The Lingzhi mushroom or Reishi mushroom is a species of mushroom which is complex in structure and its ability to heal. Ling zhi mushroom encompasses several fungal species of the genus Ganoderma, most commonly related to Ganoderma Lucidum. In Chinese Medicine it is known as the king of herbs for its powerful properties. It is a hard bitter mushroom that has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries to enhance longevity and improve health. Unlike many other herbs, it is only used as a medicinal compound. Herbalists and consumers claim that Ganoderma can heal and fight allergies, liver diseases, lung difficulties, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Interestingly, Ganoderma is used by patients who are undertaking radiotherapy and chemotherapy to reduce pain as well as unwarranted side effects. Nevertheless, taking Ganoderma mushroom can have both advantageous and disadvantageous aspects.
Advantages of consuming Ganoderma Lucidum
Immunity Resistance: Ganoderma is recommended by medical practitioners as it is sought to enhance the immune system and decrease allergic symptoms.
Relieves respiratory conditions: Ganoderma is also beneficial for people suffering from asthma and other respiratory conditions because it seems to have a healing effect on the lungs. Ganoderma is good for building respiratory strength and curbing a cough.
Cardiovascular protection: Ganoderma is believed to impede platelet aggregation and reduce blood pressure.
Enhance blood sugar balance: Ganoderma polysaccharides have blood sugar lowering effects and this is due to the polysaccharides referred to as Ganoderma A, B, C. Ganoderma has the capability to enhance plasma insulin levels, increase the glucose liver metabolism, and enhance peripheral tissue and its utilization of glucose.
Anti-inflammatory effects: Hot water extracts of Ganoderma have an anti-inflammatory effect.
Liver protector: Ganoderma is used because of its liver protection ability. One study reported that Ganoderma significantly reduced the size of a fatty liver and ALT levels. Additionally, there was also a marked drop in nitric oxide production. The study established that the liver protective effects of Ganoderma may be due to its influence on nitric oxide production.
Oxygenation: Another unique advantage of Ganoderma is its usefulness in altitude sickness. Ganoderma reduces illness caused by altitude by oxygenating the blood.
Antioxidants: Ganoderma mushrooms have strong antioxidative protection within the body from the negative effects of free radicals which are formed inside the body by daily exposure to the sun, chemicals, and pollutants. Ganoderma is also proven to boost the immune system, especially when taken in conjunction with other antioxidant supplements.
Disadvantages of taking Ganoderma Lucidum
Some individuals can be allergic to Ganoderma and its components. Sensitivity can vary with the type of hypersensitivity to the Ganoderma mushroom. Other adverse effects can include an itchy, red rash, a dry mouth and throat, or a nosebleed following ingestion.
Ganoderma can interfere with daily medications and their effects. For instance, taking Ganoderma while on diabetic medication may result in a decline in blood pressure. Another well noted adverse reaction is the use of blood thinners like Warfarin. Long-term use of Ganoderma may also lead to gastric bleeding which is a very serious side effect. Other less noted side effects include: vomiting, nausea, acne and gastrointestinal upsets.
It is very important that a full consultation be undertaken by a practitioners prior to taking any new substance such as Ganoderma Lucidum, especially if you are pregnant, breast feeding or taking regular medications. Despite Ganoderma’s efficaciousness, it is also important to be aware of the risks and dangers that it may present. If you are on immune-suppressing drugs, Lingzhi may not be for you. Lingzhi may work against these drugs because of its potential stimulating effects on the immune system.
How Much Ganoderma to Take When Using As a Supplement
The recommended dose when using Ganoderma as a dietary supplement is 150 to 900 mg if taken in tablet or capsule form or 1.5 to 9 grams of the dried variety.