Miracle Healing Mushroom
Ganoderma a natural wonder.
Appeared in Conscious Living Magazine (2007).
Mushrooms or rather Fungi are intriguing organisms, with certain species being the largest known on this planet (covering hundreds of kilometres) & with more species of fungi (1-2 million) than any other. Even more bizarrely, the mushroom has been seriously suggested as one of our true visitors from outer space, with the spores having travelled here aboard meteorites millennia ago. Perhaps those mushrooms with psychotropic properties really do have something to say to us. Certain species of mushrooms are also known to have great healing qualities & the Lingshi (Chinese) or Reishi(Japanese) mushroom, which is known botanically as Ganoderma lucidum is perhaps the greatest of these. Widely revered & utilised in Traditional Chinese Medicine for over 4000 years, it is probably the oldest species of mushroom to have been utilised medicinally. Lingzhi in Chinese has been translated to mean herb of spiritual potency. In Shen Nong's Herbal Classic, dating back 2000 years & considered to be the oldest book on oriental herbal medicine, the Linghzi mushroom is ranked number one superior medicine of all 365 listed healing herbs.
Ganoderma is a bracket fungus, which in nature grows at the base of deciduous trees like the maple. It is however quite rare in the wild & is now cultivated commercially both indoor under sterile conditions & outside in controlled environments. It is the polysaccharides & triterpenes contained within Ganoderma's fruiting body & mycelia that have shown to have efficacy in improving immune system functioning. Ganoderma lucidum is the only known source of a group of triterpenes, called ganoderic acids, which have a remarkably similar molecular structure to steroid hormones. Also contained within the mushroom are ergostol, coumarin, mannitol, lactones, alkaloids, unsaturated fatty acids & vitamins B1, B2 & B6 & a variety of minerals.
Numerous studies in medical institutions around the world have been conducted into the healing abilities of Ganoderma lucidum & it has shown a remarkable effectiveness in treating an amazing array of diseases & conditions. Western medicines desire to isolate compounds from nature so that they can be synthetically reproduced by pharmaceutical corporations have been frustrated by inconsistent results in the studies of the isolated ingredients within Ganoderma that were thought to be the active constituents. This leads many experts to speculate that it is the combination of these active ingredients that may be the answer to its magical healing qualities. Research has shown Ganoderma's effectiveness in strengthening the respiratory system, with healing of the lungs & benefits to those with asthma & bronchial complaints. It is generally considered to be an excellent restorative, improving immune system functioning. It has also shown to be anti-inflammatory, antiviral, anti-parasitic, anti-fungal & anti-allergenic. Altogether a healing superfood of the highest order.
Recent studies in Australia have included a clinical trial at the University of Western Sydney into the healthy maintenance of blood pressure, blood sugar & cholesterol levels for optimum heart function with the aid of Ganoderma supplementation. Also studies at the University of Sydney in its Herbal Medicines & Research Unit confirmed the presence of high levels of anti-oxidants. In the preparation of Ganoderma extracts it has been found that the oil within the spores contains a greater presence of the active compounds that are thought to be responsible for its amazing healing properties than the body of the fruit itself & that there is a husk or spore wall around the oil within. When this husk is removed it allows greater absorption by the body of the active constitutes, recent break throughs in the extraction have now made this possible. High quality extracts of Ganoderma are now available in supplement form & are beginning to be included as ingredients in teas & other beverage formats.