Ganoderma lucidum , also known as Reishi in Japan and as Lingzhi in China, is a fungus that grows in almost all warm latitudes on the planet, which include the forests of the Asian and American continents. It develops annually on the trunk of dead trees , such as oak, maple, elm, willow, magnolia, carob, and plum.It has a carpophore between 2 and 20cm long, which begins knotty, but through maturity it acquires a defined structure in the shape of an ear or kidney , with a smooth to rough surface, with a lustrous appearance. When ripe, it has a reddish brown color with yellow and white areas. It reaches up to 5cm thick at the end of its growth.It has a hymenium with tubes 2cm deep. The pore surface is white, becoming dark brown as it ages; there are 4 to 7 pores per millimeter. It has a stipe 3 to 14 cm long and 3 cm thick. Its spores are almost elliptical , sometimes with a truncated end.

What is ganoderma good for?

The Ganoderma lucidum mushroom , belonging to the Ganodermataceae family , has been used in Japan, China and other countries for hundreds of years as food and as a raw material to develop nutraceutical products (nutritional supplements) that preserve vitality and promote longevity.

The mushrooms belonging to the genus Ganoderma have been very well positioned in oriental medicine for many years, and it is one of the most important groups of natural products in Asia and North America. They have been used ancestrally by eastern cultures for their medicinal benefits.

Among its chemical components are polysaccharides and triterpenoids , the latter being the most studied. All of them perform biological activities that make them useful to prevent and treat diseases such as:

  • Hypertension
  • Migraine
  • Diabetes
  • Lung cancer
  • Hepatitis
  • Arthritis
  • Hypercholesterolemia
  • Bronchitis
  • Asthma
  • Gastritis
  • VIH
  • Aging associated with degenerative diseases

Chemical composition of Ganoderma

More than 130 triterpenoid chemical compounds have been isolated, including lucidumol-B , which has received attention for its biological activities, including anti-HIV-1 and anti-tumor action.

Two other highly relevant chemical compounds in this fungus are 5,6-dihydroergosterol and ergosterol.

  • The 5,6-dihydroergosterol , found in the species Ganoderma aplannatum , is active against Gram-positive bacteria, and has potent activity against herpes simplex virus.
  • The ergosterol has shown diverse biological properties, including inhibitory activity include in vitro potent against cancer cell lines and inhibition of the cell cycle.

Multiple research works show that the chemical composition of the Ganoderma lucidum fungus shows great variability, depending on factors such as:

  • Geographical origin
  • Weather conditions
  • Environmental conditions

Ganoderma consumption

Generally, the extract of these mushrooms is marketed as preparations to create infusions. These come in sachets in a suitable quantity that will represent one dose. Just combine them with hot water and the drink is ready for the ingestion of the mushroom. In this way they will take advantage of all their biological activities.

It is more advisable to consume Ganoderma as a preventive mechanism of diseases. To use it as a treatment, you must turn to a professional specialized in its properties, who is able to monitor the patient. On the other hand, if the discomfort persists, you should see a doctor immediately.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical opinion. Consult a doctor.

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