Ganoderma lucidum Spore: The Reason Why Its Wall Should be Broken for Medicinal Use

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Noppamas Soonthornchareonnon

Abstract

Ganoderma lucidum, commonly known as reishi or lingzhi mushroom, is regarded as a precious highvalue medicinal herb. It can stimulate the immune system in cancer patients. It is used to relieve pain, protect against nerve degeneration, reduce blood sugar and cholesterol, and it shows anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory activites. The active substances are polysaccharides and triterpenes which are found in the spores. Broken spores contain more active compounds and are more active than unbroken spores because of their thick two-layer walls. The result of this study showed that alcohol and dichloromethane did not extract the triterpenes from unbroken spores. Moreover, boiling unbroken spores in water can extract some polysaccharides but their quantity is less than that of broken spores. Furthermore, the acid or alkaline condition which simulates gastric or intestinal conditions, respectively, is not able to break the spore wall as proven by electron microscopic examination, TLC chromatograms, or active substances analysis. Therefore, broken spores should be used as a medicinal product for oral administration in order to achieve higher amounts of the active principles, better gastrointestinal absorption and hence better therapeutic value.

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