The Herb of Immortality
For over 4000 years, the fungus has been considered by Asian medical practitioners to be one of the most superior medicinal plants in the world. It was once reserved for use by royalty, said to increase longevity. It is also believed to be anti-inflammatory, immuno-therapeutic and even anti-tumor. One Japanese study injected extract of the mushroom into mice with cancer resulting in a 50% tumor drop after ten days of treatment.
It has obtained the titles of the ‘King of Herbs, and the ‘Herb of Immortality’, due to its health benefits.
Dozens of medical studies have been conducted on lingzhi to determine its true abilities, with remarkable results. According to studies, it has increased respiratory performance in asthma patients, reduced the side effects of chemotherapy, and, as in the Japanese study, shown considerable effect against cancer in animal tests. Some medical experts even suggest that it may prove useful in fighting AIDS, although few studies have looked into this possibility.
While almost all studies have shown that the fungus strengthens just about every area of the immune system, experts remain puzzled as to why. It is the only known producer of chemicals called ganoderic acids which, along with several other proteins and amino acids present in the mushroom, may be responsible for its positive effects. Ongoing studies hope to isolate the exact compounds in ganoderma that make it work the way it does. Researchers hope that by better comprehending the structure of ganoderic acids, they will be able to develop more effective treatments using the properties found in the mushroom.
Studies have shown that the most effective way to release the medicinal properties of ganoderma involve soaking mushrooms or adding powdered solutions to boiling water and allowing to simmer for long periods of time. The mushroom is also available as an additive to several food and drink products, such as ganoderma-enhanced coffee, tea, or even chocolate. You should note that without the prolonged exposure to hot water, studies have shown that the mushroom is far less effective.
Although side effects to daily use of the mushroom are mild and rare, consult your doctor before using this or any other complementary medical treatment. Western medicine has long scoffed at any traditional folk remedies, yet studies suggest that ganoderma is a serious exception with real medical applications. You can find ganoderma at Asian import stores as well as some health food stores. With new studies consistently showing its effectiveness, it is likely that this magical mushroom will be more widely available very soon.
(c) Jessica Ellis – WiseGeek.com