Safety and tolerability of Ganoderma lucidum in healthy subjects: a double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial

Am J Chin Med. 2007;35(3):407-14. doi: 10.1142/S0192415X07004928.


Ganoderma lucidum is a herbal medicine commonly used in oriental countries as a remedy for treating various medical conditions. In this controlled study, we evaluated the safety and tolerance of oral administration of Ganoderma lucidum in 16 human volunteers who received 2 grams of the extract or placebo twice daily for 10 consecutive days. During the study, information from subjective questionnaires were obtained, electrocardiograms, complete blood counts, blood chemistry analysis and urinalysis were performed. In addition, blood tests reflecting immunity were done. Our data showed that compared to placebo group, no adverse effects were observed after the extract intake. Although there were no obvious changes in CD4, CD8, and CD19 levels after the extract, CD56 cell count increased during the study and returned to baseline 10 days after the herbal intake. However, due to relatively high variability and small sample size, this CD56 increase did not achieve statistical significance, and remains to be re-evaluated in the future. It appears that an additional long-term safety and tolerance trial with herbal dose-escalating design is warranted.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • CD56 Antigen / blood
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / administration & dosage*
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / adverse effects*
  • Fatigue
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reishi*
  • Thirst


  • CD56 Antigen
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal