Green Tea with Red Mushrooms

Image Credit: Kanko / Wikimedia Commons

What are the benefits of reishi mushrooms (Ganoderma lucidum)?

I have just been introduced to a product that is a combination of green tea and ganoderma (a red mushroom). It also comes mixed with coffee. I was wondering if you have seen amy research on ganoderma. Thank you so much for this website. It is wonderful!

mpbailey / Originally posted in The Healthiest Beverage

Answer:

I’m so glad you’re finding the website useful! Ganoderma lucidum is more commonly known as the reishi mushroom, one of the oldest known fungi used medicinally. According to the latest review on the subject, there are remarkably few clinical studies on its use despite its popularity throughout East Asia. It does appear to have beneficial immunomodulatory effects in cancer patients but without endpoint data (such as survival and remission rates), case reports with names like Fatal Fulminant Hepatitis Associated With Ganoderma would argue against drinking it in your coffee until we know more.

The healthiest thing to drink is likely green tea. We have good evidence of its benefits and, as a bonus, no fatal side-effects! Hibiscus tea is also a good option. See: Better Than Green Tea?

Image Credit: Kanko / Wikimedia Commons

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Michael Greger M.D., FACLM

Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial.


9 responses to “What are the benefits of reishi mushrooms (Ganoderma lucidum)?

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  1. Ganoderma Lucidum or Reishi mushroom is a fungus that can be described as “tough” and “woody” with a bitter taste. The above-ground part and filaments connecting a group of mushrooms that are being used in alternative wellness methods.

    Like you I was recently introduced to ‘ganoderma” through a coffee product. I don’t indulge in that drink but was curious to learn more about ganoderma and the healing effects associated with this newly popular product.

    My interest at the time of my research lay solely in it’s effects on breast cancer and bleeding issues. The studies I viewed all said there is not enough information to show the long term effects on the body as of this time. It did however show in lab testing ” that an oral administration of GLE (ganoderma lucidum) can inhibit breast-to-lung cancer metastases through the downregulation of genes responsible for cell invasiveness. The anti-metastatic benefits of GLE warrant further clinical studies.” PubMed

    As far as the bleeding aspect, “Ingestion of Ganoderma lucidum does not cause impairment of hemostatic function in healthy volunteers, despite earlier in vitro reports that it may cause platelet inhibition and may have other antithrombotic and fibrinolytic activity. The use of Ganoderma lucidum preoperatively is unlikely to increase the risk of surgical bleeding in otherwise healthy patients”. PubMed

    The latter test was done over a period of 4 weeks with testing at the 4 and 8 week marks.

    With phrases and words like “warrants further clinical studies” and “is unlikely to increase the risk”, it is clear the jury is still out on this herbal medicine at least where these issues are concerned.

  2. I’ve been having trouble discovering the Nutritional Facts of Ganoderma.. What are the Vitamin K Levels. As Vitamin K can cause blood clotting, it is important for me to see that it has little to none in order to pursue it as a kidney supplement.

  3. A month ago, a friend of my wife has been diagnosed with breast cancer.
    One of the dietary suggestions of her doctor was to consume ganoderma.

    When I pressed here if there is any evidence that suggests that ganoderma has benefits on breast cancer, she sent me the following study:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22203880

    Spore Powder of Ganoderma lucidum Improves Cancer-Related Fatigue in Breast Cancer Patients Undergoing Endocrine Therapy: A Pilot Clinical Trial.

    Abstract
    The fatigue prevalence in breast cancer survivors is high during the endocrine treatment. However, there are few evidence-based interventions to manage this symptom. The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of spore powder of Ganoderma lucidum for cancer-related fatigue in breast cancer patients undergoing endocrine therapy. Spore powder of Ganoderma lucidum is a kind of Basidiomycete which is a widely used traditional medicine in China. 48 breast cancer patients with cancer-related fatigue undergoing endocrine therapy were randomized into the experimental or control group. FACT-F, HADS, and EORTC QLQ-C30 questionnaires data were collected at baseline and 4 weeks after treatment. The concentrations of TNF-α, IL-6, and liver-kidney functions were measured before and after intervention. The experimental group showed statistically significant improvements in the domains of physical well-being and fatigue subscale after intervention. These patients also reported less anxiety and depression and better quality of life. Immune markers of CRF were significantly lower and no serious adverse effects occurred during the study. This pilot study suggests that spore powder of Ganoderma lucidum may have beneficial effects on cancer-related fatigue and quality of life in breast cancer patients undergoing endocrine therapy without any significant adverse effect.

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