Ganoderma lucidum is a scientific name of a species belonging to the Ganoderma genus. These mushrooms are known as lingzhi in China, reishi in Japan and yeongji in Korea.
Finding lingzhi in the wild is a great success. Spores of this fungus are very rough, tough and cling easily to tree bark. However, they can grow only given a certain temperature and only on some sloe shrubs. Thanks to Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese scientists, the lingzhi mushroom was cultivated on dedicated plantations, and now it is available not only to the emperors but also to ordinary people.
Lingzhi contains almost all vitamin groups, including beta-carotene, В, D, E, C. It also has 13 kinds of amino acids, proteins, unsaturated fatty acids, immunomodulatory polysaccharides, minerals (potassium, phosphorous, Fe, Ca, Mg, Zn, manganese, boron, cobalt), over 80 kinds of enzymes involved in all processes of fermentation and synthesis.
In traditional Chinese medicine, the lingzhi mushroom is known as the mushroom of immortality. It is one of the best remedies in terms of its action spectrum and the absence of side effects. Lingzhi mushrooms have unique anti-stress, regenerative, and anti-viral properties. Their ability to enhance the immune function, metabolism, and overall health is clinically proven. They are rich in minerals, amino acids and vitamins. They are a powerful antioxidant.
Currently, scientists of the leading medical institutions in Japan, the US, France, Canada study the valuable properties of Ganoderma comprehensively. In Japan, Lingzhi dry extract is included in the official list of anti-tumour drugs.
The Chinese have known about the medicinal properties of Ganoderma since ancient times. Oriental medicine has been accumulating information on this mushroom over four millennia. In ancient Chinese legends, lingzhi is considered a magical cure that saved people from death and gave them energy to live forever. This mushroom was referred to as “a plant that gives eternal youth" and "the divine herb.” It was so legendary in ancient China that its image was carved on expensive furniture, staffs, etc.
Lingzhi mushrooms have antimicrobial properties. They don't just suppress bacteria (such as staphylococcus or streptococcus) but kill them. They enhance all kinds of metabolism — mineral, carbohydrate, lipid — and help fight allergies. They are used to treat chronic bronchitis, bronchial asthma, atopic dermatitis and other allergic diseases. Fighting allergies with lingzhi is a lengthy process — it takes up to two years — but it is reliable, effective and does not cause any side effects.
Lingzhi preparations are prescribed in the recovery period after a heart attack or a stroke. Its effects were proven by clinical studies: in five hours after the intake, the subjects displayed lower levels of cholesterol, and in 14 days the researchers registered stable lower blood pressure. This mushroom is also prescribed for symptoms of heart blockage and other diseases, including angina, arrhythmia, shortness of breath, chronic fatigue.
Lingzhi is considered both a tonic and an adaptogenic agent. It enhances stamina, helps adapt to stress, improves overall health, and normalizes body functions. It activates production of cytokinins that control rapid immune response. Lingzhi mushrooms amplify weak immune responses and soothe overreaction of the immune system thus improving resistance to diseases and vitality. In addition, these fungi adjust the immune system of the intestinal mucosa and protect the body from viruses, bacteria, and toxins.
Studies show that Ganoderma mushrooms contain not only active anti-tumour polysaccharides but also terpenoids that increase resistance to stress and prevent accumulation of free radicals. Polysaccharides are known to activate macrophages and T-lymphocytes, stimulate interferon production, and improve overall immune response at the cellular level. They are not toxic for the human body and are safe from a medical point of view. The degree of recovery of the damaged immune system (including cases of AIDS) and the anti-tumour effect depend on the duration of therapy. It is believed that one course of ganoderma a year can prevent cancer.
Ganoderan A, B, С polysaccharides isolated from lingzhi mushrooms are able to reduce blood sugar levels, which is a very useful property for diabetics. Lingzhi can also be a great relief to patients with epilepsy. This rare property was observed as early as in the 17th century, when these mushrooms cured the heir of the Mikado (Japanese Emperor) of the “falling evil.”
Patients may require long courses of lingzhi but unlike synthetic drugs, ganoderma have no side effects (including delayed ones) and are safe in a wide dosage range.
Lingzhi helps rejuvenate skin. It regulates nucleic acid synthesis and raises a barrier to fight free radicals and reduce oxidative processes at the level of cellular metabolism — this considerably slows down the aging process. Lingzhi extract masks make the skin look beautiful and healthy within a short time. They make the skin elastic, smooth wrinkles, improve skin tone and fill it with vitality.
Tincture: Put 25 g of minced mushrooms in vodka (0.25 l). Leave in a warm dark place for two weeks. Take 1 tsp. 2-3 times a day before meals.
Brew: Put 1 tbsp. of minced mushrooms in 700 ml of water, simmer for 60 minutes. Strain. Take 200 ml three times a day 30 minutes before the meal.
Tea: Boil mushrooms for 5 minutes, leave for 30 minutes. Before drinking, you can warm the beverage up, strain, and drink as tea. Two grams of dry mushrooms (one slice) per person per day is enough.