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Ganoderma Extract (Reishi)

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Latin name: Ganoderma lucidum

Common Name Synonyms: Lacquered Bracket, Ling Chi, Ling Chih, Ling Zhi, Lingzhi, Mannentake, Mushroom of Immortality, Red Reishi, Reishi, Saiwaitake, Sarunouchitake, and Varnished Conk

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Ganoderma ExtractWith five and a half million Internet searches per year, Ganoderma is by far the most popular health supporting mushroom on the market today. The runner up, Cordyceps sinensis, only gets 1.4 million - about one quarter as many searches.

And really, there is little wonder why this is so. In his book MycoMedicinals - An Informational Treatise on Mushrooms, world renown health supporting mushroom expert Paul Stamets lists Ganoderma extract as having the broadest therapeutic spectrum of any health supporting mushroom, effective in sixteen out of seventeen areas of human health, including antibiotic, anti-tumor and cardiovascular health.

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"Mushroom of Immortality" may not be a literally accurate nickname since nobody has ever been known to live forever. But Ganoderma extract has for a fact been revered and utilized for its healing and life-extending properties since before the birth of Christ.

Extract of
                        Ganoderma Buddhists call it Ling Chi, and many an artistic rendition of this beautiful and therapeutic mushroom can be found in Buddhist shrines and temples. In Tibet, it has long been used to cope with high-altitude sickness and infections. 25

Something you'd probably never hear an ancient healer refer to is that Ganoderma extract is exceptionally high in anti-oxidants. And perhaps the resulting protection from free radical damage may have something to do with its acclaimed anti-aging effect. 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41

Or might the magic of Ganoderma extract instead be attributed to the powerful anti-inflammatory properties of its triterpenoid compounds? 42, 43, 44, 45 Anything from allergies, asthma and atherosclerosis 46 to arthritis, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51 bronchitis and the common cold involve an inflammatory response. Studies with promising results have also been performed that involved inflammation of the brain 52 and prostate. 53

Now, inflammation is of course also part of a natural and well functioning immune system. So it bears mention that Ganoderma extract is an immune system "adaptagen", which means that whereas it will slow down an overactive immune response, it will likewise improve an underactive immune system. In other words, it helps the immune system to "adapt." 48, 54, 55 Case in point, one study showed Ganoderma extract as having a dampening effect on HIV replication in lymphocytes. 56

Lung and heart functions are also important as we age. Research on Ganoderma extract has indicated that it may help increase the oxygen absorbing capacity of the lungs, 57 blood profusion of the heart muscle, and decrease blood pressure. 58 In other words, its an energizing tonic, which may be why it has also been demonstrated as having an effect in cases of chronic fatigue. 59, 60

Ganoderma extract also contains anti-cancer compounds. Research has specifically shown results with tumors of the liver, lungs, prostate, cervix, blood and bone. 61, 62, 63, 64, 65 It appears that this anti-tumor effect may be secondary to the general immune stimulating properties of Ganoderma. 66, 67

Two Chinese studies have shown Ganoderma extract to have liver protective effects in cases of post-hepatic cirrhosis 69 and chronic hepatitis. 68

Another study showed Ganoderma extract having a restorative effect on spleen function 34 Powdered Ganoderma has also been used to treat skin conditions, 70 including but not limited to poison ivy rash 25 and poison oak.

In the book Mycelium Running, Paul Stamets lists the following additional areas where Ganoderma extract has demonstrated a beneficial therapeutic effect: Blood Sugar; Candida; Cholesterol; Kidneys; Lungs; Nerves. 134

Note: The statements on this page have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Always consult a licensed medical practitioner before using any herb (or mushroom) for medicinal purposes.


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Please note that the claims on this page and this web-site have not yet been verified by the FDA.  We recommend that you consult a licensed medical practitioner before using any substance for medicinal purposes, including Ganoderma Extract.