Laccocephalum mylittae: The Native of Blackfellow’s Bread

Sclerotium of ‘native bread’,  Laccocephalum mylittae.


Polyporus mylittae Cooke & Massee
Polyporus mylittae Sacc.
Polyporus minormylittae
Mylitta australis (anamorph)
Notihydnum australe (anamorph)

Common name

Native bread (Australian aboriginal)
Blackfellows’ Bread
Lei Wan (Chinese)

Traditional Uses

Laccocephalum mylittae is used in traditional Chinese medicine as an antihelminthic (Wang and Zhu, 1989). The sclerotium were eaten by aboriginals in Australia as a food source, hence the common name Native bread.

Anti-inflammatory activity

Chinese researchers isolated a polysaccharide they named S-4001, shown to be a (1→3)-β-D- glucan with some (1→6) linkages. Administration of S-4001 significantly increased anti-inflammatory activity  in a variety of animal models. Reported experimental effects of S-4001 (all from Wang and Zhu, 1989):

– inhibitory action on leukocyte migration induced by intraperitoneal injection of carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) in rats
– significant increase of corticosterone in plasma, but with no increase in ascorbic acid content in the adrenals of rats
– increase in clearance of Congo red from mice blood
– potentiation of the immunohemolysis reaction in 615 mice (a mouse leukemia model)

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Museum Victoria, Underground fungus


Macfarlane TD, Kuo J, Hilton RN.
Structure of the giant sclerotium of Polyporus mylittae.
Trans Brit Myco Soc. 1978 71:359-65.

Orchard AE, May TW, Young T. 2003.
Fungi of Australia 2B.
CSIRO Publishing, Australian Biological Resources Study.
Google Books excerpt

Wang SF.
[Cultural comparison of 4 strains of Polyporus mylittae]
Zhong Yao Tong Bao. 1985 10(1):7-9. Chinese.

Wang WJ, Zhu XY.
[The antiinflammatory and immunostimulating activities of S-4001–a polysaccharide isolated from Lei Wan (Polyporus mylitiae)]
Yao Xue Xue Bao. 1989 24(2):151-4. Chinese.

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