Ganoderma has a long history of being used in China, Japan, and other Asian countries to promote health and longevity, with a recognized medicinal use spanning over 2000 years. In “Compendium of Materia Medica,” Li Shizhen acknowledged the therapeutic effects of Ganoderma, such as tonifying the middle, reinforcing vital energy, enhancing heart function, improving memory, and providing anti-aging benefits.
What is Ganoderma?
Ganoderma belongs to the Ganodermataceae family and is a type of polypore fungus. Ganoderma is primarily used in traditional Chinese medicine and has a long history of being used in China, Japan, and other Asian countries to promote health and longevity. It has been recognized for its medicinal properties for over 2000 years. In the “Compendium of Materia Medica,” Li Shizhen documented that Ganoderma has therapeutic effects, such as tonifying the middle energizer, enhancing life energy, improving heart function, increasing memory, and possessing anti-aging properties.
What is the nutritional composition of Ganoderma ?
Ganoderma are recognized for their two most effective components: polysaccharides and triterpenes. Polysaccharides are extracted from the fruiting body, spores, and mycelium of Ganoderma . They help fill the body with vitality, aid in toxin reduction, inhibit and eliminate pathogenic invaders such as viruses, bacteria, and fungi (such as Candida). Polysaccharides also exhibit anti-tumor and immune-stimulating effects.
Triterpenes, on the other hand, have been proven to have a wide range of beneficial effects on the body, including antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, antihypertensive, antibacterial, antiviral, anti-asthmatic, anti-tumor, anti-HIV, cholesterol-balancing, and hepatoprotective effects .
What are the recommended proven benefits and advantages of Ganoderma?
Ganoderma Benefit 1: Boosting Immunity
Consuming Ganoderma can enhance the immune system by facilitating faster antibody responses against invading bacteria or viruses, reducing harm to the body.
💡 Research from 2009 confirmed that using Ganoderma can enhance a patient’s immune response to infections . Ganoderma strengthens white blood cells, enabling the body to react more rapidly when detecting bacterial and viral invasions, preventing further harm from these pathogens before they can cause damage to our bodies .
Ganoderma Benefit 2: Normalizing Hypertension
The ganoderic acids B and C found in Ganoderma can help improve high blood pressure.
💡 Multiple studies have demonstrated Ganoderma’s positive effects on cardiovascular health and hypertension. Researchers believe that ganoderic acids B and C can inhibit the formation and synthesis of cholesterol in our blood vessels .
Ganoderma Benefit 3: Maintaining Liver Health and Strength
Consuming Ganoderma can help maintain liver health and reduce toxins in the liver.
💡 Since 2000, over 30 scientific studies have confirmed this, and the research also found that Ganoderma can increase the liver’s regenerative rate  . Ganoderma provides comprehensive liver protection. Additionally, in cases of liver injury, Ganoderma promotes liver cell proliferation, aiding in the process of repair.
Ganoderma Benefit 4: Assisting in Cancer Treatment
Ganoderma is among the many foods with anticancer properties, with its polysaccharides being one of the known constituents with anti-tumor characteristics.
💡 Research suggests that these constituents can protect the DNA of cells and prevent mutations into cancer cells. Furthermore, studies have found that the triterpenes in Ganoderma also possess anticancer properties, helping to prevent tumor growth and reproduction by inhibiting the attachment of cancer cells to internal cells  .
Ganoderma Benefit 5: Supporting Longevity
The anti-aging effects of Ganoderma have been recognized and celebrated for thousands of years, with ancient alchemists using Ganoderma in their quest for eternal life. Modern medicine has also confirmed Ganoderma’s anti-aging effects.
💡 A study in 2013 found that participants using Ganoderma lived 9% to 20% longer than those who didn’t . The antioxidants present in Ganoderma molecules are believed to be the reason for longevity.
Ganoderma Benefit 6: Reducing Hair Loss
Using Ganoderma can aid in rejuvenation. Patients genetically predisposed to male pattern baldness are sensitive to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the scalp, a major factor in androgenic alopecia.
💡 In 2005, Japanese scientists tested 19 different mushrooms, including Ganoderma, to determine which could most effectively inhibit 5α-reductase, conducting tests on rat livers and prostate microsomes. Among all the mushrooms tested, Ganoderma showed the highest percentage decrease in 5α-reductase activity, ranging from 70% to 80% .
Ganoderma Benefit 7: Improving Cognitive Impairment
Many diseases currently lack a cure, including Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s disease. Ganoderma is suitable for stimulating brain growth and faster recovery. Its constituents can help the brain function more smoothly, preventing temporary or permanent damage.
💡 Research has found that Ganoderma extracts stimulate brain activity, exhibiting neuroprotective effects, particularly in stimulating faster nerve growth—an essential aspect of maintaining brain health  .
Ganoderma Benefit 8: Aiding in Joint Inflammation Treatment
Arthritis is a common but not fully understood disease, encompassing over 100 different types. Ganoderma has anti-inflammatory properties that can protect joints.
💡 Research suggests that Ganoderma helps prevent and alleviate pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis by targeting the autoimmune response causing inflammation . If you have arthritis and are considering dietary supplements for maintenance, Ganoderma is one of the best choices.
Ganoderma Benefit 9: Aiding in Weight Loss
Ganoderma can aid in improving the digestive system’s efficiency, facilitating the elimination of waste from the body and thereby promoting weight loss.
💡 In a study conducted at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, the active compounds in Ganoderma increased metabolic rates when consumed. This results in more efficient energy utilization and improved digestion, contributing to weight loss. Ganoderma also enhances the rate of oxygen delivery in the blood. The polysaccharides in Ganoderma act as potent detoxifiers and promoters of natural healing processes, contributing to digestion  .
Ganoderma Benefit 10: Preventing Tumor Proliferation
Ganoderma has a significant impact on sarcoma and other tumor cells, preventing cancer by inhibiting the number of induced cancer cells.
💡 Recent studies have found that Ganoderma constituents play a crucial role in sarcoma. In this study, mice injected with sarcoma cells were given high doses of Ganoderma, which resulted in a delay in the mice’s death .
Ganoderma Benefit 11: Beneficial for Cardiovascular Health
Consuming Ganoderma has a direct positive impact on cardiovascular health. The active compounds in Ganoderma have cholesterol-lowering, cholesterol-reducing, and antioxidant properties.
💡 A test involving 398 participants concluded that Ganoderma intake helps lower cholesterol, fasting blood glucose, triglycerides, and diabetes symptoms, particularly in type 2 diabetes . Improving cholesterol, blood pressure, and low-density lipoprotein levels is beneficial for cardiovascular health.
Ganoderma Benefit 12: Combating Fatigue and Depression
Apart from its immune system benefits, Ganoderma has other potential advantages. Preliminary research indicates that Ganoderma can reduce fatigue, anxiety, and depression and improve the quality of life for certain patients.
💡 A study involving 132 patients with neurasthenia found that after 8 weeks of Ganoderma consumption, fatigue decreased, and health conditions improved. Another study discovered that after 4 weeks of Ganoderma consumption among 48 breast cancer survivors, fatigue decreased, and the quality of life improved. The study also found a reduction in anxiety and depression symptoms .
When to Take Ganoderma?
Ganoderma can be taken at any time. However, taking it on an empty stomach allows for the most complete absorption of nutrients, making it suitable for consumption in the morning for your daily regimen.
Are There Side Effects of Ganoderma?
There are several specific situations in which you should avoid using Ganoderma, including pregnancy or breastfeeding, blood disorders, undergoing surgery, or having low blood pressure .
- Pregnancy or Breastfeeding: There isn’t enough information to determine the safety of using Ganoderma in these populations, so it’s advisable to err on the side of caution and avoid using it.
- People with Blood Coagulation Disorders or within 2 Weeks of Surgery: High doses of Ganoderma can delay blood clotting, increasing the risk of bleeding.
- Low Blood Pressure: Ganoderma may have a blood pressure-lowering effect, so individuals with low blood pressure should avoid its use for safety reasons.