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Ganoderma Lucidum

Generic Name: Ganoderma Lucidum

Brand Names: Reishi Extract, Reishi Mushroom

Drug Class: Herbals

Available Dosage Forms: Oral capsule, powder, tea, and tincture

Ganoderma lucidum Reishi mushroom

What is Ganoderma Lucidum?

Ganoderma Lucidum is a mushroom that grows on stumps of decaying hardwood trees. It belongs to the mushroom family Ganodermatacea and has a characteristic shiny cap surface. Ganoderma Lucidum has been widely utilized in folk medicine due to its inherent therapeutic properties.

Several conditions have shown responsiveness to the mushroom extract throughout history. It has a wide range of properties, including anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, and anti-oxidative effects. Additionally, several pieces of research have demonstrated a possible role of Ganoderma Lucidum in the treatment of depression and additional psychiatric disorders. Ethanol abuse in adolescence has harmful effects on general and as well as neuropsychiatric health.1

Binge consumption of ethanol causes alteration in neurotransmission, chemical imbalances, and diminished function of the mesocorticolimbic system. These effects collectively culminate in depression, anxiety, and reduction in motor plus cognitive measures of the brain. It was postulated that aqueous extract of Ganoderma Lucidum in a rat model of binge drinking Ethanol paradigm improved the function of the mesocorticolimbic system, a primary mood-regulating center in the brain. Additionally, the aqueous extract ameliorated ethanol-induced oxidative stress in rat brains.1

In another study, a water-soluble extract from a culture medium of Ganoderma Lucidum mycelia exerted antidepressant effects in rats subjected to stresses as part of a depression model. Mycelia appeared to enhance the availability of serotonin neurotransmitters and also improved the anxiogenic symptoms.2


How to use Ganoderma Lucidum?

-Chinese medical practitioners prescribe 6-12 g dosage of Ganoderma Lucidum extracts

-Generally, the initial dosage is 0.5-1g daily

-Dosage for long term illness is 2-5g daily

-Dosage for severe illness is 15g of extract daily

-Dosage for powder formulation is 1-1.5g per day

-Dosage for dried mushroom is 1.5-9g per day

-If you are taking the liquid form, mix around 1ml of the tincture in a beverage daily

-Do not drink wine when consuming Ganoderma Lucidum

-Dosages depend upon your age, condition, and medical history


What are the side effects of Ganoderma Lucidum?

Potential side effects include:

-Dry mouth

-Nasal and throat irritation

-Skin irritation

-Stomach ache





-Spores of Ganoderma Lucidum can trigger allergies in some people


Who should not use Ganoderma Lucidum?

-Pregnant and lactating women should be cautious and talk to their doctor before use

-Those with blood clotting issues and low platelet count

-Those with low blood sugar

-Those with continuously low blood pressure



  1. Nascimento CP, Luz DA, da Silva CCS, et al. Ganoderma lucidumAmeliorates Neurobehavioral Changes and Oxidative Stress Induced by Ethanol Binge Drinking. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2020;2020:2497845. Published 2020 Jul 30. doi:10.1155/2020/2497845
  1. Matsuzaki H, Shimizu Y, Iwata N, Kamiuchi S, Suzuki F, Iizuka H, Hibino Y, Okazaki M. Antidepressant-like effects of a water-soluble extract from the culture medium of Ganoderma lucidum mycelia in rats. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2013 Dec 26;13:370. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-13-370. PMID: 24369991; PMCID: PMC3879659.

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Danielle Aubin (she/her), Online Clinical Social Worker/Therapist, Roseville, CA
Agata Slezak, Clinical Psychologist, Heilpraktiker (Psychotherapie), Sexologist, Berlin, DE

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