Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi) for Diabetes

 In Naturopathic News

A recent study on Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi mushroom) revealed a more detailed explanation of how the traditional chinese herb helps in the treatment of diabetes.1 Reishi has been used for centuries in China to nourish the heart, enrich the blood, and tonify the body. In fact, Ganoderma lucidum is one of the most researched herbs in Japan and China, extensively studied for it therapeutic actions as an immune enhancer, cardio-tonic, hypoglycemic, and hepatoprotectant.2 There is growing interest in using Reishi in adjunctive cancer therapies, as well as diabetes management.

Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi mushroom)

Ganoderma lucidum, or Reishi, is a fungus which grows typically in temperate or subtropic regions, particularly on eastern hemlocks that are dead or dying. For medicinal cultivation it is grown on woodchips. It contains polysaccharides and triterpene constituents which are accredited for much of its medicinal value.

Study Reviewed 4 Distinct Polysaccharides from Reishi

The current study looked at 4 distinct polysaccharides from Reishi, and their effect on fasting serum glucose (FSG), fasting serum insulin (FSI), and fat to body weight ratio. It also looked at mRNA levels of hepatic glucose regulatory enzymes as well as levels of phosph-AMP-activated protein kinase. GLUT4 levels, restin, fatty acid synthase (FAS) and acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC1) were analyzed within adipose tissue upon administration of the various polysaccharide fractions.

Conclusion Results Strongly Favor F31 Fraction of Ganoderma lucidum

One of the fractions (F31) was found to be very active in down-regulating hepatic glucose enzyme mRNA levels. Insulin resistance was also improved as well as a decrease in fat to body weight ratio. The conclusion of the study is that the results strongly favor an antidiabetic potential for the F31 fraction of Ganoderma lucidum.


  1. Xiao C, Wu Q, Zhang J, Xie Y, Cai W, Tan J. Antidiabetic activity of Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides F31 down-regulated hepatic glucose regulatory enzymes in diabetic mice. J Ethnopharmacol. 2017;196:47-57.
  2. American Herbal Pharmacopoeia • Reishi Mushroom • April 2006.
  3. Veena, S.S.; Pandey, M. “Paddy straw as a substrate for the cultivation of Lingzhi or Reishi medicinal mushroom, Ganoderma lucidum (W.Curt.:Fr.) P. Karst. in India”. International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms. 13 (4): 397–400
Image Copyright: <a href=’’>photodee / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

Node Smith, associate editor for NDNR, is a fifth year naturopathic medical student at NUNM, where he has been instrumental in maintaining a firm connection to the philosophy and heritage of naturopathic medicine among the next generation of docs. He helped found the first multi-generational experiential retreat, which brings elders, alumni, and students together for a weekend camp out where naturopathic medicine and medical philosophy are experienced in nature. Three years ago he helped found the non-profit, Association for Naturopathic ReVitalization (ANR), for which he serves as the board chairman. ANR has a mission to inspire health practitioners to embody the naturopathic principles through experiential education. Node also has a firm belief that the next era of naturopathic medicine will see a resurgence of in-patient facilities which use fasting, earthing, hydrotherapy and homeopathy to bring people back from chronic diseases of modern living; he is involved in numerous conversations and projects to bring about this vision. 

Recommended Posts

Start typing and press Enter to search