Lingzhi Benefits and Side Effects

The lingzhi mushroom, also known as ‘reishi mushroom’ (translating as supernatural mushroom) is a categorical term for many mushrooms within the Ganoderma genus. The term lingzhi is usually used to refer to Ganoderma Lucidum and Ganoderma Tsugae. G. Lucidum, which are used as a natural medication in East Asia and now across the globe. Its use in medicine dates back to over 2,000 years ago, which puts it as one of the oldest mushrooms to ever have been used medicinally.

There are many health benefits associated with lingzhi, and no known side effects, which makes it a highly popular alternative remedy. Lingzhi contains ganoderic acids which are similar in composition to steroid hormones. They also contain polysaccharides such as beta-glucan and coumarin as well as alkaloids.

As with many ancient medicines, there is some scientific research to back up the traditional usage of lingzhi. Here we will look at what some of those might be.



For instance lingzhi has been shown to have anticancer properties as a result of triterpenes which can prevent the spread of tumors. Polysaccharides are also known to help immune function and have cancer fighting properties too. In several studies lingzhi has been shown to help fight cancer in numerous other ways – for instance in an animal test ganoderma was found to prevent cancer metastasis.


Lingzhi helps to produce something akin to steroids. This means that it can help to trigger an anabolic state where the body rebuilds itself and grows muscle. At the same time it can also help to inhibit an enzyme which converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone which leaves more testosterone in the body and makes it great for sexual function and muscle growth. This function has also implicated it in treatment of ‘benign prostatic hyperplasia’ or ‘BPH’ which causes enlargement of the testicles – as this has been connected to high levels of dihydrotestosterone.

Blood Thinning

Ganoderma has blood thinning properties and that means that it can be used to help treat high blood pressure and inflammation as a result.

Liver Health

The inclusion of ganoderic acid suggests that lingzhi can be used to help treat liver disease in humans.


As well as strengthening immune function in general ganoderma has specific antibacterial and antiviral properties and can help to combat HSV-1, HSV-2, influenza (the flu), stomatitis and more.


Because lingzhi contains alkaloids (consisting of nitrogen) and adenosine, this makes it a powerful vasodilator. This means that it causes the blood vessels to dilate allowing more blood, oxygen and nutrients to get around the body. This results in greater energy and more rapid healing. It also further reduces blood pressure.


As well as strengthening immune function in general ganoderma has specific antibacterial and antiviral properties and can help to combat HSV-1, HSV-2, influenza (the flu), stomatitis and more.


Inner serving: Dry, 6-12g;

Chemical composition

This product contains polysaccharides, nucleotides, furans, sterols, alkaloids, triamcinolones, greases, a variety of amino acids and proteins, enzymes, organic palladium and a variety of trace elements. Mainly containing amino acids, peptides, proteins, fungal lysozyme, and carbohydrates (reducing sugars and polysaccharides), ergosterol, triterpenes, coumarin glycosides, volatile oil, stearic acid, benzoic acid, alkaloids, Vitamin B2 and C, etc.; spores also contain mannitol, trehalose, etc.

Pharmacological effects

Reishi polysaccharides have immune regulation, blood sugar reduction, blood lipid reduction, antioxidant, anti-aging and anti-tumor effects; triamcinolone compounds can purify blood and protect liver function; Reishi a variety of preparations have sedation, anticonvulsion, strong heart, anti-arrhythmia, antihypertensive, anti-cough flat wheezing effect;


Reishi toxicity is small, mouse abdominal injection of chi chiothog liquid LD50 for 38.3 ±1.04g/kg, chi chi chirol extract abdominal injection, mice LD50 for 6.75g/kg, irrigation The stomach MLD is 165g/kg, cold alcohol extract is less toxic, daily gastric irrigation of rats 1.2g/kg and 12g/kg, a total of 30 days, growth and development, liver function, electrocardiogram, etc. are not toxic.

Clinical applications

1, the treatment of annual stomach disease: 1.5g, chopped, soaked with old wine to take. (Hangzhou Medicinal Plant Journal)

2, cure nerve weakness, dizziness, sleep at night: Lingzhi 1.5-3g. Fried water, 2 times a day.

3, treatment of chronic hepatitis, nephritis, bronchial asthma: Lingzhi baking dry research, boiling water flushing, each 0.9-1.5g, 3 times a day.

4, cure coronary heart disease: Reishi slice 6g, add water to cook 2h, take, sooner or later 1 time each.

5, the treatment of accidental poisoning bacteria: Lingzhi 120g, water frying clothing. (2-5 from Liu Bo's "Chinese Medicinal Fungus")

6, rhinitis treatment: Lingzhi 500g, chopped, small hot water fried 2 times, each time 3-4h, combined frying liquid, concentrated with multi-layer gauze filtration, filter add distilled water to 500ml, nasal drops, 2-6 drops each time, 2-4 times a day. (National Chinese Herbal Medicine Compilation)

7, treatment of mastitis: Reishi 30-60g. Fried water.

8, cure the mouth sores: Reishi research broken, oil adjustment affected. (7, 8 from Hunan Pharmaceuticals)

Medicinal traits

1, Chi chi: sub-entity umbrella shape, bacteria cover (bacterial cap) hard wood bolt, semi-circular or kidney-shaped, diameter 10-18cm, thickness of about 2cm. The shell is hard, yellow, gradually turned red-brown, shiny, ring-shaped and radiant wrinkles, with thin and flat edges, often slightly inside the roll. The bacteria meat is nearly white to hazel, the surface of the bacteria cover is white to light brown, consisting of numerous fine tubular holes (bacterial tubes), the tube has a carrier and spores. Cylindrical, side-by-side, 7-15cm long, 1-4cm thick, red-brown to purple-brown, paint-like gloss. The spores are small and tawny. The air is slightly fragrant and the taste is bitter.

2, purple chi: the shell is purple black or brown black, paint-like luster. The bacteria meat and the tubes under the lid are rusty brown. The fungus handle is 17-23cm long.

3, cultivation of Reishi: sub-solid is strong, fat, diameter 12-22cm, thickness 1.5-4cm. The outer shell is often covered with a large amount of dust-like tan spores.


Nourishing and strong. Used for brain strengthening, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, and kidney benefit. Ganoderma has a wide range of applications. According to the dialectics of traditional Chinese medicine, since Ganoderma lucidum enters the five internal organs and replenishes the qi of the whole body, the heart, lungs, liver, spleen and kidneys are weak and can be taken. The diseases that Ganoderma lucidum treats involve various systems such as breathing, circulation, digestion, nerves, endocrine, and exercise; covering internal, external, women, children, and five sense organs diseases. The fundamental reason lies in the great effect of Ganoderma lucidum in strengthening the body, strengthening the immune function and improving the body's resistance. It is different from general medicines that have a therapeutic effect on certain diseases. It is also different from general nutrition and health foods that only supplement and strengthen a certain aspect of nutrient deficiency. On the whole, it adjusts the balance of human body functions and adjusts the internal vitality of the body. Regulate the body's metabolic functions, improve autoimmunity, and promote the normalization of all internal organs and organizm functions.

Side Effects of Lingzhi

However there are some side effects of lingzhi which one needs to be careful of and these. Although lingzhi is generally considered side effect-free, it should not be consumed by those with a very low blood pressure, those taking other hypertension medications, or those going into surgery. While low blood pressure is a good thing, if it becomes too low, this causes dizziness and nausea and prevents the formation of blood clots which causes open wounds to bleed continuously. Consult with your doctor before using lingzhi and make sure that they are aware that you are using it before you go into surgery.

Further, while extra testosterone results in more drive, libido and musculature, it can also cause baldness and acne. Lingzhi increases testosterone in such small amounts that it is unlikely to have these effects. However if you do notice spots, it may be worth cutting out the lingzhi temporarily to see if that helps.

Adverse reactions

Oral Reishi has no adverse reactions, but Reishi injection has allergic reactions, generally after 20-30 minutes of injection, light people have urticaria, short heart, chest tightness, abdominal pain, stomach pain, vomiting, throat edema, severe allergic shock or allergic encephalitis.


1, empirical and external feelings of the first start-ups do not want to use.

2, Reishi is a strong platelet aggregation inhibitor, so suffering from hemorrhagic diseases and bleeding tendencies of people with caution.

3, allergic physique with caution.

Finally, some people may experience allergies to lingzhi. If you have allergies to fungi or mold, then you should avoid using lingzhi.

Lingzhi may be the second most popular herb in China. Lingzhi has many health
benefits, as some herb
alists suggest.

What is lingzhi? Lingzhi is a mushroom containing sterols, coumarin, mannitol,
polysaccharides, and triterpenoids [ganoderic acids]. Lingzhi mushrooms grow
wild on decaying logs and tree stumps in the coastal provinces of China. Lingzhi
mushroom grows in six different colors, but the red Lingzhi is the popular. Lingzhi
has been used to treat general fatigue and weakness, asthma, insomnia, and
cough for thousand years. Lingzhi's Chinese name ling zhi means the herb of
spiritual potency. Other names for lingzhi include lingzhi [Ling chih, Ling zhi, reishi,
Ganoderma lucidum]. Lingzhi mushroom extract is a popular supplement with an
impressive array of reputed health benefits in Asia!!

What are the scientific evidence for the health benefits
claims of lingzhi? Are there any side effects?

Antioxidative activities
Lingzhi [Ganoderma Lucidum] mushroom extract demonstrated anti-oxidative
activities against heart toxicity in mice in a dose-dependent manner.
[Wong KL et al
Antioxidant activity of ganoderma lucidum (reishi) in acute ethanol-induced heart toxicity.
Phytother Res. 2004 Dec;18(12):1024-6.]

Lingzhiwas safe to horses with respect to the CBC and blood biochemistry data
after the Lingzhi dosing. Reishi (ganoderma lucidum) increased the percentage of
CD5+, CD4+ and CD8+ T-lymphocytes and the amount of specific antibody
production in horses. 
[Lai SW et al, Influence of ganoderma lucidum on blood biochemistry
and immunocompetence in horses. Am J Chin Med. 2004;32(6):931-40.]

A fraction (F3) of a Lingzhi polysaccharide extract was shown to activate the
expression of IL-1, IL-6, IL-12, IFN-gamma, TNF-alpha, GM-CSF, G-CSF and M-CSF.

[Chen HS et al, Studies on the immuno-modulating and anti-tumor activities of Ganoderma
lucidum (Reishi) polysaccharides. Bioorg Med Chem. 2004 Nov 1;12(21):5595-601]

Blood pressure, LDL and Coronary artery disease
Ganoderic acids (of Lingzhi) may lower blood pressure and LDL (the bad
cholesterol}. These specific triterpenoids may also help reduce blood platelets from
sticking together -an important factor in lowering the risk for coronary artery disease.
Two controlled clinical trials have shown that reishi could lower high blood pressure
significantly .
[The people with hypertension in the second study had previously not responded
to medications, though these were continued during the study. Kammatsuse K, Kajiware N,
Hayashi K. Studies on Ganoderma lucidum: I. Efficacy against hypertension and side effects.
Yakugaku Zasshi 1985;105:531–3. Jin H, Zhang G, Cao X, et al. Treatment of hypertension by
ling zhi combined with hypotensor and its effects on arterial, arteriolar and capillary pressure and
microcirculation. In: Nimmi H, Xiu RJ, Sawada T, Zheng C. (eds). Microcirculatory Approach to
Asian Traditional Medicine. New York: Elsevier Science, 1996, 131–8.]

Altitude sickness and Hepatitis B
Reishi may have some efficacy in treating altitude sickness and chronic hepatitis B.

[Hobbs C. Medicinal Mushrooms. Santa Cruz, CA: Botanica Press, 1995, 96–107]

Lingzhi [ganoderma lucidum] may suppress endothelial cell cytotoxicity and
proteinuria in 14 patients of glomerulosclerosis.
Futrakul N et al, Ganoderma lucidum
suppresses endothelial cell cytotoxicity and proteinuria in persistent proteinuric focal segmental
glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) nephrosis, Clin Hemorheol Microcirc. 2004;31(4):267-72.

Diabetes Mellitus
Reishi may have some beneficial action in people with diabetes mellitus and
[Jones K. Reishi mushroom: Ancient medicine in modern times. Alt Compl Ther 1998;4:
256–66 [review].]

Zhang HN and Lin ZB, Peking University, Beijing, investigated the hypoglycemic
effect of Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides (reishi extract) in the normal fasted
mice and the possible mechanism. They found that reishi extract could lower the
glucose level in a dose-dependent manner however the reishi extract had no effect
on islets insulin content.
[Zhang HN et al, Hypoglycemic effect of Ganoderma lucidum
polysaccharides, Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2004 Feb;25(2):191-5]

Lingzhi has been shown to be a potential agent in the treatment or prevention of
certain cancers. Clearly, reshishi demonstrates anticancer activity in experiments
with cancer cells.
[Sliva D, Methodist Research Institute, IN, Ganoderma Lucidum (Reishi) in
cancer treatment, Integr Cancer Ther. 2003 Dec;2(4):358-64.]

A Japanese research group extracted triterpene acid, lucidenic acid P (1a), and two
triterpene acid methyl esters, methyl lucidenates P (1b) and Q (2b) from the fruiting
body of the fungus Ganoderma lucidum (reishi). All of the compounds from Lingzhi
extracted showed potent inhibitory effects on Epstein-Barr virus early antigen
induction (96-100% inhibition at 1 x 10(3) mol ratio/TPA).
[Lucidenic acids P and Q,
methyl lucidenate P, and other triterpenoids from the fungus Ganoderma lucidum (reishi) and
their inhibitory effects on Epstein-Barr virus activation. J Nat Prod. 2003 Dec;66(12):1582-5]

Colon cancer Hong KJ et al, Texas Tech University, found that Lingzhi extract
causes no cytotoxicity in human colon carcinoma HT-29 cells at doses less than
10000 microg/ml. Increasing concentrations of reishi extract reduced prostaglandin
E2 production, but increased nitric oxide production. Together with other data, reishi
extract has been shown to have pro-apoptotic and anti-inflammatory functions, as
well as inhibitory effects on cytokine expression during early inflammation in colonic
carcinoma cells.
[Effects of Ganoderma lucidum on apoptotic and anti-inflammatory function
in HT-29 human colonic carcinoma cells. Phytother Res. 2004 Sep;18(9):768-70.]

Breast Cancer Lingzhi (ganoderma lucidum) inhibited proliferation of breast cancer
MDA-MB-231 cells by downregulating Akt/NF-kappaB signaling.
[Jiang J et al,
Ganoderma lucidum suppresses growth of breast cancer cells through the inhibition of Akt/NF-
kappaB signaling. Nutr Cancer. 2004;49(2):209-16.]

Prostate Cancer Lingzhi inhibits cell proliferation in a dose- and time-dependent
manner by the down-regulation of expression of cyclin B and Cdc2 and by the up-
regulation of p21 expression for the human prostate caner cells PC-3. The Lingzhi
inhibition of the cancer cell growth was also demonstrated by cell cycle arrest at
G2/M phase.
[Jiang J et al, Ganoderma lucidum inhibits proliferation and induces apoptosis in
human prostate cancer cells PC-3, Int J Oncol. 2004 May;24(5):1093-9]

New Zealead researchers observed the anti-ulcer activities of Lingzhi on the rat.
They extracted the water-soluble polysaccharide from Lingzhi mushroom
(ganoderma lucidum) and inhibited the indomethacin-induced gastric mucosal
lesions successfully in rats with the reishi extracts.
[Gao Y et al, Ganoderma lucidum
polysaccharide fractions accelerate healing of acetic acid0induced ulcers in rates. J Med Food.
2004 Winter;7(4):417-21]

Lingzhi can be taken either as 1.5 grams per day of the crude dried mushroom, 1-
1.5 grams per day in powdered form. [
Hobbs C. Medicinal Mushrooms. Santa Cruz, CA:
Botanica Press, 1995, 96–107]

Lingzhi Spore powder – link to farm - Enhance immunity, reduce three high, anti-cancer liver protection, prevention of disease, Reishi spore powder once again on the world stage! (

Side effects from Lingzhi can include dizziness, dry mouth and throat, nosebleeds,
and abdominal upset.

Commercial Lingzhi Products
Unicity Bio-Lingzhi Coffee-claimed to be enriched with the purest form of Ganoderma (reishi)
extract. Unicity Bio-Reishi Coffee contains 20 sachets in a box.
Lingzhi Black Coffee-claimed to contain premium black coffee, ganoderma extract (i.e. reishi
extract) and artificial sweetener. Price $9.99 (21g X20 sacs) at Econoherbs.
Lingzhi Roasted Coffee (Zhi Café) -claimed to contain coffee beans and ganoderma (i.e.
reishi). Price $8.99 (6g X20 sacs) at Econoherbs.
Amato Instant Reishi Tea – claimed to contain Unsaturated fatty acids, polysaccharides, ß-D-
glucan, Ergosterol, Pro vitamin D2, Carotene, Minerals, complete proteins. Price $43 (3g X 30
sachets) at kyotan