Nope. It’s got nothing to do with a Tiger. And nothing to do with milk either. But yes, it’s a mushroom and boy – was I amazed when I discovered its benefits.
I have long heard about much touted cancer cures. From Sabah Snake Grass, some strange specie of Ginger to just about anything. And no, I don’t suffer from cancer (touch wood!) but as a Writer, I’ve been long fascinated by alternative medicine. As you know – I have advocated traditional therapies and I just don’t write about them. I make sure I experience them myself.
MY FIRST ENCOUNTER WITH TIGER MILK MUSHROOM
I love eating mushrooms. So when I first got my hands on an article about Tiger Milk Mushroom, I decided to learn more about it. Like I’ve mentioned earlier, it’s got nothing to do with Tigers nor milk.
Local folklore has it that a long time ago, some local chap saw a Tigress who had just given birth, and was merrily making its way through a jungle. The local chap saw several drops of the Tiger’s milk fall down from its engorged nipples and that was it, the chap thought. Some weeks later, the local guy passed that same place again and was amazed to see a mushroom sprouting from that very place where the Tigress had passed by. From there on, he decided to refer the mushroom as “Tiger Milk Mushroom”.
Scientifically known as Lignosus rhinocerus, the Tiger Milk Mushroom is closely related to the well-known ling zhi or reishi mushroom. It has been widely used for medicinal purposes for a very long time, and is prized especially by local traditional Chinese medicine practitioners and the orang asli (aborigines).
The first ever documented use of the Tiger Milk Mushroom dates back to 1664 when the Europeans sailed the region (The diary of John Evelyn, publication date 22 June 1664). John Evelyn wrote of a fungus he called “Lac Tygridis”, or “Tiger’s Milk.” He mentioned of a fungus that could treat illnesses and that European medicine had no cure for at that time. Years later, Sir Henry N. Ridley, also known as the “Father of Malaya’s rubber industry” reported that the Tiger Milk Mushroom is an important medicinal mushroom used by the local community (Ridley, 1890).
To cut a long story short, it is extremely rare to find a Tiger Milk Mushroom growing in the wild. In fact, only 1 mushroom would grow in a radius of 5,000 metres, equivalent to circling a standard football field of 105m long x 68m wide 12 times.
The active compound that has medicinal benefits in the mushroom is beta-glucan, a naturally-occurring polysaccharide (complex carbohydrate).
The use of Tiger Milk Mushroom as a medicinal mushroom is not something new as its usage by the indigenous people of then Malaya (pre-Malaysia) dates back to even before John Evelyn’s first documentation of the medicinal fungus (before 1664).
The Tiger Milk Mushroom has traditionally been used by the Malays, Chinese and indigenous communities in Malaysia for over 400 years. It is used to treat cough, asthma, fever, joint pain, chronic hepatitis, gastric ulcer, liver and breast cancer, food poisoning and as a general tonic (Chang & Lee 2004; Wong et al 2009; Lee et al 2009).
MY EXPERIENCE WITH TIGER MILK MUSHROOM
I received some samples from Miss Ng Szu Ting, CEO of Ligno Biotech Sdn Bhd (http://www.ligno.com.my). She was kind enough to let me try it as I had some recurring coughs.
Just for the update – I have not fallen sick for over 4 years now. In fact, I can even count the number of times I’ve had a cold – which is just ONE. And I won’t even see a doctor. I’d just go drink a cup of herbal tea, cover myself with a blanket and sweat it out!
After taking Tiger Milk Mushroom (powdered form) – I found that my cough worsened in the first 2 days. Then I discovered that this is normal because it is the body’s natural immune system that eliminates the last vestiges of the bacteria thriving inside my lungs.
After only 5 days, my respiratory function was back to normal. In fact, my “stuffed” nose had also gone, no thanks to the crazy weather we’ve been encountering in the past months.
I have also heard that prostate enlargements (normal in most men over 40) has reduced considerably after consuming it!
If you are interested to know more about this miracle mushroom, please visit http://www.ligno.com.my.
Please note that I am not in any way an employee of Ligno Biotech. I am merely writing about new discoveries and therapies. The capsules are obtainable now in Malaysia.