A Mushroom for the Emperors

Língzhi has been used psilocybin pills  by Chinese Emperors to not only heal diseases but also to prevent them. It grew in the wild on the base of tree stumps and rarely occurred. Today, it is grown in laboratory like conditions and common people can use it, but still at a high price.

Unfortunately, many people don’t really know much about this herb except that it has been used by TCM for 4,000 years. There are actually a few types of this mushroom and the different qualities (colour, shape, toughness, stalk length, etc.) determine its use. But most people just buy anything that has ganoderma lucidum on its label (even coffee and toothpaste!)- an act of profiteering that is highly irresponsible and just adds to the dilemma of establishing TCM as a science.

INDICATIONS & USES

Língzhi has been used as an anti-cancer mushroom because of its anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-parasitic abilities. It can also protect against liver injury so it should be used in combination with chemotherapy. Some people have attested that it has helped with chemotherapy side-effects.

Studies are being conducted by the Institute of Chinese Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong, China and have shown (Sep 2006 journal) that it has inhibited the proliferation of tumors in women suffering from breast cancer.
TCM physicians also claim that it can lower blood cholesterol and blood sugar and raise overall immune system health.

USUAL PREPARATION

Thinly sliced or pulverized lingzhi (it can be hard as wood) is added to a pot of boiling water and the pot is covered and allowed to simmer at a very low heat for several hours. Because it can be quite bitter, very few people like to take it as is and instead add it in soup or even take it in capsule form but I don’t think the efficacy is as strong in these preparations.