The beneficial medicinal effects of G. lucidum may be summarized as follows:
Effect on Hepatitis B
G. lucidum has been shown to be effective in the treatment of Hepatitis B resulting in the lowering of SGPT and SCOT levels to normal, and the sero-conversion of HBs antigen to HE, antibody(3). Extract of G. lucidum when administered concurrently with glutathione against liver damage by car- bon tetrachloride, proved to be beneficial against hepatic necrosis and hepatitis(4). It was also discovered that extract of G. lucidum could probably augment the rate of toxin transformation and subsequent bile excretion, thereby acting as a liver detoxicant and protectant(5).
Effect on Diabetes
Extract of G. lucidum has also been found to be effective in reducing the blood glucose level after two months of treatments). Ganoderan B was considered to enhance glucose utilization because it increased the plasma insulin level in normal and glucose loaded mice, but did not affect the insulin binding to isolated adipocytes(6). The hypoglycaemic activity of G. lucidum is thus due to an increase of the plasma insulin level and an acceleration of glucose metabolism occurring not only in the peripheral tissues but also in the liver.
Effect on Hypertension
G. lucidum is also effective in lowering hypertensive blood pressure. This is due to the presence of lanostane derivatives especially ganoderic acids B, D, F, H, K, S and Y which exert their hypotensive activities (7).
Effect on Acute Myeloblastic Leukaemia
Acute myeloblastic leukaemic patients were treated with high doses of G. lucidum (6 capsules 3 times a day) prior to chemotherapy and continued for a period of three months. The chemotherapy regimen consisting of cytarabine and daunorubicin was given on a monthly basis in order to induce remission. CNS prophylaxis was given with cranial irradiation. All the patients had a subjective response when G. lucidum was included in their treatment regimen. Changes in their NBC, hemoglobin and platelet counts were either significant or very significant after 3 months of treatment. Despite the remission for the past 3 years, the long term prognosis seems encouraging.
Effect on Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma
Five patients with stage III nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) were given 6 capsules of G. lucidum 3 times a day for 1 week before radio-and chemotherapy and continued for a course of 8 months while they were given a complete course of irradiation lasting for 6 weeks. The chemotherapy regimen consisting of cyclophosphomide, lomustine, dannorubicin and vincristine was administered every month for a period of 4 months. Objective response occurred in all the NPC patients with very significant tumor shrinkage after 40 days of treatment with G. lucidum in concurrence with radio- and chemotherapy. The tumors were completely regressed after 90 days of combined treatment and were in remission for the last three and a half years. It is conceivable that G. lucidum plays an adjuvant role in combination with radio- and chemotherapy, thereby rendering the complete regression of the tumors. Since both polysaccharides’ and organic germanium derived from G. lucidum are not cytotoxic to tumor cells, the antitumor effect is attributable to induced immunopotentiation. As an immunopotentiator, G lucidum accelerates the production of interlukin-2 from helper T cells and potentiates the induction of different types of anti-tumor cells, such as NK cells and cytotoxic macrophages, in addition to the induction of interferon production. The patients felt more energetic, and had a better appetite and slept better. Nausea and vomiting were mild whereas stomatitis and sore throat were transient. Their pain was alleviated, and no other side effects were observed.
Effect on Wound Healing
Three patients with diabetic wounds were healed between 15 to 22 days. This might be due to the glucan from the cell walls of G. lucidum that could activate the fibroblast migration in order to achieve wound healing and tissue proliferation. Considering all these effective findings, further research on G. lucidum as a potential nutriceutical for similar illnesses or other ailments seems warranted.
1. Teow, S. S. l986. Cultivation of Ganoderma lucidum and its medicinal value. In extended Abstract. 9th Malaysian Microbiology Symposium, 79-82.
2. Teow, S. S. 1994. Ganoderma lucidum in 40 days. In Abstract. ’94 International Symposium on Ganoderma Research. P 21.
3. Teow, S .S. 1997. The effective application of Ganoderma nutriceuticals. In B.K. Kim, C.K. Moon, and T.S. Kim (Eds), Recent Progress in Ganoderma lucidum Research (pp. 21-39) Seoul, Korea. The Pharmaceutical Society of Korea.
4. Byun, S. H. & Rim I.H. 1987. Studies on the concur rent administration of Ganoderma lucidum extract and glutathione on liver damage induced by carbon tetrachloride in rats. J. Pharm.. Boo. Korea, 31:133-139.
5. Liu, G. Ban, T., Niu, X., Li, S. & Sung, Z.1979. Some pharmacological actions of the spores of Ganoderma lucidum and the mycelium of Ganoderma capense cultivated by submerged fermentation. Chinese Med. J. 92:496-600.
6. Hikino, H. Ishiyama, M., Suzuki, Y. & Kono, C. 1989. Mechanism of hypoglycemic activity of Ganoderma B: A glycan of Ganoderma lucidum fruit bodies. Plants Medica, 55:423-428.7. Morigiwa, A.) Kitabatake, K., Fujimoto, Y. & Ikekawa 1986. Angiotensin converting enzyme-inhibiting