Ganoderma Lucidum (Reishi Mushroom) and cancer

J BUON. Jul-Aug 2016;21(4):792-798.


Having a long historical past in traditional Chinese medicine, Ganoderma Lucidum (G. Lucidum) is a type of mushroom believed to extend life and promote health. Due to the increasing consumption pattern, it has been cultivated and marketed intensively since the 1970s. It is claimed to be effective in the prevention and treatment of many diseases, and in addition, it exerts anticancer properties. Almost all the data on the benefits of G. Lucidum are based on laboratory and preclinical studies. The few clinical studies conducted are questionable. Nevertheless, when the findings obtained from laboratory studies are considered, it turns that G. Lucidum is likely to have some benefits for cancer patients. What is important at this point is to determine the components that will provide these benefits, and use them in drug development, after testing their reliability. In conclusion, it would be the right approach to abstain from using and incentivizing this product, until its benefits and harms are set out clearly, by considering its potential side effects.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Agaricales / chemistry
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Medicine, Chinese Traditional / methods
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Plant Preparations / therapeutic use*
  • Reishi / chemistry*


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Plant Preparations