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Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum)

Synonyms/Common Names/Related Substances:

  • Acid protease, chi zhi, coumarin, Enhanvol®, ergosterol, fu zhen herb, fungal lysozyme, fungus, ganoderals, ganoderans, ganoderic acids, Ganoderma tsugae extract, Ganodermataceae (family), ganodermic acids, ganoderols, Ganopoly®, he ling zhi, holy mushroom, hong ling zhi, ling chi, ling chih, ling zhi (Chinese), ling zhi-8, linzhi extract, mannentake, mannitol, mushroom, mushroom of immortality, mushroom of spiritual potency, polysaccharides peptide, rei-shi, shiitake, spirit plant, sterols, Sunrecome®, triterpene, triterpenoids, varnished polypore, young ji, zi zhi.
  • Combination product examples: PC-SPES (Baikal skullcap, chrysanthemum, Ganoderma, Isatis, licorice, Panax ginseng, Isodon rubescens, and saw palmetto); Echinacea/Astragalus/Reishi formula.

Clinical Bottom Line/Effectiveness

Brief Background:

  • Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum), also known as ling zhi in China, grows wild on decaying logs and tree stumps. Reishi occurs in six different colors; however, according to secondary sources, the red variety is most commonly used and commercially cultivated in East Asia and North America.
  • According to secondary sources, Ganoderma lucidum has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for more than 4,000 years to treat liver disorders, hypertension, arthritis, and other ailments.
  • Reishi is currently regulated in the United States as a dietary supplement. According to secondary sources, it is also included in the 2000 Pharmacopoeia of the People's Republic of China as an agent approved for treatment of dizziness, insomnia, palpitations, shortness of breath, cough, and asthma.
  • High-quality clinical trials supporting the efficacy of reishi mushroom for any indication are lacking in the available literature.

Dosing/Toxicology

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Precautions/Contraindications

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Interactions

Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

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Mechanism of Action

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History

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Evidence Table

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Evidence Discussion

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Products Studied

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.