Reishi Health Benefits and Uses

Reishi mushrooms
Jessica Boone/The Image Bank/Getty Images

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 used only as a medicinal mushroom and is not recommended for cooking.

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.

Other Common Uses

  • Acne
  • Allergies
  • Adrenal Fatigue
  • Arthritis
  • Candida
  • Common Cold
  • Herpes
  • HIV
  • Hair Loss
  • Lyme Disease
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Uterine Fibroids
  • Vitiligo
  • Weight Loss

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. 

As with any supplements, Ganoderma hasn't been tested for safety in pregnant women, nursing mothers, children, and those with medical conditions or who are taking medications. 

You can get tips on using supplements but should always speak with your primary care provider before using supplements or alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen. Self-treating with alternative medicine and avoiding or delaying standard care may be harmful to your health.

Was this page helpful?
View Article Sources
  • Ajith TA, K Janardhanan K. "Indian medicinal mushrooms as a source of antioxidant and antitumor agents." Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition 2007 40(3):157-62.
  • Chen WQ, Luo SH, Ll HZ, Yang H. "Effects of ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides on serum lipids and lipoperoxidation in experimental hyperlipidemic rats." Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi 2005 30(17):1358-60.
  • Gao Y, Zhou S, Jiang W, Huang M, Dai X. "Effects of ganopoly (a Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharide extract) on the immune functions in advanced-stage cancer patients." Immunological Investigations 2003 32(3):201-15.
  • Liu YH, Tsai CF, Kao MC, Lai YL, Tsai JJ. "Effectiveness of Dp2 nasal therapy for Dp2- induced airway inflammation in mice: using oral Ganoderma lucidum as an immunomodulator." Journal of Microbiology, Immunology, and Infection 2003 36(4):236-42.
  • Noguchi M, Kakuma T, Tomiyasu K, Yamada A, Itoh K, Konishi F, Kumamoto S, Shimizu K, Kondo R, Matsuoka K. "Randomized clinical trial of an ethanol extract of Ganoderma lucidum in men with lower urinary tract symptoms." Asian Journal of Andrology 2008 10(5):777-85.
  • Thyagarajan A, Zhu J, Sliva D. "Combined effect of green tea and Ganoderma lucidum on invasive behavior of breast cancer cells." International Journal of Oncology 2007 30(4):963-9.
  • Wachtel-Galor S, Szeto YT, Tomlinson B, Benzie IF. "Ganoderma lucidum ('Lingzhi'); acute and short-term biomarker response to supplementation." International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition 2004 55(1):75-83.
  • Wachtel-Galor S, Tomlinson B, Benzie IF. "Ganoderma lucidum ("Lingzhi"), a Chinese medicinal mushroom: biomarker responses in a controlled human supplementation study." The British Journal of Nutrition 2004 91(2):263-9.