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Ganoderma lucidum. Image credit: Hokkaido Reishi Co., Ltd (commons.wikimedia.org)

The reishi mushroom was once considered an all around panacea in ancient China and it was even said to be able to bring people back to life. It has been in use for centuries and is one of the most precious medicinal herbs in Asia. 

History:

Reishi is a tonic herb (producing or stimulating physical, mental or emotional vigor) with  sedative properties, is an expectorant, can lower blood sugar, cholesterol levels, has pain relieving properties and stimulates the immune system. It improves heart and liver function and has anti-allergy, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. It is often used to treat cancer. 

Reishi mushroom extracts are used many times as an adaptogen and  have been shown to exert many beneficial effects which seems to support reishi’s historical use as an “adaptagen”. An adeptogen is defined as a substance which increases the resistance to stress and improves the general tone of the body and mind.  Reishi mushroom has been used to treat: insomnia, bronchitis, high altitude sickness, high cholesterol, chronic hepatitis, cancer, immune system and stress.

I have used it many times in cancer cases and it has worked well synergistically with the other natural medicines and treatments that we put together for cancer and weak immune systems. It is known for its immunogenic properties specifically by increasing macrophage and limiting  tumor metastases by decreasing  the attachment to endothelial cells. The beta glucans in Reishi have  been shown to increase monocytes and dendridic cells. 

Reishi can increase the plasma antioxidant capacity, very important when Chemo therapy and/or radiation are being used to treat the patients, throwing off huge amounts of free radicals.  Reishi can increase the immune response in late stage cancers and blocks 5-alpha reductase, an enzyme that converts testosterone to deyhdrotestosterone, that is one of the mechanisms for Benign Prostatic  Hyperplasia (BPH)  or  enlarged  prostate, and later possibly leading to prostate cancer. 

The immunoglobulin test determines the level of immunity. We have found that after ingesting Reishi, level of IgA, IgG, IgM have increased. This proves that Reishi can elevate the body’s resistance level. 

Research:

Ganoderma is used as an adatogen for low immunity, bacterial infections, insomnia, fatigue, bronchial chough, expectoration and cancer and is used to prevent and treat a myriad of different  illnesses and conditions including but not limited to: bronchitis, allergies, hepatitis, hypertension, hyperlidemia, corronar occlusion,  immunological disorders and cancer. 

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There are a number of bioactive compounds found in Ganoderma lucidum including: polysaccharides, flavenoids and alkaloids, amino acids, steroids, oligosaccharides, proteins, mannitol, etc. The examples here are supported by peer reviewed human data. Reishi has also been effectively combined with certain antibiotics to kill recalcitrant infections like Bacillis subtilis and Kelbsiella, as well as lower hypertension when given with Captopril. 

The polysaccharides are the most studied, having multiple pharmacological effects such as immune system enhancement, liver protection, tumor suppression by stopping new tumor blood vessels from being created and slowing down tumor cell growth proliferation. 

Clinical:

A famous Japanese physician, Dr Fukumi Morishige, M.D.,Phd, who worked at the Linus Pauling Institute of Science & Medicine – an American institute that had been awarded the most Nobel prizes, used Reishi successfully on many terminal cancer cases that have had good outcomes. 

He used about 4g/day along with vitamin C with each dose of Reishi. I personally have seen it work very well with cancer. I tell patients to mix it with Shitake, Maitke and make tea with it the first thing in the morning and another cup at bed time. I had one patient who was 80 years old when she came to see me with Lymphoma and we had a lot of chemo therapy toxicity to clear out. 

We used many natural medicines but she said that the Reishi mushroom formula she used to make tea everyday, had the greatest effect. She is still in remission now at 86 years old and going strong. 

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