Ganoderma lucidum, also known as reishi or ling zhi, is a leathery mushroom that's been popular in Asian medicine for thousands of years. According to a December 2009 study in Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Ganoderma has anti-inflammatory and immunomodulating properties, making it useful for treating chronic inflammatory and autoimmune disorders. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) involve inflammation of the joints, often accompanied by swelling and pain. RA is also an autoimmune disease that can cause inflammation in other parts of the body, leading to permanent damage. Ganoderma may reduce the pain and inflammation and, in the case of RA, modify the autoimmune reaction.
Make a Decoction
Chop ½ ounce of the dried mushroom into tiny pieces, or measure ½ ounce of the powdered herb.
Place the ganoderma in a pot with a cover.
Pour three cups of cold water over the herb. If using the chopped herb, let it soak in the cold water for two to three hours before boiling. It is important to use cold water to assure that all nutrients will be extracted properly.
Bring the mixture to a boil slowly. Different nutrients from the herb will be extracted at different temperatures as the water boils.
Lower the heat after the mixture boils, cover and let simmer for 45 minutes.
Remove from the heat and let the decoction cool to drinking temperature.
Strain the mixture through a paper coffee filter or a metal strainer.
Drink one cup of this tea three times a day. Store the remainder in a covered glass jar in the refrigerator.
Use a Tincture
Shake the tincture bottle well.
Add 30 to 40 drops of the tincture to ½ ounce of water.
Drink this mixture three times a day.
Add water to the decoction to restore it to three cups if too much boils away during preparation.
Buy high-quality dried Ganoderma or Ganoderma tincture from reputable sources.
Consult your doctor if you have allergies to molds or fungi.
Stop taking the herb if you experience mild stomach upset, diarrhea or skin rash.
Do not take Ganoderma if you are taking blood-thinning (anticoagulant) medication, since Ganoderma may enhance the action of these drugs.
Do not take Ganoderma if you are taking medication to lower blood sugar, because Ganoderma has been known to lower blood sugar.