Polypore Mushrooms

Guide to Ganoderma and health-beneficial mushrooms

What is Ganoderma and How Can it Help Your Health?

As more people look for natural ways to improve their health, many new compounds have come to forefront. Ganoderma has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years. Today, it has attracted renewed interest because of its healing and strengthening properties.

What is it?
Gandoderma is a mushroom that grows on certain types of wood. The term includes about 80 species of fungus that generally grows in tropical regions of the world. They grow as a large, leathery shelf or hoof on tree stems. They decay the wood of the tree trunk and can be found on both hardwood and coniferous species. Though these growths can undermine the stability of trees, they contain medicinal properties that can be helpful for humans. Ganoderma is often referred to as reishi mushroom.

Health Benefits
Ganoderma has been used in Chinese medicine for at least 4000 years. It was an emblem of prosperity and longevity. The mushroom was thought to cleanse the body of toxins and boost the immune system to resist disease. It was compounded into a number of remedies for chest congestion, liver problems, insomnia, heart disease, diabetes and cancer and is used as an anti-infective for the urinary system.

Clinical Studies
Recently, Ganoderma’s health benefits have been studied for its effectiveness. Animal studies show it has a favorable effect on blood pressure, cholesterol, allergies, bronchitis and cancerous tumor growth. It also appears to protect the liver from infection and has anti-viral properties. It can also have a beneficial effect on the nervous system, reducing stress, reducing insomnia and increasing energy.

The mushroom is often made into capsules or liquid extracts, but it can also be found as a tea or coffee for easy consumption. It has a bitter taste that may not be palatable as a liquid for some people. The product generally comes in 500 milligram capsules which can be taken up to 3 times each day. Coffee packets generally consume 250 milligrams of Ganoderma. Those taking the coffee form should be aware that this mushroom can interact with medications that are being taken.

Side Effects
The product can reduce blood pressure and should be used with caution in people who know their blood pressure tends to be low. The mushroom can also cause bleeding problems when used in large dosages. Anyone taking aspirin or other blood thinning medications should consult with their physicians. Ganoderma can also cause stomach upset and dizziness. Skin rashes are sometimes reported when taking ganoderma .

Drug Interactions
Effects can interact with other medications taken by the patient. The mushroom’s effect on blood pressure can affect the dosage of high blood pressure medications such as hydrochlorothiazide, furosemide, captopril, losartan, valsartan and many other drugs. The blood-thinning properties can affect the dosage of heparin, warfarin, dalteparin and other blood thinners. Those using ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxen, diclofenac or clopidogrel should use care when taking Ganoderma with these medications. Patients should always consult with their physicians to avoid interactions with other medications that may be prescribed.