Effects of ganoderma lucidum extract on chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in a rat model

Am J Chin Med. 2005;33(5):807-15. doi: 10.1142/S0192415X05003429.


Chemotherapy is highly cytotoxic, causing a number of severe adverse effects such as nausea and vomiting. Herbal medicines, which can often be used on a daily basis for prolonged treatment, may be clinically beneficial. Ganoderma lucidum or Lingzhi mushroom has been recognized as a remedy in treating a number of medical conditions, including balancing immunity and decreasing drug-induced side effects. It has been shown that rats react to emetic stimuli, like the chemotherapy agent cisplatin, by increased consumption of kaolin, known as pica; and this rat model has been utilized to evaluate novel anti-emetic compounds. In this study, we evaluated the effects of a G. lucidum extract (SunRecome, the most commonly used Lingzhi mushroom extract in China) in attenuating cisplatin-induced nausea and vomiting in the rat pica model. We observed that intraperitoneal cisplatin injection caused a significant increase in kaolin intake at 24, 48, 72 and 96 hours, reflecting cisplatin's nausea and vomiting action. This cisplatin-induced kaolin intake dose-dependently decreased after 1, 3 and 10 mg/kg G. lucidum extract injection (p < 0.01). In addition, there was a significant reduction of food intake after cisplatin. The cisplatin-induced food intake reduction improved significantly after G. lucidum extract administrations in a dose-related manner (p < 0.01), suggesting a supportive effect of the extract on general body condition. Future controlled clinical trials are needed to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of this herbal medication.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cisplatin / adverse effects*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / administration & dosage*
  • Injections, Intraperitoneal
  • Male
  • Nausea / chemically induced*
  • Nausea / drug therapy*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Reishi*
  • Vomiting / chemically induced*
  • Vomiting / drug therapy*


  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Cisplatin