Ganoderma mushroom for Herbal Naturopathy: properties, benefits, uses, side effects

Ganoderma ( Ganoderma lucidum ), also known as red reishi, is used as a support to support the heart, revitalize the body and soothe the spirit . Let’s find out better.

Description of the mushroom

Ganoderma lucidum, also called red reishi and commonly known in Chinese as Lin Zhi, is a medicinal mushroom used for more than two thousand years in the Far East and considered almost “miraculous” and enormously beneficial and for this reason it is also called ” mushroom of the immortality “. 

It looks like a large mushroom with a dark brown and shiny red color and a woody consistency. In nature it grows on the trunks of fallen trees deep in the forests of China and Japan, but nowadays it is successfully cultivated.

All parts of the mushroom are used therapeutically, from the fruit, to the spores, to the mycelium. 

Like many other Chinese medicinal mushrooms, reishi contains a carbohydrate complex called polysaccharides, accompanied by proteins and amino acids. Among the polysaccharides, the most beneficial active substances present in reishi are called beta-glucan and triterpenes. It is precisely these substances that contain the powerful therapeutic properties of this mushroom, even if, in accordance with traditional Chinese medicine, it must be remembered that none of the active components of ganoderma taken in isolation, can produce the same benefits found after its consumption in the state. whole wheat.

Properties and benefits of ganoderma

In the East, ganoderma has been used for centuries as a remedy to restore balance and as a support to support the heart, revitalize the body and calm the spirit.

A significant number of studies conducted over the past thirty years in Japan, China, America and the United Kingdom have shown that the consumption of ganoderma is linked to the treatment of countless diseases, disorders and pathologies, from asthma to ulcers or kidney inflammation. , and even as a support in AIDS cases. Most of the research highlights the role of ganoderma as a normalizing substance, i.e. as a supplement capable of bringing medical benefits by normalizing and regulating the organs and their functions.

The main property of this extraordinary mushroom is to stimulate the immune system, promoting and supporting the innate ability of our body to activate natural healing processes. This is why it is believed to have powerful anti-cancer properties and to be able to stimulate the activity of immune cells such as macrophages and T lymphocytes, a particular group of lymphocytes that play a vital role in cell-mediated immunity. In vitro, the reishi extract appears to inhibit the proliferation of innumerable cancer cells and carries out a cytotoxic activity. It also appears to inhibit the growth of blood vessels that support the growth and development of tumors (angiogenesis). For these reasons, the Japanese government has recognized it as one of the official cancer treatments .

Ganoderma lucidum: king of herbs

Another marvelous feature of reishi is to decrease blood triglyceride and cholesterol levels, regulate blood pressure and decrease platelet aggregation, thereby reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Thanks to its ability to stimulate the immune system, ganoderma acts as a natural antihistamine and supports the body in fighting allergies and inflammation, viral infections such as the flu, and respiratory conditions such as bronchitis and asthma. Furthermore, ganoderma is extremely effective in inhibiting the activity of the herpes simplex virus. 

Another feature of this mushroom with a thousand benefits is that it has a sedative and calming action and can therefore help promote sleep and relaxation, as well as improve memory and concentration. For these reasons it is also used in the treatment of cases of chronic fatigue syndrome and insomnia. 

With all these benefits, ganoderma can undoubtedly deserve the nickname “medicine of the kings”.

How ganoderma is used in cooking

Red reishi can be consumed in soups or teas, but the extremely bitter taste and very woody texture make it unappetizing. It can therefore be easily found in convenient capsules or tablets, or in powder form, in natural food stores and it is recommended to consume it accompanied by vitamin C to enhance its medicinal effects.

Although there are no obvious side effects, it is best to consult an expert before taking reishi. Possible contraindications can be found in the case of parallel intake of medicines against hypertension and anticoagulants.


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