It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you’re trying to make healthy food choices nowadays. Superfoods and nutritional supplements are a dime a dozen. They all seem to promise a miracle cure for everything from weight loss, stress relief, and anti-aging to treating chronic illness and disease. While some of these claims are credible and a few entirely plausible, not all stack up.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the latest trending wonder food — ganoderma coffee, including what it is, its reported benefits, and its side effects. We’ll also cover some of the most frequently asked questions about it.
By the end of this article, you’ll be able to make an informed choice about whether you should add Ganoderma coffee to your diet.
What is Ganoderma Coffee?
Ganoderma coffee is powdered coffee containing a medicinal mushroom called Ganoderma lucidium or G. lucidum for short.
Sometimes you’ll also hear Ganoderma coffee referred to as Reishi coffee or Lingzhi coffee.
Ganoderma lucidum has been used for thousands of years in countries like China, Japan, and other parts of Asia to promote health and longevity. But it’s only become popular in the West very recently as more and more people have been gravitating towards natural wellness products to enhance their quality of life.
Mushroom coffee is a relatively new way of taking medicinal mushrooms as it’s an easy and tasty way to use them that combines with a habit that many people are already very familiar with. Ganoderma coffee has become one of the most popular, but you’ll now commonly find many other medicinal mushroom coffee blends available as well (e.g. Chaga mushroom coffee).
What Is Ganoderma Lucidum?
Ganoderma lucidum is a medicinal form of fungus that’s been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for thousands of years. It’s a dark-coloured mushroom with a shiny outside appearance. The Latin root word lucidus means “shiny or brilliant,” while “Ganoderma” comes from the Greek word Gano which means “shiny,” and “derma,” which means skin.
Over and beyond its glistening sheen, the mushroom has been long revered by Chinese herbalists for some reportedly powerful medicinal and health benefits. It’s often referred to as the “mushroom of immortality” or “the mushroom of spiritual potency” and sometimes, more simply, a “spiritual” herb.
Various benefits have been attributed to this mushroom in ancient Chinese pharmacological texts. Those are texts that discuss specific types of drugs or medicines, their effects, and how they work.
For instance, the State Pharmacopoeia of the People’s Republic of China (2000) refers to the mushroom as having the ability to replenish Qi, which is what Traditional Chinese Medicine calls a person’s ‘life force’. It can calm the mind and relieve cough, asthma, and shortness of breath. It can also alleviate symptoms of dizziness, insomnia, and palpitations which is when your heart feels like it’s beating or pounding faster inside your body.
The mushroom is also reported to have the following effects on the human body:
- Anti-inflammatory: helps with reducing inflammation or swelling
- Antioxidant: helps with preventing or delaying cell damage
- Antiglycemic: helps manage healthy levels of glucose in the body
- Antiulcer: helps treat or prevent ulcers, which are sores seen especially in the lining of your stomach or upper intestine
- Anticancer: helps treat, prevent, or stop cancer
- Immunostimulating: helps stimulate the immune system, which is related to fighting disease and infections
Before Ganoderma lucidum mushrooms became more widely cultivated, only the nobility and the wealthy in China could afford them. Some say that the mushroom developed its formidable reputation simply because of how expensive and exclusive it was. Regardless, the mushroom continues to be used extensively across China, Japan, and Asia to maintain health and treat disease.
The Key Ganoderma Coffee Benefits:
While the Ganoderma lucidum mushroom has been widely used in the East, studies on the mushroom in the West are still in the early stages.
It’s important to state that much more research is needed before any strong scientific claims can be made about the potential health benefits of ganoderma coffee and reishi mushroom, however, here’s what the combined current information and research from both TCM & published studies suggest:
1.) May help in the treatment of neurological diseases
According to TCM, Ganoderma lucidum can have a tranquillizing or calming effect, which makes it helpful in treating conditions like anxiety, insomnia, and palpitation.
Early studies also demonstrate neuroprotective benefits, which means that the mushroom may help with the recovery and regrowth of the parts and functioning of the nervous system. That’s the system that controls the way you think, your movements, and your responses.
Ganoderma lucidum is also thought of by many as an effective antidepressant.
2.) May support the treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), also called myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), is a condition where the patient has been experiencing extreme fatigue or tiredness for over six months. The cause is unknown, although various theories exist, and it’s possible it can be caused by more than one factor.
A study carried out in Thailand showed that Ganoderma lucidum mushrooms may be helpful in reducing fatigue and improving the quality of life for people with CFS. The participants in the study also reported no noticeable side effects.
3.) May help in the treatment of serious kidney injury and disease
Ganoderma lucidum was seen to be helpful in the treatment of acute kidney injury (AKI) and chronic kidney disease (CKD), including conditions like autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease, diabetic nephropathy, renal proximal tubular cell oxidative damage and fibrotic process, renal ischemia-reperfusion injury, cisplatin-induced renal injury, adriamycin-induced nephropathy, chronic proteinuric renal diseases.
Studies also show that the mushroom has properties that may help prevent kidney disease.
4.) May help in the treatment of some types of infectious disease
Ganoderma lucidum contains chemical compounds called triterpenes which support the activity of NK cells. NK cells are a type of white blood cell that can kill tumour or virus-infected cells.
The mushroom is now being used in certain areas to treat infectious diseases like bronchitis (inflammation of the bronchial tubes in the lungs) and viral hepatitis (inflammation of the liver).
5.) Approved for use as a clinical drug in China
One of Ganoderma lucidum’s major compounds, called G.lucidum polysaccharide or GLPS, has been developed into a drug called Polysacharidum of G. lucidum Karst Injection. The Chinese FDA approved its use in 1985, and the drug is seen to be safe and effective over the long term for specific neurological conditions.
The drug is currently used to treat medical conditions like neurosis, polymyositis, dermatomyositis, atrophic myotonia (Steinert’s disease), and muscular dystrophy. When used as part of therapy, it can help to reduce the amount of glucocorticoid, a type of steroid hormone, needed for a patient with myopathy in remission.
The drug is also seen to reduce the severity of reactions in cancer patients and improve their quality of life during chemotherapy treatment.
While there are many users around the world that are drinking ganoderma coffee for these benefits (and many more including skin benefits, hair loss prevention and balancing testosterone) - always keep in mind that much of the science is still in its infancy and a lot of these claims have really only been ‘indicated’ or are anecdotal at best.
Side-Effects of Ganoderma Coffee
There isn't much long-term research available on the safety of reishi mushroom and Ganoderma coffee currently. According to WebMD, powdered whole Ganoderma lucidum mushrooms may be safe for use for up to 16 weeks.
It seems to be widely well tolerated with very few reported issues, however, a small number of users have reported issues such as dizziness, nausea, stomach upset, dry mouth, and rashes.
It may also increase the risk of bleeding in some people who already have bleeding disorders. Avoid the intake of Ganoderma lucidum mushrooms at least two weeks before any scheduled surgery and always consult your GP before starting any alternative supplement routine.
As you probably already know - coffee contains a natural stimulant called caffeine. The amount of caffeine in your coffee can vary. Generally, it's considered safe for an adult to drink up to 400 milligrams of caffeine daily. Women planning to get pregnant, or are pregnant, or breastfeeding should limit their intake to no more than 200 milligrams a day, but speak to your doctor for specific dietary advice.
Excessive intake of caffeine can cause unpleasant side effects such as headaches, nervousness, irritability, faster heartbeats, nervousness, and involuntary movements in the muscles called tremors.
Some people can be more sensitive to caffeine than others. Even consuming small amounts can interfere with your ability to get a good night's sleep.
How To Make Ganoderma Coffee?
There are 2 main ways to make ‘gano coffee’ depending on your preferences - however, in my opinion,1 is far superior to the other.
The first (and quickest method) is to buy a pre-mixed blend of reishi mushroom powder and instant coffee that you can simply mix with hot water and drink.
I dislike this method as it doesn’t allow you to control the dose of reishi or the strength of the coffee - and more often than not - most pre-mixes use cheaper and lower quality ingredients (e.g. cheap instant coffee and poorly sourced reishi).
The second method that takes a little more time but produces a much better ganoderma coffee is to simply stir a powder or liquid extract of high-quality reishi into your coffee.
Making it this way allows you to source high-quality ingredients and control the strength to suit your needs and taste.
Where To Buy Ganoderma Coffee?
The price of Ganoderma coffee can vary depending on many factors, including the quality of the ingredients, the brand reputation, and the components of the final product.
Again - I recommend buying a high-quality reishi extract and high-quality coffee from brands that have good sourcing principles and 3rd party testing results available - and then making your own brew.
You’ll find banners throughout this article for reishi producers that I’ve researched thoroughly and personally used for many years now.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is Ganoderma coffee used for?
In China, Japan, and Asia, ganoderma coffee has been extensively used for its medicinal properties and ability to fight disease. Research on the benefits of Ganoderma lucidum, the powdered mushroom component of Ganoderma coffee, is still in its early stages in the West but is quickly becoming popular.
Is there caffeine in Ganoderma coffee?
Ganoderma coffee is a mix of coffee and powdered Ganoderma lucidum mushroom so in most cases - yes - ganoderma coffee does contain caffeine. However, if you’d like to remove the caffeine, you can simply opt for decaf coffee.
Does Ganoderma coffee have sugar?
Many ganoderma coffee pre-mix products may contain sugar, artificial sweeteners or other filler substances. This is why we recommend that you make it yourself simply using high-quality coffee and a reishi ectract.
What’s the difference between red Reishi coffee and Lingzhi coffee?
Reishi and Lingzhi mushrooms are different names for the same thing — Ganoderma lucidum mushrooms. So red Reishi coffee and Lingzhi coffee have the same constituents. The difference is how they're referred to in different regions. In China, they're often called Lingzhi mushrooms, while in Japan, they're mostly called Reishi or "Manetake" mushrooms.
Does Ganoderma coffee help with weight loss?
There is no conclusive evidence to suggest that Ganoderma coffee as a standalone product supports weight loss at this time. There is also no single or safe "miracle cure" for losing weight. Eating a healthy diet and maintaining a consistent exercise regime is the most effective way to lose weight and keep it off for healthy adults.
Where does Ganoderma coffee come from?
Ganoderma coffee is a more modern product - combining coffee and reishi mushroom which have both been used around the world for millennia now. You'll find coffee is grown extensively in the Americas (North, Central, and South America), the Caribbean, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa with reishi mushrooms being traditionally grown in China and Japan.
With countless potential health benefits on the table (according to both TCM and the emerging science) Ganoderma coffee is a great way to supercharge your daily brew.
It’s a great way to take reishi mushroom as it mixes well with coffee easily and disguises the taste which many people agree can be quite intense.
I recommend taking the extra step to purchase good coffee and reishi to make it yourself from scratch - rather than cheaper and less regulated pre-mix varieties.