What is a Ganoderma Mushroom

From ancient times, stories were told of a miraculous mushroom so powerful that those who could obtain it could undergo a total rejuvenation of the body and mind. This mushroom was said to give you the strength and agility of a young person and to let you live an optimal life span. Even today, the reputation of this mushroom is greater than almost any other herb in history, yet most doctors have never even heard of it. It is called Reishi (in Japan) or Ling-zhi (in Chinese). Reishi is unrivalled in its long history as one of the most powerful herbs to help ensure a long, healthy life. In fact, in China and other Eastern societies, the Reishi mushroom is the most widely used symbol of endurance.

Hundreds of scientific studies have confirmed that Reishi (Ganoderma, its pharmaceutical name) can be used to build physical resistance to diseases and to treat a wide range of conditions, including liver disease, hepatitis, autoimmune disorders, allergies, depression, and even cancer. The primary constituents responsible for Reishi’s medicinal actions are polysaccharides and triterpenes. More than a hundred different triterpene molecules have been identified in Reishi.

Medical Properties of Ganoderma Mushroom

Immune Booster and Regulator
Reishi has a double-direction activity. It significantly improves the functioning of the immune system whether the immune system is deficient or excessive. That’s why its called an immune modulator. Reishi contains unique, rare polysaccharides which have been proven to increase the RNA and DNA in the bone marrow, where the body makes B cells. Studies show that it promotes both B cells and T cells (specialized cells that are a critical part of the immune system). Therefore, Reishi not only stimulates the immune system, but it also regulates it. That is why Reishi is beneficial for both the chronically ill and the healthy.

Liver Health
Promising research shows that Reishi helps to regenerate the liver. In one study, mice were given a lethal dose of the pain-killer, Indomethacin. In the control group, which received no Reishi, 90% of the mice died. In the second group which received Reishi, 100% lived. The powerful compounds found in Wild Reishi help to accelerate the clearance of drugs and chemicals that the liver stores, relieving free radical activity and promoting cell regeneration. Reishi also helps to produce bile and fatty acid synthesis more efficiently, which promotes faster detoxification of these chemicals from the body. This makes Reishi the ultimate Phase I and Phase II liver detoxifying tonic.

Beating Chronic Hepatitis
Chronic hepatitis is very difficult to treat. This disease may plague people for years, slowly eroding their health, often leading to premature death. Reishi contains a special factor, gandosterone, which has a strong antihepatotoxic activity and promotes a rapid cell recovery. One study of people with chronic hepatitis showed that Reishi was effective in 71% to 98% of the cases.

Key Uses for the Liver:

  • Reishi provides an ideal support to help the body overcome immune-specific problems ofthe liver at the chronic phase.
  • Helps to regenerate the liver; helps clear hepatitis and other liver diseases.
  • Because of its dramatic health effects on both the immune system and the liver, Reishi is often used as the number one choice for Phase I and Phase II liver detoxification and support.

Reishi and Cancer
Reishi is an approved drug for some kinds of cancer in Japan and has been used safely and effectively, often in conjunction with other drugs or radiation. It has been demonstrated that Reishi can help reduce the side effects of many kinds of chemotherapy and radiation treatment and simultaneously contribute to the rebuilding of the immune system; it is an essential part of the recovery from cancer.

Conquering Depression
Reishi has profound effects on the mind. Reishi is well known for its calming and mood-altering effect. That’s why it’s a world-class herb that helps to get rid of depression. Impaired liver function, poor nutrition and infection are often at the root cause of depression, anxiety and irritability.

Bye-Bye Allergies
Research from Japan has demonstrated Reishi’s ability to inhibit histamine release, therefore making it potentially useful for allergies, including food and drug allergies, anaphylactic shock, atopic dermatitis, hay fever, and hives.

The Source is Everything
Most Reishi currently on the market is commercially grown, solvent-extracted and often the wrong species. Poor quality Reishi will not produce the powerful healing benefits as seen in the research. Wild, mountain-grown Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) from the deep hills of Asia delivers the most ideal synergistic balance.


Kampo I-yaku Shimbun, Becoming Healthy with Reishi, Toyo-Igaky Sha Co. Ltd., Tokyo, 1988.

Lin Zhi-bi, “The Present Status of Pharmacological Studies of Ling Zhi (Ganoderma lucidum);” Yao Hseuh Pao 14 (3), 1979.

Subuti Dharmananda, Chinese Herbal Therapies for Immune Disorders, Institute for Traditional Chinese Medicine and Preventative Health Care, Portland, Oregon, 1988.

Toshio Miyazaki and Motohiro Nishijima, “Studies on Fungal Polysaccharides. XXVII. Structural Examination of a Water-Soluble, Antitumor Polysaccharide of Ganoderma lucidum,” Chemical and Pharmaceutical Bulletin (1 981); 29(12): 3611-3616.

Tsutomu Furuya, Yumiko Tsuda, Naoichi Koga et at., “lsolation of gandosterone and ganoderic acids as liver function stimulants,” in Chem. Abstr. 109(18): 156253q.

Willard, Terry, Reishi Mushroom: Herb of Spiritual Potency and Medical Wonder, Sylvan Press: Issaquah, Washington, 1990.

Disclaimer: The information provided here is meant to serve as an educational resource for determining your options and making your own informed choices. It is not intended as medical advice or to diagnose, prescribe, or treat any specific illness.

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