Ganoderma lucidum (Curt.: Fr.) Karst. – health-promoting properties. A review
This paper presents the characteristics of the species Ganoderma lucidum in terms of health-promoting properties. This species is rare in Poland, and is subject to strict protection. Reishi is classified as a medicinal mushroom which fruiting bodies are characterized by a content of active substances with diverse positive effects on human health. G. lucidum is particularly rich source of bioactive compounds, which are obtained from fruiting bodies, mycelium and spores of this species. The therapeutic effect of G. lucidum extracts has been demonstrated in many scientific studies. The most important pharmacological and physiological effects include: immunomodulatory, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, anti-atherosclerosis, antidiabetic and antiaging. Reishi has also a beneficial effect on liver cells and the cardiovascular system and protects in case of stomach ulcers. Due to its properties G. lucidum can be used in the prevention and treatment of life-threatening diseases, such as cancer, stroke and heart diseases.