REISHI (Ganoderma lucidum)
Dehydrated, finely ground Reishi mycelium cultured on organic whole oats
*Ling Zhi (Mushroom of Immortality)
A woody textured mushroom with a shiny cap surface from yellow to dull red to brown in color often with zonations from concentric growth pattern. Pores on underside of cap are whitish, stem is white to yellow eventually darkening to brown or black. Widely distributed throughout the world especially in subtropical regions. Medicinally active components are found in the fruitbodies, spores and mycelia of this species.
Known Active Constituents
*Triterpenes: ganoderic & ganoderenic acids
Medicinal Properties and Modes of Actions
Ganoderma mushroom species have been used for a variety of medicinal purposes thoughout the world for many centuries. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Reishi is considered warming and acts to nourish, tonify, remove toxins, and disperse accumulation (Hsu et al., 1986). It has also been used in China and other parts of Asia to treat many age-related diseases such as coronary heart disease, chronic bronchitis, hypertension, and cancer (Chen & Zhang, 1987). Reishi has traditionally been used in Japanese folk medicine to help treat cancer, heart disease, liver problems, high blood pressure, joint inflammation, ulcers and other diseases (Matsumoto, 1979). The Japanese government has officially listed Reishi as an approved adjunct herb for the treatment of cancer (Willard, 1990) As drug resistance and toxicity become ever more significant hindrances to successful treatment of chronic diseases, herbal medicines represent useful supplements to existing antibiotics and chemotherapeutic agents. Polysaccharides and triterpenoids from Ganoderma have shown activities against Herpes simple virus, Hepatitus B virus, HIV, and Epstein-Barr virus in vitro and in animal studies. In a clinical study by Gao et al. (2005), treatment of hepatitis B patients with Ganoderma polysaccharides resulted in significantly decreased serum HBV DNA and hepatitis B e antigen levels.
Reishi primarily acts as a biological response modifier (BRM). Most of the biological activity in this mushroom comes from triterpenes and polysaccharides. Zhou et al. (2002) isolated more than 100 polysaccharides and 119 triterpenes from Reishi. The triterpenes are reported to have adaptogenic, antihypertensive, and anti-allergenic effects.
Berger et al. (2004) on the basis of in vitro and animal studies, envisions new cholesterol-lowering foods and medicines containing Reishi.
Recent research has shown Reishi to be a potent anti-inflammatory agent and that the mushroom may be useful in the treatment of such diverse diseases as Alzheimers Disease and Cardiovascular disease (Stavinoha, 1995).
Information on Reishi: http://www.reishi.com/research.htm
Excellent on-line source of information and research on Reishi.
Berger, A. et al., 2004. "Cholesterol lowering properties of Ganoderma lucidum in vitro, ex vivo, and in hamsters and pigs". Lipids Health Dis. Feb 18;3:2. View Article
Chen, K. & W. Chang, 1987. "Advances on anti-aging herbal medicinals in China". Abstracts of Chinese Medicines 1:309-330.
Eo, S.K., Y.S. Kim, C.K. Lee, S.S. Han, 2000. "Possible mode of antiviral activity of acidic protein bound polysaccharide isolated from Ganoderma lucidum on herpes simplex viruses". Journal of Ethnopharmacology Oct. 72(3): 475-481. Abstract of article about the Reishi mushroom:
Gao, Y., W. Tang, H. Gao, E. Chan, J. Lan, X. Li, & S. Zhoi, 2005. "Antimicrobial activity of the medicinal mushroom Ganoderma". Food Reviews International. 21(2):211-229.
Hattori, M. 1997. "Inhibitory effects of components from Ganoderma lucidum on the growth of immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and the protease activity". Proceedings of the 1st International Symposium on Ganoderma lucidum in Japan Nov. 17-18th, Tokyo. pp. 128-135.
Hsu, H-Y., 1986. "Oriental Materia Medica, a Consise Guide. Long Beach: Oriental Healing Arts Institute.
Matsomoto, K. 1979. The Mysterious Reishi Mushroom. Santa Barbara: Woodbridge Press Publishing Company.
Shiao, MS 2003. "Natural products of the medicinal fungs Ganoderma lucidum: occurrence, biological activities, and pharmacological functions." Chem Rec. 3(3):172-180.
Stavinoha, W., N. Satsangi & S. Weitraub, 1995. "Study of the anti-inflammatory efficacy of Ganoderma lucidum. In: Recent Advances in Ganoderma lucidum research (pp3-7). Seoul, Korea: The Pharmaceutical Society of Korea
Willard, T. 1990. The Reishi Mushroom: Herb of Spiritual Potency and Medical Wonder. Sylvan Press, Vancouver, B.C., Canada
This information is intended for information purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from a physician or other health care professional and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment. Taking natural products should be a decision based upon personal research and the advice of health care professionals and be based upon a thorough understanding of the role food-derived medicinally-active compounds play in health and wellbeing. A health care professional should be consulted before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem. Do not discontinue any other medical treatments without first consulting your doctor.