Researchers at the Biological Institute have identified a range of therapeutic properties in a fungus that grows on fallen trees, dilapidated buildings, pillars, and stumps. The results of the studies conducted at medical institutions showed that the mushroom is similar to the famous Japanese shiitake in its medicinal properties.
- Both of these mushrooms are saprophytes and belong to the same family, so we assumed that they may have similar characteristics, - says Olga Vaishliya, associate professor in the Department of Vertebrates and Ecology. - First, we checked the antiviral activity at a scientific center of virology and biotechnology. The extract of liquid culture of the fungus showed high effectiveness against the avian influenza virus type A - H5N1, which causes atypical pneumonia.
A preliminary study of the medicinal properties of the Siberian shiitake was also conducted at the Tomsk Cancer Research Institute of the SB RAS. Using Ehrlich carcinoma, scientists investigated the ability of the fungus to affect a cancerous tumor. It was established that the hydrochloric acid extracts of the curative fungus polysaccharides can suppress the growth of malignant cells.
The scientists note that such studies are only the beginning of serious work that needs to be continued. The data undoubtedly testify to the high potential of the Siberian shiitake. It even has some advantage over its Japanese counterpart: the fruit body of the local fungus is much larger and as a consequence the drugs produced from it will be more affordable.
The Biological Institute researchers learned to cultivate the Siberian shiitake in artificial conditions. They can grow production volumes of medicinal mushrooms for the pharmaceutical industry both in liquid and on a solid nutrient medium.