Tiger Milk Mushroom (Lignosus rhinocerus)
- Synonym: Polyporus rhinocerus, Fomes rhinocerus, Microporus rhinocerus
- English: Tiger Milk Mushroom
- Mandarin: 虎乳芝和老虎奶
- Malay: Cendawan Susu Rimau (Harimau), Kulat Susu Rimau (Harimau)
Lignosus rhinocerus, or more commonly known as the Tiger Milk Mushroom, hailed as Malaysia’s national treasure has been recognized as one of the most popular medicinal mushrooms used by indigenous communities of Malaysia. The Tiger Milk Mushroom, belongs to the Polyporaceae family is also one of the most important medicinal mushrooms used by natives in Southeast Asia.
The name, Tiger Milk Mushroom was derived from folklore. It was said to be, the Tiger Milk Mushroom was grown from the spot where the tigress dripped its milk while feeding the cubs and hence the name Tiger Milk Mushroom came to be.
The tuber like sclerotium of Tiger Milk Mushroom is the part with medicinal properties. It has traditionally been used by many communities to treat various ailments:
Despite its high medicinal values, little attempts had been made to explore it, due to the very limited supply as it can only be wild collected from the forest by chance, hence hindering the discovery of its full potential for health and economical benefits.
Its geographical distribution is only in the tropical rainforest in the region of Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, and Papua New Guinea.
However, it is not often readily available due to its growth behavior. The Tiger Milk Mushroom forms a sclerotium underground and remained there for months, years or even decades. It would only sprout the mushroom fruiting body when the environment condition is favorable. Furthermore, the existence of this mushroom in the jungle is always solitary and unnoticeable; this makes the collection of its sclerotia a difficult task. As a result, its supply is limited and hence hindering the discovery of its full potential for health and economical benefits.
Scientific studies showed that Tiger Milk Mushroom possesses four main properties:
Health Benefits of Tiger Milk Mushroom