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Reishi mushroom (generic name)

treats Proteinuria, Rheumatoid arthritis, Diabetes mellitus type 2, High blood pressure, Poisoning, Pain, Chronic hepatitis B, Cancer, and Coronary heart disease
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Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum)

Category

Herbs & Supplements

Alternate Title

Ganoderma lucidum

Synonyms

Chi zhi, Enhanvol®, fungus, fu zhen herb, Ganoderma tsugae extract, Ganopoly®, he ling zhi, holy mushroom, hong ling zhi, ling chi, ling chih, ling zhi (Chinese), ling zhi-8, Linzhi extract, Mannentake, mushroom, mushroom of immortality, mushroom of spiritual potency, polysaccharides peptide, rei-shi, shiitake, spirit plant, Sunrecome®, triterpene, young ji, zi zhi.

Background

Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum), also known as ling zhi in China, grows wild on decaying logs and tree stumps. Reishi occurs in six different colors, but the red variety is most commonly used and commercially cultivated in East Asia and North America.

The reishi mushroom is a derivative of the Far East with its usage dating back to ancient China. Royalty would utilize this precious mushroom in the hopes of obtaining immortality and promoting calmness and thought. Chinese medicine now includes therapy with reishi for fatigue, asthma, insomnia, and cough.

Ganoderma lucidum has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for more than 4,000 years to treat liver disorders, high blood pressure, arthritis, and other ailments. In modern times, the available data from human trials together with evidence from animal studies suggest that Ganoderma lucidum may have some positive benefits for cancer and liver disease patients. However, the number and quality of trials is very limited. Other promising uses for which there is still inconclusive evidence include diabetes, heart disease, pain, Russula subnigricans poisoning, and proteinuria (protein in the urine). Reishi is also believed to reduce cholesterol levels and has an anticoagulant ("blood-thinning") effect, which may make it useful in coronary heart disease prevention.

Some experts believe that Ganoderma lucidum promotes longevity and maintains vitality of the human body. Reishi's major benefit appears to be its immunomodulating action, improvement of liver function, and improvement and restoration of the normal functions of the respiratory system. Antioxidant effects, which contribute to the overall well-being of patients, have been proposed. In the 16th Century pharmacopeia Ben Cao Gang Mu, reishi was described as being able to affect the life energy, or qi, of the heart, repair the chest area, increase intellectual capacity, and banish forgetfulness.

Reishi is currently regulated in the United States as a dietary supplement. It is also included in the 2,000 Pharmacopoeia of the People's Republic of China as an agent approved for the treatment of dizziness, insomnia, palpitations, shortness of breath, cough, and asthma. At this time, high quality clinical trials supporting the use of reishi mushroom are lacking. More proven therapies are recommended at this time.

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