Pacific Herbs Ingredient Reishi Mushroom

Reishi Mushroom (Ganoderma Lucidum)

Pac Herbs Ingredient Reishi MushroomReishi mushroom contains large amounts of polysaccharides which are food for our gut bacteria. By feeding your gut bacteria you boost diversity and colonies of beneficial bacteria which in turn boost your immune system.

reishi mushroom

Reishi Mushroom Benefits Your Immune System

Supporting the body’s natural healing response with medicinal mushrooms

For centuries, mushrooms have been used for their medicinal and therapeutic properties. The reported benefits of medicinal mushrooms include anti-inflammatory, immune-supporting, anti-cancer, antiviral, and antioxidant effects. Traditional Chinese Medicine formulas frequently incorporate medicinal mushrooms to help support the body’s natural healing processes, which in turn can help to protect the body against common, modern-day health concerns often associated with chronic inflammation.

Healthy vs. Chronic Inflammation
Simply put, inflammation is part of the human body’s complex response to remove injury, irritation, damaged cells, or pathogens. It is the body’s necessary and natural response to harmful stimuli.

A healthy inflammatory response typically involves temporary physical symptoms such as fever, pain, and swelling to aid in the healing process and restore the normal structure and function of the injured tissues. In other words, the body must temporarily inflame in order to anti-inflame.

“Temporary” is the key word here. Yet in our modern world, many harmful external stimuli – think chronic stress, environmental pollutants, overly processed diets laden with sugar and industrial seed oils, and a sedentary lifestyle – can contribute to prolonged inflammation in the body.

Chronic inflammation has been associated in part with the development of many common inflammatory conditions, including inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, bronchitis, atherosclerosis, and certain autoimmune conditions. A strong link has also been established between prolonged inflammation and the development of certain types of cancers.

Risks of NSAIDS
These days, the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) is the most common treatment for reducing inflammation in the body. But NSAIDs are not a viable long-term solution. Prolonged NSAID use been associated with harmful gastrointestinal side effects such as bleeding, ulcers, lesions, and intestinal perforation. Other serious side effects include liver and kidney damage, hypertension, and other cardiovascular complications.

But there are better ways to modulate chronic inflammation.

There is a growing demand for safe and effective alternatives to conventional anti-inflammatory treatments. Western healthcare providers and patients alike are increasingly turning to forms of plant-based treatments that Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners have used for centuries – including medicinal mushrooms.

Among the most effective, potent, and well-studied medicinal mushrooms known for its anti-inflammatory and immune-supporting properties is the powerful reishi mushroom.

What is Reishi Mushroom?
Reishi mushroom is a fungus typically found in hot, humid locations around Asia. Also known as Ganoderma lucidum or Ling zhi, reishi mushroom has long been a staple in the traditional medical systems of China, Japan, Korea, and other Asian countries for its immune stimulating and other health-promoting effects.

Reishi contains molecules such as polysaccharides, triterpines, and pepdidoglycans – compounds that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and immune-modulating properties.

While the mushrooms can be eaten fresh, they are commonly used as a powder or as an extract – forms that are more concentrated and therefore more effective for therapeutic use.

Health Benefits of Reishi Mushroom
Proper immune function is crucial to a healthy inflammatory response. And a healthy digestive system is vital for proper immune function. Over 70% of the human immune system resides in the gastrointestinal tract. So what we consume on a regular basis directly influences the health of our gut bacteria.

One of the most important benefits of reishi mushroom is that it supports immune function when consumed on a consistent basis. Reishi contains concentrated amounts of complex carbohydrates known as beta glucans polysaccharides, which are exactly what our healthy gut bacteria like to eat.

Reishi is considered to be an effective form of preventative natural medicine due to its immunomodulatory effects. Lab studies suggest that beta glucans may help stop the growth of abnormal cells. When animals were fed these compounds, some cells of their immune system became more active.

Reishi mushrooms also contain sterols that can act as precursors to hormones in the body, along with substances called triterpenes that may have blood pressure-lowering and anti-allergy effects.

Additionally, studies have shown that reishi may alter inflammation pathways in white blood cells, which are a critical part of the immune system. Research has shown that some of the molecules in reishi can increase the activity of white blood cells knows as natural killer (NK) cells, which are responsible for fighting infections and cancer in the body.

In particular, reishi has been shown to have anti-cancer and anti-tumor effects in patients with colorectal , breast , and ovarian cancers. This potent medicinal mushroom has also been shown to improve quality of life in some cancer patients by alleviating common side effects of chemotherapy, and in enhancing the efficacy of radiotherapy.

Extracts of reishi have been shown to be protective to the liver and kidneys – unlike conventional anti-inflammatories such as NSAIDs, which have been linked to liver and kidney damage.

Even healthy individuals can benefit from the anti-inflammatory properties of reishi mushroom. One study showed that reishi improved white blood cell function in athletes after exposure to stress , suggesting that it may help aid in recovery.

And let’s not forget that the immune system is often depressed after strenuous efforts such as hard workouts, races, and competitions. Reishi can be an excellent way not only to enhance recovery, but also to help stave off the colds and flus that can crop up following a hard training block or competition – a common pain point for athletes and other active individuals.

How to Choose a Reishi Supplement
So what do you look for in a reishi supplement? As with any supplement, not all reishi formulations are created equal. The concentration and efficacy of the beneficial compounds in these mushrooms vary widely based on factors such as sourcing, storage, processing, and cooking methods.

And yet, many herbal products companies have no idea how or where their ingredients were grown or processed.

Importantly, the health benefits of reishi are enhanced when combined with other herbs – a concept that Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners have understood for centuries. Choosing an expertly blended formula of mushrooms and herbs that work synergistically is an excellent way to maximize the overall benefit to your health.

So how can you be sure that your reishi mushroom-based supplement is made with the highest standards for sourcing, quality, and efficacy?

There’s a reason that we work with Pacific Herbs – and have for years. Pacific Herbs’ formulations are made with the highest quality concentrated herbal granules, processed for maximum potency and effectiveness, ease of dosing, and cost savings compared to capsule products.

Pacific Herbs’ Immune Boost Herb Pack™ is a potent formulation of reishi mushroom and other synergistic herbs – and is the most concentrated herbal immune support extract available, at a 10:1 extract (i.e., one gram of the product is equivalent to 10 grams of dried herbs).

In other words, you would have to eat a lot of mushrooms to equal the amount of reishi found in a single teaspoon of Immune Boost Herb Pack™!

Pacific Herbs Immune Boost Herb Pack™ contains:
• 40% Reishi mushroom (Ling Zhi), which is high in polysaccharides that feed our good gut bacteria, and may help protect against oxidative stress.
• 30% Astralgus (Huang Qi), which has been shown to have immune protective and antioxidant effects.
• 30% Red Date, Ginger Root, and Licorice Root (“The Three Sweets”), which help balance the formula and improve absorption.
• NO fillers, binders, sugar, gluten, caffeine, magnesium stearate, artificial flavors, or preservatives. Ever!

All Pacific Herbs products are non-GMO, Kosher, and vegan, and organic and wild-crafted wherever possible. Certificates of Analysis are available to guarantee the quality and purity of every batch.

Now more than ever, there is a critical need to stay healthy and protect our loved ones. Supporting the body’s immune system and innate healing response is something that we can all do. Incorporating reishi and a synergistic blend of potent medicinal herbs into our daily lives is a great place to start.

Immune Boost Herb Pack

Support Your Overall Health by Enhancing and Feeding Your Gut Bacteria.

You will, stay healthy, have more energy throughout the day and think more clearly when you feed  your gut.

Approximately 70% of our immune system begins in the gut  where a complex microbiome ecosystem is found. It lives primarily on complex carbohydrates called “poly-saccarides”.

Build your healthy gut bacteria with herbs like reishi mushroom. When you support your gut, your mood and your entire immune system work optimally.

(Each 100g packet of Immune Boost is approximately a 30 day supply.)

Immune Boost Herb Pack benefits:

  • enhances immune function
  • address leaky gut and brain
  • helps balance the nervous system
  • improves microbiome health
  • improves lung health
  • increases nitric oxide
  • reduces inflammation
  • improves mental clarity and cognitive function
  • increases micro-circulation

One of the oldest book on plants is Shen Nong’s Divine Farmers Materia Medica, written between 200 and 250 CE, it says, “the continuous consumption of Reishi makes your body light and young, lengthens your life and turns you into one like the immortal who never dies.”

  • Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma) has concentrated polysaccharides, exactly what your gut bacteria eat

  • Traditional Asian herbs have been used for centuries to boost health

  • No pills – No capsules full of fillers

  • Highly concentrated cooked and dried granules of Reishi, Astragalus and others herbs

Papers reviewed:

  • 2023 April (Ekiz et al) – Exploring the Potential Medicinal Benefits of Ganoderma lucidum: From Metabolic Disorders to Coronavirus Infections
  • 2024 Jan (Sijia Wu et al) – Ganoderma lucidum: a comprehensive review of phytochemistry, efficacy, safety and clinical study

2023 April (Ekiz et al) – Exploring the Potential Medicinal Benefits of Ganoderma lucidum: From Metabolic Disorders to Coronavirus Infections

  • Ganoderma lucidum, a species of mushroom in the Ganoderma genus of the Ganodermataceae family.
  • This mushroom is known by different names across various countries and cultures. In Japan, it is referred to as “Reishi”, which means “spiritual potency”. In China, it is known as “Lingzhi”, which means “divine mushroom”, while in Korea, it is called “Youngzhi”, meaning “mushroom of immortality”.
  • This multiporous mushroom typically grows on the stumps of various deciduous trees, including oak, maple, elm, willow, sweetgum, magnolia, and acacia. In addition, it also grows in Europe, Asia, and North and South America, especially in temperate regions
  • G. lucidum was recorded in the ancient Chinese herbal encyclopedia
  • The structure of G. lucidum is generally fan-shaped, kidney-shaped, or semicircular, and it typically exhibits a dark red, reddish-brown, or reddish-black color.
  • The Latin root, “Lucidum”, meaning bright, has been linked to the shiny appearance of these mushrooms
  • An analysis of G. lucidum extract:
    • 11.1% glucose, 10.2% minerals (including K, Mg, and Ca), and 7.3% protein
    • biologically active components, such as polysaccharides, triterpenes, flavonoids, alkaloids, steroids, unsaturated fatty acids
    • therapeutic properties of G. lucidum have primarily been attributed to its polysaccharides and triterpenoids
  • In general, the components of G. lucidum can be listed as follows:
    • 1. Polysaccharides and glycoproteins (α-D-glucans, β-glucans, β-D-glucans, polysaccharide–protein complexes, and α-D-mannans) [5,15,16].
    • 2. Terpenoids (ganoderic acid A–Z, ganoderals, ganosporeric acid A, lucidenic acids, and ganoderiols) [5,15,16].
    • 3. Nitrogenous compounds (aspartic acid, glutamic acid, lysine, leucine, methionine, cysteine, and nucleotides) [16].
    • 4. Other components (phosphorus, germanium, calcium, sulfur, and magnesium)
  • Studies have found that G. lucidum contains:
    • more than 200 different types of polysaccharides.
    • 380 types of terpenoids and more than 30 steroidal groups
  • bitterness of Ganoderma’s fruiting body is due to its triterpene/triterpenoid secondary metabolites.
  • Triterpenes possess various beneficial activities, such as antitumor, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antihepatitis, antimalarial, hypoglycemic, antimicrobial, and anti-HIV activities
  • polysaccharides found in G. lucidum exhibit several beneficial effects, such as anticancer, antioxidant, antimicrobial, immunomodulatory, hypoglycemic, and anti-inflammatory effects, and also protect the intestinal mucosal barrier
  • Ganoderma contains high levels of germanium, which possesses antimutagenic, antitumor, immune-enhancing, and antioxidant properties
  • Ganoderma contains bioactive peptides such as lectins, ribonucleases, and laccases
  • Ganoderma is a rich source of enzymes, such as superoxide dismutase, lysozyme, and protein enzymes, that are essential for our body’s disease defense and metabolic processes
  • Ganoderma’s steroid, ganodosterone, possesses antihepatotoxic activity.
  • Furthermore, Ganoderma is a source of vitamins C and E as well as β-carotene


  • Due to their tough and rigid fruiting bodies, Ganoderma species are not considered suitable for consumption
  • Mushrooms are commonly consumed in various forms, such as capsules, liquid extracts, chewable tablets, rice wine, tea, syrup, hair and skin care products, and tea, to obtain their therapeutic benefits.
  • G. lucidum, for instance, is dried, powdered, and marketed as a dietary supplement to harness its pharmacological properties.
  • global sales of these products are estimated to exceed US$ 2.5 billion annually

Mechanisms of Action:


  • reactive oxygen species (ROS) can adversely affect cells, they have been linked to various ailments, such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes, inflammatory diseases, immune system disorders, and aging
  • Antioxidants function by scavenging free radicals, chelating pro-oxidative metals, extinguishing singlet oxygen and photosensitive substances
  • antioxidant properties of G. lucidum have been scientifically established and are attributed to its constituent polysaccharides, glycoproteins, triterpenes, amino acids, and phenolic compounds
  • antioxidant effects of triterpenes and leucine amino acids, as well as glycoproteins produced by combining polysaccharides with peptides or proteins through covalent bonds, have also been well established
  • G. lucidum phenolic compounds: quercetin, myricetin, gallic acid, chlorogenic acid, protocatechin, cinnamic acid, p-hydroxybenzoic acid, and p-coumaric acid, have exhibited antioxidant activities
  • freeze-dried G. lucidum was found to possess superior antioxidant activity in comparison to heat-dried G. lucidum.


  • G. lucidum-derived polysaccharides and triterpenoids exhibit anticancer activity through various mechanisms
  • polysaccharides: stimulate immune system (macrophages, T cells, B cells) to produce cytokines and activate anticancer activities of immune cells
    • also have cytotoxic effect on cancer cells, reduce integrin expression to hinder tumor cell adhesion, promote apoptosis of cancer cells, and impede angiogenesis
  • triterpenoids: inhibit metastatic growth of cancerous cells, suppress attack of cancerous cells, cytotoxicity in cancer cells
  • Phenolic compounds inhibit the invasion and metastasis of cancer cells

Cardiovascular Diseases

  • G. lucidum, which has been used in traditional medicine for many years in the Far East and defined as the mushroom of immortality, has positive effects on cardiovascular diseases
  • positive effects of G. lucidum extracts on CVD are based on their effects on blood pressure, lipids, diabetes, and obesity; preventing blood platelets from sticking together; and reducing low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglycerides due to their antioxidant activities
    • triterpenes – anti-inflammatory by scavenging ROS
    • polysaccharides prevent CVD by protecting endothelial cells in blood vessels, lower blood pressure, improve lipid metabolism


  • diabetes, a term first used by the Greek doctor Aretus in the 2nd century, was defined by the WHO in 1999 as a metabolic disorder resulting in disruptions in carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism due to insulin secretion or the effects of insulin
  • Type 1 is caused by insufficient insulin production due to the destruction of beta cells in the pancreas.
  • Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, begins with insulin resistance, which is the insufficiency of insulin secretion in the body and the inability of cells to respond to insulin correctly
  • antidiabetic activities of polysaccharides, triterpenoids, proteins, and glycoproteins extracted from G. lucidum have been proven in studies
  • G. lucidum polysaccharides reduce serum glucose, insulin, lipid, triglyceride, and cholesterol levels
  • Diabetic rats fed with G.lucidum had significantly reduced fasting blood glucose and insulin levels


  • adequate intake of macro- and micronutrients is essential for a strong and healthy immune system.
  • Vitamins (such as vitamins A, B, C, D, and E) and minerals, such as iron and zinc, play important roles in immune function
    • Vitamin B, specifically B6 and B12, is important for DNA production and repair and can also help with immune cell function.
    • Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can increase phagocytosis, oxidant production, and neutrophil migration to the site of infection.
    • Vitamin D is important for the responsiveness of T cells, B cells, dendritic cells, and monocytes, which are all involved in immune function.
    • Vitamin E can increase lymphocyte proliferation, immunoglobulin levels, antibody responses, natural killer cell activity, interleukin-2 production, and macrophage activity, all of which can contribute to a stronger immune system.
    • Iron is essential for the production and maturation of immune cells, including lymphocytes. It is also involved in the production of cytokines, which are important for immune function.
    • Zinc is involved in a wide range of immune functions, including the prevention of free radical-induced damage, the activation of macrophages and other immune cells, and the regulation of cytokine levels. Zinc is also important for the growth and differentiation of T and B cells, which are important for adaptive immunity
  • G. lucidum polysaccharides stimulate cellular and humoral immune reactions by increasing the production of T cells, cytokines (interleukin-2, interleukin 1β, interferon-y, and tumor necrosis factor-α), monocytes, and macrophages.
    • β-glucans have a mechanism to prevent infections, including COVID-19, due to increased inflammatory responses by upregulating pattern recognition receptors
    • ganoderic acids contribute to antiviral activity of G.lucidum
    • phenolic compounds (luteolin, quercetin) also treat COVID-19
    • the bioactive compounds inhibit viral entry into host cell, and inhibit viral replication.


  • lack of standardized products.
  • There is currently no standardization regarding the type of G. lucidum used, the extraction method, or the composition of the active constituent


2024 Jan (Sijia Wu et al) – Ganoderma lucidum: a comprehensive review of phytochemistry, efficacy, safety and clinical study

  • G. lucidum has been used medicinally in China for more than 2000 years.
  • its medicinal value was first described in Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing, the earliest pharmacopeia in China, written in the Eastern Han dynasty of China (25-220AD)
  • medicinal value of G. lucidum was unknown to Western civilization until the 20th century
  • more than 300 compounds have been isolated from G. lucidum
  • Recently, G. lucidum has become one of the most studied and product-developed medicinal fungi

Anti-tumor effect

  • Numerous laboratory researchers and preclinical trials have shown that G. lucidum has extensive anticancer activity
  • G. lucidum can induce cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis, inhibit angiogenesis, invasion and metastasis, and tumor growth to exert its anticancer activity in vitro and in vivo
  • Action shown against ovarian cancer cells, cervical cancer in mice, breast cancer, glioblastoma
  • G. lucidum is used as adjuvant therapy with chemotherapy or radiotherapy in cancer treatment to prolong long-term survival, promote life quality, and regulate immunity.

Antiviral activity

  • G.lucidum has shown anti-viral activity against EBV, HPV, HIV


  • Bioactive components isolated from G. lucidum exhibit potent anti-diabetic efficacy – dramatically reduce fasting blood glucose and insulin, correct aberrant lipid metabolism

Renal and Hepatic Protective Effects

  • Futrakul et al found that 5 patients with impaired renal function showed significantly decreased proteinuria after taking a crude extract of G. lucidum for 1 year.
  • can treat acute liver damage

Neuroprotective Effects

  • G. lucidum is neuroprotective in ischemia/reperfusion or traumatic spinal cord injury in experimental models
  • weekly seizure frequency was reduced in patients with epilepsy after administering G. lucidum spore powder
  • G. lucidum also shows curative effects on depression in combination therapy

Safety, toxicity, and side effects

  • G. lucidum includes triterpenes, polysaccharides, nucleosides, steroids, fatty acids, alkaloids, proteins, peptides, amino acids, and inorganic elements.
  • Most reports illustrated that one or some of them are not causing apparent toxicity or safety problems.
  • Rodent animals, for example, can tolerate up to 5000 mg/kg dose of G. lucidum administration, and no mortality rate was reported
  • In healthy human volunteers 1.5 g/day and 4 consecutive weeks of exposure did not affect their hemostatic parameters as well as platelet and global hemostatic functions

What I find fascinating  is Reishi, is the fact that Reishi has hundreds of bioactive compounds with impressive medicinal properties.

For Reishi mushroom, the two classes of bioactive compounds with the most medicinal properties are the polysaccharides and triterpenes, however, it is clear that there are many other beneficial compounds.


Reishi mushroom could help the COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine injured who are suffering from:

  1. mRNA Vaccine Damaged immune system (recurrent viral infections)
  2. Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, dyslipidemia
  3. Suffered damage to their liver or kidneys
  4. Suffered neurological damage or mental health changes
  5. Suffering from stress, depression, anxiety, difficulty sleeping
  6. Suffered damage to their gut microbiome
  7. Chronic fatigue / mitochondrial damage (usually due to reactive oxygen species – Reishi is a powerful antioxidant)

Immune Boost Herb Pack Ingredients

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  • Pacific Herbs Ingredient Astragalus
    Astragalus promotes T-Cells and activates B-Cells. Astragalus contains compounds which slow cell aging and increase DNA repair ability.
  • Pacific Herbs Ingredient Ginger Root
    Loaded with nutrients and bioactive compounds ginger provides various effects including anti-inflammatory and the ability to inhibit the growth of many different types of bacteria. Ginger root is commonly used for issues from digestion to inflammation.  
  • Pacific Herbs Ingredient Jujube
    Jujube harmonizes the Spirit, promoting calmness and alleviates anxiety.  This fruit is often used for insomnia, palpitations, and poor memory, supporting overall emotional well-being and vitality.  This natural fruit contains critically important vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, flavonoids(...)
  • Pacific Herbs Ingredient Liquorice Root
    Licorice has a long and highly varied record of uses. It was and remains one of the most important herbs in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is said this herb goes to all twelve channels of the body, a claim given to only a few Chinese herbs. By entering all body channels this herb is often(...)
  • Pacific Herbs Ingredient Reishi Mushroom
    Reishi mushroom contains large amounts of polysaccharides which are food for our gut bacteria. By feeding your gut bacteria you boost diversity and colonies of beneficial bacteria which in turn boost your immune system.

Usage instructions:

Mix 1/2 tsp. of Immune Boost Herb Pack in hot water and wait 5 minutes,
OR put granules straight into your mouth and swallow with water or juice. Mixing with other drinks or food will inhibit digestion.
Immune Boost Herb Pack is best taken 30 minutes before or after meals to allow for optimum digestion and bio-availability of these herbs. The strength of the herbal formula is maximized when taken apart from other foods and drinks.

• This combination of herbs has an inherited synergy of the herbs working together.

• 10:1 extract (one gram of this product is equivalent to ten grams of dried herbs)

• No unnecessary fillers – NO magnesium stearate.

• Pacific Herbs sells only the highest quality concentrated herbal granules.

• Our commitment: To provide the finest quality botanical supplements.

Standardized quality control testing on each batch of raw herbs and formulas. Each product batch is tracked with lot numbers and expiration dates. Lot numbers correspond to “Certificates Of Analysis” otherwise known as “COA’s”.

More Information on Reishi and Astragalus

REISHI Mushroom

Reishi mushroom is a fungus that holds an important place in the traditional medical systems of China, Japan, Korea and other Asian countries for its health-promoting effects. It is used as an immune-stimulant. Active constituents include beta-glucans, polysaccharides and triterpenes.

Reishi mushroom antioxidant properties may enhance immune response.

Reishi mushroom contains complex sugars known as beta-glucans. Lab studies suggest that these compounds may help stop the growth of abnormal cells. When animals were fed beta-glucans, some cells of their immune system became more active.

Data from clinical studies suggest reishi can strengthen immune response in humans. In addition, reishi mushrooms contain sterols that can act as precursors to hormones in the body, along with substances called triterpenes that may have blood pressure-lowering and anti-allergy effects. Reishi mushrooms have also been shown to slow blood clotting.

Extracts of reishi were shown to have immunomodulatory (2) (3) (4) (5) (12),  renoprotective (9), anti-inflammatory (36), and hepatoprotective (37) properties both in vitro and in vivo. Clinical studies indicate its benefits in improving lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) in men (10) (20), and in exerting mild antidiabetic effects and improving dyslipidemia (29). However, randomized controlled trials do not support the use of reishi to address cardiovascular risk factors associated with type 2 diabetes (38) (43). A pilot study of reishi spore powder did not find it helpful in treating patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) (1).

Reishi has also been studied for its anticancer potential. In vitro and animal studies indicate that it has antiproliferative  (39) and chemopreventive effects (21), alleviates chemotherapy-induced nausea (13), enhances the efficacy of radiotherapy (22), and increases the sensitivity of ovarian cancer cells to cisplatin (27). It may also help prevent cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity (28).

In small clinical studies, reishi increased plasma antioxidant capacity (6) (7), and enhanced immune responses in cancer patients (8) (40).  There is evidence it (reishi) may have a role in stimulating host immunity and enhancing tumor response (44).

An in vitro study reported that reishi mushroom extract has toxic effects in leukocytes (14). There are also a few documented cases of hepatotoxicity (24) (25). More research is therefore needed to determine its safety and effectiveness as an adjunctive cancer treatment.

Mechanisms of Action:

Beta glucans, polysaccharides present in reishi, have demonstrated antitumor and immunostimulating activities (18) (40). Its triterpene compounds may inhibit tumor invasion by reducing matrix metalloproteinase expression (16),

Medicinal Mushrooms: Current Use in Clinical Practice



Astragalus promotes T-Cells and has been shown to activate B-Cells. Astragalus contains compounds which slow cell aging through reduced telomere shortening rate, oxidative stress, and increasing DNA repair ability.
Pubmed Data: DNA Cell Biol. 2010 Jan;29(1):33-9. PMID: 19839736

Astragalus contains two isomers which decrease the expression of p16, which may slow aging. Pubmed Data : Chin Med J (Engl). 2008 Feb 5;121(3):231-5. PMID: 18298915

Fascinating Facts On Chinese Herbs

Chinese herbs for sleep and menopauseWhat do I find most fascinating about Chinese medicine and Chinese herbs?  Maybe its because Chinese herbs are the oldest medicine on earth.  Practiced for nearly 5000 years. 

One of the oldest Chinese herbal text is the Shen Nong Ben Cao translated it is, “The Divine Farmers Materia Medica”.   This foundation book in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is the book from which all others are derived.  

I love history.  The ability to read a 2000 year old book on the pharmacologocial activities of more than 365 plant, mineral, fish, shell fish, animal and insects is simply, AMAZING to me.   (This ancient herbal medicine text was written circa 30 AD.)  The use of plants and other pharmacologocial agents found in nature was explained with three key statements from the Shen Nong Ben Cao:


The highest level physician helps the patient fulfill their destiny.   “The upper class of medicines…..govern the nourishment of destiny and correspond to heaven…., If one wishes to prolong the years of life without aging, one should” use these. Sheng Nong Ben Cao 

Upper Class or superior drugs:

Superior drugs at the time of the Sheng Nong Ben Cao were those found to be nontoxic, and could be safely taken in large amounts for extended periods.  Today we know them as tonics. (Approximately 120)  Well-known superior drugs include:  ginseng, licorice, di huang (root of Rehmannia), huangqi (root of Astragalus), wu wei zi (fruit of Schisandra), gan cao, (licorice) sesame seed, magnolia flower, ling zhi (Ganoderma), fu ling or poria, Chinese date (fruit of Ziziphus jujuba.), Job’s tears [seed of Coix.) and duzhong (bark of Eucommia).  All of these superior herbs can be found in one or more of Pacific Herbs products.

“The mid-level physician treats constitution and helps the patient nourish their original nature.” Sheng Nong Ben Cao    

“The middle class of medicines govern the nourishment of one’s nature and correspond to man. …If one wishes to prevent illness and to supplement depletions and emaciations, one should” use these.

Middle Class Drugs:  (120 drugs) Middle class drugs are those that could be toxic or nontoxic, depending on usage. This included:  ginger, mahuang or ephedra herb (Ephedra), danggui (Angelica sinensis), jixuecao or gotu kola, kuandonghua or coltsfoot flower (flower of Tussilaqo), yinyanghuo (herb of Epimedium spp.), haizao (Sargassum), hehuan (bark of Albizzia julibriss), gaoben, and zhuling or polyporus [sclerotium of Polyporus umbellatus.

The lowest level physician treats symptoms only.

“The lower (class of) medicines….govern the treatment of illness and correspond to earth. If one wishes to remove cold, heat and (other) evil influences (from the body), to break accumulations, and to cure illnesses, one should base (one’s efforts) on (drugs listed in) the lower (class of this) manual.” Sheng Nong Ben Cao 

Inferior drugs are toxic, and are used for treating diseases and should not be used for extended periods  .Inferior drugs (approx 125  include fu zi and wu tou, which are roots of aconite (Aconitum carmichaeli), rhubarb root (root and rhizome), bai tou weng (root of Pulsatilla chinensis), lian qiao or forsythia fruit (Forsythia), qing hao, croton seed (fruit of Croton), guan zhong (rhizome of Dryopteris), and lang dang zi (Hyoscyamus niger).


Many of the drugs in the Shen Nong Ben Cao are still being used today for the same medicinal reasons as the time the information was first written down.  Two thousand years, their rationale can be scientifically justified.  For example, the use of haizao (Sargassum) for the treatment of swelling of the neck (goiter) can be explained by its high content of iodine.  There are endless examples. More than enough for another blog.

Some things never change.  Even after a few thousand years.

Jujube, What Makes It Such a Great Sleep Aid?

What is this funny little fruit, known as jujube, and why is it known for promoting a deeper, more restful sleep?  In Chinese herbal medicine it is the seed of the fruit or spiny zizyphus.  Laboratory studies of zizyphus extract have confirmed the sedative effects.  In fact,  the latest research from France concluded the seeds of the fruit are rich in fatty acids and a host of other beneficial compounds which can benefit those who are looking for a natural sleep aid.

Jujube seeds are about the same size as a typical apple seed.  The seeds have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine and in other ancient cultures for  hundreds of years.  The seeds are most commonly used for their sedative effects especially common as a sleep aid.    Yet, unlike so many other sedative plants or man made drugs, zizphus is extremely safe.     Drinking zizphus tea has been reported to have no toxicity even in huge doses such as 50 grams per kilogram of body weight, even for 30 consecutive days.

Modern pharmacology evaluation of zizyphus seed oil and zizyphus extract suggest that with prolonged feeding (to mice)  they can reduce serum triglycerides and cholesterol (mainly LDL), and reduce fatty degeneration of the liver. These same properties have also been attributed to the triterpenes of ganoderma and ginseng.  Connect here to articles on ginseng and ganoderma.

Jujube has increasingly become popular as a source of over-the-counter natural sleep aid.  In this just released study, different extracts of the Zizyphus exerted antioxidant activity. Hence, it is possible that the antioxidant activity of Zizyphus might be due to the presence of different vitamins and fatty acids.   The study also showed that Zizyphus decoction (cooked in water) exerted an immmuno-supressive activity.  Jujube is one of the main ingredients in our natural herbal sleep tea. For more information on our iSleep Herb Pac sleep aid click  here.


Wu Shuyun, et al., Effects of zizyphus seed oil and zizyphus extract on decrease of serum lipoprotein and inhibition of platelet aggregation, China Journal of Chinese Materia Medica 1991.

The study quoted can be found at:
Zizyphus lotus L. (Desf.) modulates antioxidant activity and human T-cell proliferation
Authors:  Chahid Benammar1§,2, Aziz Hichami2, Akadiri Yessoufou2, Anne-Marie Simonin2, Meriem
Belarbi1, Hocine Allali 3, and Naim A Khan2

Slowing Prostate Cancer with Chinese Herb Ling Zhi

I try to bring important medical research articles to this forum to keep readers educated, through scientific studies, on Chinese Herbs that exhibit extraordinary medical results.  This research was conducted in 2007 and although not as recent as some other studies I’ve mentioned,  it’s relevancy is certain worthy of reporting here. 

Researchers at the University of Haifa in Northern Israel, found molecules in the Ganoderma lucidum mushroom, (a popular Chinese herb) commonly known as the reishi or lingzhi in Chinese Medicine which help suppress some mechanisms involved in the progression of prostate cancer. Ling Zhi  seems to be able to slow the progress of disease.  The compounds identified in ling zhi were found help suppress some of the mechanisms involved in the progression of prostate cancer. They disrupt the activity of androgen receptors and impede the proliferation of cancerous cells.

Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers among men over fifty. The normal development and maintenance of the prostate is dependent on androgen acting through the androgen receptor (AR).  Mutation of AR  may contribute to  prosate cancer and remains important in the development and progression of prostate cancer. Current medications used to treat prostate cancer works to reduce the production of androgens or to interfere with their function via the androgen receptor.

Prostate cancer progression is also associated with increased growth factors  and an altered response to growth factors by prostate cancer cells. It is thought this Chinese herb Ling Zhi helps modulate the signal pathways and may delay prostate cancer progression. This research started with 201 organic extracts from 68 types of fungi prepared with solvents such as ether, ethyl acetate and ethanol. They used these solvents to select molecules small enough to act from within the cells. From the 201 extracts, 11 successfully deter androgen receptor activity by more than 40%. Further testing showed that 169 extracts can inhibit growth of cancer cell. In this study, 14 extracts were found to be active in inhibiting prostate cancer cells.

From these active fungi extracts, the Chinese herb, Ganoderma Lucidum were tested as the most effective in inhibiting androgen receptor and controlling vital development of cancerous cells. "The results of this research are particularly interesting from a commercial aspect. Potential possibilities exist to establish research and development of bioactive components from Ganoderma Lucidum that could yield an anti-prostate cancer drug," remarked Dr. Zaidman.

This article is designed to provided the reader with clinical research results and the potential benefits and or risks associated with CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicines). The author advocates neither for or against any particular therapy and recommends individuals speak with licensed medicial practitioners before using any Chinese herbal supplements or other health supplements.