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6th April 2022 (7 Topics)

Magical mushroom: Scaling up Ganoderma lucidum cultivation

Context

Ganoderma lucidum is a medicinal mushroom in use for centuries to heal diseases like diabetes, cancer, inflammation, ulcer as well as bacterial and skin infections. 

About

About Ganoderma lucidum:

  • The mushroom is shiny red-brown in colour and naturally grows on wood.
  • It prefers broad-leaved tree species like acacia, poplar, oak, maple, melia, eucalyptus, hevea, tectona and grewia. 
  • The lower surface of this mushroom is porous, pale white in colour and produces red spores on maturity.
  • It thrives well in warm and humid climates, and grows preferably in mixed forests of sub-tropical to temperate regions. 
  • It is considered one of the most important medicinal mushrooms in the world since its chemical constituents exhibit numerous medicinal properties.
  • They have earned it monikers such as “mushroom of immortality”, “celestial herb” and “auspicious herb”.
  • It is globally also known as “red reishi mushroom”. 
  • The history of consumption of this mushroom can be traced back to 5,000 years ago in China.
  • It also finds mention in the historical and medical records of countries like Japan, Korea, Malaysia and India. 
  • Ganoderma contains more than 400 chemical constituents, including triterpenes, polysaccharides, nucleotides, alkaloids, steroids, amino acids, fatty acids and phenols. 
  • These show medicinal properties such as immunomodulatory, anti-hepatitis, anti-tumour, antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-HIV, antimalarial, hypoglycaemic and anti-inflammatory properties. 
  • Unlike normal mushrooms, the peculiar character of this one is that it grows on wood or wood-based substrate only. 
  • Ganoderma lucidum is also used as a base material for manufacturing products such as tea, coffee, energy supplements, health boosters, beverages, baked goods and anti-ageing cosmetics.

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