A sturdy immune system capable of adjusting to ever-changing situations is a key factor in preventing the manifestation of any sickness. One important aspect of immune function is its ability to self-regulate so it doesn`t become hyperactive and attack your own tissues, as in the case with Rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints. Autoimmune diseases are illnesses that occur when the body’s tissues are mistakenly attacked by their own immune system. RA can cause inflammation of the tissue around the joints, as well as in other organs in the body.
Researchers have identified that water-soluble polysaccharides are the most active element found in Red Lingzhi that have anti-tumour, immune modulating and blood pressure lowering effects with proven capacity to deliver relief and even assist in reversing the condition of RA.
RA’s hyper-inflammatory response can lead to the destruction of cartilage and the loss of mobility. Symptoms of RA can include swollen and stiff joints, accompanied by considerable pain and loss of function. It is three times more common in women than men, with the first onset of symptoms usually occurring between the ages of 40 and 60. RA is usually treated by contemporary medicine with cortisone-like steroids that suppress the immune system. Even in low dosages, these drugs can cause osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, weight gain, or high blood sugar. Most importantly, this unnatural and dangerous approach to artificially suppressing the immune system can leave you susceptible to other infections.
Lingzhi mushroom , also known as Ganoderma lucidum, is one of the oldest known herbal medicines in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). It is native to China, Japan, and North America and has been used for thousands of years, and is revered for its longevity-promoting capabilities. Lingzhi influences cells that regulate the immune system – namely, lymphatic cells and interferon alpha and interferon beta cells and has the ability to “educate” these cells of immunity so that they better respond to the body`s needs. In other words, with the help of Lingzhi, if cells of the immune system are not responsive enough, they will be called to action, or if they are hyperactive such as in the case of an autoimmune disorder such as RA, they will back down.
In a 2007 study published by the University of Hong Kong, the polysaccharide peptides in Lingzhi were found to “significantly inhibit the proliferation of Rheumatoid Arthritis Synovial Fibroblasts (RASF).”
Nutrients of Lingzhi
Lingzhi capsules or a Lingzhi tea that you consume today may have been one hundred years or more in the making. First, a tree grows and lives for decades, absorbing energy and nutrients from the sun and the soil. Then, when the tree begins to die, mushrooms will attach to the tree, absorb the life force and further concentrate the nutritional content and medicinal qualities that the tree has acquired throughout its life.
Active ingredients are triterpenes, called ganoderic acids. Studies have indicated that ganoderic acids help alleviate common allergies by inhibiting histamine release, improve oxygen utilization and improve liver functions.
According to classical Chinese literature, Lingzhi is classified as a superior herb. Superior herbs are said to be non-toxic and can be consumed in large quantities and for a long period without any side effects.
After 2,000 years, there are still no side effects reported in available literature and clinical studies. However, sensitive individuals may experience some detoxification symptoms such as mild digestive upset, dizziness, sore bones, and skin rashes during the initial period of intake. This is the excretion of accumulated toxic matters from modern day foods and vigorous activities of the body metabolism. These are all normal signs of recovery and an indication that the medicinal effect of Lingzhi is functioning well.
Taking a source of Vitamin C with Lingzhi can help reduce any side effects which may occur upon the initial intake of the herb.
Takin medications with Lingzhi
Lingzhi is a natural health supplement and there are no reported contraindications in over 2,000 years of study. However, all immune-modulating substances such as Lingzhi should be taken with care for patients undergoing organ transplants and using immunosuppressive drugs.
It is always a good idea to consult a qualified health physician (preferably someone with experience in complementary health care) before consuming any dietary supplement.
Results of taking Lingzhi
Result varies from individual to individual. Normally one can notice the benefits from taking high quality Lingzhi after about 10 days to two weeks. One can experience a significant difference with their overall well-being after taking Lingzhi continuously for two months.
Directions to take Lingzhi
Lingzhi is best taken in the morning with an empty stomach. Drinking more water will also help enhance the effects of Lingzhi by helping the body get rid of poisonous waste.
It is also recommended to take Vitamin C with Lingzhi as this will assist the body in absorbing the active ingredients in Lingzhi. Studies have shown that Vitamin C helps break down the complex polysaccarides into smaller manageable pieces for the body to absorb.
Benefits of Lingzhi
The following table was found in a published article titled Medicinal mushrooms: their therapeutic properties and current medical usage with special emphasis on cancer treatments from Cancer Research UK. Chapter 3 – medicinally important mushrooms:
- Anti-allergic activity
- Bronchitis-preventative effect, inducing regeneration of bronchial epithelium
- Antibacterial, against Staphylococci, Streptococci, and Bacillus pneumoniae (perhaps due to increased
- immune system activity)
- Antioxidant, by eliminating hydroxyl free radicals
- Antitumor activity
- Antiviral effect, by inducing interferon production
- Lowers blood pressure
- Enhances bone marrow nucleated cell proliferation
- Cardiotonic action, lowering serum cholesterol levels with no effect on triglycerides, enhancing
- myocardial metabolism of hypoxic animals, and improving coronary artery hemodynamics
- Central depressant and peripheral anticholinergic actions on the autonomic nervous sytem reduce the effects of caffeine and relax muscles
- Enhanced natural killer cell (NK) activity in vitro in mice
- Expectorant and antitussive properties demonstrated in mice studies
- General immunopotentiation
- Anti-HIV activity in vitro and in vivo
- Improved adrenocortical function
- Increased production of Interleukin-1 by murine peritoneal macrophages in vitro
- Increased production of Interleukin-2 by murine splenocytes in vitro
Key active constituents :
Beta and hetero-Beta-glucans (antitumour, immunostimulating )
Ling Zhi-8 protein (anti-allergenic, immuno-modulating)
Ganodermic acids – triterpenes (anti-allergenic agents, cholesterol and blood pressure reducing)
However, once again it is recommended to consult a qualified health physician just to be safe when taking any dietary supplement.