The Gift of the Niu Zhang Mushroom

Niu Zhang Mushroom (牛樟) growing on a log (Imaged: Courtesy of 3i Biomedics)
Niu Zhang Mushroom (牛樟) growing on a log (Imaged: Courtesy of 3i Biomedics)

One of the very precious gifts from God is the Antrodia camphorate, or stout camphor fungus. This mushroom only grows on Cinnamomum kanehirae (also known as Niu zhang (牛樟), a tree native to Taiwan at 2,000 meters above sea level. It is popular with the native Taiwanese, who often use it as a remedy for a hangover.

Stories of the mushroom as a treatment for cancer, to enhance the immune system, and to prolong survival are not strange to the locals.

A 60-year-old man with terminal colon cancer had only three months to live. According to his Chinese medicine doctor, Dr. Deng in Taoyuan City’s Yangmei District: “He lived for another four years with regular ingestion of the mushroom extract.”

Mr. Chen, a teacher at Pingtung Agricultural Biotechnology Park, was diagnosed with second stage colon cancer. He took the mushroom extract for two years after his surgery. Not only did the cancer subside, but he also felt very energetic.

Ms. Lou, a retired nurse from Taipei, provided the mushroom extract to her friend after learning that he had an ulcer. She said that after three months of ingestion of the extract, further tests of an ulcer proved negative.

Niu Zhang Mushroom growth on solid culture (Image: Courtesy of 3i Agricultural BioTech Group)

Niu Zhang mushroom growing on a solid culture. (Image: Courtesy of 3i Agricultural BioTech Group)

Even without systematic medical research, testimonials such as these have spawned the commercial development of the mushroom extract.

Niu Zhang Mushroom growth on agar plate. (Image courtesy of 3i Agricultural BioTech Group)

Niu Zhang mushroom growing on an agar plate. (Image: courtesy of 3i Agricultural BioTech Group)

Its rarity and difficult growing conditions translate into a high price for the mushroom. In Taiwan, the manufacturing of the extract is developed from three substrates — a wood log, an agar plate, and liquid media.

Niu Zhang Mushroom growth in liquid broth. (Image Courtesy of 3i Agricultural BioTech Group)

Niu Zhang mushroom growing in a liquid broth. (Image: Courtesy of 3i Agricultural BioTech Group)

With triterpenes as the main target compound, each substrate gives different results. Even though different from the naturally grown mushroom, the health benefits of the commercial extract have attracted customers.

Niu Zhang Mushroom growth on solid culture (mage: Courtesy of 3i Agricultural BioTech Group)

Niu Zhang Mushroom growth on a solid culture. (Image: Courtesy of 3i Agricultural BioTech Group)

A local producer, Jack Wu, who is Chairman of 3i Agricultural BioTech, has his eyes on growing his business into a “Global 100.” He said: “It is the 3i’s mission to care for the Earth, the environment, and one’s health. We’d like to establish 100 distribution centers around the world so that many more people will benefit from the very precious Niu Zhang mushroom from Taiwan.”

Jack Wu, Chairman of 3i Agricultural BioTech Group in Taipei, Taiwan (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

Jack Wu, Chairman of 3i Agricultural BioTech Group in Taipei, Taiwan. (Image: Billy Shyu / Vision Times)

To achieve the mission, Mr. Wu has also endowed a fund to assist patients with cancer and diabetes. Being a Christian, Mr. Wu vowed to care for those who are in need and do the right thing.

The writer of this story is not a medical professional, and the information that is in this story has been collected from reliable sources — every precaution has been taken to ensure its accuracy. The information provided is for general information purposes only, and should not be substituted for professional health care.

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