Ganoderma lucidum has been used for thousands of years by Far Eastern countries for medicinal purposes. It was thought to have anti aging qualities and was taken for any and all ailments for these people. Today, over 400 active ingredients have been found with G. lucidum that have medicinal properties. Most of the beneficial compounds are actually found within the spores. Scientists have now started making progress on efficiently breaking through the hard spore shell so that maximum benefits can be achieved by patients and consumers. Some of the major components include an organic form of Germanium, triterpenes and polysaccharides. These are all said to boost the immune system. Also found is superoxide dismutase, a substance effective in fighting the effects of aging. Adenosine monophosphate is another compound that is thought to help lower blood pressure and to remove blood vessel blockage. Other beneficial minerals also found in G. lucidum include Potassium, Magnesium, Calcium, Sodium, Manganese, Iron and Zinc.
Ganoderma lucidum is valid as a medicinal mushroom in naturopathy or in traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine for:
-accompanying therapies, transplants and after cancer therapies
-for nervous weakness, stomach ulcers, hypertension, sleep disturbances, arthritis, allergies and, liver cirrhosis, cardiovascular problems, muscle diseases, dizziness, asthma, hepatitis A, B, C, obesity
-preventive or concomitant chronic inflammatory diseases of the kidneys, stomach, spleen, liver, lungs and heart
The potential uses for Ganoderma lucidum are staggering. Some of the claimed benefits include anti-tumor and cancer fighting effects, much like what the black pepper extracts can do. In fact, a study published in the journal of Experimental Oncology said that, “Ganoderma lucidum extract inhibits proliferation of human colorectal cancer cells and possesses antioxidant properties”(Xie, J. et al 2006). Along those same lines another study came out stating, “The overall findings indicated that Ganopoly had antitumor activity…” and that it may also have “promising immunotherapeutic agent in cancer treatment”(Gao Y, et al 2005). Ganoderma lucidum has also been used as a anxiety reducer, improvement in sleep, circulation, and brain functions. Much like venom from the Southeastern Pygmy Rattlesnake, G. lucidum is said to help lower blood pressure. It is also said to give a boost in the immune system, bronchitis and asthma relief, anti-allergenic, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, improved adrenocortical function, improvement in acne, chronic hepatitis, and menopause, and is said to provide a boost in energy. Gandoderma lucidum has been shown to have anti-HIV activity much like the Chinese herb Ginseng. Ganoderma lucidum has also been used effectively to help lower some of the negative side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.