Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition.

ganoderma-lucidum

Chapter 9  Ganoderma lucidum (Lingzhi or Reishi)

A Medicinal Mushroom

Sissi Wachtel-Galor, John Yuen, John A. Buswell, and Iris F. F. Benzie.

9.1. INTRODUCTION

Ganoderma lucidum, an oriental fungus (Figure 9.1), has a long history of use for promoting health and longevity in China, Japan, and other Asian countries. It is a large, dark mushroom with a glossy exterior and a woody texture. The Latin word lucidus means “shiny” or “brilliant” and refers to the varnished appearance of the surface of the mushroom. In China, G. lucidum is called lingzhi, whereas in Japan the name for the Ganodermataceae family is reishi or mannentake.

FIGURE 9.1. (See color insert.

FIGURE 9.1

(See color insert.) The lingzhi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum). (Courtesy of North American Reishi/Nammex.)

In Chinese, the name lingzhi represents a combination of spiritual potency and essence of immortality, and is regarded as the “herb of spiritual potency,” symbolizing success, well-being, divine power, and longevity. Among cultivated mushrooms, G. lucidum is unique in that its pharmaceutical rather than nutritional value is paramount. A variety of commercial G. lucidum products are available in various forms, such as powders, dietary supplements, and tea. These are produced from different parts of the mushroom, including mycelia, spores, and fruit body. The specific applications and attributed health benefits of lingzhi include control of blood glucose levels, modulation of the immune system, hepatoprotection, bacteriostasis, and more. The various beliefs regarding the health benefits of G. lucidum (Figure 9.2) are based largely on anecdotal evidence, traditional use, and cultural mores. However, recent reports provide scientific support to some of the ancient claims of the health benefits of lingzhi.

FIGURE 9.2. Postulated health benefits of lingzhi (Ganoderma lucidum).

FIGURE 9.2

Pure Ganoderma

Ref:ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Wachtel-Galor S, Yuen J, Buswell JA, et al. Ganoderma lucidum (Lingzhi or Reishi): A Medicinal Mushroom. In: Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor S, editors. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press; 2011. Chapter 9. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92757/

About ldallara924

Nation Health Federation fighting to protect Health Freedom

View all posts by ldallara924 →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *