Tuesday, November 13, 2012


The humble reishi mushroom, or ganoderma lucidum, is receiving lots of press these days.  There are well over 10,000 studies on its properties.  But all of this hoopla is old news in the Far East, where it's medicinal uses have been employed for over 4,000 years.  However, without the studies, the numerous claims for this "king of herbs" would push the limits of belief.

Ganoderma contains over 400 bioactive components. Over 300 studies have identified triterpenoids, polysaccharides, nucleotides, sterols, steroids, fatty acids, proteins/peptides, and trace elements.

What this alphabet soup means for you is that ganoderma is shown to be:

adaptogenic - triterpenes give Reishi a kind of harmonizing effect on the body.  This provides protection                        from a wide range of biological, environmental, and social stresses.
immunomodulating - adjusts the immune response to a desired levelwhich may provide hope for auto-                                    immune, as well as under active immune response
antiatherosclerotic - counters clogging or hardening of blood vessels caused by                                                                       accumulations of fatty deposits, usually cholesterol
anti-inflammatory -  reduces inflammation in tissues and joints

analgesic -                ganoderma has been used to eliminate pain and inflammation
chemopreventive -   shows promise as a disease preventative (see the PDF download)
antitumor -               may help prevent the formation of malignant tumors; anticancer
radioprotective -      protects or aids in protecting against the injurious effect of radiation
sleep-promoting -     self explanatory

antibacterial -          destroys or inhibits the growth of bacteria
antiviral (including anti-HIV) - destroys or inhibits the growth/reproduction of viruses
hypolipidemic -        promotes a reduction of cholesterol levels in the blood
antifibrotic -            causes regression of fibrosis (non-elastic, fibrous tissue)
hepatoprotective -   helps protect liver function (see below)

diabetic/hypo-glycemic - an adaptogen, ganoderma helps regulate blood sugar levels

anti-oxidative/free radical-scavenging - reduces oxidative damage to the cells of the body
anti-aging - helps delay or lessen the effects of aging, especially due to its anti-oxidative properties

This amazing super adaptogen has been shown in real world studies to hold promise for affecting every major system in the body.

The main job of the lungs is to 1) pick up oxygen; 2) exchange that oxygen for carbon dioxide from the red blood cells; 3) eliminate the carbon dioxide as waste. Without oxygen, we could only live a few minutes. It is a vital ingredient for virtually every major process in the body. Low oxygen means low energy. This vital function is complicated by the fact that lungs inhale air from an environment that is seldom pristine. They're exposed to bacteria, viruses, dust, and other pollutants. The immune response to these air-borne toxins range from coughs, sinusits, asthma, bronchitis, COPD, pneumonia, and cancer. As people age, the elasticity of its tissues begins breaking down. This affects the lungs' ability to breathe effectively and remove these toxins.
The common thread in these disorders is inadequate immune response.  Ganoderma has been shown to help promote proliferation, differentiation and functions of dendritic cells. It also increases phagocytosis of macrophage and natural killer cells -  our body’s army against invasive bacteria and viruses. 

The brain represents only 2% of the human body weight, yet it it receives 15% of the cardiac output, 20% of total body oxygen consumption, and 25% of total body glucose utilization - consuming at least 20 per cent of the body's calories even when at rest.
Neuro-degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, motor neuron disease, and Huntington's disease are caused by the gradual death of individual neurons, leading to decreased movement control, memory, and cognition.
Blood, glucose and oxygen are components of a healthy functioning brain. When neurons in a particular region of the brain are highly active, they consume a great deal of oxygen, which results in recruitment of extra blood flow to that region. 
Ganoderma's anti-inflammatory properties show promise for brain function in the elderly.  In a 37 year longitudinal study involving over 2ooo men and women, it was shown that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents can slow the onset and progression of Alzheimer's disease.*  The germanium in ganoderma is an efficient oxygen carrier - allowing for up to three times greater oxygen levels in the blood and brain.
 * Sources: McGeer and Rogers (1992); Corrida et al. (1996)


The heart pushes blood through the vascular system to all parts of the body, even to its far extremities.  The heart can pump almost 9 pints of blood through 60,000 miles of blood vessels every minute.* Over a lifetime of 70 years, the heart beats some 2.5 billion times without tiring or stopping for a rest.  Obviously, protecting the heart is of vital importance.  Ganoderma can help in the prevention of heart disease, especially heart attacks, by its powerful antioxidant effect.
First, it contains Adenosine, a powerful vasodilator that improves blood and oxygen flow, helping overcome angina and coronary artery disease. Italso activates phospholipase, platelet inhibitor that prevents clot formation and regularizes blood flow thereby preventing heart attack.  It has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels.  Cholesterol can narrow the coronary arteries, reducing blood and oxygen, causing"Coronary Artery Disease".
Sources: Vogel, Steven. Vital Circuits, pp. 15-16; World Book Encyclopedia, vol. 2, p. 424. 

The kidneys are fist sized organs located above the waist in the back. Each kidney contains approximately 1 million kidney cells, or nephrons. Nephrons absorb back nutrients from the blood and expel waste materials as urine. Your kidneys filter about 53 gallons of fluid a day. Kidney cells that have died cannot be revived. Herbs can only strengthen the function of remaining kidney cells, preventing further damage.  Only when kidneys are left with around 20% to 30% of the original cells do medical reports start to show abnormal indicators.
Ganoderma's nucleic acid strengthens the kidneys to help a) neutralize toxicity; b) reduce protein in the urine; and c) break down cholesterol.
Professor Fumio Tsurudani of Nagoya University Medical Institute, Japan, performed an experiment with patients suffering from renal disease to check the effectiveness of Ganoderma. It was found that it could a) lower protein in the urine; b) lower blood cholesterol; c) maintain proper renal function.  


 The immune system has the task of protecting the body against disease by identifying and killing pathogens and tumor cells. Pathogens include a wide variety of agents, from viruses and bacteria to worms. The trick is distinguishing them from the organism's own healthy cells and tissues
Immunodeficiency diseases occur when the immune system is less active than normal.  Conversely, autoimmune diseases result from an overactive immune system attacking normal tissues as if they were foreign organisms.
The beta glucan polysaccharide in Ganoderma is especially potent to deactivate cancer cells.* The extremely high concentration of polysaccharides in Ganoderma promote:
  •  immunoglobulin generation,
  • T and B lymphocyte proliferation,
  • cytokine secretion of interleukin-1, interleukin-2, and
  • interferon γ.
These can increase our body resistance against the invasion of bacteria and viruses. 
 * D. Sliva, Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi) in cancer treatment; Integr Cancer Ther. 2003 Dec;2(4):358-64
The pancreas is an oblong, flattened gland located deep in the abdomen - sandwiched between the stomach and the spine. The work of the pancreas we are most familiar with is the insulin and glucagon it secretes  into the bloodstream. These hormones help maintain proper blood sugar levels. It also produces enzymes that help in the digestion of food. When the pancreas loses its ability to secrete insulin and glucagon, diabetes may result.
 Conventional treatment for diabetes uses medications to suppress blood sugar levels. However medicines don't cure it. It only reduces and maintains the blood sugar levels. Long term medication for diabetes causes two main side effects.One is the hardening of blood vessels, causing stroke and heart disease. The other side effect is the interference with fats metabolism, causing a patient to become obese and to put on weight.
Studies have shown Ganoderma Lucidum to have a blood sugar lowering effect.**  Ganoderma's polysaccharides cause an influx of calcium into the pancreas, resulting in insulin secretion.* Ganoderma constituents Ganoderans A, B, and C helps in several ways: 1)elevate plasma insulin levels; 2)enhance peripheral tissue utilization of glucose; 3) enhance liver metabolism of glucose.
Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2004 Feb: 25(2):191-5 Hypoglycemic effect of Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides. Shang HN, Lin ZB. Peking University Beijing , China 
**  ^ Zhang HN, Lin ZB (February 2004). "Hypoglycemic effect of Ganoderma lucidumActa Pharmacol. Sin. 25 (2): 191–5. PMID 14769208. polysaccharides".  
^ Yang BK, Jung YS, Song CH (November 2007). "Hypoglycemic effects of Ganoderma applanatum and Collybia confluens exo-polymers in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats". Phytother Res 21 (11): 1066–9.doi:10.1002/ptr.2214PMID 17600864.

The Liver, our largest internal organ, is called the 'chemical factory', and is our major organ of detoxification.  More than 50,000 lobes in the liver  process about 3 gallons of blood every hour. During this process, liver cells perform more than 500 biochemical functions required by the body.
Everything that enters the body has to be broken down to either use or discard.  Every morsel of food, every drop of alcohol, any drug, chemical or pesticide that enters is broken down into its basic component parts by the liver.
Ganoderma can help liver function:
  • Ganoderic acid acts as an antioxidant protecting the cell membrane
  • Tri-terpenoids repair damaged cells
  • Adenosine improves blood circulation to, a) enhance enzyme and hormone distribution; b) improve nutrient and oxygen supplyto the cells; c) increase fat-metabolism, contributing to liver function.

"Free radicals" are the body's politically incorrect molecules. Radicals are created as a waste product of normal cellular metabolic activities, improper lifestyle, toxins, and environmental pollutants. They are responsible for causing dangerous chain reactions in cells that can lead to a variety of medical problems, not the least of which are cancer and coronary heart disease.  They have an electrically unbalanced charge, which makes them want to "steal" an electron from other atoms - like our body cells.  What happens to our body as a result is much like what happens when rust attacks a car.
Antioxidants neutralize the oxidation process of those invading free radicals, and can reduce and reverse DNA damage.  Even the most expensive antioxidant on the market can only boast a fraction of the 100’s of antioxidants found in Ganoderma Lucidum. For comparison sake, orange juice has 6 antioxidants. Green Tea has 13. Ganoderma Lucidum has over 100 antioxidants that target 6 key areas of your body - your immune system, heart, lungs, joints, blood sugar and blood pressure.  Science is finding that you are as young, or old, as your cells! 

 Blood is the body's transportation system. It delivers nutrients and oxygen, takes away waste, and helps mobilize the body's immune system.
We have seen above how ganoderma can help maintain healthy blood in several key areas.  It helps: decrease blood pressure, increase blood oxygen levels, normalize cholesterol and blood sugar, and increase lymphocyte and killer cell production. 

We will be happy to provide more data upon request.


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