A commonly found fungus growing in decaying woods is called Ganoderma. It belongs to the genus polypore fungi and is included in the family Ganodermataceae. There are more than 80 species found in the tropical forests where ample rainfall occurs. It is used in preparing traditional medicines in Asian cultures. Here, we will study this species of fungus and understand its application in the world of medicines.
Ganoderma is a mushroom or a fungus growing on the decaying wooden trunks of trees. They are majorly found in tropical forests that experience ample rain. It is also called Reishi mushroom and is used as a medicinal ingredient in different traditional medicine practices in Asia. Many users claim that this mushroom has excellent capabilities of boosting immunities but nothing has been confirmed by the researchers. There is no solid scientific evidence or progress done on this mushroom. Despite this fact, people from many cultures consume it to cure various health conditions.
Due to limited studies done on this mushroom, its popularity cannot be seen in western medicine. People believing in eastern medicinal practices generally tend to consume it in different ways. It can be toxic and can cause other issues if consumed on a regular basis. People grind this mushroom to form a powder and consume it. It is also used to extract the phytochemicals present in its conks for making supplements and consumed directly as medicines.
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As mentioned earlier, it is a mushroom with bigger conks. It has exceptional nutritional benefits when eaten with caution. It has been one of the active medicinal ingredients on the list of traditional medicinal practices in the eastern world. It contains polysaccharides and peptides in high amounts. It has also been found that the conks of this fungus contain triterpenoids that might be the reason for its medicinal benefits and uses. It also contains a high amount of dietary fiber, important minerals, amino acids, and vitamins.
Despite the presence of these dietary nutrients, it cannot be still concluded whether Ganoderma uses can be safe for us or not. Many cultures use it for various kinds of dishes and medicinal preparations but it can cause toxicity if consumed without caution.
The Ganoderma uses have been in practice for more than 2000 years which makes a solid argument regarding its benefits and usage against its toxicity for human beings. Although there is no such scientific evidence that it has medicinal benefits, people in the Asian continent consume it in different ways to enhance their immunities.
Now that we know what is Ganoderma, let us go through its uses.
It is used to treat and reduce the different symptoms of enlarged prostate glands.
It is also used in traditional medicines to treat memory loss in patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
The ingredients of this mushroom are believed to have an anti-carcinogenic effect. It means this mushroom is used to reduce non-cancerous tumours developing in the large intestine and rectum.
It is also used to treat clogged arteries
It is also eaten in various ways to ward off stress and to get rid of fatigue.
It is also used to neutralize poison.
It is believed to control and improve the sugar levels in blood among diabetic patients.
It is believed to reduce the effect of stomach ulcers.
It can also reduce and cure the spreading of papillomavirus infection in the mouth.
It is used to treat lung cancer.
It also aids in reducing the symptoms of HIV and curing it.
It is also used to treat chronic fatigue syndrome and help people sleep well.
It is also used to treat prostate cancer.
Reishi mushroom or Ganoderma has not been researched well as the work done has revealed fluctuating results. There is no solid evidence of its medicinal benefits as the results have always been inconclusive of what the eastern traditional medicine practices demand. This is the prime reason why the Ganoderma side effects are not properly known to the researchers. Despite this fact, a few of the reviews have found that it can boost immunity but also triggered the formation of cancers in the test subjects.
Some of the users have reported a few of the side effects they have witnessed and suffered from.
Dryness in throat, nose, and mouths
Blood in stool
These are the documented Ganoderma extract side effects one can suffer from consuming this mushroom in powdered or extract form.
There is no proper format to follow and set a dose as it is either consumed in powdered form or extract. It is sold in capsules as supplements. The doses are then calculated for preparing capsules to deliver the right amount to a consumer. The Ganoderma capsules uses will depend on whether the user has followed the recommended dose or not. In fact, its supplement can also cause drug-drug interaction and might cause adverse effects to worsen the health of a consumer.
This is all you need to know the morphology, uses, and Ganoderma benefits. It is considered a medicinal fungus in Eastern medicine and is consumed by thousands of people across Asian countries.
1. Why is Ganoderma a fungus?
Ganoderma does not have proper roots or leaves. It also lives on the decaying wood by performing external digestion. It has big conks that mushrooms have. Hence, it is considered a fungal species that is majorly found in tropical forests.
2. What is the reason behind not accepting Ganoderma as medicine by Western Medicine?
As there is no proper evidence of its medicinal benefits in any research review, western medicinal practices do not consider it beneficial to cure diseases and suggest everyone refrain from using it.