Ganoderma lucidum has a long history of medicinal uses in the Far East countries of more than 2000 years due to its healing properties. Recently, G. lucidum has come under scientific scrutiny to evaluate its content of bioactive components that affect human physiology, and has been exploited for potent components in the pharmacology, nutraceuticals, and cosmetics industries. For instance, evidence is accumulating on the potential of this mushroom species as a promising antiviral medicine for treating many viral diseases, such as dengue virus, enterovirus 71, and recently coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19). Still, more research studies on the biotherapeutic components of G. lucidum are needed to ensure the safety and efficiency of G. lucidum and promote the development of commercial functional foods. This paper provides an extensive overview of the nutraceutical value of Ganoderma lucidum and the development of commercial functional food. Moreover, the geo-origin tracing strategies of this mushroom and its products are discussed, a highly important parameter to ensure product quality and safety. The discussed features will open new avenues and reveal more secrets to widely utilizing this mushroom in many industrial fields; i.e., pharmaceutical and nutritional ones, which will positively reflect the global economy.
Keywords: COVID-19; Ganoderma lucidum; antiviral drugs; functional food; geo-tracing; health risks; prebiotics; therapeutic properties.