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Reishi - Ganoderma lucidum

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This monograph is intended to serve as a guide to industry for the preparation of Product Licence Applications (PLAs) and labels for natural health product market authorization. It is not intended to be a comprehensive review of the medicinal ingredient.


  • Text in parentheses is additional optional information which can be included on the PLA and product label at the applicant's discretion.
  • The solidus (/) indicates that the terms and/or the statements are synonymous. Either term or statement may be selected by the applicant.


January 20, 2015

Proper name(s)

Ganoderma lucidum (Curtis) P. Karst. 1881 (Ganodermataceae) (CABI 2011; PPRC 2010)

Common name(s)

  • Reishi (PPRC 2010; Bensky et al. 2004; McGuffin et al. 2000)
  • Ganoderma (PPRC 2010; Bensky et al. 2004; McGuffin et al. 2000)
  • Ling zhi (Bensky et al. 2004; Chen and Chen 2004; McGuffin et al. 2000)

Source material(s)

  • Fruiting body (PPRC 2010; Leung and Foster 2003; Upton 2000; Flynn and Roest 1995)
  • Cultured mycelia (Yarnell et al. 2003; Wasser 2002)
  • Mycelia (Godfrey et al. 2010)

Route(s) of administration


Dosage form(s)

  • The acceptable pharmaceutical dosage forms include, but are not limited to capsules, chewables (e.g. gummies, tablets), liquids, powders, strips or tablets.
  • This monograph is not intended to include foods or food-like dosage forms such as bars, chewing gums or beverages.

Use(s) or Purpose(s)

Statement(s) to the effect of
Fruiting body
  • Used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to dispel phlegm, stop cough and arrest wheezing (PPRC 2010; Bensky et al. 2004; Chen and Chen 2004).
  • Used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to nourish the Heart and strengthen qi and blood to treat Heart and Spleen deficiencies that manifest in insomnia, forgetfulness, fatigue, listlessness and poor appetite (PPRC 2010; Bensky et al. 2004; Chen and Chen 2004).
  • Used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to strengthen the body and tonify qi (PPRC 2010; Bensky et al. 2004; Chen and Chen 2004).
Fruiting body; Cultured mycelia; Mycelia
  • Source of/Provides antioxidants (Wachtel-Galor et al. 2011; Godfrey et al. 2010; Wicks et al. 2007).
  • Source of fungal polysaccharides with immunomodulating properties (Chan et al. 2009; Wasser 2002).
  • Used in Herbal Medicine as a liver tonic (Godfrey et al. 2010; Yarnell et al. 2003; Saunders 2000; Huang 1999; Peirce 1999; Belanger 1997; Hsu et al. 1986).
  • Used in Herbal Medicine to support the immune system (Wachtel-Galor et al. 2011; Godfrey et al. 2010; Ko and Leung 2007; Lin 2005; Chen and Chen 2004; Wachtel-Galor et al. 2004; Hoffmann 2003; Yarnell et al. 2003; Wasser 2002; Peirce 1999; Belanger 1997; Hsu et al. 1986).
  • Used in Herbal Medicine as an adaptogen to help increase energy and resistance to stress (in case of mental and physical fatigue related to stress) (Godfrey et al. 2010; Hobbs 2003; Hoffmann 2003; Leung and Foster 1996).



Adults (≥ 18 years)


Potency (Optional): Up to 40 % polysaccharides
Antioxidant; Source of polysaccharides

Up to 15 g dried reishi, per day (Wachtel-Galor et al. 2011)

Dry, Powder, tincture, fluid extract:
Up to 6 g dried reishi, per day (Godfrey et al. 2010)

Liver tonic; Adaptogen; TCM - cough; TCM - heart; TCM - tonify qi

3 - 15 g dried reishi, per day (Godfrey et al. 2010; PPRC 2010; Bensky et al. 2004; Chen and Chen 2004).

Dry, Powder, tincture, fluid extract:
1.5 - 6 g dried reishi, per day (Bensky et al. 2004; Chen and Chen 2004; Hobbs 2003; Upton 2000; Huang 1999).

Immune support

3 - 15 g dried reishi, per day (Wachtel-Galor et al. 2011; Wasser 2002).

Tincture, fluid extract:
1.5 - 6 g dried reishi, per day (Godfrey et al. 2010)

Directions for use

To avoid digestive upset, take with food/meal (Flynn and Roest 1995).


  • Non-extracted powder preparations are not acceptable to support the recommended use "Used in Herbal Medicine to support the immune system".
  • Refer to Appendix 1 for a summary of acceptable doses based on method of preparation.
  • Refer to Appendix 2 for an example of decoction preparation.

Duration of use

No statement required.

Risk information

Statement(s) to the effect of

Caution(s) and warning(s)

TCM - cough
If symptoms persist or worsen, consult a health care practitioner.


No statement required.

Known adverse reaction(s)

Hypersensitivity/allergy can occur; in which case, discontinue use (derMarderosian and Beutler 2008; Bensky et al. 2004; Gao et al. 2003, 2002).

Non-medicinal ingredients

Must be chosen from the current Natural Health Products Ingredients Database and must meet the limitations outlined in the database.

Storage conditions

Statement(s) to the effect of

Store in a dry place at room temperature (PPRC 2010).


  • The finished product specifications must be established in accordance with the requirements described in the Natural and Non-prescription Health Products Directorate (NNHPD) Quality of Natural Health Products Guide.
  • The medicinal ingredient must comply with the requirements outlined in the NHPID.

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Appendix 1

Summary of acceptable doses based on method of preparation
  Daily dose of dried reishi (g)

Table 1 Footnotes

Table 1 Footnote 1

At least one of the following references was consulted per recommended use: Wachtel-Galor et al. 2011; Godfrey et al.; PPRC 2010; Bensky et al. 2004; Chen and Chen 2004; Wasser 2002

Return to Table 1 footnote1 referrer

Table 1 Footnote 2

At least one of the following references was consulted per recommended use: Godfrey et al. 2010; PPRC 2010; Bensky et al. 2004; Chen and Chen 2004; Hobbs 2003

Return to Table 1 footnote2 referrer

Table 1 Footnote 3

At least one of the following references was consulted per recommended use: Godfrey et al. 2010; Upton 2000, Huang 1999

Return to Table 1 footnote3 referrer

Recommended use Decoction1 Powder2 Non-standardized extracts 3
Antioxidant; Source of polysaccharides Up to 15 Up to 6 Up to 6
Liver tonic; Adaptogen 3 - 15 1.5 - 6 1.5 - 6
Immune support 3 - 15 Not acceptable 1.5 - 6
TCM - cough; TCM - heart; TCM - tonify qi 3 - 15 1.5 - 6 1.5 - 6

Appendix 2

Boil 2-15 g of chopped or powdered reishi mushrooms in approximately 2 L of water. Slowly simmer for 20-60 minutes. When the water is reduced to approximately 2/3 then strain the liquid (Upton 2000).