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Reishi (GANODERMA LUCIDUM)
INDICATION "It treats fatigue, respiratory complaints, heart disease, and liver ailments," says Efrem Korngold, O.M.D., L.Ac.
BENEFITS Improves immune function * has antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-viral, and anticarcinogenic properties * reduces cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar.
SIDE EFFECTS Reishi may cause dizziness, skin irritation, diarrhea, or constipation, and interfere with blood clotting. Pregnant and nursing women should not take it. Use as advised by a TCM practitioner.
DOSAGE 1.5 to 9 grams of dried mushroom daily; in tincture, 1 mL a day; in powder form, 1 to 1.5 grams daily.
SCIENCE The mushroom shows definite anti-bacterial and antiviral activity, conclude several Korean studies, two of them published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology. Meanwhile, a report in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry illustrates reishi's potency as an antioxidant. Laboratory and animal studies in Japan and at the Methodist Research Institute in Indianapolis indicate that the mushroom may suppress the growth of leukemia and cancers of the breast, prostate, colon, and throat. It also helps prevent internal blood clots and decrease blood sugar, according to Chinese researchers. Studies in the United States and Switzerland, respectively, suggest that reishi lowers blood pressure and reduces cholesterol.