Lingzhi is the Chinese name for the immortal mushroom, many know it today as Reishi.
With a prestigious history as the oldest mushroom used in medicine. Lingzhi is a natural medication used in Eurasia. The mushroom spores are the most potent aspect of the herb and contain powerful therapeutic properties and are rich in nutrients.
Popularly used to modulate the immune system, it is often used to supplement ganoderic acid and has steroid like composition. It also has a potent combination of polysaccharide (beta-glucane) and alkaloids.
- 1 Health Benefits of Lingzhi Mushroom
- 2 Lingzhi Mushroom Side Effects and Contraindications
- 3 The “Short” List of Lingzhi Mushroom Health Benefits
Health Benefits of Lingzhi Mushroom
Lingzhi Mushroom contains a compound called triterpenes, a known precursor to steroids. Studies have shown triterpenes can fight cancer cells and prevent the spread of tumors. Lingzhi also has an abundance of another anti-cancer compound known as polysaccharide that also enhances the immune system.
It also has Ganoderma that prevents cancer metastasis. Lingzhi has properties that have a strong potential to stop the spread of cancer cells by inhibiting tumor growth.
Lingzhi inhibits conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone by inhibiting an enzyme which causes this conversion, so it increases sexual functioning and muscle growth by leaving more testosterone in the body.
This function of testosterone helps in the treatment of BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia) which causes enlargement of testicles. At the same time, it enhances muscle growth and recovery by producing a steroid like effect and triggering the anabolic state.
Lingzhi has antibacterial as well as antiviral properties that support and strengthens the immune system. This article has more information about antiviral supplements specifically.
Lingzhi Mushroom is used to treat high blood pressure and inflammation with its blood thinning properties. It is a replacement in cases where you would turn to Asprin, but performs without the side effects.
Lingzhi Mushroom helps in the treatment of liver and kidney disease as well as in the treatment of asthma and relieves cough. It also helps to calm your mind.
Vasodilation and Healing
Lingzhi is a powerful vasodilator it contains alkaloids and adenosine. So it allows more blood, nutrients and oxygen around the body by dilating blood vessels.
By increasing blood supply, Lingzhi decreases inflammation and increases healing process and further lowers blood pressure.
Immune boosting properties in Lingzhi are created by active compound polysaccharide. It enhances the activity of white blood cells and by extension boosts the overall immune system.
In Chinese culture, Lingzhi Mushroomis known as God of Longevity credited with the long life of those who consume it. It is the herb which is famous in traditional Chinese medicine for its anti-aging properties.
Lingzhi has triterpenes that have an anti-allergic effect helping prevent hypertension and symptoms of allergies. Triterpenes are also the compound that are responsible for Lingzhi mushroom’s bitter taste.
Lingzhi Mushroom Side Effects and Contraindications
- Don’t consume Lingzhi if you have low blood pressure or if you are taking other hypertension medications as it further lower downs your blood pressure and causes dizziness and nausea.
- If you have a bleeding problem then don’t consume Lingzhi as it causes open wounds to bleed by preventing blood clotting.
- Please consult your doctor if you have been taking Lingzhi around the time of a surgery.
- Due to enhanced testosterone production it can cause acne, baldness and results in more drive and musculature. Be careful to take it in controlled amounts.
- If you are allergic to molds or fungi then, it will be safer to avoid Lingzhi.
Thanks to their long and rich history dating back thousands of years, we can credit the Asians for their wisdom about the healing properties of many foods and herbs. Undoubtedly, they learned through years, decades and even centuries of trial and error. Driven by “stick–to–itiveness,” their hunches that certain plants had healing abilities paid off—big time!
Take the Chinese and their knowledge about a local mushroom called “Lingzhi.” From the botanical family called, Ganoderma lucidum, it was during the Han dynasty (200 AD) that the book, “Shen-Nong’s Herbal Classics” wrote of the healing properties of Lingzhi.
Now, fast forward 1300 years to 1500 AD when reports began surfacing about its ability to improve the heart, increase memory, and even promote anti-aging. Apparently, folks were worried about staying young, even then!
Lingzhi—renowned historically as a food of “immortality and spiritual awareness”—grows an unbelievable three feet across, and can weigh 16 pounds. In ancient times, it was reserved for those of noble birth because of “challenging” cultivation requirements. Today, all that has changed and common folks can now take advantage of its healthy benefits in the form of tinctures, capsules and powders.
In the last few decades, scientists began to ask if—in fact—the historic and healthy claims about Lingzhi were really true. As it often goes when science and folklore intercept, commonly known medicinal health properties of herbs, plants and foods are recognized by average folk long before researchers make a scientific confirmation. As so it is with Lingzhi Mushroom!
Today, Ganoderma lucidum (Lingzhi) is a standard oriental herbal medicine and is found in many medicine cabinets. Typically, the fruiting body of the medicinal mushroom is made into a variety of tinctures and supplements. Sound interesting? Read on and you will find that numerous scientific studies point to its healthy benefits that give a “power-packed” punch to the immune system.
The “Short” List of Lingzhi Mushroom Health Benefits
The list of health benefits attributed to Lingzhi are numerous. To start with, Lingzhi falls into the category of an “adaptogen.” Adaptogens are substances in plants that can help your body “adapt” in a variety of ways, so that natural health can be restored. An adaptogen—by definition—must cause no harm; help the body adapt to physical and psychological stress; and should support all major body systems. Lingzhi qualifies, having all three properties.
Of the scientific studies that have been conducted on Lingzhi Mushroom, it has definitely been shown to have anti-tumor effects. As one example, scientists reported in the Korean Journal of Medical Mycology that tumors improvement up to 88% when a dry powder form of Lingzhi was given to patients.
And researchers working in the field of “experimental biology” found that Lingzhi showed “strong therapeutic cancer prevention properties” (Borchers 2008). With regard to lung cancer, they said that cancer cells underwent a process called “apoptosis,”—a fancy scientific word that simply means the cells died without releasing any of their toxic substances into the body.” Apoptosis, or cell death started within three hours and all cells were dead at 24 hours,” according to researcher Yuen and his group of scientists.
Lingzhi Mushroom as an Antioxidant
Most people know that consuming antioxidant-rich foods and plants helps protect immune cells. And Lingzhi does just that because it contains powerful antioxidants that are known to be quickly absorbed into the blood after ingestion. This allows them to rapidly go on a “seek and destroy” mission—in search of unhealthy cells.
What Makes Good Lingzhi Mushroom
Not all mushrooms are created equal and that becomes more true when it comes to extract. This is super important to know and I really want to get into this because mushrooms traditionally are prepared in a certain way for a reason.
People try and sell cell-cracked mushroom extracts and that is just baking the mushrooms so you can keep as much volume as possible making the product cheaper these extracts have less than 10% of the medicinal benefit of a proper extract. Others will sell you just ground up mushrooms or hot water extract, straight hot water is the traditional preparation but it looses the medicinal benefit quickly because the temperature required to make the extract damages and shortens the life of the polysaccharides. You can use this method at home but it is not a stable extract and has a shelf life of less than a week.
The cellular structure of Lingzhi and almost every other medicinal mushroom is critical to the medicinal benefits. Roughly 90% of the polysaccharides that make it a potent immunomodulator and contain much of the benefits of the mushrooms is locked inside the cell wall of the mushroom, that wall is made of chitin. Chitin is the same as the shell of a lobster and cannot be dissolved by human digestion. In order to make an extract you need to dissolve that chitin and free the polysaccharides without damaging them.
Another thing that is important is the level of healthy polysaccharides in the mushrooms. In order to achieve this the mushrooms need to grow slowly with a nutrient dense food source. For mushrooms that is growing on wood NOT grains or other sub straights.
Once you have your quality source material you need to do a dual extraction and spray-dry so you can dissolve the chitin in an alcohol and water solution between 120 and 160 degrees so that the polysaccharides are not damaged and spray dried so the extract is a stable powder without boiling or baking off the water. This creates a chemical free natural extract powder that will still have all the benefits of a freshly brewed tea but is easy and convenient to access and use daily.