Reishi mushrooms have a long history of promoting health and longevity in East Asians culture. The Latin name lucidus translates as shiny and brilliant, referring to the glossy surface of the mushroom. The name itself, Ling Zhi has a spiritual potency symbolizing success, divine spiritual energy and longevity.
The beneficial attributes of Ling Zhi or Reishi include immune modulation, blood glucose control, liver protection and more. Dating back 2000 years, ancient scripts document the powerful medicinal effects of G. lucidum and images of them in various art forms began to appear in the 14th century. The Chinese medicinal book, Shen Gong Ben Can Jing was written during the Han dynasty and describes therapeutic properties such as enhancing vital energy, helping with cardiac function, memory, asthma and anti-aging.
Most mushrooms are 90% water with the remaining 10% consisting of protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber and minerals. They are highly bioactive and contain terpenoids, steroids, phenols, nucleotides and essential amino acids. Many terpenes have been found to have anti-inflammatory and anti tumor, making them a hot topic in cancer research.
Of 58 medicinal mushrooms tested, G. lucidum was shown to be the most effective at killing cancer cells seen in lung cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer and bladder cancer.
In a randomized control trial of 134 patients with advanced cancers at different locations, a capsule dosage of 1800mg/day for 12 weeks showed an 80% increased cellular immunity with an increase in natural killer cell activity. This protocol was again followed in 68 lung cancer patients with significantly enhanced CD4/CD8 cells, natural killer cells and T cells. This improved resistance and removal of pre-malignant and malignant cells active tumor necrosis factor and suppress abnormal tumor cell growth.
Reishi is often a major herbal component in many traditional botanical formulations for its immune boosting effects and inhibition of tumor growth. Many companies today specialize in quality mycelium production that contain this powerful mushroom in synergistic formulas.
Ling Zhi is also widely recognized as an antioxidant which may improve oxidative stress and damage on the body. Research also demonstrates dramatic improvement in viral infections such as herpes simplex virus type 1 and 2. This could be from the notable lysine percentages found in Reishi, making it a potent medicinal for herpetic viral strains. And finally, G. lucidum has been found to be hepatoprotective (liver supportive), improving liver damage from alcohol, hepatitis and fibrosis.
With such an impressive range of applications, Ling Zhi is available in all forms of tinctures, tonics, raw formulas and capsules. It’s no wonder that this fungus is nicknamed “The Mushroom of Immortality” and for this reason G. lucidum takes an honorable spot in my medicine cabinet.
Ganoderma lucidum (Lingzhi or reishi) – herbal medicine – NCBI bookshelf. (n.d.). Retrieved December 19, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92757/
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