Ganoderma lucidum and its pharmaceutically active compounds

Biotechnol Annu Rev. 2007;13:265-301. doi: 10.1016/S1387-2656(07)13010-6.


Ganoderma lucidum is a wood-degrading basidiomycete with numerous pharmacological effects. Since the mushroom is very rare in nature, artificial cultivation of fruiting bodies has been known on wood logs and on sawdust in plastic bags or bottles. Biotechnological cultivation of G. lucidum mycelia in bioreactors has also been established, both on solid substrates and in liquid media by submerged cultivation of fungal biomass. The most important pharmacologically active constituents of G. lucidum are triterpenoids and polysaccharides. Triterpenoids have been reported to possess hepatoprotective, anti-hypertensive, hypocholesterolemic and anti-histaminic effects, anti-tumor and anti-engiogenic activity, effects on platelet aggregation and complement inhibition. Polysaccharides, especially beta-d-glucans, have been known to possess anti-tumor effects through immunomodulation and anti-angiogenesis. In addition, polysaccharides have a protective effect against free radicals and reduce cell damage caused by mutagens.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / metabolism*
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / therapeutic use*
  • Polysaccharides / metabolism*
  • Polysaccharides / therapeutic use*
  • Reishi / metabolism*
  • Triterpenes / metabolism*
  • Triterpenes / therapeutic use*


  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Polysaccharides
  • Triterpenes