Mariaines' background is natural sciences, and she is currently studying psychology. She enjoys poetry, history, drawing, and writing.
What Is Ganoderma Lucidum?
Ganoderma Lucidum is an Asian mushroom or fungus valued for its pharmaceutical properties as claimed by Chinese and Japanese traditional medicine. It belongs to the species type Lucidum from the Genus Ganoderma from the family of the Ganodermataceae as noted by Wachtel-Galor, Benzie, Buswell and Tomlinson (2004). The same authors point that this fungus grows naturally in the subtropical regions of Asia, but it is now cultivated in other parts of the world with similar soil conditions or cultivated in controlled environments. The interest and consumption of this medicinal herb have increased after 1970, the time when academic research also started. Wachtel-Galor et al (2004), note that the current "consumption is now estimated at several thousand tons worldwide and the market is growing rapidly".
Ganoderma Lucidum color is very vivid red, yellow or brown with a varnished appearance. It is usually described as a "mushroom that is soft (when fresh), corky, and flat, with a conspicuous red-varnished, kidney-shaped cap" (Wikipedia, 2016). It is known as Lingzhi (Soul's Herb) in China and Reishi (King of herbs) in Japan. These names are related to the special place they occupied in these ancient cultures.
Health Benefits of Ganoderma Lucidum
A difference between traditional Eastern medicine and modern Western medicine is that the former treats the individual and not the disease, meaning that they take on a holistic approach to replenish the person who can have illnesses related to emotional imbalances besides the physical symptoms (Wachtel-Galor et al, 2004). This fact motivates the Western to study the benefits of the Ganoderma Lucidum, as although this mushroom was venerated by the ancient civilizations of China and Japan, there is no clarity if it was the single fungus or a mix of medicinal herbs prepared for specific individuals to cure them.
Boh and Berovic (2011) conclude that there is enough scientific evidence of the existence of a relationship between the compounds found in this mushroom and health benefits. These compounds are triterpenoids, polysaccharides, peptidoglycans and proteins as mentioned by Boh and Berovic (2011) and Wachtel-Galor et al (2004). The latter also includes minerals such Germanium that may help in health related issues.
These are some of the correlations between the compounds and the health benefits as per Boh and Berovic (2011) and Wachtel-Galor et al (2004):
- Triterpenoids: Anti-tumor and anti-cancer, antihistaminic, antihypertensive, anti-HIV activity, anti-inflammatory effect.
- Polysaccharides: Anti-tumor and anti-cancer, Immunomodulatory, anti-oxidant, liver protection, analgesic, antiarthritic and antidiabetic activity.
- Peptidoglycanes and proteins: Immunomodulatory and immunosuppressive activity.
- Germanium: Anti-tumor and anti-cancer, anti-oxidant, antimutagenic activities.
Word of Caution
Germanium is a good mineral found in the natural Ganoderma Lucidum but other heavy metals that are not good for our health have been found in cultivated varieties, mostly related to the soil and nearby cities' environments. In order for this mushroom to be healthy should be organic.
While Wachtel-Galor (2004) indicates that dosages of up to 30 g have been used by humans without any problem Boh et al (2011) also indicates that the use of Ganoderma Lucidum as medicine should be directed by a doctor. Both groups of authors indicate that stomachal discomfort and skin rashes may occur. Most of the nutritional supplements contain a low dosage of the fungus, but it is important to review the labels, before consuming them.
The most frequent presentations of the G. Lucidum comes as pills, powder, tea, coffee, nutritional milkshakes, etc. It is advised to buy these products from ethical sources and check the provenance, the % of the ingredient in the product and the expiry date .
Boh, B. Berovic, M. (2011). Ganoderma Lucidum Production of Pharmaceuticals. ed. Liong, M. in Bioprocess Science and Technology. e-book. Nova Science Publishers.
Wachtel-Galor, S. Buswell, J. Tomlinson, B. (2004). Lingzhi Polyphorus Fungus (Ganoderma Lucidum). e-book. Taylor and Francis Group Publishers.
Wikipedia. Lingzhi Mushroom. Accessed on 20 January 2016.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2017 MariaInes
MariaInes (author) from Johannesburg on February 07, 2017:
Hi Tonny, you can buy in Vietnam. You can buy from my website
To buy once-off:
Choose Vietnam (Click on the language)
Click on Join now
Sign up (Retail Customer Enrollment)
Wait for your products :-)
Check my video for instructions:
Tonny on February 06, 2017:
Thanks for your sharing useful infor,
would like to see it available at VietNam?
MariaInes (author) from Johannesburg on January 23, 2017:
Thank you Larry!
Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on January 22, 2017:
MariaInes (author) from Johannesburg on January 21, 2017:
Hi, MsDora, thanks for reading :-) It seems that the varnished look is natural for the Ganoderma Lucidum.
Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on January 21, 2017:
This Ganoderma Lucidum does look varnished, but I am willing to overlook that for the nutrients. Thanks for this very useful information about its benefits.