A Review on Ganoderma (King of herbs): Health benefits as health supplements

  • Monika Semwal Kukreja Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Dehradun, U.K., India
  • Yogita Sharma Kukreja Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Dehradun, U.K., India
Keywords: Ganoderma lucidum, cancer, bioactive pathways, triterpene, polysaccharide.


Ganoderma lucidum (G. lucidum), commonly referred to as Lingzhi in China, is a fungus which has been widely used through the centuries for the general promotion of health and longevity in Asiancountries.TheLatinwordlucidusmeans“shiny”or“brilliant”andreferstothevarnished appearance of the surface of the mushroom. In China, G. lucidum is called lingzhi, whereas in Japan the name for the Ganodermataceae family is reishi ormannentake. The anti-cancer effects of G.lucidum have been demonstrated in both invitro and invivo studies.Inaddition,the observed anti-cancer activities of Ganoderma have prompted its usage by cancer patients alongside chemotherapy. It has been known to have numerous pharmacological effects including immuno- modulating, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, anti-oxidative and radical-scavenging, and anti-aging effects. The main two bioactive components of G. lucidum can be broadly grouped into triterpenes and polysaccharides. Despite triterpenes and polysaccharides being widely known as the major active ingredients, the different biological pathways by which they exert their anti-cancer effect remain poorly defined.Several types of Ganoderma products are available on the market including ground fruiting bodies or mycelium processed into capsule or tablet form; extracts from fruiting body or mycelium dried and processed into capsule or tablet form, Ganodermabeer and Ganoderma hair tonics (Jong and Birmingham, 1992).Most mushrooms are 90% water by weight. For G. lucidum, the remaining 10% consists of 26–28% carbohydrate,3–5%crudefat,59%crudefibre,and7–8%crudeprotein.Inaddition,G.lucidum contains a wide variety of bioactive constituents such as terpenoids, steroids, phenols, glycoproteins, and polysaccharides. In this review, we focused on the various health benefit of G. lucidum, in particular, the two main active ingredients: triterpenes and polysaccharides.