Medicinal Mushroom 'Ganoderma Lucidum' or 'Lingzhi'
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Medicinal Mushroom 'Ganoderma Lucidum' or 'Lingzhi'

Ganoderma Lucidum has been considered the ultimate herbal substance in the eastern world. Lingzhi or Ganoderma Lucidum has been listed in the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia and Therapeutic Compendium.

‘Ganoderma Lucidum’ has been popular for millennia as a medicinal mushroom. This particular variety of mushroom has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for more than 4000 years. Ganoderma Lucidum is called Lingzhi in Chinese, Reishi in Japanese and Yeongji in Korean. Ganoderma Lucidum has been described in Chinese traditions as the “mushroom of immortality”. In Chinese language the word lingzhi, means "herb of spiritual potency". The medicinal mushroom Ganoderma Lucidum has no reported side effects. Ganoderma Lucidum has been considered the ultimate herbal substance in the eastern world. Lingzhi or Ganoderma Lucidum has been listed in the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia and Therapeutic Compendium.

FEATURES OF GANODERMA LUCIDUM

Lingzhi or Ganoderma Lucidum is a soft is a polypore mushroom. It is corky and flat. Ganoderma Lucidum has a prominent red-colored, kidney-shaped cap. The medicinal mushroom has white to dull brown pores underneath. It is polypore and lacks gills. Ganoderma Lucidum releases its spores through fine pores. Ganoderma Lucidum is widely used as a medicinal herb in the eastern world. It has become very popular in the West also in the recent years.

REPORTED PROPERTIES OF LINGZHI

It is reported that researches have revealed that Lingzhi or Ganoderma Lucidum may possess anti-tumor, immunomodulatory and immunotherapeutic activities. These findings are reported to be supported by studies on polysaccharides, terpenes, and other bioactive compounds isolated from fruiting bodies and mycelia of this fungus. These findings have created much interest in the medicinal mushroom Ganoderma Lucidum among medical researchers. Further studies have revealed that Ganoderma Lucidum inhibit platelet aggregation. It is also reported that Ganoderma Lucidum or Linzhi has properties to lower blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar.

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OTHER HEALTH BENEFITS OF GANODERMA LUCIDUM

Studies have shown that Ganoderma Lucidum can prevent cancer metastasis. Ganoderma Lucidum extracts are used now in pharmaceuticals for cancer cell proliferation and migration. Other research findings suggest that Ganoderma Lucidum is beneficial in the treatment of liver diseases. Also, it has been found to have beneficial effect in control of cholesterol level. Related studies show that Ganoderma Lucidum has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. It has been found that Ganoderma Lucidum has anti-viral activities with many viruses like HSV-1, HSV-2, influenza virus, vesicular stomatitis, etc. Ganoderma Lucidum has anti-microbial properties with organisms such as Bacillus cereus, Candida albicans, Aspergillus niger and Escherichia coli.

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PREPARATION OF LINGZHI FOR CONSUMPTION

For consumption, Ganoderma Lucidum or Lingzhi is to be specially prepared. This is because Ganoderma Lucidum tastes bitter. This medicinal mushroom has been traditionally prepared as a hot water extract. Powdered or thinly sliced lingzhi is added to a pot of boiling water. Then the boiling water with the Ganoderma Lucidum should be brought to a simmer. The pot should be covered and Ganoderma Lucidum or lingzhi shoud be simmered for at least two hours. Then the liquid can be taken for consumption. It will taste bitter. If it is red Ganoderma Lucidum, it will be bitterer as it is more active. Sometimes the boiling process is repeated to make it more powerful. Ganoderma Lucidum can be consumed as in liquid, capsule, or powder form. Compared with other varieties, the more active red forms of lingzhi are far too bitter to be consumed in a soup.

TYPES OF LINGZHI

Ganoderma Lucidum is found in two growth forms. One variety found in North America is rather large. This variety has only a small stalk or sometimes with no stalk. A second variety is found in the tropics. This variety is smaller. It has a long, narrow stalk. Compendium of Materia Medica classifies Ganoderma Lucidum or lingzhi into six categories. The classification is based on the shapes and colors of the Ganoderma Lucidum varieties. It is believed that each of these categories can nourish a different part of the body. (Black-kidneys/brain, Red-heart, Green-liver, White-lungs/skin, Purple-joints, Yellow-spleen).

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REFERENCES:

1. R. S. Hseu, H. H. Wang, H. F. Wang and J. M. Moncalvo (1 April 1996). "Differentiation and grouping of isolates of the Ganoderma lucidum complex by random amplified polymorphic DNA-PCR compared with grouping on the basis of internal transcribed spacer sequences" (Abstract). Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 62 (4): 1354–1363. PMID 8919797. http://aem.asm.org/cgi/content/abstract/62/4/1354 .

2. Lindequist U, Niedermeyer THJ, Jülich WD. (2005). "The pharmacological potential of mushrooms". Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2 (3): 285–299. doi:10.1093/ecam/neh107. http://ecam.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/2/3/285 .

3. Chinese Herbal Medicine: Materia Medica, Third Edition by Dan Bensky, Steven Clavey, Erich Stoger, and Andrew Gamble (2004)

4. Paterson RR (2006). "Ganoderma - a therapeutic fungal biofactory". Phytochemistry 67: 1985–2001. doi:10.1002/chin.200650268

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Interesting post.

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