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What Is Ganoderma Lucidum?

Ganoderma lucidum is a mushroom that is commonly used in Chinese herbal medicine. Also known as Lingzhi, it naturally grows as a parasite on trees in the tropics and temperate zones throughout the world. It is most commonly found on maple and oak trees due to its strong affinity to them. It feeds off of dead leaves from these broadleaf trees.

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Ganoderma lucidum is the first recorded mushroom that has been used for health benefits. Employed for over 4,000 years, the Chinese regard Ganoderma lucidum as a complete herb.

Ganoderma lucidum has many pores through which it releases its spores into the environment. It typically has a reddish color and is soft in texture when it is not dried for preservation and preparations.

Function
Ganoderma lucidum functions as a preventive medicinal herb. It works to aid the body's immunity, as well as overall health of its internal organs. It acts as an anti-fungal, anti-hypotensive, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory agent. It also functions to block the spread of tumor or cancerous cells as a part of its anti-tumor properties.

Types
There are two forms of Ganoderma lucidum. The form common to North America has a very short stem. The other form, which is common in other parts of the world, including tropical climates, grows with a longer stem.

Benefits
Ganoderma lucidum has many health benefits. It is used to treat insomnia, asthma, chronic bronchitis and heart disease and is used in skin care. As a total herb, it also has systemic benefits in treating tumors, detoxifying the body through liver cleansing, as well as treatment for heart disease. Its antioxidant properties allows it to reduce the signs of aging, and it also treats hypertension.

Effects
The many color variations of Ganoderma lucidum is another feature of its many health benefits. Ganoderma lucidum is categorized in Chinese medicine according to its six main color types. These colors are claimed to complement and treat certain corresponding body areas. These classifications can be found in The Chinese Herbal Materia Medica.

The red-colored form provides a corresponding benefit to the heart. Red reflects the color of the blood and the organs of the circulatory system. Its purple form corresponds to cartilage, bone endings and joints. Green-colored Ganoderma lucidum has a recorded effect on the liver's functions.

White forms of the Ganoderma lucidum is used for skin treatments and lung conditions. Yellow forms of the mushroom promotes health and healing of the spleen, while its black forms are most effective for the brain and kidney ailments. Practitioners consider the color and type of Ganoderma lucidum when treating these types of ailments.





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