According to an old folk custom, annoying flies and mosquitoes can be driven away by dried and smoked pulp of Laetiporus sulphureus. Lectins are responsible for this insecticidal effect.
There are observations that sulfur spores grown on yew or black locust trees, for example, can cause vomiting and diarrhea in sensitive individuals. Taste can also be affected by the host trees. Sulfur sporophylls growing on oaks can sometimes taste “a bit tart” due to their tannic acid
The water content in the fruiting bodies of Chicken of the woods varies from 72.69% to 66.67%, depending on the particular temperature and relative humidity during the growth phase. The aromatic flesh of L. sulphureus is rich in carbohydrates such as trehalose, mannitol and fructose. It also contains the free amino acids histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine and threonine, the vitamins vitamin B7, vitamin B3, vitamin B12 and vitamin B5, vitamin E and vitamin D. Unsaturated fatty acids are linoleic acid with 63.27% and oleic acid with 14.52%, in addition to the saturated fatty acid palmitic acid with 14.52%. Other fatty acids are present in much smaller quantities. Important organic acids are malic acid, citric acid, ascorbic acid, tartaric acid, malonic acid, succinic acid, oxalic acid, fumaric acid and quinolinic acid.
In addition to general nutrients, the pulp contains trace elements, secondary bioactive substances, e.g., phenols, triterpenes, lectins, polyene pigments, laetiporic acids, the depsipeptide beauvericin, and melanins and naphthalene derivatives.
Historically, L. sulphureus has been used in traditional Asian and European folk medicine for the treatment of inflammatory diseases, cough, gastric cancer, gastrointestinal disorders, cardiovascular diseases, and rheumatism due to its many pharmacological properties.
Substances with high antioxidant potential include oxalic acid, the polysaccharide laetiporan A, linoleic acid, flavonoids, and other phenolic compounds[.
Cultured strains show a broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity against a variety of human pathogenic Gram-negative and Gram-positive pathogens and against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Beauvericin possesses antimicrobial and insecticidal activities. Antifungal effects have been demonstrated against Candida albicans, Aspergillus niger, Botrytis cinerea, Penicillium gladioli, and Sclerotinia sclerotiorum.
Several compounds of Laetiporus sulphureus have apoptotic and antitumor effects. The triterpenes and flavonoids such as ergonol and demethoxyegonol have cytotoxic effects in addition to antioxidant ones. (±)-Laetirobin specifically inhibits the division of cancer cells. Lectins inhibit protein biosynthesis of lung and breast cancer cells.