Education + Advocacy = Change

Click a topic below for an index of articles:

New-Material

Home

Alternative-Treatments

Financial or Socio-Economic Issues

Forum

Health Insurance

Hepatitis

HIV/AIDS

Institutional Issues

International Reports

Legal Concerns

Math Models or Methods to Predict Trends

Medical Issues

Our Sponsors

Occupational Concerns

Our Board

Religion and infectious diseases

State Governments

Stigma or Discrimination Issues

 

If you would like to submit an article to this website, email us at info@heart-intl.net for a review of this paper
info@heart-intl.net

any words all words
Results per page:

“The only thing necessary for these diseases to the triumph is for good people and governments to do nothing.”


  

Reishi - Ganoderma Lucidum

http://www.diet-and-health.net/

Other Common Names: Ling chih, Ling zhi, Mannentake, Ganoderma Lucidum

Western culture has often frowned on mushrooms, even fearing the small innocuous forest growth. The French prize their truffles, but even truffles and other edible fungi and mushrooms are not as highly valued or show as much potential as a species of mushrooms called Ling Zhi or Reishi.

Reishi mushrooms are polypore mushrooms. Mushrooms are the fruiting body and reproductive structure of a higher order fungus organism, much like an apple is the fruit of an apple tree. The actual mushroom "tree" is a fine thread-like network called mycelium. This mycelium is for the most part subterranean, living in soil, logs and other organic litter.

Unlike green plants, which produce many of their own nutrients by photosynthesis, mushrooms primarily get their nutrients from dead organic matter or soil. Mushrooms and their mycelium are nature's original recyclers. Without them, the planet surface would be piled high with dead, decaying material.

Mushrooms rise out of the mycelium when the right nutrients are amassed and the right environmental conditions are present. Mushrooms release spores at maturity. The wind spreads them and when they land on the right spot, the cycle starts over again.

Known as reishi or mannentake to the Japanese and Ling Zhi to the Chinese, G. lucidum is renown for its medicinal properties. Reishi often is associated with health and recuperation, longevity, wisdom, and happiness. It is believed that certain triterpenes and polysaccharides may account for the multiple activities of Reshi. Thus, considerable time and effort has gone into the isolation and characterization of these compounds.

Reishi is a basidiomycete, lamellaless fungus belonging to the family of polyporaceae. In nature, it grows in densely wooded mountains of high humidity and dim lighting. It is rarely found since it flourishes mainly on the dried trunks of dead plum, guercus serrata or pasonia trees. Out of 10,000 such aged trees, perhaps 2 or 3 will have reishi growth, therefore it is very scarce indeed.

Relatively rare and undiscovered in the West, Reishi and other mushrooms have been revered as herbal medicines for thousands of years in Japan and China. Emperors of the great Chinese dynasties and Japanese royalty drank teas and concoctions of the mushroom for vitality and long life. The ancient Taoists were constantly searching for the elixir of eternal youth, and Reishi was believed to be among the ingredients.

    

In ancient time, reishi in medicine was considered so auspicious that its medical efficacy has been attested to in the oldest Chinese medical text (presumed to be over 2,000 years old). The book, which is known in Japan as "Shinnoh Honsohkyo", is now accepted as being the original textbook of Oriental medical science. In it, 365 kinds of medicines are classified and explained. The medicines are basically classified into 3 categories: 120 of them are declared to be "superior" medicines, another 120 are classified as "average" medicines, and the remaining 125 are placed in the "fair" category. The "superior" medicines are called "God's Herbs" and they are for perpetual youth and longevity - the medicines of the legendary wizards. The "average" category medicines are those which can be taken as a tonic, and those in the "fair" category are taken to remedy specific ailments. One must be careful about the volume taken of the "average" and "fair" category medicines, and should never take them continuously. However, the book states that for "superior" medicines, any amount can be taken as desired on a continuous basis with no unfavorable effects. Of the superior medicines listed in the text, reishi was rated number one.

Although Ganoderma and its derivatives are not pharmaceuticals and have not undergone rigorous clinical trials to be tested against cancer, there is abundant in vitro, animal and indirect clinical evidence to support its supplemental use in cancer. Standardization in bioactive polysaccharide content and dosages will be necessary to assure its rational use, and clinical trials in select cancers with defined endpoints will confirm its efficacy.

Former heart surgeon Dr. Fukumi Morishige, a leading authority on vitamin C in Japan, reports that when Reishi and vitamin C are combined the results against cancer and other diseases are far better than when Reishi is ingested. This is because the vitamin makes the polysaccharides more accessible to the immune system.

Reishi has long been known to extend life span, increase youthful vigor and vitality. It also promotes good blood circulation by eliminating thrombi in the blood streams. As a result, the person feels renewed vitality. Deterioration of mind and body is arrested. Reishi is indeed a herb with multiple applications.

Chemopreventive effects of plant polysaccharides [Aloe barbadensis Miller (APS), Lentinus edodes (LPS), Ganoderma lucidum (GPS) and Coriolus versicolor (CPS)] were compared using in vitro short-term screening methods associated with both initiation and promotion processes in carcinogenesis. In induction of glutathione S-transferase activity, GPS was found to be the most effective among plant polysaccharides. These results suggest that some plant polysaccharides produced both anti-genotoxic and anti-tumor promoting activities in in vitro models and, therefore, might be considered as potential agents for cancer chemoprevention.

Conclusively, clinical observations have indisputable proof of reishi's efficacy against cholesterosis, arteriosclerosis, hypertension, fatty liver, hemorrhoid, tooth-infections, obesity and various problems that arise from high serum cholesterol level compounded by a lack of blood circulation. Reishi is also recognized to have some effect in cases of stroke, cerebravascular accident, coronary insufficiency, myocardial infarction, phlebitis etc. - problems that arise directly from arterial blockage. Furthermore, it is found to be effective in treatment of typical dermatitis, bronchitis asthma, allergy rhinitis, chronic hepatitis etc. - problems related to allergic reactions. Reishi inhibits thrombi to facilitate medication absorption; it also has an additive effect that strengthens the prostate gland situated between the bladder and the urinary tract. It has the same effect on the early stage of diabetes mellitus. Bladder infection is accompanied by the usual thrombi formation. Treatments with reishi arrest the latter thus eliminating complications within a short period. Other clinical tests showed that administering reishi instead of insulin can reverse blood sugar level back to normal after one year.

The fruit bodies of Ganoderma lucidum have been used for the prevention and treatment of various diseases in the Orient. Its antitumor and immune enhancing properties, along with no cytotoxicity, raise the possibility that it could be effective in preventing oxidative damage and resulting disease. Using agarose gel electrophoresis, the potential of Ganoderma lucidum extract as a radioprotector and antioxidant defense against oxygen radical-mediated damage was evaluated. The results clearly demonstrate that the hot-water extract of Ganoderma lucidum shows good radioprotective ability, as well as protection against DNA damage induced by metal-catalyzed Fenton reactions and UV irradiation. The data suggest that Ganoderma mushroom merits investigation as a potential preventive agent in humans.

Administration of hot water soluble extracts of Ganoderma lucidum (36 to 72 g dry weight/day) decreased pain dramatically in two patients with postherpetic neuralgia recalcitrant to standard therapy and two other patients with severe pain due to herpes zoster infection.

This review highlights some of the recently isolated and identified substances of higher Basidiomycetes mushrooms origin that express promising antitumor, immune modulating, cardiovascular and hypercholesterolemia, antiviral, antibacterial, and antiparasitic effects.

    

Medicinal mushrooms have a long history of use in folk medicine. In particular, mushrooms useful against cancers of the stomach, esophagus, lungs, etc. are known in China, Russia, Japan, Korea, as well as the U.S.A. and Canada. There are about 200 species of mushrooms that have been found to markedly inhibit the growth of different kinds of tumors. Searching for new antitumor and other medicinal substances from mushrooms and to study the medicinal value of these mushrooms have become a matter of great significance. However, most of the mushroom origin antitumor substances have not been clearly defined. Several antitumor polysaccharides such as hetero-beta-glucans and their protein complexes (e.g., xyloglucans and acidic beta-glucan-containing uronic acid), as well as dietary fibers, lectins, and terpenoids have been isolated from medicinal mushrooms. In Japan, Russia, China, and the U.S.A. several different polysaccharide antitumor agents have been developed from the fruiting body, mycelia, and culture medium of various medicinal mushrooms (Lentinus edodes, Ganoderma lucidum, Schizophyllum commune, Trametes versicolor, Inonotus obliquus, and Flammulina velutipes). Both cellular components and secondary metabolites of a large number of mushrooms have been shown to effect the immune system of the host and therefore could be used to treat a variety of disease states.

As recorded in the oldest Chinese medical text, reishi is the "king of herbs", the superior herb for perpetual youth and longevity. Continuous intake will achieve the best results.


- Linda McGlasson, Assistant Editor. Health Foods Business/January 1992 Consumer Education Series. Reishi: Ancient Medicine Is Modern Hope
- Kim HS, Kacew S, Lee BM. Carcinogenesis 1999 Aug;20(8):1637-40. In vitro chemopreventive effects of plant polysaccharides (Aloe barbadensis miller, Lentinus edodes, Ganoderma lucidum and Coriolus versicolor).
- Kim KC, Kim IG. Int J Mol Med 1999 Sep;4(3):273-7. Ganoderma lucidum extract protects DNA from strand breakage caused by hydroxyl radical and UV irradiation.
- Hijikata Y, Yamada S. Am J Chin Med 1998;26(3-4):375-81 Effect of Ganoderma lucidum on postherpetic neuralgia.
- Wasser SP, Weis AL. Crit Rev Immunol 1999;19(1):65-96. Therapeutic effects of substances occurring in higher Basidiomycetes mushrooms: a modern perspective. International Centre for Cryptogamic Plants and Fungi, Institute of Evolution, University of Haifa, Israel.

 

 

 

Email: