Ganoderma Health Benefits
Some people know all about mushrooms and their happy psychedelic properties. But some mushrooms are not consumed because of their hallucinogenic properties because some of them do have medicinal properties, such as mushrooms from the genus Ganoderma. Popularly known as shelf mushrooms, these mushrooms grow on wood (trunks of trees) and include about 80 species. They are extensively used in traditional Asian medicine and their potential for bioremediation is being explored.
One species of Ganoderma mushroom is the Lingzhi mushroom. Also called reishi mushroom and supernatural mushroom, it has been used as a medicinal mushroom in traditional Chinese medicine for more than 2000 years. It has a lot of health benefits and has no apparent side effects. In the wild, the Lingzhi grows at the stumps and the bases of deciduous trees such as maple. It can be found in tropical and temperate geographical regions in Africa, North and South America, Asia, and Europe. Because it rarely grows in the wild, this mushroom is cultivated both indoors (in sterile conditions) and outdoors (on logs or woodchip beds).
It has been said that the lingzhi mushroom has been used since the Han dynasty in China. The word lingzhi is first seen in a prose-poem written by polymath Zhang Heng. Its use and therapeutic effects were also recorded in the Divine Farmers Classic of Pharmaceutics saying that chizhi or red mushroom treats binding in the chest, boosts the heart qi, supplements the center, sharpens the wit, and improves the memory.
The lingzhi mushroom is a hard and bitter mushroom and is not recommended for cooking. The Chinese only recommends it for medicinal purposes. Research on the lingzhi mushroom say that it can reduce a person's cholesterol levels, and eases the inflamed airways caused by allergies. Other health benefits of the lingzhi mushroom include:
Helps reduce the risk of cancer and boosts the immune system. The lingzhi mushroom has been used by cancer and HIV patients to improve their immune system by significantly increasing their T-cells. There has been evidence that it also prevents cancer-cell proliferation.
It has antioxidant benefits. It also eliminates the accumulated toxins in the body and reduces the signs of aging. It also regenerates and cleanses the cells in your body.
It also lowers your blood pressure and your blood sugar levels; there are studies that explore the mushrooms benefit to treat liver diseases in humans.
There have been studies that the lingzhi mushroom also has antibacterial and antiviral properties: it can protect you from the influenza virus, Aspergillus nigeri, and Esterichia coli.
Lingzhi mushrooms are usually prepared as a hot water extract due to its bitter taste. The sliced lingzhi mushrooms is added to a pot of boiling water and is simmered for two hours. Liquid extracts and capsules of Ganoderma are also available in health food stores. Some people drink lingzhi coffee to get their daily dose of Ganoderma. Keep in mind that lingzhi mushrooms may interact with certain types of medication so consult your doctor first before taking these mushrooms.