Botanical Name: Ganoderma lucidum
Reishi or lingzhi is a mushroom found on dead or dying trees. It is valued in Asia for its medicinal properties. Ganoderic acid may be the active compound.
- Immune Stimulant [1-8]
- Immune Stimulant in Cancer Patients, reishi with citronellol / dang shen (Codonopsis pilosula) / Angelica sinensis, and another species, Ganoderma tsugae, with Angelica sinensis / rose geranium
- Reishi in combination with cordyceps / cat’s claw water extract / Grifola blazei / Grifola frondosa / Trametes versicolor / nicotinamide / zinc also had immune enhancing properties
- Alters Pulse 
- Anti-Diabetic 
- Asthma, with reishi / Sophora flavescens / Glycyrrhiza uralensis 
- Arthritis 
- Cold Sores, reishi combined with Wisteria floribunda / Trapa natans / Terminalia chebulae / Coicis lachryma-jobi / Elfuinga applanata [13-14]
- Colorectal Cancer [15-16]
- Coronary Heart Disease [17-18]
- Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (leading cause of kidney failure in adults) 
- Genital Herpes, reishi combined with Wisteria floribunda / Trapa natans / Terminalia chebulae / Coicis lachryma-jobi / Elfuinga applanata [20-21]
- Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms (LUTS), reishi at 6mg doses seemed to be effective [22-23]
- Neurasthenia 
- Prostrate Cancer, reishi with chrysanthemum / isatis / licorice /Panax pseudoginseng / Rabdosia rubescens / saw palmetto / scutellaria 
- Shingles, reishi alone and reishi with Wisteria floribunda / Trapa natans / Miristica agrans / Coicis lachryma-jobi / Elfuinga applanata / Panax ginseng / Punica granatum [26-27]
No Clinical Research:All other conditions.
- Allergic Reactions
- Avoid or contact a licensed healthcare practitioner, if you are allergic to mold and/or mushrooms.
- There were several cases of abnormal elevation of serum CA72-4 (which is associated with the presence of cancerous cells) of cancer patients who had been within the normal range before taking reishi. After discontinuation of reishi, the patients were again within the normal range. The long-term effect of reishi on these patients is unknown.
- Reishi appears to not be harmful; including not being harmful to the liver and kidneys; however, there have been a few cases of liver failure.
- A related species Ganoderma neo-japonicum caused pancytopenia, which was reversible.
- There was a case of severe diarrhea in a patient with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
- Several cases of allergic reactions have been caused by reishi.
- Reishi appears to NOT increase the risk of bleeding.
There is not enough research on the use of supplements containing reishi during pregnancy and breast-feeding, so consult a licensed healthcare practitioner before use or avoid use.
Reishi is not a "drug", the best doses have not been thoroughly established. Make sure to follow the specific product instructions and take as directed on the label, or consult a licensed healthcare practitioner before use.
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Safety and tolerability of Ganoderma lucidum in healthy subjects: a double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial. Am J Chin Med. 2007;35(3):407-14. 6. Zhang Y, Lin Z, Hu Y, Wang F. Effect of Ganoderma lucidum capsules on T lymphocyte subsets in football players on "living high-training low". Br J Sports Med. 2008 Oct;42(10):819-22. 7. Zhuang SR, Chiu HF, Chen SL, Tsai JH, Lee MY, Lee HS, Shen YC, Yan YY, Shane GT, Wang CK. Effects of a Chinese medical herbs complex on cellular immunity and toxicity-related conditions of breast cancer patients. Br J Nutr. 2012 Mar;107(5):712-8. 8. Zhuang SR, Chen SL, Tsai JH, Huang CC, Wu TC, Liu WS, Tseng HC, Lee HS, Huang MC, Shane GT, Yang CH, Shen YC, Yan YY, Wang CK. Effect of citronellol and the Chinese medical herb complex on cellular immunity of cancer patients receiving chemotherapy/radiotherapy. Phytother Res. 2009 Jun;23(6):785-90. 9. Wang WK, Chen HL, Hsu TL, Wang YY. Alteration of pulse in human subjects by three Chinese herbs. Am J Chin Med. 1994;22(2):197-203. 10. Chu TT, Benzie IF, Lam CW, Fok BS, Lee KK, et al. Study of potential cardioprotective effects of Ganoderma lucidum (Lingzhi): results of a controlled human intervention trial. Br J Nutr. 2012 Apr;107(7):1017-27. 11. Kelly-Pieper K, Patil SP, Busse P, Yang N, Sampson H, et al. Safety and tolerability of an antiasthma herbal Formula (ASHMI) in adult subjects with asthma: a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, dose-escalation phase I study. J Altern Complement Med. 2009 Jul;15(7):735-43. 12. Li EK, Tam LS, Wong CK, Li WC, Lam CW, et al. Safety and efficacy of Ganoderma lucidum (lingzhi) and San Miao San supplementation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled pilot trial. Arthritis Rheum. 2007 Oct 15;57(7):1143-50. 13. Hijikata Y, Tsukamoto Y. Effect of herbal therapy on herpes labialis and herpes genitalis. Biotherapy. 1998;11(4):235-40. 14. Hijikata Y, Yamada S, Yasuhara A. Herbal mixtures containing the mushroom Ganoderma lucidum improve recovery time in patients with herpes genitalis and labialis. J Altern Complement Med. 2007 Nov;13(9):985-7. 15. Chen X, Hu ZP, Yang XX, Huang M, Gao Y, et al. Monitoring of immune responses to a herbal immuno-modulator in patients with advanced colorectal cancer. Int Immunopharmacol. 2006 Mar;6(3):499-508. 16. Oka S, Tanaka S, Yoshida S, Hiyama T, Ueno Y, et al. A water-soluble extract from culture medium of Ganoderma lucidum mycelia suppresses the development of colorectal adenomas. Hiroshima J Med Sci. 2010 Mar;59(1):1-6. 17. 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 Feb;91(2):263-9. 18. Wachtel-Galor S, Szeto YT, Tomlinson B, Benzie IF. Ganoderma lucidum ('Lingzhi'); acute and short-term biomarker response to supplementation. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2004 Feb;55(1):75-83. 19. Futrakul N, Panichakul T, Butthep P, Futrakul P, Jetanalin P, et al. Ganoderma lucidum suppresses endothelial cell cytotoxicity and proteinuria in persistent proteinuric focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) nephrosis. Clin Hemorheol Microcirc. 2004;31(4):267-72. 20. Hijikata Y, Tsukamoto Y. Effect of herbal therapy on herpes labialis and herpes genitalis. Biotherapy. 1998;11(4):235-40. 21. Hijikata Y, Yamada S, Yasuhara A. Herbal mixtures containing the mushroom Ganoderma lucidum improve recovery time in patients with herpes genitalis and labialis. J Altern Complement Med. 2007 Nov;13(9):985-7. 22. Noguchi M, Kakuma T, Tomiyasu K, Kurita Y, Kukihara H, et al. Effect of an extract of Ganoderma lucidum in men with lower urinary tract symptoms: a double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized and dose-ranging study. Asian J Androl. 2008 Jul;10(4):651-8. 23. Noguchi M, Kakuma T, Tomiyasu K, Yamada A, Itoh K, et al. Randomized clinical trial of an ethanol extract of Ganoderma lucidum in men with lower urinary tract symptoms. Asian J Androl. 2008 Sep;10(5):777-85. 24. Tang W, Gao Y, Chen G, Gao H, Dai X, et al. A randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled study of a Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharide extract in neurasthenia. J Med Food. 2005 Spring;8(1):53-8. 25. de la Taille A, Hayek OR, Burchardt M, Burchardt T, Katz AE. Role of herbal compounds (PC-SPES) in hormone-refractory prostate cancer: two case reports. J Altern Complement Med. 2000 Oct;6(5):449-51. 26. Hijikata Y, Tsukamoto Y. Effect of herbal therapy on herpes labialis and herpes genitalis. Biotherapy. 1998;11(4):235-40. 27. Hijikata Y, Yasuhara A, Sahashi Y. Effect of an herbal formula containing Ganoderma lucidum on reduction of herpes zoster pain: a pilot clinical trial. Am J Chin Med. 2005;33(4):517-23. 28. Horner WE, Helbling A, Lehrer SB. Basidiomycete allergens: comparison of three Ganoderma species. 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Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health. 2006 Nov;37(6):1099-102. 34. Wanmuang H, Leopairut J, Kositchaiwat C, Wananukul W, Bunyaratvej S. Fatal fulminant hepatitis associated with Ganoderma lucidum (Lingzhi) mushroom powder. J Med Assoc Thai. 2007 Jan;90(1):179-81. 35. Yoon YH, Choi SH, Cho HJ, Moon SW, Kim JY, Lee S. Reversible pancytopenia following the consumption of decoction of Ganoderma neojaponicum Imazeki. Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2011 Feb;49(2):115-7.
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