Ganoderma lucidum

Ganoderma lucidum                               Common name: Reishi mushroom

Part used: Fruiting body

Constituents:  Polysaccharides (beta D-glucans), nucleotides (adenosine), triterpenes, nutrients (Zn, Mg, Fe, Cu, Ca, germanium), oleic acid, proteins, choline, coumarin, sterols (ganodosterone), alkaloid

Medicinal actions: General tonic, nervous system sedative, analgesic, adaptogen, hypoglycemic, antioxidant, immuno-stimulant, anti-tumor, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergenic, anti-histamine, anti-tussive, expectorant, detoxifer, cardiotonic, hypotensive, hypolipidemic, hepatoprotector

Medicinal use:  Provides immunological support and improves the functioning and regulation of the whole immune system. Is especially helpful in chronic immune weakness and poor resistance to airborne & respiratory infections. Is especially anti-bacterial against staphylococcus and streptococcus. Inhibits the release of histamine and reduces the immune response to inhaled or ingested allergens, especially those allergies mediated by immunoglobulin E. Can be used in cancer and other disease involving massive oxidative damage, including chemical toxicity and liver damage, and also as a long term prophylactic and regulator for the circulatory system. It’s antioxidant effect protects against radiation damage so it can be utilized if exposure to X rays is expected and reduces inflammation without interfering in the healing response.


  • Polysaccharides (b-D-glucans) are anti-tumor, immuno-stimulant, hypoglycemic and cardiotonic.These are water soluble constituents, and this may account for the traditional use of Reishi in teas and soups as an immune enhancing herb.
  • Nucleotides (adenosine) inhibit platelet aggregation and thrombus formation, and are muscle relaxant and analgesic.  These are not readily water soluble and hence have not been utilized clinically until more recent times.
  • Triterpenes are adaptogens, inhibit histamine release and cholesterol sythesis.
  • Oleic acid is anti-allergic by inhibiting histamine release.
  • Germanium helps oxygenate cells and neutralize pain in end stages of cancer.
  • Sterols act as hormone precursors and hepatoprotecters.
  • Alkaloids are cardiotonic.
  • Ganodosterone is anti-hepatotoxic.

Pharmacy: Powder: 5-10g, QD. Infusion: 1-2 tsp/cup, TID. Tincture: (1:4, 40%), 2-4ml TID. As food (soups).

Toxicity:  When commencing treatment many people experience transient cleansing reactions such as pimples, sore muscles, dizziness, bowel disturbance and itchy skin. These pass within a few days as the toxins are eliminated from the body, and can be controlled by regulating the daily dose.

Contraindications: Pregnancy & lactation.

Interactions: Use caution with anti-coagulants.

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