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Ganoderma Lucidum- What is it and Can it Help You Feel Better?
Ganoderma lucidum has been called a lot of names: the Wonder Herb, the Herb of Longevity and the King of Herbs - very promising titles, if I may say.
But, can it really live up to its name? I really cannot blame people who doubt this mushroom when they first hear about it. Advertisers would do just about anything to sell products and consumers are now becoming smart about their purchases. Since Ganoderma products are slowly invading the market, it’s important to know whether this ‘Wonder Herb’ can live up to its promises. So, to save you some time, here are some facts about Ganoderma Lucidum.
For about 2000 years, the Far East has reveled in the wonders of Ganoderma ludicum where it is known as Ling zhi (China) and Reishi in Japan. It is actually a polypore fungi and grows on decaying hardwood in warm climates. Also, it has a rich varnished red-brown color and grows like shelves on maple and oak trees.
What makes up this mushroom is the secret to its numerous talents. Reishi is mostly made up of carbohydrates more specifically known as water-soluble polysaccharides, triterpenoids, and amino acids. These water soluble polysaccharides are found out to have anti-tumor, immunity boosting and blood pressure lowering properties.
There is also a unique compound called ganodermic acid which acts like an anti-histamine and help relieve allergies. Ganodermic acid is also said to promote good oxygenation and improve liver function.
As for scientific studies, there is still no concrete evidence that Ganoderma cures any medical disease, but experts all agree on its normalizing properties. Simply put, this means that ganoderma promotes optimal functioning of body organs.
These are some of the benefits of Ganoderma lucidum as stated in an article by Cancer Research UK:
-Boosts immunity – the body’s ability to fight off stress and illnesses
-Anti-inflammatory, anti-histamine and a known analgesic
-Antioxidant – prevents free radicals from harming the body inside out
-Cardiovascular benefits include: help in lowering cholesterol levels, controlling blood pressure
-Antibacterial properties against bacterias like Staphylococci, Streptococci and B.pneumoniae
-Central nervous system depressant and it is said to counteract the effects of caffeine. Also a muscle relaxant.
-Respiratory system benefits include bronchitis preventative effect, expectorant and anti-tussive properties
-Anti-HIV in vitro and in vivo
It has been 2000 years and no recorded harmful side effects have been recorded against this mushroom. A published monograph by the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia states that Reishi is a Class 1 Herb – which means it can be safely consumed when used appropriately.
There are several forms of Ganoderma available in the market today the most popular of which are: tea, coffee and supplement form. A word of caution: before starting on a Reishi regimen (or any herbal supplement for that matter) it’s a wise decision to tell your doctor about it.
Wonder herb or not, the fact that Ganoderma has been around for 2000 years should attest to its name.
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