Coriolus Mushroom

Other Name(s):

Bolet à Couleurs Variées, Bolet Versicolore, Boletus versicolor, Champignon Coriolus, Champignon de Queue de Dinde, Coriolus, Coriolus versicolor, Hongo Coriolus, Kawaratake, Krestin, Polypore à Couleurs Variées, Polypore Versicolor, Polyporus Versicolor, Polysaccharide-K, Polysaccharide Krestin, Polysaccharide Peptide, Polysaccharopeptide, Polystictus versicolor, PSK, PSP, Trametes versicolor, Turkey Tail, Yun Zhi, Yun-Zhi (cloud mushroom).


Coriolus mushroom is a fungus. People have used the fruiting body and other parts as folk medicine for a long time. Recently, researchers have started to isolate and identify substances in coriolus that might act like pharmaceutical drugs. Two of these substances are polysaccharide peptide (PSP) and polysaccharide krestin (PSK). Scientists think these chemicals might be able to fight cancer and boost the immune system.

Coriolus mushroom, PSP, and PSK are used for stimulating the immune system; treating herpes, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), hepatitis, and pulmonary disorders; reducing phlegm; improving bodybuilding results; increasing energy; curing ringworm and a skin condition called impetigo; treating upper respiratory, urinary, and digestive tract infections; curing liver disorders including hepatitis; reducing the toxic effects and pain of chemotherapy and radiation therapy; increasing the effectiveness of chemotherapy; prolonging life and raising the quality of life of cancer patients; and increasing appetite.

How does it work?

Coriolus contains polysaccharide peptide (PSP) and polysaccharide-K (PSK, krestin), which may be able to fight tumor growth as well as boost the immune system.

Uses & Effectiveness

Possibly Effective for...

  • Cancer when used with chemotherapy. Taking polysaccharide krestin (PSK), a substance found in coriolus mushroom, by mouth may improve some the response to chemotherapy in people with various cancers. PSK has been used in Japan for several decades for breast cancer, esophageal cancer, gastric cancer, lung cancer, hepatic cancer, colorectal cancer, and nasopharyngeal cancer. Results have varied.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of coriolus mushroom for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).


Skin Cancer Symptoms, Types, Images See Slideshow

Side Effects

Coriolus mushroom is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth appropriately. There have been no reported side effects so far. However, people who have received chemotherapy and a chemical called PSK (which is extracted from coriolus mushroom) have experienced nausea, low white blood cell counts, and liver problems. It is unclear if these side effects were due to the chemotherapy or PSK.

Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking coriolus mushroom if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.


The following doses have been studied in scientific research:


  • For cancer, in addition to chemotherapy: 3 grams of PSK, the ingredient that is thought to fight cancer, is taken daily.

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Reviewed on 6/14/2021

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Chung, C. H., Go, P., and Chang, K. H. PSK immunotherapy in cancer patients--a preliminary report. Zhonghua Min Guo.Wei Sheng Wu Ji.Mian.Yi.Xue.Za Zhi. 1987;20(3):210-216. View abstract.

Ebina, T. and Murata, K. [Antitumor effect of intratumoral administration of BRM: inhibition of tumor cell invasion in vitro]. Gan To Kagaku Ryoho 1995;22(11):1626-1628. View abstract.

Ebina, T. and Murata, K. Antitumor effect of PSK at a distant site: tumor-specific immunity and combination with other chemotherapeutic agents. Jpn.J Cancer Res 1992;83(7):775-782. View abstract.

Fujiwara, S., Suzumori, K., Yasui, Y., Yamamoto, T., and Yagami, Y. [The effect of immunochemotherapy with PSK in malignant tumors of the female reproductive organs]. Gan No Rinsho 1986;32(1):65-70. View abstract.

Fukuo, Y., Terashi, A., Hayashi, Y., Yano, Y., and Atarashi, J. [A clinical trial of cis-platinum (II) in combination with PSK and FT-207 in advanced stomach cancer]. Gan To Kagaku Ryoho 1985;12(4):960-965. View abstract.

Hattori, T., Nakajima, T., Nakazato, H., Tanabe, T., Kikuchi, K., Abe, O., Kondo, T., Taguchi, T., Komi, N., Sugimachi, K., and . Postoperative adjuvant immunochemotherapy with mitomycin C, tegafur, PSK and/or OK-432 for gastric cancer, with special reference to the change in stimulation index after gastrectomy. Jpn.J Surg 1990;20(2):127-136. View abstract.

Hirono, M., Yoshinaka, K., Matsuki, K., Noso, Y., Oride, M., Toge, T., Niimoto, M., and Hattori, T. [Surgical treatment of Borrmann type 4 (diffuse) gastric cancer]. Gan No Rinsho 1984;30(6 Suppl):717-723. View abstract.

Ichihashi, H., Kondo, T., and Nakazato, H. [Clinical results of a randomized controlled trial on the effect of adjuvant immunochemotherapy using Esquinon and Krestin in patients with curatively resected gastric cancer--7-year survival--Cooperative Study Group for Cancer Immunochemotherapy, Tokai Gastrointestinal Oncology Group]. Gan To Kagaku Ryoho 1987;14(9):2758-2766. View abstract.

Ikeda, T., Sakai, T., Suito, T., and Kosaki, G. [Evaluation of postoperative immunochemotherapy in lung cancer]. Gan To Kagaku Ryoho 1986;13(4 Pt 1):1044-1049. View abstract.

Ikuzawa, M., Matsunaga, K., Nishiyama, S., Nakajima, S., Kobayashi, Y., Andoh, T., Kobayashi, A., Ohhara, M., Ohmura, Y., Wada, T., and . Fate and distribution of an antitumor protein-bound polysaccharide PSK (Krestin). Int J Immunopharmacol 1988;10(4):415-423. View abstract.

Imaizumi, M., Kondo, T., Kamei, H., and Ichihashi, H. [Cooperative studies on surgical adjuvant immunochemotherapy for prevention of postoperative recurrence of gastric cancer]. Gan To Kagaku Ryoho 1984;11(1):60-68. View abstract.

Imaizumi, M., Kondo, T., Kamei, H., and Ichihashi, H. [Cooperative study on surgical adjuvant immunochemotherapy for prevention of postoperative recurrence of gastric cancer (II). Cooperative study group on surgical adjuvant immunochemotherapy for prevention of postoperative recurrence of gastric cancer supported by the Ministry of Health and Welfare (Kondo's group]). Gan To Kagaku Ryoho 1990;17(12):2397-2403. View abstract.

Ito, K., Nakazato, H., Koike, A., Takagi, H., Saji, S., Baba, S., Mai, M., Sakamoto, J., and Ohashi, Y. Long-term effect of 5-fluorouracil enhanced by intermittent administration of polysaccharide K after curative resection of colon cancer. A randomized controlled trial for 7-year follow-up. Int.J Colorectal Dis 2004;19(2):157-164. View abstract.

Kanoh, T., Matsunaga, K., Saito, K., and Fujii, T. Suppression of in vivo tumor-induced angiogenesis by the protein-bound polysaccharide PSK. In Vivo 1994;8(2):247-250. View abstract.

Kato, H., Yokoe, N., Takemura, S., Yoshikawa, T., Furukawa, Y., and Kondo, M. Effect of a protein-bound polysaccharide PS-K on the complement system. Res Exp.Med (Berl) 1983;182(2):85-94. View abstract.

Koda, K., Miyazaki, M., Sarashina, H., Suwa, T., Saito, N., Suzuki, M., Ogawa, K., Watanabe, S., Kodaira, S., and Nakazato, H. A randomized controlled trial of postoperative adjuvant immunochemotherapy for colorectal cancer with oral medicines. Int J Oncol 2003;23(1):165-172. View abstract.

Kojima, J., Kamata, T., and Monna, T. [Evaluation of immunochemotherapy in patients with primary liver cancer. Osaka Research Society for Liver, Gallbladder and Pancreas]. Gan To Kagaku Ryoho 1987;14(1):179-187. View abstract.

Kondo, M., Kato, H., Yokoe, N., Matsumura, N., Hotta, T., and Masuda, M. Activation of the complement by immunostimulants, BCG, OK-432 (Picibanil), and PS-K (Krestin) in vitro. Gann 1978;69(5):699-702. View abstract.

Kono, K., Kawaguchi, Y., Mizukami, Y., Mimura, K., Sugai, H., Akaike, H., and Fujii, H. Protein-bound polysaccharide K partially prevents apoptosis of circulating T cells induced by anti-cancer drug S-1 in patients with gastric cancer. Oncology 2008;74(3-4):143-149. View abstract.

Kudo, S., Tanaka, J., Kashida, H., Tamegai, Y., Endo, S., and Yamano, H. O. Effectiveness of immunochemotherapy with PSK, a protein-bound polysaccharide, in colorectal cancer and changes of tumor marker. Oncol Rep. 2002;9(3):635-638. View abstract.

Matsunaga, K., Iijima, H., and Kobayashi, H. Neonatal inoculation with the protein-bound polysaccharide PSK increases resistance of adult animals to challenge with syngeneic tumor cells and reduces azoxymethane-induced precancerous lesions in the colon. Cancer Epidemiol.Biomarkers Prev. 2000;9(12):1313-1322. View abstract.

Mitomi, T., Tsuchiya, S., Iijima, N., Aso, K., Suzuki, K., Nishiyama, K., Amano, T., Takahashi, T., Murayama, N., Oka, H., and . [Randomized controlled study on adjuvant immunochemotherapy with PSK in curatively resected colorectal cancer. The Cooperative Study Group of Surgical Adjuvant Immunochemotherapy for Cancer of Colon and Rectum]. Gan To Kagaku Ryoho 1989;16(6):2241-2249. View abstract.

Morinaga, H., Tazawa, K., Tagoh, H., Muraguchi, A., and Fujimaki, M. An in vivo study of hepatic and splenic interleukin-1 beta mRNA expression following oral PSK or LEM administration. Jpn.J Cancer Res 1994;85(12):1298-1303. View abstract.

Nagao, T., Komatsuda, M., Yamauchi, K., Nozaki, H., Watanabe, K., and Arimori, S. Chemoimmunotherapy with Krestin in acute leukemia. Tokai J Exp Clin Med 1981;6(2):141-146. View abstract.

Nakajima, T., Inokuchi, K., Hattori, T., Inoue, K., Taguchi, T., Kondo, T., Abe, O., Kikuchi, K., Tanabe, T., and Ogawa, N. [A multi-institutional study on postoperative adjuvant immunochemotherapy of gastric cancer]. Gan To Kagaku Ryoho 1985;12(9):1850-1863. View abstract.

Nakajima, T., Inokuchi, K., Hattori, T., Inoue, K., Taguchi, T., Kondou, T., Abe, O., Kikuchi, K., Tanabe, T., and Ogawa, N. [Multi-institutional cooperative study of adjuvant immunochemotherapy in gastric cancer--five-year survival rate]. Gan To Kagaku Ryoho 1989;16(4 Pt 1):799-806. View abstract.

Nakazato, H., Koike, A., Ichihashi, H., Saji, S., Danno, M., and Ogawa, N. [An effect of adjuvant immunochemotherapy using krestin and 5-FU on gastric cancer patients with radical surgery (first report)--a randomized controlled trial by the cooperative study group. Study Group of Immuno-chemotherapy with PSK for Gastric Cancer]. Gan To Kagaku Ryoho 1989;16(8 Pt 1):2563-2576. View abstract.

Niimoto, M., Hattori, T., Tamada, R., Sugimachi, K., Inokuchi, K., and Ogawa, N. Postoperative adjuvant immunochemotherapy with mitomycin C, futraful and PSK for gastric cancer. An analysis of data on 579 patients followed for five years. Jpn.J Surg 1988;18(6):681-686. View abstract.

Nishiwaki, Y., Furuse, K., Fukuoka, M., Ota, M., Niitani, H., Asakawa, M., Nakai, H., Sakai, S., and Ogawa, N. [A randomized controlled study of PSK combined immuno-chemotherapy for adenocarcinoma of the lung. The Advanced Lung Cancer Immuno-chemotherapy Study Group]. Gan To Kagaku Ryoho 1990;17(1):131-136. View abstract.

Nomoto, K., Tsuru, S., Awane, Y., Kamei, H., Ishibiki, H., Sekiguchi, M., Tamada, R., Toge, T., and Nakajima, T. [Changes in nonspecific suppressor factors in the serum of gastric cancer patients after surgery and immunochemotherapy]. Gan To Kagaku Ryoho 1986;13(3 Pt 1):458-463. View abstract.

Ogoshi, K., Satou, H., Isono, K., Mitomi, T., Endoh, M., and Sugita, M. Possible predictive markers of immunotherapy in esophageal cancer: retrospective analysis of a randomized study. The Cooperative Study Group for Esophageal Cancer in Japan. Cancer Invest 1995;13(4):363-369. View abstract.

Ogoshi, K., Tajima, T., Mitomi, T., Makuuchi, H., and Tsuji, K. HLA-A2 antigen status predicts metastasis and response to immunotherapy in gastric cancer. Cancer Immunol Immunother. 1997;45(1):53-59. View abstract.

Ohmura, Y., Matsunaga, K., Motokawa, I., Sakurai, K., and Ando, T. Protective effects of a protein-bound polysaccharide, PSK, against Candida albicans infection in syngeneic tumor-bearing mice via Th1 cell functions. Cancer Biother.Radiopharm. 2003;18(5):769-780. View abstract.

Ohno, R., Yamada, K., Masaoka, T., Ohshima, T., Amaki, I., Hirota, Y., Horikoshi, N., Horiuchi, A., Imai, K., Kimura, I., and . A randomized trial of chemoimmunotherapy of acute nonlymphocytic leukemia in adults using a protein-bound polysaccharide preparation. Cancer Immunol Immunother. 1984;18(3):149-154. View abstract.

Ohwada, S., Ikeya, T., Yokomori, T., Kusaba, T., Roppongi, T., Takahashi, T., Nakamura, S., Kakinuma, S., Iwazaki, S., Ishikawa, H., Kawate, S., Nakajima, T., and Morishita, Y. Adjuvant immunochemotherapy with oral Tegafur/Uracil plus PSK in patients with stage II or III colorectal cancer: a randomised controlled study. Br.J Cancer 3-8-2004;90(5):1003-1010. View abstract.

Ohwada, S., Kawate, S., Ikeya, T., Yokomori, T., Kusaba, T., Roppongi, T., Takahashi, T., Nakamura, S., Kawashima, Y., Nakajima, T., and Morishita, Y. Adjuvant therapy with protein-bound polysaccharide K and tegafur uracil in patients with stage II or III colorectal cancer: randomized, controlled trial. Dis Colon Rectum 2003;46(8):1060-1068. View abstract.

Ohwada, S., Ogawa, T., Makita, F., Tanahashi, Y., Ohya, T., Tomizawa, N., Satoh, Y., Kobayashi, I., Izumi, M., Takeyoshi, I., Hamada, K., Minaguchi, S., Togo, Y., Toshihiko, T., Koyama, T., and Kamio, M. Beneficial effects of protein-bound polysaccharide K plus tegafur/uracil in patients with stage II or III colorectal cancer: analysis of immunological parameters. Oncol.Rep 2006;15(4):861-868. View abstract.

Pang, Z. J., Chen, Y., Zhou, M., and Wan, J. Effect of polysaccharide krestin on glutathione peroxidase gene expression in mouse peritoneal macrophages. Br.J Biomed Sci 2000;57(2):130-136. View abstract.

Sakamoto, J., Koike, A., Saji, S., Teramukai, S., Ohashi, Y., and Nakazato, H. Preoperative serum immunosuppressive acidic protein (IAP) test for the prognosis of gastric cancer: a statistical study of the threshold level and evaluation of the effect of the biological response modifier PSK. Surg Today 1992;22(6):530-536. View abstract.

Sakamoto, J., Morita, S., Oba, K., Matsui, T., Kobayashi, M., Nakazato, H., and Ohashi, Y. Efficacy of adjuvant immunochemotherapy with polysaccharide K for patients with curatively resected colorectal cancer: a meta-analysis of centrally randomized controlled clinical trials. Cancer Immunol.Immunother. 2006;55(4):404-411. View abstract.

Sakamoto, J., Nakazato, H., Ichihashi, H., Koike, A., Ohashi, Y., Tamura, H., Fujii, T., and Ogawa, N. [The minimization method in a medium size clinical trial. Study of immunochemotherapy with PSK in gastric cancer]. Gan To Kagaku Ryoho 1988;15(6):1935-1942. View abstract.

Shibata, M., Nezu, T., Kanou, H., Nagata, Y., Kimura, T., Takekawa, M., Ando, K., and Fukuzawa, M. Immunomodulatory effects of low dose cis-Diaminedichloroplatinum (cisplatin) combined with UFT and PSK in patients with advanced colorectal cancer. Cancer Invest 2002;20(2):166-173. View abstract.

Sugiyama, Y., Saji, S., Miya, K., Fukada, D., Umemoto, T., Kunieda, K., Takao, H., Kato, M., and Kawai, M. [Locoregional therapy for liver metastases of colorectal cancer]. Gan To Kagaku Ryoho 1996;23(11):1433-1436. View abstract.

Takahashi, Y., Mai, M., and Nakazato, H. Preoperative CEA and PPD values as prognostic factors for immunochemotherapy using PSK and 5-FU. Anticancer Res 2005;25(2B):1377-1384. View abstract.

Takashima, S., Kinami, Y., and Miyazaki, I. [Clinical effect of postoperative adjuvant immunochemotherapy with the FT-207 suppository and PSK in colorectal cancer patients. Colorectal Cancer Chemotherapy Group in Hokuriku]. Gan To Kagaku Ryoho 1988;15(8):2229-2236. View abstract.

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Toge, T. and Yamaguchi, Y. Protein-bound polysaccharide increases survival in resected gastric cancer cases stratified with a preoperative granulocyte and lymphocyte count. Oncol.Rep 2000;7(5):1157-1161. View abstract.

Tsujitani, S., Kakeji, Y., Orita, H., Watanabe, A., Kohnoe, S., Baba, H., Anai, H., Maehara, Y., and Sugimachi, K. Postoperative adjuvant immunochemotherapy and infiltration of dendritic cells for patients with advanced gastric cancer. Anticancer Res 1992;12(3):645-648. View abstract.

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Collins RA, Ng TB. Polysaccharopeptide from Coriolus versicolor has potential for use against human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infection. Life Sci 1997;60:PL383-7. View abstract.

Dong Y, Kwan CY, Chen ZN, et al. Antitumor effects of a refined polysaccharide peptide fraction isolated from Coriolus versicolor: in vitro and in vivo studies. Res Commun Mol Pathol Pharmacol 1996;92:140-8. View abstract.

Dong Y, Yang MM, Kwan CY. In vitro inhibition of proliferation of HL-60 cells by tetrandrine and coriolus versicolor peptide derived from Chinese medicinal herbs. Life Sci 1997;60:PL135-40. View abstract.

Fukushima M. Adjuvant therapy of gastric cancer: the Japanese experience. Semin Oncol 1996;23:369-78. View abstract.

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Gong S, Zhang HQ, Yin WP, et al. Involvement of interleukin-2 in analgesia produced by Coriolus versicolor polysaccharide peptides. Chung Kuo Yao Li Hsueh Pao 1998;19:67-70. View abstract.

Harada M, Matsunaga K, Oguchi Y, et al. Oral administration of PSK can improve the impaired anti-tumor CD4+ T-cell response in gut associated lymphoid tissue (GALT) of specific-pathogen-free mice. Int J Cancer 1997;70:362-72. View abstract.

Hayakawa K, Mitsuhashi N, Saito Y, et al. Effect of Krestin as adjuvant treatment following radical radiotherapy in non-small cell lung cancer patients. Cancer Detect Prev 1997;21:71-7. View abstract.

Iino Y, Yokoe T, Maemura M, et al. Immunochemotherapies versus chemotherapy as adjuvant treatment after curative resection of operable breast cancer. Anticancer Res 1995;15:2907-11. View abstract.

Kanoh T, Saito K, Matsunaga K, et al. Enhancement of the antitumor effect by the concurrent use of a monoclonal antibody and the protein bound polysaccharide PSK in mice bearing a human cancer cell line. In Vivo 1994;8:241-5. View abstract.

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Qian ZM, Xu MF, Tang PL. Polysaccharide peptide (PSP) restores immunosuppression induced by cyclophosphamide in rats. Am J Chin Med 1997;25:27-35.. View abstract.

Sugimachi K, Maehara Y, Ogawa M, et al. Dose intensity of uracil and tegafur in postoperative chemotherapy for patients with poorly differentiated gastric cancer. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol 1997;40:233-8. View abstract.

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Tochikura TS, Nakashima H, Hirose K, et al. A biological response modifier, PSK, inhibits human immunodeficiency virus infection in vitro. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 1987;148:726-33. View abstract.

Toi M, Hattori T, Akagi M, et al. Randomized adjuvant trial to evaluate the addition of tamoxifen and PSK to chemotherapy in patients with primary breast cancer. 5-Year results from the Nishi-Nippon Group of the Adjuvant Chemoendocrine Therapy for Breast Cancer Organization. Cancer 1992;70:2475-83. View abstract.

Torisu M, Hayashi Y, Ishimitsu T, et al. Significant prolongation of disease-free period gained by oral polysaccharide K (PSK) administration after curative surgical operation of colorectal cancer. Cancer Immunol Immunother 1990;31:261-8. View abstract.

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Wang HX, Ng TB, Liu WK, et al. Polysaccharide-peptide complexes from the cultured mycelia of the mushroom Coriolus versicolor and their culture medium activate mouse lymphocytes and macrophages. Int J Biochem Cell Biol 1996;28:601-7. View abstract.

Wasser SP, Weis AL. Therapeutic effects of substances occurring in higher Basidiomycetes mushrooms: a modern perspective. Crit Rev Immunol 1999;19:65-96. View abstract.

Yeung JH, Chiu LC, Ooi VE. Effect of polysaccharide peptide (PSP) on glutathione and protection against paracetamol-induced hepatotoxicity in the rat. Methods Find Exp Clin Pharmacol 1994;16:723-9. View abstract.

Yokoe T, Iino Y, Takei H, et al. HLA antigen as predictive index for the outcome of breast cancer patients with adjuvant immunochemotherapy with PSK. Anticancer Res 1997;17:2815-8. View abstract.

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