Polyporus umbellatus is a medicinal mushroom belonging to the family Polyporaceae which forms characteristic underground sclerotia. These sclerotia have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries and are used to treat edema and promote diuretic processes. Over the past few decades, researchers have found this taxon to contain many bioactive compounds shown to be responsible for antitumor, anticancer, antioxidant, free radical scavenging, immune system enhancement and antimicrobial activities. Due to its promising medicinal value, P. umbellatus is used as an ingredient in many medicinal products and food supplements. Thus demand for P. umbellatus has increased. To supply the high global demand, P. umbellatus is cultivated under natural or industrial conditions. In this review we discuss optimal conditions for the cultivation and culture of P. umbellatus . We also focus on the medicinal uses of P. umbellatus , the diversity of bioactive metabolites with various pharmacological properties and the medicinal products of great interest for health care or as alternative drugs.
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Vol. 36 • No. 1