells, the width of 2-5 microns, the top common to the lock-like joint phenomenon.

 Poria cocos Schw Wolf.03 (2).Sclerotia, by numerous hyphae and nutrients, gathered from the dormant body. Also known as "Tuckahoe or fu-ling". Spherical, ellipsoid, oblate or irregular lumps; small two, the largest number of pounds, tens of pounds; fresh matter soft quality, easy to open, hard to break open after the hard. Sclerotium outer is shell-like, rough surface, with tumor-like shrinkage, fresh light brown or tan, dry to dark brown; skin white and light brown. Observed under a microscope, the mycelium in the white part of the mycelium was mostly lotus-like joints or extruded mass. Near the skin at the more slender and arranged dense light brown hyphae.

 Poria cocos Schw Wolf.:growing plants (3). Fruiting bodies, usually produce on the surface of sclerotia, occasionally in the older mycelium. Honeycomb, different sizes, sessile supine, about 0.3~1 cm thick. At first white, the old woody turns into light yellow. The stratum grows on the surface of the inner wall of the tube and consists of numerous heavy loads. Mature burdens each produce 4 spores (ie basidiospores). Poria spores are gray-white, oblong or nearly cylindrical, a crooked tip, 6×2.5 ~ 11×3.5 microns.

 Ecological environment: The Poria cocos is parasitic on the pine family of plants such as red pine or Masson pine roots, 20 to 30 cm underground. The herb is distributed in the lower reaches area of the Yangtze River, the Zhujiang river area, north and northwest area, and other areas of China.

 Growth characteristics: The poria cocos is a facultative parasitic fungus, it grows wild in the rhizosphere of Pinus massoniana, Pinus yellow-mountain, Pinus red, Pinus yunnanensis, Pinus lodgepole, and other tree species, on dry and sunny slopes in mountainous areas of 600~1,000 meters altitude. 10°~35° mountain slope and sandy soil are more suitable for its growth. It is favorable for growth in the condition of a large temperature difference between day and night.

 Poria Cocos:herb photo Characters of herbs: The intact Poria cocos are round, oval, oblate, or irregular lumps of different sizes. The skin is thin and rough, brown or dark brown, with obvious shrinkage texture, sometimes partially peeling off. The herb is heavy, the texture of the herb is firm and solid, the crushing surface is granular, some are cracked, the outer layer near the surface is light brown, there are tiny honeycomb-like holes, the inside part is white, and a few are light red. Some have pine roots in the middle, which is used to be named "Fu Shen Kuai". The herb has a slight odor, it tastes mild, sticky to teeth when chewed. The herb of better grade is heavy, the texture of the herb is firm and solid, the outer skin is brown, fine dermatoglyphics, no cracks, the fracture surface is white and fine, strong tooth adhesion.

 Poria cocos blocks: Poria cocos blocks are prepared blocks after peeling, which are cuboid or cuboid thick pieces of different sizes. White, light red, or light brown.

 Poria cocos slices: Poria cocos slices are sliced herb after peeling, which are irregularly thick slices with different thicknesses. White, light red, or light brown.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.sedative; ②.anti-ulcer; ③.prevent liver cell necrosis; ④.protect the liver; ⑤.increase myocardial potassium content; ⑥.reduce kanamycin toxicity in ear damage; ⑦.anti-tumor effect.

 Medicinal efficacy: Clearing damp and promoting diuresis, benefits the spleen and harmonizes the stomach, nourishes the spleen and calm the heart, calm the heart and tranquility. It is indicated for edema and oliguria, dysuria (difficulty in micturition), edema and distention fullness, phlegm and fluid retention, dizziness and palpitation, phlegm and fluid retention with cough, spleen deficiency and poor appetite, loose stool and diarrhea, vomiting, retching, diarrhea, spermatorrhea (nocturnal emission), stranguria with turbid discharge, restlessness, uneasy and palpitation, palpitate with fear and insomnia, amnesia (forgettery), white turbid and spermatorrhea.

 Administration of Poria (Fú Línɡ): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Poria (Fú Línɡ)
TCM Books: ①.Internally:9~15 grams; ②.Internally:water decoction,3~5 qian (about 4.5~15 grams), or prepare to pill,powder; ③.Internally:water decoction, 10~15 grams,or prepared to pill, powder.
 Contraindications, Precautions and Adverse Reactions: should not combine with Radix Sanguisorbae, Realgar, Radix Gentianae Macrophyllae, turtleback. Should avoid rice vinegar.

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