Ganoderma lucidum is the scientific name for a species of Red Mushrooms and is said to be more powerful than Ginseng. Known as the "Miraculous King of Herbs", is listed as a Superior Herb in Sheng Nong"s Pharmacopeia, an ancient Chinese Herbal Text dating back over 2,000 years.
For thousands of years, Ganoderma lucidum, a kind of medicinal fungi, has been highly regarded by the Chinese as the "Miraculous King of Herbs." Ganoderma lucidum is said to be able to improve the body's healing ability, maintain a healthy body and promote longevity.Ganoderma lucidum has been shrouded in mystery for more than 2,000 years. Under the attentive research done by domestic and foreign scholars in recent years, Ganoderma has shown to have the ability to help the body function more effectively, efficiently and optimally.
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Medicinal & Healthy uses
Ganoderma lucidum may possess some anti-tumor, immunomodulatory and immunotherapeutic activities, supported by some studies on polysaccharides, terpenes, and other bioactive compounds isolated from fruiting bodies and mycelia of this fungus (reviewed by R. R. Paterson).
It is understood as adaptogenic, anti-allergenic and anti-hypertensive due to the presence of triterpenes. Apart from these properties, lingzhi has been found to be anti-inflammatory, antiviral, anti-parasitic, anti-fungal, antidiabetic, anti-hypotensive, and protective of the liver. It has also been found to inhibit platelet aggregation, and to lower blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar.
Because of these properties, ganoderma has been regarded as blood pressure stabilizer, antioxidant, analgesic, a kidney and nerve tonic. It has been used in bronchitis prevention and in cardiovascular treatment, and in the treatment of high triglycerides, high blood pressure, hepatitis, allergies, chemotherapy support, HIV support, and even for fatigue and altitude sickness.
Some peer-reviewed studies indicate that ganoderic acid has some protective effects against liver injury by viruses and other toxic agents in mice, suggesting a potential benefit of this compound in the treatment of liver diseases in humans.
Although the experiences in fighting cancer are more inconsistent, the extract has been claimed to be effective in regressing tumors. The results depend on the type of cancer and the severity of the condition. It is usually recommended that it be used in combination with other prescribed medical treatments and as part of a fu zheng formula with a variety of supporting herbs. The Ganoderma extract has been employed to help substantially reduce or eliminate the side-effects of radio- and chemotherapies if it is taken before, during and after the treatments. It has been found clinically to reduce side-effects like hair loss, nausea, vomiting, stomatitis, sore throat, loss of appetite and insomnia.
Modern scientific studies of Ganoderma lucidum
Numerous studies of Ganoderma lucidum mainly in China, Korea, Japanand the United States, have shown its effectiveness in the treatment of a very wide range of diseases and symptoms. But the studies have not given any explanation of exactly how ganoderma has so many diverse effects, because none of the known active components taken alone have produced results as powerful as the intake of ganoderma itself, suggesting synergy is important. For example, reports of Ganoderma's effect on stamina, appetite, and other human conditions are largely anecdotal and haven't been studied scientifically. It is perhaps more comprehensible at this time to explain lingzhi's "miraculous powers" from the traditional Chinese medicine point of view.
Observations have shown that Ganoderma lucidum generally has only slight side effects and can be consumed in high doses, in parallel with other medications. Its main properties are adaptogenic which mean that it is nontoxic, it works in a generalized manner on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and the neuroendocrine system. Its actions are alterative, enhance the immune system and lessen nervous tension. These properties are conducive to normalizing and balancing the body (homeostasis and allostasis), and as a result, Ganoderma lucidum is able to help the body cure a multitude of disease states from within.
Ganoderma lucidum has been found to strengthen the respiratory system and to have a healing effect on the lungs, and is particularly beneficial for individuals with asthma, cough and other respiratory complaints. At least one population study conducted in the 1970s confirms this claim. When more than 2,000 Chinese with chronic bronchitis took lingzhi syrup, 60 to 90% felt better within two weeks and reported an improved appetite, according to an article entitled, Medicinal Mushrooms, written by Christopher Hobbs, and published in Herbs for Health, Jan/February 97.
In Japan, after daily injections in mice with cancer it was reported that tumors in 50% of the animals had completely regressed within 10 days. (Ikekawa et al,1968;Japanese Journal of Cancer Research; 59: 155-157) The host-dependent anti-tumor activity has been subsequently confirmed to be from the polysaccharide fractions of Ganoderma lucidum by Sasaki et al.. (Sasaki T, Arai Y, Ikekawa T, Chihara G, Fukuoka F.Antitumor polysaccharides from some polyporaceae, Ganoderma applanatum (Pers.) Pat and Phellinus linteus (Berk. et Curt) Aoshima.Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo). 1971 Apr;19(4):821-6. PMID: 5087927 )Multiple similar studies subsequently confirms this observation and anti-tumor efficacy of Ganoderma has been demonstrated from various species, at different stages of growth and using different solvents for extraction and different routes of administration. Anti-tumor activity has been demonstrated in vitro as well as in syngeneic tumor systems in animals. However, no human trials of Ganoderma lucidum against cancer in peer reviewed journals nor any controlled clinical trials in humans have yet been conducted or published.
There has been research showing Ganoderma lucidum has an effective supplement during chemotherapy or radiotherapy to reduce side-effects such as fatigue, loss of appetite, hair loss, bone marrow suppression and risk of infection. Ganodermas was shown effective against fatigue, hair loss, and bone marrow suppression . There is similar clinical evidence for other glucan BRMs applied in the setting of cancer chemotherapy or radiotherapy lending further support to the supplementation of Ganoderma lucidum in combination with cytotoxic cancer therapies.
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