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What Is Ganoderma?
More commonly known as reishi, ganoderma is a hard, bitter mushroom used to promote health and longevity in traditional Chinese medicine. Proponents claim that ganoderma can relieve fatigue, keep cholesterol in check, curb high blood pressure, tame inflammation, build stamina, and support the immune system.
An increasingly popular natural remedy, ganoderma is only used as a medicinal mushroom and isn’t recommended for cooking.
Ganoderma shows promise in reducing cholesterol levels and easing allergy-related inflammation of the airways, according to preliminary evidence from animal-based studies. Here’s a look at more of the science behind ganoderma’s health-enhancing effects.
1) Cancer and the Immune System
Often used as an immune stimulant by people with cancer (as well as HIV), ganoderma has been shown to strengthen immunity as well as combat cancer-cell proliferation. In a 2003 study of 34 people with advanced-stage cancer, for instance, taking ganoderma in supplement form three times daily for 12 weeks led to a significant increase in T-cells (known to play a central role in immune defense).
Lab tests on breast cancer cells, meanwhile, found that combining extracts of ganoderma and green tea heightened the mushroom’s ability to slow cancer-cell growth.
2) Antioxidant Benefits
Several small studies have suggested that regular use of ganoderma supplements may increase your levels of antioxidants, compounds thought to protect against disease and aging.
3) Relief of Urinary Tract Symptoms
In a 2008 study of 88 men with urinary tract symptoms, researchers found that ganoderma was significantly superior to placebo in providing symptom relief.
How to Use Ganoderma
Ganoderma is available in capsules and liquid extracts, both of which can be found at health food stores. You can also take ganoderma in tea or coffee form, but beware that the flavor may be bitter.
Some people experience dry nose, dry throat, nausea, and gastrointestinal problems (such as nausea) when taking ganoderma. Since the mushroom might interact with certain medications (such as anticoagulants and some chemotherapeutic agents), it’s important to tell your physician if you’re currently taking or considering the use of ganoderma.