Mushroom used in Chinese medicine 'slows weight gain'

“Reishi” is the Japanese name for the fruiting body of Ganoderma lucidum, one of the most well-known herbal remedies in traditional Chinese medicine. This species of the Polyporaceae family of fungus is also commonly referred to as Ling zhi, “King of Herbs” or “God’s Herb”.

Companies in Japan are particularly heralded for developing cultivation and manufacturing techniques that yield the highest quality Reishi (Ganoderma Lucidum) in the world, a reputation that has been strengthened by the Japanese government’s strict regulation of the domestic Reishi industry.

The use of Ganoderma Lucidum as a dietary supplement has been documented in Chinese pharmacopoeia since approximately second century B.C. However, its rarity and long cultivation period meant that Ganoderma Lucidum health benefits were historically limited to royalty or aristocracy. In the 1970s, several successful methods of cultivating Ganoderma were finally developed and as a result, the natural supplement that was once exclusive to the wealthy is now readily available to the general public. Based on numerous cases of improvement shown in patients with serious illnesses such as cancer and hepatitis who used Ganoderma Lucidum products, a number of countries including China and the UK are now researching the medical applications of Ganoderma Lucidum more extensively.

Of particular interest to researchers is the exceptional concentration of polysaccharides – which have been linked to aiding cancer remission, normalizing blood-sugar levels, and strengthening the immune system – in high quality red Reishi “Ganoderma Lucidum” specimens. In fact, many of the most potent Reishi products in the market today are created from red Reishi.

In contrast with conventional symptom-based treatment methods that depend heavily on medications with significant side effects, Ganoderma Lucidum proponents claim that it bears the characteristics of a preventative adaptogen which serves to improve general health and body functions with no side-effects. Ginseng is currently more widely-used as an adaptogen in Western medicine than Ganoderma,, but both are categorized in traditional Chinese medicine texts as supplements with the greatest potential for medical efficacy. (Japan Reishi Association)

Scientific Name

Ganoderma lucidum

Also Known As

Ling zhi, ling chi, lin zi, mushroom of immortality

Purported Uses

  • Fatigue
  • High cholesterol
  • HIV and AIDS
  • Hypertension
  • Immunostimulation
  • Inflammation
  • Strength and stamina
  • Viral infections

Constituents

  • Polysaccharides: Beta-D-glucan
  • Sterols: Ergosterol
  • Fungal lysozyme
  • Proteinase
  • Triterpenes: Ganoderic acids
  • Lipids
  • Alkaloids
  • Glucosides
  • Coumarins
  • Volatile oil
  • Other constiuents: Riboflavin, ascorbic acid, and amino acids (1)

Immunosuppressants: Reishi can enhance the immune responses (2)
Chemotherapeutic Agents: Reishi can increase plasma antioxidant capacity (3)

This mushroom is one of the most important traditional Chinese medicines for stabilizing a number of body functions which are keeping a person in good health. Many of its functions are attributed to prevention of diseases, specifically virus infections. Among the described functions are:

  • adjusts the immune system to prevent viral diseases and to prevent and fight tumor
  • protects and detoxifies the liver
  • prevents and cures heart diseases
  • slows the aging process
  • has a positive effect on insomnia
  • is a cure for high blood pressure and
  • to treat diabetes
  • is a treatment for chronic bronchitis and asthma
  • has effect on hyper susceptibility
  • is used as a beauty care medicine for the skin

References:
1) http://www.mskcc.org/mskcc/html/11571.cfm?RecordID=425&tab=HC#ref
2) Gao Y, et al. Effects of ganopoly (a Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharide extract) on the immune functions in advanced-stage cancer patients. Immunol Invest. 2003 Aug;32(3):201-15.
3) Wachtel-Galor S, et al. Ganoderma lucidum (‘Lingzhi’); acute and short-term biomarker response to supplementation. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2004 Feb;55(1):75-83.

Source: www.healthycoffeecorner.com

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