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Ganoderma lucidum Extract

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Latin name: Ganoderma lucidum

Common Name Synonyms: Lacquered Bracket, Ling Chi, Ling Chih, Ling Zhi, Lingzhi, Mannentake, Mushroom of Immortality, Red Reishi, Reishi, Saiwaitake, Sarunouchitake, and Varnished Conk

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Ganoderma lucidum ExtractWith almost half a million Internet searches each month, Ganoderma lucidum is by far the most sought after health supporting mushroom today. The second most popular, Cordyceps sinensis, only gets a quarter of the number of searches.

And maybe there is good reason for the acclaim of Ganoderma lucidum. Paul Stamets, in the booklet MycoMedicinals - An Informational Treatise on Mushrooms, provides a chart of health supporting mushrooms where Ganoderma lucidum extract is listed as having the broadest spectrum out of the seventeen most widely used health supporting fungi today.

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Ganoderma lucidum, popularly known as the "Mushroom of Immortality, appears to possess a wider range of therapeutic properties than any other health supporting mushroom known. In a chart by health supporting mushroom expert Paul Stamets, Ganoderma lucidum extract is listed as therapeutic in 16 out of 17 areas of health.

Extract of
                        Ganoderma lucidum Buddhists call it Ling Chi, and many an artistic rendition of this beautiful and therapeutic mushroom can be found in Buddhist shrines and temples. In Tibet, it has long been used to cope with high-altitude sickness and infections. 25

Unlike the healers of old, contemporary health professionals may now point to modern research and attribute the life extending properties of Ganoderma lucidum to its anti-oxidants, which are at an exceptionally high level and help to protect against one of the major cause of aging, free radical damage. 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41

Or might the magic of Ganoderma lucidum extract instead be attributed to the powerful anti-inflammatory properties of its triterpenoid compounds? 42, 43, 44, 45 Anything from allergies, asthma and atherosclerosis 46 to arthritis, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51 bronchitis and the common cold involve an inflammatory response. Studies with promising results have also been performed that involved inflammation of the brain 52 and prostate. 53

Allergies and inflammations are the results of an exaggerated immune response. So it has surprised researchers to discover that while Ganoderma lucidum extract calms the out-of-control immune response in cases of inflammation, it actually improves a healthy immune response. 48, 54, 55 It's even demonstrated some inhibitory effect on the replication of HIV in mother and daughter lymphocytes. 56

Lung and heart functions are also important as we age. Research on Ganoderma lucidum extract has indicated that it may help increase the oxygen absorbing capacity of the lungs, 57 blood profusion of the heart muscle, and decrease blood pressure. 58 In other words, its an energizing tonic, which may be why it has also been demonstrated as having an effect in cases of chronic fatigue. 59, 60

Like several other health supporting mushrooms, Ganoderma lucidum also contains anti-tumor compounds. Research on Ganoderma lucidum extract has yielded positive results on cancers of the cervix, prostate, liver, lungs, bone and blood. 61, 62, 63, 64, 65 Two studies indicate that this effect is secondary, by way of stimulating the body's own immune system and cancer fighting mechanisms. 66, 67

Two Chinese studies have shown Ganoderma lucidum extract to have liver protective effects in cases of post-hepatic cirrhosis 69 and chronic hepatitis. 68

One study showed it to have a restorative effect on certain functions of the spleen. 34 A variety of skin disorders have been treated with powdered Ganoderma lucidum, 70 including rashes from poison ivy and oak, although this claim still may need to be conclusively verified. 25

In his book Mycelium Running, health supporting mushroom expert Paul Stamets also lists the following areas where research has shown Ganoderma lucidum extract to have a beneficial effect: Candida; Diabetes (Blood Sugar); Cardiovascular Health; Cholesterol; Kidney Health; Respiratory Conditions; Nerve Tonic; Stress. 134

Note: The statements on this page have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Never use any herb (or mushroom) except as advised by a licensed medical practitioner.


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