Ganoderma lucidum

The therapeutic effects of Ganoderma lucidum (Lingzhi or Reishi) has been recognized for over 2000 years. In China, Japan and other Asian countries it has a long history of use for promoting health. It is considered a symbol of longevity. Many therapeutic effects of Ganderma lucidum were mentioned in the first Chinese pharmacopoeia, such as tonifying effects, enhancing vital energy, strengthening cardiac function, increasing memory, and antiaging effects. It is also recommended for for dizziness, insomnia, palpitation, and shortness of breath. It may releive cough and asthma.

What are the active components of  Ganoderma lucidum?

-G. lucidum contains 1.8% ash, 26–28% carbohydrate, 3–5% crude fat, 59% crude fiber, and 7–8% crude protein (Mau, Lin, and Chen 2001).

a wide variety of bioactive molecules, such as terpenoids, steroids, phenols, nucleotides and their derivatives, glycoproteins, and polysaccharides

-the three main  active constituents in G. lucidum are polysaccharides, peptidoglycans, and triterpenes (Boh et al. 2007Zhou et al. 2007). However, the amount of each component can be very diverse in natural and commercial products

– mushroom proteins contain all the essential amino acids

Elemental analysis of G. lucidum revealed phosphorus, silica, sulfur, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Iron, sodium, zinc, copper, manganese, and strontium were also detected in lower amounts, as were the heavy metals lead, cadmium, and mercury (Chen et al. 1998). Significantly, no cadmium or mercury was detected in freeze-dried mushroom samples.

 What Ganoderma lucidum is used for:

-used to reduce blood glucose levels

-to stimulate the immune system

-liver protection

-gastric ulcer

-viral and bacterial infection

-inhibiting the growth of bacteria

-Ganoderma’s polysaccharides reduce inflammation, blood sugar levels, boost immune function, have anti-tumor effect and inhibit the formation of ulcers.

G. lucidum is rich in triterpenes, and this class of compounds confers on it various health benefits, such as lipid-lowering, cholesterol-lowering, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and antioxidant effects.

-the mushroom is also an important source of selenium, which is one of the most powerful antioxidants.

-Ganoderma contains germanium. Although germanium is not an essential element, it has been credited with immunopotentiating, antitumor, antioxidant, and antimutagenic activities (Kolesnikova, Tuzova, and Kozlov 1997).

The protein content of dried G. lucidum is lower than in many other mushrooms, but these bioactive proteins contribute to the antioxidant and hepatoprotective activity of the fungi.

It also contains a protein called lectin. Lectins are involved in a variety of cellular processes and the functioning of the immune system (Wang, Ng, and Ooi 1998).

Other compounds which were isolated from G. lucidum include enzymes such as metalloprotease, which delays clotting time; ergosterol (provitamin D2), and  fatty acids that may contribute to the antitumor activity of the mushroom (Fukuzawa et al. 2008).-fotó: frankenstoen