Poria cocos is a mushroom belonging to the Polyporaceae family. In Chinese medicine the mushroom is known as Fu ling. Evidence suggests that Poria cocos has significant medicinal effects that may result from its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions. Poria cocos is found in formulations that are used to treat mood disorders, suggesting that it may have mood elevating effects. In one study researchers investigated the mood elevating effects of Poria cocos in rats. The rats were administered Poria cocos extracts for 5 weeks and then exposed to experimental stress in the form of a forced swim test. The results of the study showed that the depressive-like symptoms that can often accompany forced swimming in rats were ameliorated by the mushroom extract. The authors also noticed a significant reduction in the inflammatory response in the prefrontal cortex of the rats. The beneficial mood elevating effects of Poria cocos may therefore originate from its anti-inflammatory effects.
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