Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) – Scientific Research Synopsis

Reishi extract is commonly used in Oriental Medicine as almost a cure-all. Both medical practitioners and regular people use it for things as innocent as stress and the common cold to more serious afflictions like asthma and cancer.

One of the most ardent proponents of reishi is Dr Fukumi Morishige, a Japanese medical doctor working with the Linus Pauling Institute of Science & Medicine in researching the use of reishi for cancer.

The following case reports were given by Dr. Morishige in a speech re-printed in the periodical, Chinese Traditional Medicine Part III.

Growing up in Japan as Dr. Morishige did, it was impossible not to have heard of reishi. But he dismissed it as a mild herbal remedy to be used with limited results for non-terminal illnesses, not as a viable option for treating terminal conditions such as cancer. His curiosity arose when two of his cancer patients showed signs of remission, which they themselves claimed were due to their use of reishi.

The first was a 39-year-old female with lung cancer. Several hospitals had given her the same prognosis. The condition was too far progressed; there was nothing they could do to help her. She'd also been having secondary complications to the cancer in the form of edema of the chest cavity. But by the time she came to see Dr. Morishige six months later, those symptoms had completely disappeared. The patient herself insisted the improvement was due to 4 grams of reishi per day.

After that, there was the case of the young boy with congenital liver cancer. Four years before he came to see Dr. Morishige, the boy's original doctor had sent him home with his parents, claiming the condition was terminal and there was nothing he could do to help. But when Dr. Morishige examined the now 9-year-old-boy, he could find no trace of the tumor. The boy's parents said they had been giving their son reishi via his naso-gastric feeding tube. This is when Dr. Morishige decided that reishi deserved a closer look.

The following are five of his case studies using reishi and Vitamin C (for prevention of side effects):

Case 1: A patient with a 5 cm (2 in.) brain tumor who had lost consciousness was placed on 6 gm of reishi per day in June of '86. By September, this 70-year-old-male patient had emerged from his comatose state. The reishi was decreased to 3 gm per day. Another three months later, December of 1986, scans showed diminishing size of the tumor. After it shrunk to 1 cm (0.4 in.), the hospital released the man to return home and live with his family.

Case 2: A 50-year-old woman who had lung cancer and was coughing up blood was put on 6 grams of reishi per day. After six months, the tumor had disappeared. At the onset of treatment, she was unable to climb stairs. At the end, she was able to climb stairs with little effort.

Case 3: Patient with breast cancer that had spread to the bones was in unbearable pain and immobilized below the head. An initial dose of 9 grams of reishi daily was increased to 20 grams per day. Two months later, the woman was pain free and released after demonstrating improvement in her ability to walk.

Case 4: A patient with rectal cancer, which had metastasized to the liver, was administered 6 gm/day of reishi. CT scans taken 6 months later showed tumor shrinkage and patient reported feeling better.

Case 5: A patient with pancreatic cancer and short life prognosis was put on 9 grams of reishi per day, orally, and 30 grams of Vitamin C, intravenously. Twelve months later, he reported that he longer experienced any symptoms and was back to work. He said he'd continued taking 5 grams per day of reishi after leaving the hospital.

Note: This article is provided for informational purposes only. The product mentioned herein has not been approved by the FDA for use in treating cancer. Never use this or any other herb to treat a life-threatening disease without consulting a licensed physician.

Reference: Morishige, Fukumi, 1987. Chinese Traditional Medicine Part III, Page 12 - 23, ISBN4-88580-053-6 C-0077