The Evidence-Backing: Reishi

The Evidence-Backing: Reishi


Reishi (Ganoderma sp.) is considered one of the most ‘healing’ of all the herbal materia medica throughout Asia.

Cell protection and anti-cancer activity

In vitro evidence suggests that reishi might be immune-modulating, and cancer-protective. (1) Other in vitro and in vivo evidence suggests a potential role for neuroprotection, (2, 3) and generally cell-protective actions. (4)

On balance, the research is extremely promising and shows improved immunity, quality of life, and recovery rates in cancer, but the quality of studies thus far is unfortunately low. (5)

Antioxidant and metabolic benefits in humans

In a randomised, placebo-controlled human study of 42 people, reishi improved total antioxidant capacity, increased glutathione levels and significantly increased the activity of antioxidant enzymes, along with effectively reversing fatty liver disease. (6)

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  1. Reishi [Internet]. 2013.
  2. Zhou ZY, Tang YP, Xiang J, Wua P, Jin HM, Wang Z, et al. Neuroprotective effects of water-soluble Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides on cerebral ischemic injury in rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 2010;131(1):154-64.
  3. Gokce EC, Kahveci R, Atanur OM, Gurer B, Aksoy N, Gokce A, et al. Neuroprotective effects of Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides against traumatic spinal cord injury in rats. Injury. 2015;46(11):2146-55.
  4. Soccol CR, Bissoqui LY, Rodrigues C, Rubel R, Sella SRBR, Leifa F, et al. Pharmacological Properties of Biocompounds from Spores of the Lingzhi or Reishi Medicinal Mushroom <i>Ganoderma lucidum</i> (Agaricomycetes): A Review. 2016;18(9):757-67.
  5. Santesso N, Wieland LS. A Summary of a Cochrane Review: Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi mushroom) for the treatment of cancer. European journal of integrative medicine. 2016;8(5):619-20.
  6. Chiu HF, Fu HY, Lu YY, Han YC, Shen YC, Venkatakrishnan K, et al. Triterpenoids and polysaccharide peptides-enriched Ganoderma lucidum: a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled crossover study of its antioxidation and hepatoprotective efficacy in healthy volunteers. Pharm Biol. 2017;55(1):1041-6.



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