Since the 1970s have proved that Ling Zhi ( Ganoderma Lucidum ) contain various physical substances that can strengthen immunity and cooperate with treatment to cure such diseases as bronchitis, hepatitis pyelitis, rheumatoid arthritis, coronary heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and tumors, Antiaging and hairdressing. Recent studies have found that as a heredity substance, with more than 100 functions.
Also known as Ling Zhi = meaning "herb of spiritual potency", Reishi has been used...
for more than 4000 years in Traditional Chinese Medicine . It is beleived to be the oldest mushroom used in medicine and is one of the most respected medicinal mushrooms today. Reishi had been added to the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia and Therapeutic Compendium. Once rare and expensive, this mushroom is now effectively cultivated and is readily available.
Chinese fungus of immortality: "ling zhi"
The Chinese have always regarded the mushroom as having special properties. Mushrooms are regarded as "spirit medicine' because they are believed to nourish the shen, or spirit. As such, they are considered particularly important in vegetarian diets and regarded as a medicinal food that promotes longevity. Various medicinal mushrooms are used by the Chinese.
One of the oldest recorded botanical monograph has claimed that reishi mushroom made the body lighter, which may refer to its ability to reduce cholesterol and blood lipid levels. They also have immunbe potentiating properties.
Reishi has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for more than 4,000 years. The Chinese name Ling Zhi translates as the herb of spiritual potency?and was highly prized as an elixir of immortality. Its traditional Chinese medicine indications include treatment of general fatigue and weakness, asthma, insomnia, and cough.
Identification of substantiality:
Name and taxology
Ganoderma lucidum is one of the most beautiful mushrooms in the world, if you ask our Doctor Wu "Jack" Chien. When very young its varnished surface is Chinese red, bright yellow, and white. Later the white and yellow shades disappear, but the resulting varnished, reddish surface is still quite beautiful and distinctive. While Ganoderma lucidum is annual and does not actually grow more each year like some polypores, its fruiting body is quite tough and can last for months
Former name:Polyporus lucidus
Scientific Botanical Name : Ganoderma lucidum
common names: Phantom mushroom,Ling-Chi,Ling-Zhi,Reishi, mushroom Reishi, Ling Chi Mushroom
Ganoderma belongs to the Polyporaceae group of the Fungi family - Reishi and some formulas contain other mushrooms.
Reishi(Also called Ling Zhi,Ganoderma Lucidum ) is one of the most precious and unique plants in China, and is now extracted through scientific methods. It is a mental and physical restorative and helps to increase vigor, circulation and the maintenance of bodily resistance. Reishi (Ganoderma Lucidum) will therefore help you stay young, healthy and happy assuring one's longevity.
The main is as the following:
1. Canoderma Polysaccharide: Enhancing immunity, restraining proliferation of cancer.
2. Terpene: Reducing cholesterol in plasma, anti-bacterial and dephlogisticate.
3. Organogermanium: ( The content in Ganoderma is 4 times as much in ginseng.) Clearing waste and pathogeny away from blood.
Reishi contains several major constituents, including sterols, coumarin, mannitol, polysaccharides, and triterpenoids called ganoderic acids. Ganoderic acids may lower blood pressure as well as decrease LDL ("bad") cholesterol. These specific triterpenoids also help reduce blood platelets from sticking togetherЎЄan important factor in lowering the risk for coronary artery disease. While human research has been reported that demonstrates some efficacy for the herb in treating altitude sickness and chronic hepatitis B, these uses still need to be confirmed in well-designed human trials. Animal studies and some very preliminary trials in humans suggest reishi may have some beneficial action in people with diabetes mellitus and cancer. Two controlled clinical trials have investigated the effects of reishi on high blood pressure in humans and both found it could lower blood pressure significantly compared to a placebo or controls. The people with hypertension in the second study had previously not responded to medications, though these were continued during the study.
Daily life uses of the mushroom:
Anti-allergin, antioxidant, analgesic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antitumor, antiviral, antiparasitic, cardiovascular, antidiabetic, immunomodulating, hepatoprotective, hypotensive and hypertensive, kidney and nerve tonic, sexual potentiator.
Inhibits platelett aggregations.
Lowers blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar.
Boosts immune system and promotes longevity.
Encourages relaxation and relieves stress.
Helps with insomnia.
Reduces fatigue and weakness.
Works as antiinflammatory for bronchitis and respiratory problems (allergies, colds, etc.)
Helps prevent heart disease by lowering blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides.
Works as an anticoagulant.
Helps prevent cancer with anti-tumor properties.
Aids the liver and is helpful with digestion
Beautification of the skin:Chinese women take Reishi for beautification of the skin and it is included in many patents for hair loss formulas, including products used for alopecia.
Benefits of reishi for specific health conditions include the following:
Alcoholism and cirrhosis of the liver . Reishi helps to prevent alcohol-induced fatty liver and cirrhosis. It is beneficial for people in earlier stages of alcoholic liver disease who have not yet experienced severe loss of liver function.
Bronchitis and yeast infection. Reishi stimulates the maturation of immune cells known as macrophages, which engulf and digest infectious bacteria. This prevents secondary infections from developing into cases of chronic bronchitis. Mature macrophages also are active against yeasts, making reishi a valuable treatment for yeast infection.
Cancer. Reishi stimulates the body's production of interleukin-2, which fights several types of cancer, and it contains compounds called ganoderic acids, which act against liver cancer. Reishi counteracts the suppression of red and white blood cells that can result from cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan, Neosar) treatment by stimulating the creation of protein in the bone marrow.
Fibroids (uterine myomas). Reishi keeps the uterine lining from making both basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), a chemical that promotes fibroid growth, and histamine, a chemical that causes inflammation.
High blood pressure. There is evidence that reishi can lower both blood pressure and blood-cholesterol levels. Scientists at Oklahoma's Oral Roberts University found that compounds in reishi reduce the flow of nerve impulses through the sympathetic nervous system, the portion of the nervous system activated by emotional stress. Russian scientists screening mushrooms as potential cholesterol-lowering drugs have found that reishi extracts stop the accumulation of cholesterol in the arteries of laboratory animals. Two controlled clinical studies have investigated the effects of reishi on high blood pressure in humans. Both found it could lower pressure significantly as compared with a placebo. The subjects with high blood pressure in the second study had not previously responded to medications.
Stress. Eastern physicians have recognized for centuries that reishi can reduce emotional outbursts during long-term stress. Exactly how reishi does this has not been studied, but it is likely due to the herb's effects on the central nervous system. Additionally, doctors at the Hijitaki Clinic in Tokyo have found that reishi helped to decrease physical pain dramatically in two people with neuralgia and two other people with shingles (herpes zoster). This quality may also help stop emotional outbursts.
Ganoderma works in the treatment of cancer because it helps cleanse the body from toxins and it helps strengthen the immune system. It enhances liver detoxification, thus improving liver function and stimulating the regeneration of liver cells - making it a very important supplement for those who have liver cancer.
The anti-cancer agents in Ganoderma are the polysaccharides and Germanium. The polyshaccharide fraction of Ganoderma is largely responsible for its anti-tumor efficacy. Indications for Ganoderma use in cancer include supplementation a) to reduce side-effects during chemotherapy or radiotherapy, b) to prolonging survival and minimize metastasis, c) to improve quality of life, and d) to prevent occurrence or recurrence.
Ganoderma can be used as a supplement during chemotherapy or radiotherapy to reduce side-effects such as fatigue, loss of appetite, hair loss, bone marrow suppression and risk of infection. It can also reduce the toxic and side effects and mitigate the pains during chemotherapy and radiotherapy, in particular to cancer patients at terminal stages for prolonging their lives and improving their living quality.
Qualities of Ganoderma that help in the treatment of cancer include:
It enhances and helps regulate the immune and endocrine system, prevent tumors, improving the circulation and eliminating harmful free radicals.
Inhibits DNA synthesis of the cancer cells, destroys the terminal enzyme activity of the tumor cells, promotes macrophages and regulates T and B lymphocytes, thus restraining the spread of cancer cells.
It can also reduce the toxic and side effects and mitigate the pains during chemotherapy and radiotherapy
Enhances liver detoxification, thus improving liver function and stimulating the regeneration of liver cells.
Helps with cancerous ascites, increases appetite and help relieve the pain of late stage cancer.
It is especially effective with kidney diseases.
Cholesterol lowering properties of Ganoderma lucidum:
Organic fractions containing oxygenated lanosterol derivatives inhibited cholesterol synthesis in T9A4 hepatocytes. In hamsters, 5% Gl did not effect LDL; but decreased total cholesterol (TC) 9.8%, and HDL 11.2%. Gl (2.5 and 5%) had effects on several fecal neutral sterols and bile acids. Both Gl doses reduced hepatic microsomal ex-vivo HMG-CoA reductase activity. In minipigs, 2.5 Gl decreased TC, LDL- and HDL cholesterol 20, 27, and 18%, respectively (P < 0.05); increased fecal cholestanol and coprostanol; and decreased cholate.
Overall, Gl has potential to reduce LDL cholesterol in vivo through various mechanisms. Next steps are to: fully characterize bioactive components in lipid soluble/insoluble fractions; evaluate bioactivity of isolated fractions; and examine human cholesterol lowering properties. Innovative new cholesterol-lowering foods and medicines containing Gl are envisioned.
Historical or traditional use:
Reishi has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for at least 2,000 years.2 The Chinese name ling zhi translates as the Ў°herb of spiritual potencyЎ± and was highly prized as an elixir of immortality.
Its Traditional Chinese Medicine indications include treatment of general fatigue and weakness, asthma, insomnia, and cough.
A Mushroom for the Nerves
Reishi mushrooms have been traditionally recommended by Chinese and Japanese herbalists for insomnia due to their "sleep-promoting factor". Long-term use causes a significant promotion of slow wave sleep.
Reishi mushrooms are prescribed in China for a number of psychiatric and neurological afflictions, including diseases involving the muscles, anorexia, and debility following lengthy illnesses.
In Orient, the dried "mycelium" of Reishi the root-like body that produces mushrooms has been found to be highly effective in the treatment of neuroses caused by "environmental stress". In addition, in an eight-month study of Alzheimer's disease, patients taking a Reishi mycelium product demonstrated significant improvement.
In China, Reishi is used for its muscle relaxing and analgesic (pain-inhibiting) effects. In one study, Reishi alleviated anxiety in 18 of 20 patients after four months' use. It was concluded that the mushroom has an essentially "calmative function", but is neither a narcotic nor a hypnotic.
Reishi as a Cardiotonic
For centuries, Reishi has been known as a cardiotonic herb. It was prescribed routinely to those with a "knotted and tight chest" symptoms consistent with both stress and/or coronary artery disease-related angina. Researchers in China found that Reishi improved the blood flow and lowered oxygen consumption in the heart muscle. Similar results were also found by Korea scientists. They found that Reishi contains ganoderic acids (which belong to a group of natural substances called "triterpenes") which lower high blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and inhibit platelet aggregation (the clumping together of blood cells), which can lead to heart attacks and other circulation problems. In fact, Reishi's triterpenes are so important that in most Orient Country people are used to determine Reishi's quality and authenticity.
In a six-month clinical trial performed in a university hospital in Shanghai, nearly half (47.5%) of 53 hypertensive patients lowered their blood pressure by 10-19 mmHg, and 10% of the subjects dropped their pressures 20-29 mmHg (both systolic and diastolic readings) after taking Reishi extract. Similar results were observed in another clinical trial without any side-effects.Another large Reishi study in China found that low density lipoprotein (LDL the harmful cholesterol) levels dropped in 68% of 90 patients following only one to four months of Reishi use.
Recently, Russian scientists have taken an interest in Reishi. They found that in addition to all the cardiovascular benefits mentioned above, Reishi showed a significant preventive and therapeutic action against plaque build-up ("plaque" is a fatty goo which is comprised of a combination of oxidized cholesterol, calcium, and degenerated white blood cells ["foam cells"]. It is deposited on the walls of arteries which restricts blood flow by narrowing the passage within arteries resulting in atherosclerosis).
Anti-Allergic /Anti-Inflammatory Actions
During the 1970s and 1980s, Reishi's anti-allergy action became the subject of ongoing research in both China and Korea. Studies showed that Reishi extract significantly inhibited all four types of allergic reactions, including positive effects against asthma and contact dermatitis. In 1990, researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio found that Reishi could be effectively used in treating stiff necks, stiff shoulders, conjunctivitis (inflammation of the fine membrane lining the eye and eyelids), bronchitis, rheumatism, and improving "competence" of the immune system without any significant side-effects.
Part of the anti-inflammatory effect of Reishi may be due to its free radical scavenging effect. Reishi extract significantly elevates the free radical scavenging ability of the blood, especially against the particularly harmful hydroxyl radicals. The hydroxyl radical scavenging effect of Reishi is so strong that even after the Reishi extract was absorbed and metabolized the scavenging action still continued.
Healing the Liver
Reishi is commonly prescribed in China for the treatment of chronic hepatitis. In treatments lasting 2 to 15 weeks, the overall rate of efficiency was 70.7 to 98.0%. In China, Reishi extract has been reported to be effective in treating patients with liver failure. In animal studies of mice with carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatitis, the extent of liver damage was significantly inhibited by continuous dosing with Reishi tincture, and the regeneration of the liver was promoted.
As the "Medicine of Kings", Reishi is widely used for different purposes. It is used for symptomatic relief of arthritis and of menopausal anxiety. It is also used in treating allergic asthma, hypertension, hypothyroidism, bronchitis, insomnia, general anxiety and stress, and cardiovascular problems. Reishi also is often the main ingredient in herbal formulas for immune dysfunction syndromes, such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
3.1.9.Polysaccharides from Reishi Mushroom
If you have visited our Echinacea page, then you are already aware of some of the powerful properties of polysaccharides (basically large sugar molecules). Hot water extract of reishi contains about 50% polysaccharides and 5% protein. Some of these polysaccharides have demonstrated anti-tumor activity. The polysaccharides, G-I (Beta-D-glucan) and GL-1, for example, have both been shown to inhibit sarcoma.1 Evidence also suggests polysaccharide ability to stimulate macrophage production of interleukins.2 Interleukins regulate blood cell production and interleukin-2 (there are at least 12 interleukins) stimulates T-lymphocytes and is being investigated in the treatment of cancer. Which polysaccharide, or combination thereof, is responsible for this action is not clear. The protein portion of the extract contains 17 amino acids.3 The Japanese government has officially listed it as an adjunct therapy for cancer.
Triterpenes from Reishi
Users of Ginkgo Biloba, Horse Chestnut and Valerian will recognize the potential benefits of terpenes. For these people it should come as little surprise that the triterpene-rich reishi mushroom is reputed to reduce hypertension. What may be news, however, is that the same compounds may also be adaptogenic and anti-allergic. The Ganoderic acids, C, A and D--in that order--appear to have the greatest anti-allergic activity, inhibiting histamine release.4 Ganoderic acids B and D may reduce hypertension.5 Studies done on a combination formula of reishi and other ganoderma species have shown these anti-allergic effects to be perhaps this medicinal's most promising property. The combination formula has been observed to have a modulating and stabilizing effect on immunoglobulin levels. Patients with bronchitis, bronchial asthma, and allergies have all done well on reishi extract.6 Triterpene content may explain reishi's ability to alleviate altitude sickness, as reported by Chinese mountain climbers ascending as high as 17,000 ft.
How much is usually taken?
Reishi can be taken either as 1.5 grams per day of the crude dried mushroom, 1-1.5 grams per day in powdered form, 1 ml per day of tincture, or as a tea.
Are there any side effects or interactions?
Side effects from reishi can include dizziness, dry mouth and throat, nosebleeds, and abdominal upset. These rare effects may develop with continuous use over three to six months. Pregnant or breast-feeding women should consult a physician before taking reishi
Although side effects of reishi are extremely rare, they are not unknown. Three to six months of continuous use may result in dryness of the mouth, throat, and nasal passages; chronic itch; stomach upset; or nosebleed. These complications occur so seldom that their exact causes are not known, but they may be manifestations of an allergy to the mushroom.
Reishi should be avoided by people who have known allergies to other mushrooms or molds. It should not be used continuously for more than three months at a time. If you take reishi on an ongoing basis, you should take a one month break every three months, and then resume. If you are taking blood-thinning medications such as heparin or warfarin (Coumadin), you should use reishi only under a doctor's supervision.