Ganoderma - Reishi

In my correspondence with Dr. Dennis Yeo, I get the impression that the Asian people value any specie of this genus as being excellent medicinal mushroom.  Dr. Yeo is Japanese but works for a medicinal mushroom distributor in  Singapore.  He sent me a sample pack of Reishi with Goji Berries.  He told me that the package contained a newly discovered specie of G. tsugae that grows in China.  Before I started corresponding with Dr. Yeo I understood that Reishi referred to G. lucidum, only.  Here is more information from a web site:
"Ganoderma applanatum also exhibits antibacterial (including E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus), anti-inflammatory, and anti- tumor properties and has been used traditionally to aid the lungs and respiratory system. The Reishi mushroom, also known by its formal name of Ganoderma and its Chinese name Lingzhi, has attained an unparalleled reputation in the Orient as the ultimate herbal substance. For over three thousand years it has been the most sought-after product of nature by mountain sages and by the emperors and empresses of all Eastern nations. In the first Chinese herbal text (Shennong’s Pharmacopeia) written about 2400 years ago, Reishi was classified as a "superior herb" which is defined as one that "serves to maintain life, promote radiant health and long life because of its normalizing action, and to cause no side effects, even when used continuously."
"The Ganodermas (Ling Chi) . . . Due to the extensive historic use of “Ling Chi” and the ease and speed of factory production Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi, Ling Chi or Ling Zhi) has been studied more than other Ling Chi. More study is currently being undertaken for G. applanatum (Ancient Ling Chi), G. oregonense and G. tsugae (Song Shan Ling Chi). Ganoderma applanatum is currently being used and tested for tumor inhibition, immune stimulation, hemostasis, esophageal carcinoma, rheumatic TB and as an anti-viral for HIV. "

I have found some data that implies that G. lucidum and G. tsugae might have pretty much identical medicinal properties.  In fact all Ganoderma have good medicinal properties.  Last year we had a bumper crop of G. tsugae in the Northeast.  I have  yet to find my first G. lucidum.  I found several G. curtisii.  This is believed to be closely related to G. lucidum also.  As I understand it, G. lucidum and G. tsugae are so similar that the only way to identify them, without elaborate instruments, is to note on what kind of tree they were growing.  G. lucidum grows on hardwood trees, usually oak,  while G. tsugae grows on Hemlock.

 Ganoderma applanatum is quite common in the Northeast. It is not as rich in medicinal properties as the others but still makes an excellent medicinal tea.

In making Ganoderma tea it is important to use very little mushroom since otherwise it becomes very bitter.  There is no set recipe for making any Ganoderma Tea, just as there is no recipe for making non medicinal tea.  You make simply to your own taste.  The sample I got from Singapore gave instructions of using 1/4 cup of G. tsugae per quart of water.  If you do not mind a bitter taste, you can make it stronger. 

Here are a few potential health enhancing properties of G. lucidum as given in the book "Mycomedicinals: An Informational Treatise on Mushrooms" by Stamets.
-Immune enhancing
-Biological response modifier
-Stimulates macrophage production
-Activates host's production of natural killer, T cells and tumor necrosis factors
-Tumoricidal against most cancers
-Cholesterol reducing
-Immunomodulatory properties, of which only a fraction have been studied
-Steroid-like compounds that inhibit cholesterol synthesis, allergenic response and histamines
-Relief from bronchitis, asthmas and allergies
-Fights off the growth of meth-A and LLC tumor cell lines, and cervical HeLa cells
-Strongly stimulates the activity of T-lymphocytes
-Causes 5-20-fold increase in the tumor necrosis factors in interleukin and T-lymphocytes
-Restores T-cell function in the spleen of gamma-irradiated mice
-Inhibits the growth of leukemia cells
-Anti-oxidizing properties
-Enhance the production of nitric oxides from macrophages
-Decreases other free radicals and the collateral harm they cause to healthy cells
-Targets cancerous cells
-Kills diseased cells
-Treats arthritis
-Few if any negative side effects*
-Inhibited platelet-aggregation
-Treats atherosclerosis in HIV-positive patients
-Treats inflammation of the brain
-Treats prostate inflammation
-Treats inflammation responses in the immune system
-Potent inhibitor of enzyme closely related to liver dysfunction
-Helpful for those developing cirrhosis from hepatitis
-Treats chronic hepatitis and post-hepatic cirrhosis
-Improves respiration
-Naturalizes blood pressure
-Blood sugar moderator (diabetics)
-Kidney tonic
-Liver tonic
-Nerve tonic
-Stress reducer
-Enhanced stamina
-Increases coronary flow
-Decreases diastolic pressure without altering heart rhythm
-Fights Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
-Helpful in immunotherapy
-Corrects skin disorders including some skin cancers
-Cures rashes
-Helps heal wounds
-Very very low toxicity

* The only negative side effect that I have heard from any Medicinal Mushroom is with Reishi,
occasionally causes people to have dry mouth.

"Many strains of Reishi, thought to be Ganoderma lucidum, are actually G. resinaceum, a nearly identical reddish species which shares in common many of the same antimicrobial properties,"

"Although Ganoderma lucidum is the best known, many other relatives possess medicinal properties, and are currently being studied. Of particular interest are the conifer-degrading species, specifically Ganoderma applanatum, Ganoderma oregonense and Ganoderma tsugae (Zhang et al, 1994; Mizuno et al., 1995)."

You would think that 13 years later there would be more information available, but it is very hard to find.  It appears that most research is going on in Asia and Russia but the information is not made readily available to the public.  In the USA, I assume, the pharmaceutical industry must be testing these mushrooms but they are interested in them only if they can make a pill or concentrated medication that they can sell for a specific ailment.  It is not to their advantage to advertise what natural medications are found in Ganoderma.