Ganoderma, the most widely used medicinal mushroom, is easy to cultivate. It has tonic and sedative effects and is said to prolong life. The Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing discussed medical uses of this mushroom. Different colours of ganoderma have different effects: red stimulates heart-, internal organ- and brain- function; black stimulates water metabolism and kidney function; blue helps liver- and eye- function and is sedative; white helps lung- and spleen- function and relieves cough; yellow helps stomach- and chest- problems and problems due to stress, overwork or abuse of food or drink. Some varieties can act as antiallergic, antithrombotic and antihyperlipemic agents.
1. Regulation and enhancement of body's immune function
Lucid Ganoderma could obviously regulate body’s immune ability and normalize its functions. Since Lucid Ganoderma could enhance the immune ability of a cell, improve the body's self-ability to fight against all kinds of diseases and cancers, suppress the drifting of histamine and regulate the antigen-antibody reactions, thus, Lucid Ganoderma has conspicuous effects on allergic symptoms.
When the body is invaded by certain antigen, which leads to abnormal immune functions and produces all kinds of allergy, Lucid Ganoderma could suppress the hyper/abnormal immune level and maintain body’s stability.
The main reason why a healthy young person seldom contracts a disease is that his/her body has good immune ability, which could in time eliminate those factors that cause diseases. Pharmacological researches reviews that Lucid Ganoderma is a very good “immune intensifier”. It could obviously increase the ability of all immune cells in swallowing and killing of disease germs and tumor cells. Experiment on small rats demonstrates the following effects of Lucid Ganoderma:
- an increase of 63-69% in the reproducibility in lymphatic cells
- an increase of 300% in the swallowing rate of macrophage
- an increase of 30% in the activation of natural killing cells
- an increase of 149% in the secretion quantity of necrosis factor of tumors
- a conspicuous improvement in the ability in killing of disease germs and tumor cells
At the same time, Red Lucid Ganoderma could furthermore enhance immune regulation activities and assist the growth of monocyte and T-cells (a type of white blood cell) of human beings. It also prevents excessive immune activities.
2. Resistance against allergy
When the body is invaded by an antigen that elicits immunological reactions, leading to various abnormality and immuno-pathological damages, Lucid Ganoderma can be used to suppress the reactions and resume order. Experiment shows that Lucid Ganoderma stops the release of hyper-reactive factors and prevents the occurrence of allergic reactions. Therefore, Lucid Ganoderma is relatively more effective in treating illnesses caused by abnormal hyper-reactivity or auto-immunity, e.g., allergic asthma, systemic lupus erythematosus, nephritis, allergic rhinitis as well as various stubborn skin diseases, etc. Lucid Ganoderma also helps certain patients from toxification as a result of long term usage of hormones. (Please refer to the text above.)
Lucid Ganoderma could suppress the release of histamine by mast cells and prevent the occurrence of allergic reactions. Lucid Ganoderma would be especially effective when it is used together with steroid. Steroid is now most commonly used by the medical sector to treat allergic diseases. Although it is very effective, it produces a lot of side effects such as full moon face, pimples, emaciation of muscles, osteoporosis and shrinking of adrenal gland. Steroid would also aggravate the conditions of high blood pressure, diabetes and peptic ulcer as well as decreasing the resistance against diseases.
When Lucid Ganoderma is used together in the treatment of allergic diseases with steroid, it could reduce the dosage and display the effects of highly concentrated steroid. It could also reduce the occurrences of side effects caused by steroid just like other western medicine.
3. Resistance against tumors
Lucid Ganoderma has the ability to suppress the growth and reproduction of cancer cells. It also assists to release the hormones for the elimination of tumor cells. On the other hand, Lucid Ganoderma protects the normal cells inside the body. It reduces the occurrences of side effects so that the body would not be damaged by western medicines, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
The important reason for the development and spread of tumor is the disorder or poor performance of the self-immune functions. The immune system performs the vital functions in (1) the body's resistance against external pathogenic micro-organisms (like germs, virus, small fungus and mycoplasma, etc.); (2) the elimination of cells causing self-pathological change inside the body and/or death cells; and (3) the killing of tumor cells. Various pathogenic micro-organisms exist in the world of nature while the human body would also encounter mutation, which forms unusual cells (i.e., tumor cells). If such pathogenic micro-organisms and mutant cells are not eliminated in time, the body would contract diseases or give rise to tumors.
Lucid Ganoderma is the best medication in adjusting and activating the immune system. It prominently enhances the immune function of the body and increases the self-defense capability of a patient against cancer. Lucid Ganoderma enhances the function of monocytic macrophage via activating synthesis of interleukin H. It also enhances blood synthesis capacity, particularly white blood cells level. Combining with the inhibitory effect on cancer cells provided by certain ingredients in Lucid Ganoderma, it acts the best medicine for resistance against tumor, prevention of cancer and supplement to cancer treatment. There is hardly any toxic side effect of Lucid Ganoderma to human body. This unique feature of enhancing immunity without toxification is definitely an advantage of Lucid Ganoderma over any other chemotherapetic medication or immune system intensifier.
Red Lucid Ganoderma could furthermore suppress sarcoma and resists tumors. It prolongs the life span of patients having repeated or final stage stomach cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer and gynecological tumor/cancer. Red Lucid Ganoderma could also reduce the side effects (such as weariness, lack of appetite, trichomadesis, suppress the chance of infection) on patients receiving chemotherapy or electrotherapy. Red Lucid Ganoderma could furthermore act as health care product for patients having tumor or cancer in order to increase the chance of survival, reduce the shift of tumor as well as preventing infection or repeated-infection of cancer.
It is effective in preventing cancer (Lotzova 1985) because it stimulates the immune functions like activating natural killer cell and cytotoxic lymphocyte, which are effective in improving the immune system. It is proven that the intake of Lucid Ganoderma could facilitate the activities of the two. In fighting against tumor, the Lucid Ganoderma polysaccharide of Red Lucid Ganoderma has the effect of eliminating free radicals and resisting against oxides and hydroxyl.
4. Liver protection and detoxification
Lucid Ganoderma is able to protect the liver from damages caused by various physiological and biological factors. The effect of Lucid Ganoderma in protecting the liver could be observed no matter it is taken before or after the damage of the liver. Lucid Ganoderma speeds up the metabolism of both medicine and toxic substances in the liver, leading to curing of toxicated hepatitis. Lucid Ganoderma is particularly suitable for treating chronic hepatitis by effectively removing related symptoms like dizziness, feebleness and nausea, etc. as well as improving the functions of liver back to normal. Thus, Lucid Ganoderma can be used to treat chronic toxification and various kinds of chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis and other liver function barriers.
The effect of Red Lucid Ganoderma on the treatment of hepatitis could be observed very quickly without any toxic side effect. In general, various kinds of symptoms would disappear or obviously be improved after taking Lucid Ganoderma for about 10 days and resume to normal in about a month. For those having hepatosplenomegaly, it takes about 25 days to relieve the swelling. For those having an average of 18 in icteric index, it takes 7 days to resume to normal. As compared with the traditional western health supplementary medication, the therapeutic effect of Lucid Ganoderma is more outstanding as it attains therapeutic effect through the enhancement of body’s self immune ability. After taking Lucid Ganoderma, the immune ability of a body is improved and thus leading to the killing of hepatitis virus. Also, there are more Lucid Ganoderma polysaccharide and amino acids in Red Lucid Ganoderma, which are effective in repairing damaged liver cells in order to resume normality for different liver functions gradually.
The Lucid Ganoderma polysaccharide essence of Red Lucid Ganoderma has the effect in protecting the liver. Test on liver cells of rats reflects that the Lucid Ganoderma polysaccharide essence of Red Lucid Ganoderma has the effect of resisting against toxification of carbon tetrachloride. In another experiment, the injection of Red Lucid Ganoderma polysaccharide has conspicuous effect in reducing inflammation, tissue necrosis and liver fibrosis for rats with cirrhosis.
Liver is the place for the body to store, transform and redistribute nutrition. It is also the organ to detoxificate. The body would be damaged by toxic materials (like toxic food or gas) and the self-induced toxic metabolism at any time. Due to the existence of the liver, the toxic materials inside the body are to be decomposed and/or eliminated. However, if the quantity of toxic materials exceeds the decomposition function of liver or if the liver function deteriorates, the toxic materials would not be able to be eliminated at time and the health would then be damaged. Thus, Lucid Ganoderma is very effective in preventing all kinds of acute or chronic hepatitis. In particular, it displays conspicuous effect in treating acute hepatitis.
5. Effect on the cardiovascular system
Excessively high cholesterol is the root cause of all cardiovascular diseases. Western medical practitioners usually prescribe patients with medication that lowers cholesterol. However, the normal functioning of a body would be affected since the necessary cholesterol of other organs is also eliminated after taking such medicines.
After taking Lucid Ganoderma, the LDL (bad cholesterol) reading would decrease while the HDL (good cholesterol) would increase for cholesterol patients. It has been confirmed by medical researches that Lucid Ganoderma triterpenoid (also known as Lucid Ganoderma acids) could effectively reduce the contents of bad cholesterol, triglycerides and blood fat so as to prevent the clotting of blood. Triterpenoid furthermore performs the function of suppressing the clotting of platelets.
Clinical studies and experiments on animals both confirm that Lucid Ganoderma can effectively dilate coronary arteries, increase coronary vessel blood flow and improve circulation in cardiac muscle capillaries, leading to the increase in the supply of oxygen and energy to cardiac muscle. Thus, Lucid Ganoderma helps protecting the heart from shortage of blood supply and is therefore ideal for both curing and preventing heart diseases such as coronary heart disease and angina pectoris. Lucid Ganoderma can significantly reduce the level of blood cholesterol, liporotein and triglycerides for patients suffering from hyperlipidaemia. It prevents the formation of arterial atheromatous patches. If patches have already been formed, Lucid Ganoderma will reduce the cholesterol in the arterial wall and soften the blood vessel to avoid further damage. It will also locally improve blood circulation and prevent the aggregation of blood platelets. All these functions contribute to the prevention of various kinds of stroke.
6. Treatment of high blood pressure
High blood pressure faces same problems like cardiovascular diseases. The cause is mainly due to the fact that blood vessel becomes thin because of cholesterol sediments. The blood then becomes dense and thick. The heart has to exert greater pressure in order to push the blood to circulate to all the other organs inside the body, thus leading to the symptom of continual increase in the arterial blood pressure. High blood pressure is a chronic disease, which demands a patient to take hypotensive drug for a very long term. However, such hypotensive drug would bring damages to kidney. The more serious ones have to undergo kidney dialysis. Besides, human kidney would secret an enzyme which would bring to the retrenchment of blood vessel leading to the increase in blood pressure. Scientists have proven that the ingredients of Lucid Ganoderma tritepennoids / Lucid Ganoderma acids could cure and prevent high blood pressure because they could suppress the effect of the enzyme so as to avoid the retrenchment of blood vessel and the increase in blood pressure.
Lucid Ganoderma can effectively reduce the blood pressure of an anesthetized rabbit ----- systolic and diastolic pressures are lowered by 15% and 25% respectively. Related neural activity can also be inhibited ----- inhibition is up to 20% and 40% respectively. According to a hospital report, the success rate was up to 88.9% among 18 high blood pressure cases by using Lucid Ganoderma extract as medication. It is stated that the effect of reducing blood pressure by Lucid Ganoderma is mainly a result of inhibition to the sympathetic nervous system. According to another report, treating 30 cases by using Lucid Ganoderma products against high blood pressure, the success rate was 88.3%. At the same time, Lucid Ganoderma can also extend and stabilize the effect of reducing blood pressure of other prescriptions.
7. Treatment of diabetes
The constituents in Lucid Ganoderma that reduce blood glucose are Ganoderma B. The rationale is by enhancing the utilization of blood sugar by body tissues. Lucid Ganoderma serves as a substitute to insulin in inhibiting the release of fatty acids. It thus improves symptoms in high blood sugar and high urine glucose patients. Blood sugar is reduced from 173 to 116, cholesterol from 233 to 179 and B-protein from 580 to 465. The water-soluble polysaccharides in Lucid Ganoderma suppress insulin-independent diabetes and facilitate the blood circulation of pancreas.
Red Lucid Ganoderma could effectively reduce blood sugar and facilitate the consumption of glucose. The effect of western medication would be better when used together with Red Lucid Ganoderma as it could reduce the side effect and the dosage of western medication. The principle is that the dosage of western medication be reduced while Red Lucid Ganoderma be increased gradually. For mild diabetes, Red Lucid Ganoderma could even totally replace western medication.
Indeed, diabetes itself is not so terrible. However, it could lead to other complications like lesions and mutation in eyes, brain, kidney and skin, etc. Red Lucid Ganoderma could enhance the immune ability of a body and regulate the whole body. It assists to prevent and reduce the chance of complications and is a very ideal and natural supplement for therapy of diabetes.
8. Effect on chronic bronchitis and asthma
When a patient gets a cold, there would be lots of sputum and coughing. It is due to bacteria infection of the respiratory system. When the symptom persists for a long period of time, it would become chronic bronchitis. If the patient does not stop coughing and pants a lot, it would probably lead to diseases such as pneumonia and emphysema.
Lucid Ganoderma effectively stops coughing, helps clearing sputum and suppresses panting. It also relieves symptoms of related illness. Since Lucid Ganoderma enhances the immune system, it helps preventing patients from getting repeated flu/cold and reduces the chance of relapse. Using Lucid Ganoderma to treat patients categorized as weak with lots of sputum by Chinese medical practitioners is particularly more effective than those patients who are categorized as ‘hot and dry’ in the lung.
9. Effect on neurasthenia
In Chinese medication, Lucid Ganoderma is being used to treat neurasthenia and insomnia since it works on the central nervous system. Extracts from Lucid Ganoderma inhibit and reduce the level of body activity. This inhibitory effect is suitable for helping to resume the order of activity level. The fact that Lucid Ganoderma delays death as a result of over-dosage of a central stimulant such as caffeine demonstrates that Lucid Ganoderma works on the central nervous system by applying the inhibitory effect.
In ancient Chinese medical publications, Lucid Ganoderma was recorded as having the effect in "stabilizing emotion", "increasing wisdom" and "enhancing memory". It is reported that there are prominent therapeutic effects on insomnia caused by neurasthenia after taking Lucid Ganoderma, the success rate is 87.14% to 100%. In general, effect becomes obvious after a period of having 10 to 15 days’ consumption of Lucid Ganoderma. Users will have improvement in sleep while the appetite will become better and body weight be increased. Related headaches and dizziness will be reduced or disappeared and the psychological state of mind and memory will be enhanced too. The effects are particularly good for those who are weak in blood and ‘qi’. Lucid Ganoderma has a relatively strong effect in adjusting the central nervous system that makes Lucid Ganoderma an effective substance for the treatment of neurasthenia and insomnia. Lucid Ganoderma becomes more and more indispensable to sufferers of neurasthenia and insomnia. Now, Lucid Ganoderma is clearly described and reported in the State Pharmacopoeia of China as the effective medication for neurasthenia and insomnia.
10. Effect on menopause of women
The ovary of a woman would ovulate about 400 eggs in a life time. The ovary would begin to shrink when reaching menopause. The secretion of estrogen would also be reduced at that stage. Thus, the trouble and inconvenience of menstruation is gone, but, a woman then faces another stage of discomfort and sicknesses.
The menopausal syndrome:
Physiological symptoms : accumulation of fat、loss of water and calcium, poor regulation control, endocrine disorder, mastoptosis, dry/non-elastic/non-glossy skin, lots of wrinkles, osteoporosis, hot and red face, sweating, shivering, dry vagina, dropping of sexual desire, shallow sleep, insomnia, mastodynia, back and lumbar pain, abdominal pain, poor appetite, nausea, diarrhea or constipation, weariness without energy, poor attention span, poor memory as well as increase in cholesterol and triglycerides, etc.
Psychological symptoms: with the discomfort in the body and the fear of getting old, various symptoms are shown, like unsteady emotion, anxiety, restlessness, easy to cry and laugh, easy to lose temper and loss of confidence, etc.
Lucid Ganoderma is effective in regulating menopause. It is recorded in the summary of Lucid Ganoderma that it has (1) physiological functions in the betterment for vitality, strengthening bones and tendons as well as facilitating a good looking face; and (2) psychological functions in maintaining a good spirit, increasing wisdom and enhancing memory. Such functions are good for menopausal symptoms like dropping of sexual desire, osteoporosis, wrinkles, unstable emotion and poor memory, etc.
(a) The function of Lucid Ganoderma ergosterol : Ergosterol is a vegetative sterol. It is the raw material of the body's sterol hormone. It could stimulate the gonad and increase the production of estrogen of a woman.
(b) Lucid Ganoderma ergosterol contains Vitamin D2, which changes to active vitamin D3 (1,25(OH)2-D3) in liver and kidney, which is essential to absorb calcium. This is exactly the reason for Lucid Ganoderma to improve osteoporosis. Besides, active vitamin D3 could induce the normalization of cancer cells and prevent the occurrence of cancer.
(c) The first main function of Lucid Ganoderma is to resist against oxidation. It could prevent rusting due to oxidation of blood and cells. It leads to clear and smooth blood circulation and lively cells activation, which keeps a healthy condition for the whole body's organ and skin. This assists to prevent the occurrence of all kinds of diseases and cancers as well as keeping smooth and fine skin with less spots.
(d) The second main function of Lucid Ganoderma is to regulate the immune function. It could prevent mutation of cells to become cancers and all kinds of infections like vaginitis, etc. which are caused by the decrease in immune ability.
(e) The third main function of Lucid Ganoderma is to stabilize emotion and keep calm. It is good for insomnia, poor memory, unstable emotions, weariness without energy, sweating and shivering, etc. It could also prevent the occurrence of dementia.
In the above five mutual functions, Lucid Ganoderma could definitely assist menopausal woman to secret more estrogen, delay the aging process, improve the menopausal symptoms. It could at the same time prevent cancer, enhance ossein, protect skin nature, decrease cholesterol, stabilize emotion and stay calm, improve quality of sleep and wisdom, etc. Hence, Lucid Ganoderma performs a very effective therapeutic function for woman's menopause.
11. Prevention of aging and beauty care function
Lucid Ganoderma has been named the "Medicine for Eternal Life". This is mainly because of its effect on skin protection and the delay in the aging process of human body. Lucid Ganoderma retains and adjusts the water component within the skin and thus helps keeping the skin to be elastic, hydrated and smooth. It also inhibits the formation and deposition of melanoid pigment in skin. Thus, beauty care products made by Lucid Ganoderma are becoming new "stars"in the industry . Coupling with Lucid Ganoderma beauty care products, the oral intake of Lucid Ganoderma food products will further lead to synergistic effects. The skin will not only be kept smooth and lustrous, it will also be free from bacterial infection.
The polysaccharide inside Lucid Ganoderma conspicuously delays aging by the following mechanisms:
a) Lucid Ganoderma enhances and regulates the immune function within a body. Such enhancement and regulation can effectively delay aging for adult and aged people while for youngsters during their developmental stages, the immune system will be optimized to ensure healthy growth.
b) Lucid Ganoderma is useful in regulating metabolism and enhancing the synthesis of nucleic acid and proteins. Research works have shown that Lucid Ganoderma enhances synthesis of nucleic acid and proteins in serum, liver and bone marrow, and hence effectively prevents aging. It is observed that using Lucid Ganoderma to prevent aging benefits not only the aged, but also people at younger age since growth and development is ultimately a process of getting old.
c) Lucid Ganoderma also resists against free radicals. A cause of aging is the reduction of self-originated anti-oxidizing agent or anti-oxidaze-like materials (such as SOD) in the body. These anti-oxidizing agents are essential for encountering damages to the body by free radicals. Lucid Ganoderma polysaccharide possess properties that are very similar to SOD which can remove the free radicals and prevent related body damage by stopping hyper-oxidation of lipid. Such an action protects and delays the aging of the cells.
d) Lucid Ganoderma polysaccharide prominently enhances DNA synthesis in cell nucleus and increase the number of the split of cells, which in turn result in the delay of aging.
Apart from all the above, there are other outstanding functions of Lucid Ganoderma. As an example, it can stimulate blood synthesis in bone marrow and increase WBC level, which makes it fit for treating low WBC symptom of various causes (such as radiation and blood diseases). Through the enhancement of the body immune system, Lucid Ganoderma enables the resistance against difficult viral infections like AIDS attack. Lucid Ganoderma also enhances the tolerance of the body to adverse environment like the lack of oxygen at plateau. Moreover, it suppresses the over contraction of the smooth muscle in uterus and cures functional uterine bleeding. Lucid Ganoderma is also effective to pigment denaturation in rectina, under-development of the brain, progressive myodystrophy as well as abnormal muscular development. Furthermore, researches indicate that Lucid Ganoderma is an effective pain reliever for headache, lumbar pain, neural pain and cancer pain, etc.
Red Lucid Ganoderma could prevent the deterioration of memory for the aged and has anti-inflammatory function. It is good for the therapy of early dementia and chronic inflammation.