May 032011

Although this page is titled Ganoderma Lucidum Side Effects,  what I will be focusing on in general will be an important but small list of possible drug interactions and concerns.  And while the list of ganoderma benefits is truly impressive,  we as consumers must do our homework.  It is recommended that you consult a doctor trained in herbal medicine before starting any supplement program.

Medicine or Food?

Ganoderma lucidum,  also known as Ling-Zhi or the reishi mushroom is both a medicine and a food.  And while we consider most foods to be safe,  the ones that fall into the medicinal category may require some care if you are also taking any medication.  It should be noted however that any change in diet may require an adjustment of prescription medication.

Ganoderma lucidum is somewhat similar to cordyceps sinensis in the way that it affects certain functions of the body.  This is why many of these medicinal funji are consumed as a complex.  Cordyceps side effects and possible interactions will be similar to ganoderma because their chemical makeup is similar.

Ganoderma Lucidum-Drug Interactions

This section isn’t to say that ganoderma lucidum will definitely have a reaction with any of the medications or conditions.  These are mainly due to possible additive effects from combining this medicinal mushroom and a prescription medication.

  • Blood Thinning Medications-This includes Warfarin (Coumadin),  Plavix,  and aspirin.  There have been no reported complications from combining ganoderma lucidum (reishi mushroom) with any of these medicines.  But ganoderma has a very significant anti-platelet,  blood thinning effect.  If you take any of these medications,  you must consult a doctor trained in herbal medicines and have your bleeding time tested frequently.
  • Cholesterol Levels-Ganoderma lucidum naturally lowers cholesterol.  It is true that most people aren’t worried about their cholesterol being too low.  But it is possible that you might have to adjust your dosage of drugs such as statins.
  • Blood Pressure-Ganoderma lucidum naturally lowers blood pressure.  If you are taking any blood pressure medication,  it may be necessary to lower your dosage.
  • Autoimmune Function-Ganoderma lucidum has shown a clear effect on the immune system.  This is multi-pronged and may affect different people in different ways.  Ganoderma has been shown to improve immune function and NK cell activity.  It has shown anti-tumor and anti-cancer effects.  It has also been shown to have anti-allergic activity.  This means that it may calm the immune system as not to attack healthy tissue.  This makes it important that people with autoimmune diseases consult a doctor because of a possible additive effect to medicines such as corticosteroids.

Ganoderma Lucidum Side Effects

The only reported side effects of ganoderma lucidum have been upset stomach,  dizziness,  and a mild rash. But it should be noted that an allergic reaction may occur after taking any supplement including ganoderma lucidum.

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