Ganoderma: properties and benefits

Ganoderma: properties and benefits

Ganoderma is a mushroom with countless health benefits: let’s find out what its health properties are.

Ganoderma Lucidum

This oriental mushroom particularly appreciated in China and Japan boasts several emblematic names: Plant of the Spirit, Mushroom of Ten Thousand Years, Mushroom of Immortality , because it is believed to promote longevity . 


Reishi is as it is defined and known in the West and comes from Japan. The scientific name is Ganoderma Lucidum: ganos means “bright”, derma “skin” and Lucidum “shiny”.


  • What is Ganoderma and what is it used for
  • Where Ganoderma is grown
  • What is the best Reishi
  • Composition of Ganoderma
  • Properties and benefits of Reishi
  • Contraindications and side effects of Reishi Ganoderma


What is Ganoderma and what is it used for

Ganoderma is a saprophytic fungus that grows on oak and chestnut trees. This mushroom has been used since ancient times in traditional Chinese medicine and is currently also known in the West for its properties. The development period extends from spring to autumn while it rests in winter. 


Its cultivation for commercial purposes is widespread above all in the lands of origin between China and Japan. The dimensions of this mushroom are around 15 centimeters in diameter and its surface is smooth and almost lacquered. The color is different depending on the variety between reddish and dark brown. Its texture is hard and woody, the taste is bitter and it is not an edible mushroom .


It is used as a natural remedy in the form of a powder . Its spontaneous growth in nature is rare but its use as a natural remedy counts it among the 10 most effective natural beneficial substances in the world.


Where Ganoderma is grown

In nature, this mushroom grows in the wooded and humid coastal provinces of China , on chestnut, oak and other broad-leaved trees. It is also grown in Japan on the trunks of old plum trees. The varieties of Ganoderma come in six colors: red (akashiba), white (shiroshiba), black (kuroshiba), blue (aoshiba), yellow (kishiba) and purple (murasakishiba). Red Reishi is Ganoderma Lucidum , used for medicinal purposes. 


Reishi is rare and difficult to find in nature because the spore coating is very hard and does not allow them to germinate like other mushrooms. For this to happen, the right mix of oxygen and humidity is necessary, and thanks to mycologists it is possible to create the favorable conditions for this process to take place. Ganoderma Lucidum can also be inoculated in hardwood logs or on artificial sawdust logs.


What is the best Reishi

Reishi has been defined by Professor Hiroshi Hikino of Tohoku University as ” one of the most important elixirs of the East “. In 1995, some researchers succeeded in isolating the DNA of Ganoderma tsigae and Ganoderma Lucidum , and underlined the difficulty in distinguishing them from each other. More recent studies have isolated the two species and also highlighted the existence of two types of reishi, one with the classic large, fan-like fruiting body and the other with a branched appearance, called Rokkaku-Reishi. 


This second variety was highly coveted by the ancient Taoists. Determining which is the best is quite difficult. All varieties of Ganoderma seem to have the same compounds and the same beneficial properties. The Ancient Chinese text Shen Nong Ben Jing from 500 AD states that Ganoderma Lucidum is ” useful for increasing vital energy , improving mental faculties and preventing forgetfulness”.


Read also Ganoderma lucidum, the king of herbs >>


Composition of Ganoderma

The phytocomplex of Ganoderma has 17 amino acids compared to the existing 22 and in particular it contains the 8 essential amino acids that make it an extremely rich supplement in protein components. The polysaccharide part includes glucose, galactose, mannose and also traces of fucose and xylose, β-glucan polysaccharides and hetero-β-glucans, substances known for their immunostimulating and anti-tumor properties. 


Contains active ingredients such as triterpenes including lucidenic acid, genolucid acid and ganodermic acid discovered in this mushroom. Over 120 terpenoid compounds have been counted within the Ganoderma phytocomplex, each with its own specificities. The rich vitamin component of group B and in particular the presence of riboflavin, niacin, biotin and folic acid characterize Reishi as a supplement of important nutritional value. 


The presence of mineral salts such as iron , calcium , potassium , magnesium , copper , manganese , zinc and germanium make it a natural multimineral supplement. Finally, it contains sterols as hormonal precursors, substances with antihistamine properties and adenosine.


Properties and benefits of Reishi

  • Anti-inflammatory and analgesic : the phytocomplex of Ganoderma exerts an anti-inflammatory action and has a good analgesic capacity. This property is also linked to its cortisone-like effect capable of reducing swelling and relieving pain allowing an easier healing process.
  • Support for the immune system : the active ingredients present in Ganoderma exert a modulatory action on the entire immune system. In fact, the proteins of this mushroom stimulate the production of T lymphocytes and Natural Killer cells which are essential elements for our defense against infections of both bacterial and viral origin. In particular, Ganoderma brings benefits in the treatment of infections caused by herpes simplex , in the flu and in mycoses caused by Candida Albicans . Even in the case of bronchitis, excellent benefits and an excellent stimulus to stimulate healing have been found thanks to the use of Ganoderma, in the form of syrup .
  • Antioxidant and anticancer : Ganoderma contains many antioxidant substances such as vitamins B, C and D which have the ability to counteract free radicals  responsible for cellular aging in the body and tumor initiators. Among the minerals present, germanium stimulates the immune system to counteract the spread of cancer cells.
  • Adaptogen and anti-hypertensive : Ganoderma promotes resistance to stress and is a general tonic . On a psychophysical level this mushroom helps to balance the nervous system , calming it or infusing energy as needed. Specifically , adenosine has a calming effect to promote relaxation from tensions of both the muscular and skeletal systems, allowing stress to be relieved. In case of insomnia  this remedy comes to our rescue as a natural sedative and calming agent. Ganoderma also has beneficial effects on blood pressure thanks to the presence of ganoderic and ganoderolic acids.
  • Hypocholesterolising and protective of the cardiovascular system : this fungus, in addition to helping blood circulation by modulating blood pressure, exerts a direct action against bad cholesterol . Ganoderma acts on blood thinning, a preventative remedy for thrombosis.
  • Control of glycaemia and weight : thanks to the presence of substances such as agoderano this mushroom becomes effective in regulating insulin production . It stimulates the hepatic glucose metabolism and manages to keep blood sugar levels more balanced. Furthermore, Ganoderma supports the basal metabolism of our body helping to burn fat faster. These two actions combined help maintain a more stable body weight and make Ganoderma a useful remedy for weight loss .
  • Antiallergic and eudermic: thanks to the presence of ganodermic and oleic acids, this fungus is able to modulate the histamine response in the event of an allergic reaction. It also helps to make the skin more toned and smooth by counteracting acne  and skin blemishes. Thanks to the antioxidant action, it reduces the aging of skin cells with a completely natural anti-aging action. It improves lesions with scars thanks to a relaxing and regenerative effect of the epithelial tissue.


Contraindications and side effects of Reishi Ganoderma

There were no side effects or contraindications  from the administration of Reishi, nor interactions with other drugs, but the extract of Ganoderma Lucidum is still being studied. As with all natural remedies, it is advisable to take it for short cycles of 2 or 3 months then stop. It can be an excellent remedy in the change of seasons to support the organism in the adaptation processes.

You May Also Like

More From Author

+ There are no comments

Add yours