(虎乳灵芝, Cendawan Susu Rimau (Harimau)
~ ~ Bring life to our lost “National Treasure” ……
Synonyms : Lignosus rhinoceros, Lignosus rhinocerotic, Polyporus rhinocerus, Polystictus rhinocerus, Polyporus sacer var. rhinocerotis, Fomes rhinocerus, Microporus rhinocerus, Scindalma rhinocerus.
Other Name :
In Malay – “Cendawan susu rimau (harimau), kulat susu rimau” means “Tiger’s Milk mushroom or fungus”.
In Mandarin (South East Asia) – “老虎奶” (means Tiger’s Milk).
In China – “虎乳灵芝” (means Tiger’s Milk Ling-zhi), “孤苓多孔菌”.
It is different from Lignosus sacer, a name used in the early 19th century.
It is also different from Pleurotus tuber-regium (In China – “虎奶菇” means Tiger’s Milk mushroom).
In the year 2000, studies done by local researchers showed that out of a total of 38 types of edible wild mushrooms in Malaysia, 19 types were used for medicinal purposes by the rural and indigenous communities (Chang and Lee, 2004). Among those, the mushroom which was identified as “Tiger’s milk” mushroom (Lignosus rhinocerus) was singled out as one of the most important medicinal mushrooms for those indigenous communities. Besides as a tonic to maintain health, this fungus was believed to have more than 15 medicinal usages according to the different tribes. This included treatment for fever, cough, asthma, breast cancer, food poisoning, healing wounds and etc.
The fungus was known as “Tiger’s milk” mushroom according to the folklore, as it was believed to emerge from the very spot where the milk of a prowling tigers has dropped on the ground. The underground fungus tuber or sclerotia will remain there for months, years or decades. The mushroom will only sprout out from the ground when nature calls. The underground sclerotium is the part with medicinal value. Unfortunately the presense of this sclerotium can only be noticed when the mushroom sprouts out from the ground. The existed of this mushroom in the earth is always solitary and this makes the collection of this wild Tiger’s milk mushroom difficult and limited.
This mushroom is a unique “National Treasure”. It is only found in a small geographic region encompass South China, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and Australia. Although this mushroom has proved to have high medicinal value, the usages were not common. Most people do not know about the existence of this medicinal mushroom nowadays, due to unavailable stock. In many cases, when people are looking for this medicinal mushroom to cure illness, they have no idea where to get it. Even though they know where to get it, it may not be available at the particular moment. Obtaining this mushroom on the ground or jungle is most of the time merely by luck.
Effort has been made to grow this medicinal mushroom in culture media for several years. And now we are able to grow and produce this medicinal mushroom for the benefit of mankind.