Ganoderma lucidum (Curtis) P. Karst.

Last updated: 14 April 2016

Scientific Name

Ganoderma lucidum (Curtis) P. Karst.

Synonyms

Boletus lucidus Curtis, Fomes lucidus (Curtis) J. Kickx f., Polyporus lucidus (Curtis) Fr. [1]

Vernacular Name

English Reishi, reishi mushroom, lacquered bracket fungus [2]
China Ling zhi [3]
Korea Youngzi [3]
Japan Reishi, sachitake, mannentake [3].

Geographical Distributions

Ganoderma lucidum has been reported to occur in most parts of the world including North America (except western plains and central Rocky Mountains), on hardwoods and favors oaks in Europe, and other places. [3]

Botanical Description

No documentation.

Cultivation

G. lucidum starts to appear in early autumn on fir, spruce, beech, birch, alder, ash, oak, and in some regions pine and larch. [3]

Chemical Constituent

G. lucidum has been reported to contain polysaccharide/peptide complex (e.g. β-1,3-glucans), triterpenes (e.g. ganoderic acids), nucleosides (e.g. adenosine), fatty acids, sterols and ergosterols. [4]

Plant Part Used

No documentation.

Traditional Use

G. lucidum or reishi mushroom is called the "mushroom of immortality" in China and has been used as a tonic and strengthening medicine for thousands of years. Uses in traditional healing include increasing intellectual capacity and memory, promoting agility, and lengthening the life span. [5]

Preclinical Data

Pharmacology

G. lucidum is reported to have some of the most active polysaccharides in the plant kingdom. Polysaccharides are claimed to have immunomodulating activity, thus are beneficial as an antioxidant, antihypertensive, hypoglycemic, antiviral, and hepatoprotective agent. [6]

Antioxidant

G. lucidum extracts have been reported to significantly increase the life-span of fruit flies by significant amounts (16-17 %) in several studies, and also enhancing endurance and cellular oxygenation [6]. G. lucidum has been reported to inhibit superoxide activity and hydroxyl radical activityin vitro, supporting its role as an antioxidant [7]. The constituents with antioxidant activity have been reported to include the triterpenes [8].

Immunomudulating activity

Polysaccharides in G. lucidum are reported to product immune-modulating activity [9]. The major immunomodulating effects of G. lucidum include mitogenicity and activation of immune effector cells such as T cells, macrophages and natural killer cells resulting in the production of cytokines [10].

Anticancer activity

G. lucidum exerts cytotoxic effects on cancer cells by altering proteins involved in cell proliferation and/or cell death, carcinogenesis, oxidative stress, calcium signaling and ER stress. [11]

G. lucidum extracts have been reported to inhibit tumor growth in laboratory animals [12][13]. In one study, an isolated polysaccharide from Reishi (b-1, 3-glucan) was administered to laboratory mice and was reported to produce tumor inhibiting rates of greater than 90 %, with complete tumor regression of over 75 % of the mice [14].

A laboratory study found that G. lucidum extract is cytotoxic to both drug-sensitive and drug-resistant small-cell lung cancer cells. Pro-apoptotic, induced gene expression patterns were similar to the cancer cells treated with chemotherapeutic drugs, and may reverse resistance to chemotherapeutic drugs. [15]

G. lucidum  has been reported to have the strongest 5-α reductase inhibitory activity among tested mushroom extracts. 5-α reductase is involved in steroid production, including testosterone. Increased levels are a risk factor in prostate disorders, including benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostate cancer. [16][17]

Hypoglycaemic activity

G. lucidum extracts have also reported hypoglycemic activity both in laboratory animals and in human subjects. [18][19]

Cardiovascular activity

G. lucidum was evaluated for its cardiovascular activity in anesthetized rabbits and rats.  Both systolic and diastolic blood pressures were decreased in hypertensive individuals, with subsequent lowering of cholesterol levels in one of the studies. It has been concluded that the mechanism of hypotensive action of G. lucidum was due to its central inhibition of sympathetic nerve activity. [20][21]

Antimicrobial activity

Antibacteria

An extract of G. lucidum  was reported to be synergistic when combined with cefazolin in vitro against Bacillus subtilis and Klebsiella oxytoca. [22]

Antiviral

The triterpenoid constituents in G. lucidum have reported anti-HIV-1 and anti-HIV-1-protease activity in vitro. [23]

G. lucidum  have been reported to have antiherpetic properties and has been used in treating herpes. [24]

Toxicity

No documentation.

Clinical Data

Clinical findings

A study of 48 patients with advanced stage carcinomas (including renal, gastric and breast cancers) were administered an extract of Reishi mushroom (1:10w/v) before chemotherapy [25]. Researchers have indicated that Reishi mushroom significantly enhanced immune function in advanced-stage cancer patients [26]. Immunocompromised patients showed increased levels of CD4/CD8 ratio and T-cell counts and lowered levels of T-suppressor cell counts. Radio- and chemotherapy intolerance reportedly was reduced in the cancer patients on the Reishi extract and leukopenia from the treatments improved. The patients also showed improved vigor and appetite. Reishi also decreased the immunosuppression seen in whole body irradiated mice, showing a greater degree of recovery versus the control group [27].

The results of a double-blinded, placebo controlled study indicated a lowering of cholesterol and an increase in antioxidant activity. [28]

A clinical study on the inhibitory effect of G. lucidum (GL) on platelet aggregation has been carried out to 15 healthy volunteers and 33 patients with atherosclerotic diseases. The results showed that G. lucidum  may be an effective inhibitory agent of platelet aggregation. [29]

G. lucidum  have been reported in a clinical studies to have antiherpetic properties, and has been used in treating herpes and postherpetic neuralgia, decreased pain dramatically in 2 patients with postherpetic neuralgia recalcitrant to standard therapy and 2 other patients with severe pain due to herpes zoster infection. [30]

A small 2-month open label trial of 8 diabetic patients reported that an extract of G. lucidum produced hypoglycemic effects comparable to that of insulin and oral hypoglycemic agents. [31]

A randomized, controlled human trial found that Reishi extract improved outcome measures in men with lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS). [32]

G. lucidum  has been reported safe in recommended doses in a double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial for safety and tolerability assesment of G. lucidum in healthy subjects. [33]

Precautions

Based on pharmacology, use with caution in individuals with bleeding disorders. [34]

Side effects

Some individuals may show allergic respiratory reactions to G. lucidum. [35]

Rare side effects such as dryness of the mouth, throat and nasal areas, stomach upset, and loose stools may occur in some individuals. [36]

Pregnancy/Breast Feeding

No documentation.

Age limitation

No documentation.

Adverse reaction

No documentation.

Interaction & Depletion

Interaction with drug

Laboratory studies have reported that G. lucidum  extracts may increase the effects of chemotherapy drugs. [37]

Interaction with other Herbs

No documentation.

Contraindications

No documentation.

Case Report

A case report of fatal, fulminant hepatitis was associated with a Reishi supplement in China (Lingzhi). [37]

However, G. lucidum  is used for liver health and due to possible contaminants in Chinese supplements, including heavy metals; this case report needs to be verified with other studies before making recommendations on Reishi safety in hepatic disorders.

Dosage

No documentation.

Poisonous Management

No documentation.

Line drawing

No documentation.

References

  1. New Zealand Fungi and Bacteria (NZFUNGI). Ganoderma lucidum (Curtis) P. Karst. [homepage on the Internet]. New Zealand: Landcare Research; c2002-2016. [cited 2016 Apr 14]. Available from: http://nzfungi2.landcareresearch.co.nz/default.aspx?selected=NameDetails&NameId=A50FB528-B360-11D5-BEBB-00508BCA8DE8&StateId=&Sort=&TabNum=1
  2. Herbal Medicine Research Centre, Institute for Medical Research. Compendium of medicinal plants used in Malaysia. Volume 1. Kuala Lumpur: HMRC IMR, 2002; p. 363.
  3. Mckenna DJ, Jones K, Hughes K, Humphrey S. Botanical medicines: The desk reference for major herbal supplements. 2nd ed. New York: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, 2011; p. 825-826.
  4. Chen RY, Yu DQ. Progress of studies on the chemical constituents of Ganoderma triterpene. [Article in Chinese] Yao Hsueh Hsueh Pao. 1990;25(12):940-53.
  5. Jong SC, Birmingham JM. Medicinal benefits of the mushroom ganoderma. Adv Appl Microbiol. 1992;37:101-34.
  6. Sanodiya BS, Thakur GS, Baghel RK, Prasad GB, Bisen PS. Ganodermalucidum: A potent pharmacological macrofungus. Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2009;10(8):717-742.
  7. Lin JM, Lin CC, Chen MF, Ujiw T, Takada A. Radical scavenger and antihepatotoxic activity of Ganoderma formosanum, Ganoderma lucidum and Ganoderma neo-japonicum. J Ethnopharmacol. 1995;47(1):33-41.
  8. Zhu M, Chang Q, Wong LK, Chong FS, Li RC. Triterpene antioxidants from Ganoderma lucidum. Phytother Res. 1999;13(6):529-31.
  9. Boh B, Berovic M, Zhang J, Zhi-Bin L. Ganodermalucidum and its pharmaceutically active compounds. Biotechnol Annu Rev. 2007;13:265-301.
  10. Ahmadi K, Riazipour M. Ganodermalucidum induces the expression of CD40/CD86 on peripheral blood monocytes. Iran J Immunol. 2009;6(2):87-91.
  11. Yue QX, Song XY, Ma C, et al. Effects of triterpenes from Ganodermalucidum on protein expression profile of HeLa cells. Phytomedicine. 2010;17(8-9):606-613. 25 Jan 2010. [Epub ahead of print]
  12. Wang SY. The anti-tumor effect of Ganoderma lucidum is mediated by cytokines released from activated macrophages and T lymphocytes. Int J Cancer. 1997;70(6):699-705.
  13. Yun TK, Kim SH, Lee YS. Trial of a new medium-term model using benzo(a)pyrene induced lung tumor in newborn mice. Anticancer Res. 1995;15(3):839-45.
  14. Sone Y, Okuda R, Wada N, Kishida E, Misaki A. Structures and antitumor activities of the polysaccharides isolated from fruiting body and the growing culture of mycelium of Ganoderma lucidum. Agr Biol Chem. 1985;49:2641-53.
  15. Sadava D, Still DW, Mudry RR, Kane SE. Effect of Ganoderma on drug-sensitive and multidrug-resistant small-cell lung carcinoma cells. Cancer Lett. 2009;277(2):182-189. Epub 2009 Feb 1.
  16. Liu J, Shiono J, Shimizu K, Kukita A, Kukita T, Kondo R. Ganoderic acid DM: anti-androgenic osteoclastogenesis inhibitor. Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2009;19(8):2154-2157. Epub 2009 Mar 4.
  17. Lee SH, Shim SH, Kim JS, Kang SS. Constituents from the fruiting bodies of Ganodermaapplanatum and their aldose reductase inhibitory activity. Arch Pharm Res. 2006;29(6):479-483.
  18. Hikino H, Ishiyama M, Suzuki Y, Konno C. Mechanisms of hypoglycemic activity of ganoderan B: a glycan of Ganoderma lucidum fruit bodies. Planta Med. 1999;55(5):423-28.
  19. Seto SW, Lam TY, Tam HL, et al. Novel hypoglycemic effects of Ganodermalucidum water-extract in obese/diabetic (+db/+db) mice. Phytomedicine. 2009;16(5):426-436. Epub 2008 Dec 23.
  20. Lee SY, Rhee HM. Cardiovascular effects of mycelium extract of Ganoderma lucidum: inhibition of sympathetic outflow as a mechanism of its hypotensive action. Chem Pharm Bull.(Tokyo). 1990;38(5):1359-64.
  21. Kanmatsuse K, Kajiwara N, Hayashi K, et al. Studies on Ganoderma lucidum. I. Efficacy against hypertension and side effects. Yakugaku Zasshi. 1985;105(10):942-47.
  22. Yoon SY, Eo SK, Lee CK, Han SS. Antimicrobial of Ganoderma lucidum extract alone and in combination with some antibiotics. Arch Pharm Res. 1994;17(6):438-432.
  23. el-Mekkawy S, Meselhy MR, Nakamura N, et al. Anti-HIV-1 and Anti-HIV-1-protease substances from Ganoderma lucidum. Phytochemistry. 1998;49(6):1651-1657.
  24. Eo SK, Kim YS, Lee CK, Han SS. Antiherpetic activities of various protein bound polysaccharides isolated from Ganoderma lucidum. J Ethnopharmacol. 1999;68(1-3):175-81.
  25. Kupin V. A new biological response modifier “ Ganoderma lucidum“ and its application in oncology. In: The 4th International Symposium on Ganoderma lucidum. 1992:36-39.
  26. Gao Y, Zhou S, Jiang W, Huang M, Dai X. Effects of ganopoly (a Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharide extract) on the immune functions in advanced-stage cancer patients. Immunol Invest. 2003;32(3):201-15.
  27. Chen WC, Hau DM, Lee SS. Effects of Ganoderma lucidum and krestin on cellular immunocompetence in gamma-ray-irradiated mice. Am J Chin Med. 1995;23(1):71-80.
  28. Wachtel-Galor S, Tomlinson B, Benzie IF. Ganoderma lucidum ("Lingzhi"), a Chinese medicinal mushroom: biomarker responses in a controlled human supplementation study. Br J Nutr. 2004;91(2):263-9.Tao J, Feng KY. Experimental and clinical studies on inhibitory effect of Ganoderma lucidum on platelet aggregation. J Tongji Med Univ. 1990;10(4):240-43.
  29. Hijikata Y, Yamada S. Effect of Ganoderma lucidum on postherpetic neuralgia. Am J Chin Med. 1998;26(3-4):375-81.
  30. Teow SS. Effective dosage of ganoderma nutriceuticals in the treatment of various ailments. In: 1996 Taipei International Ganoderma Research Conference. Abstracts: Taipei International Convention Center. Taipei, Taiwan. Aug1996.
  31. Noguchi M, Kakuma T, Tomiyasu K, et al. Randomized clinical trial of an ethanol extract of Ganodermalucidum in men with lower urinary tract symptoms. Asian J Androl. 2008;10(5):777-785. Epub 2007 Dec 20.
  32. Wicks SM, Tong R, Wang CZ, et al. Safety and tolerability of Ganodermalucidum in healthy subjects: A double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial. Am J Chin Med. 2007;35(3):407-414.
  33. Su C, Shiao M, Wang C. Potentiation of ganodermic acid S on prostaglandin E(1)-induced cyclic AMP elevation in human platelets. Thromb Res. 2000;99(2):135-45.
  34. Horner WE, Helbling A, Lehrer SB. Basidiomycete allergens: comparison of three Ganoderma species. Allergy. Feb1993;48(2):110-16.
  35. McGuffin M ed, Hobbs C, Upton R, Goldberg A. Botanical safety handbook. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 1997; p. 55.
  36. Yue QX, Xie FB, Guan SH, et al. Interaction of Ganoderma triterpenes with doxorubicin and proteomic characterization of the possible molecular targets of Ganoderma triterpenes. Cancer Sci. 2008;99(7):1461-1470. Epub 2008 Apr 16.
  37. Wanmuang H, Leopairut J, Kositchaiwat C, Wananukul W, Bunyaratvej S. Fatal fulminant hepatitis associated with Ganodermalucidum (Lingzhi) mushroom powder. J Med Assoc Thai. 2007;90(1):179-181.