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Can I give pure reishi to my pet? How much and how could I?

Many people have told us that they would like to give pure reishi to their pet. They consulted us about how much and how to give it to them. Here we solve your doubts.

Product safety: Numerous studies on reishi have been carried out in animals: horses, mice, rats, mini pigs ... and up to now no toxicity problems have ever been found. In this regard, if your pet is a mammal, quite certainly, you can give reishi to your pet.

pet-pictureHow much can we give him?

As for a pet’s maintenance-prevention amount, it can be calculated with this equation:

1/60 x kg of animal weight = g of product to give.

In pounds: 0,21 x animal weight in pounds = oz of product to give

If the animal is down:

4/60 x kg of animal weight = g of product

That is: 0,84 x animal weight in pounds = oz of product

This could be a general calculation applicable for mammals. For birds, reptiles, etc.it may not be extrapolated since they are little studied organisms.

Important: These formulas are not valid for extracts nor mycelium nor reishi spores, which are different products.

About how to give it to your pet:

It is unlikely that the animal consumes it only with water, as we humans may do, because of its taste. The best way for him to have it is to mix it with food he likes. If the food was fatty type, that would be ideal, since fats and oils dissolve many polyphenols and bitter triterpenes, and dissolved in this way, the bitter feeling in the tongue is reduced.

Finally, let us indicate that reishi is just a food, not a medicine. The veterinarian is the indicated and qualified person who should advise you on animal health issues.

Reishi as an adjuvant in lung cancer. Main research.

In today’s post, we summarize and quote the main studies that exist on the use of reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) and its active substances in different lung cancers.lung-cancer

LZ-8 protein present in Ganoderma lucidum prevents the proliferation of lung cancer cells (Lewis lung carcinoma) in an in vivo mouse model (1). Researchers conclude that recombinant LZ-8 suppressed tumor metastasis and increased survival rate in animals with Lewis carcinoma.
A study carried out with lung cancer patients’ plasma indicates that Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides can reverse the effects of immune suppression caused by this cancer (2). Wang et al., 2015, highlighted the efficacy of Ganoderma lucidum beta-glucans to diminish the immune suppression caused in the tumor microenvironment. (3). Researchers suggest the use of these polysaccharides in cancer therapy.

Small multiresistant lung cancer cells respond similarly to cytotoxic Ganoderma species (such as Ganoderma lucidum) extracts than to etoposide and doxorubicin medicines (4). Authors comment that these extracts of the fungus can also reverse the resistance of cells to chemotherapeutic agents.
Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharide-peptides inhibit growth of vascular bundles that nourish tumors in a dose-dependent manner (5). Authors consider that they could be candidates as antiangiogenic agents. This could postpone the time until metastasis and reduce the tumor growth over time.
Ganoderic acid T, present in Ganoderma lucidum carpophores and mycelium, induces death of metastatic cancer cells (95-D cell line) through mitochondrial dysfunction. It also increases production of the tumor suppressor protein p53 (6). The author concludes that it could be used as a chemotherapeutic agent.

Clinical studies have shown that G. lucidum polysaccharides improve immune functions [eg, NK cell activity] in patients with advanced solid tumors (7).
Ganoderma lucidum reduce the incidence of lung tumors (pulmonary adenoma) produced in mice by benzopyrene injection (8). It could be considered a chemoprotective agent.

1.    Lin TY, Hsu HY. Ling Zhi-8 reduces lung cancer mobility and metastasis through disruption of focal adhesion and induction of MDM2-mediated Slug degradation. Cancer Lett. 2016;375(2):340-8.

2.    Sun LX, Li WD, Lin ZB, Duan XS, Li XF, Yang N, et al. Protection against lung cancer patient plasma-induced lymphocyte suppression by Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides. Cellular physiology and biochemistry : international journal of experimental cellular physiology, biochemistry, and pharmacology. 2014;33(2):289-99.

3.    Wang WJ, Wu YS, Chen S, Liu CF, Chen SN. Mushroom beta-Glucan May Immunomodulate the Tumor-Associated Macrophages in the Lewis Lung Carcinoma. BioMed research international. 2015;2015:604385.

4.    Sadava D, Still DW, Mudry RR, Kane SE. Effect of Ganoderma on drug-sensitive and multidrug-resistant small-cell lung carcinoma cells. Cancer Letters. 2009;277(2):182-9.

5.    Cao QZ, Lin ZB. Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides peptide inhibits the growth of vascular endothelial cell and the induction of VEGF in human lung cancer cell. Life Sciences. 2006;78(13):1457-63.

6.    Tang W, Liu JW, Zhao WM, Wei DZ, Zhong JJ. Ganoderic acid T from Ganoderma lucidum mycelia induces mitochondria mediated apoptosis in lung cancer cells. Life Sci. 2006;80(3):205-11.

7.    Gao Y, Tang W, Dai X, Gao H, Chen G, Ye J, et al. Effects of water-soluble Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides on the immune functions of patients with advanced lung cancer. J Med Food. 2005;8(2):159-68.

8.    Yun TK, Kim SH, Lee YS. Trial of a new medium-term model using Benzo(a)pyrene induced lung tumor in newborn mice. Anticancer Research. 1995;15(3):839-45.


The milk thistle, a liver protector. Used in poisonings caused by hepatotoxic mushrooms

The milk thistle or cardus marianus is a typical ruderal plant. It is part of the communities called cardinal: communities of large herbaceous, robust, high plants, where composites predominate, family where this plant is included.

milk-thistle2The milk thistle (Silybum marianum) is very tasty in salad. There was a time when it was cultivated for human consumption.

We can often find the milk thistle at roadsides where livestock go by, because the excrements enrich the land, creating a soil more suitable for its development. Due to its thorns, the milk thistle is not consumed by animals, which prefer other plants, allowing the thistle to grow better.

milk-thistle1To differentiate it from other thistles, it is necessary to have a look at the flower which is large and purple, with long, interesting thorns. When only the leaves are present and there are no flowers, they can be differentiated from other thistles by looking at its characteristic white vein on the leaf. The epithet Milk and Marianus (from its name cardus marianus), refers to a medieval legend that said that the Virgin Mary was feeding Jesus when a few drops of milk fell on the thistle’s leaves, which acquired its characteristic white veins and were full of medicinal virtues.

The milk thistle focus its virtues on the liver. The seeds contain silymarin and silybin (1.5% to 3%), very effective and active substances for the protection of this organ. For hepatic problems, the seeds are ground and infused, 10-15 g of seeds per day. Nevertheless we must remember that its main virtue is to minimize the appearance of these problems, not to cure them.

Shortly before the current treatment for poisonings by Amanita phalloides, this substance was used as a treatment for the intoxicated person. Silymarin blocks the entry of toxins of the mushroom into liver cells, reducing damage. The researcher who discovered this voluntarily intoxicated himself with the mushroom several times to show his companions the effectiveness of his discovery. Nowadays a very different therapy is used, but silymarin is still used to decrease liver damage.


The flowers of the milk thistle have traditionally been used to curdle milk during cheese making, although the Cynara cardunculus is more commonly used for this. The property of curdling milk is due to the fact that it has substances that attack milk proteins, break their structure and precipitate them. Vegetable rennet is indispensable to prepare cream cheese, so typical in some areas in Spain. To produce the rennet, the thistle flowers are dried in the shade and macerated in water for a variable amount of time (12-24h), then filtered through a cloth or gauze. The resulting brown liquid is added to the milk.

Gastronomically speaking, the milk thistle is quite tasty. It can be consumed in salad after removing the thorns from the edges of the leaf. At the beginning of the 20th century English gardeners already cultivated the plant for these purposes. Nevertheless it is necessary to mention that it usually accumulates many nitrates inside, so it is necessary to collect it in areas where chemical fertilizers aren’t used, and consume it in small amounts.

Mushrooms and cosmetics. Another kind of medicine


In this post I will comment on several of the many fungi that are currently being incorporated into different cosmetic treatments.

An example is Schizophyllum commune, a common mushroom in forests: it has a polysaccharide called schizofilan that decreases skin damage and inflammation caused by sunburn, and that is why it is incorporated in some after sun lotions (very expensive)

To avoid cell aging, Ganoderma lucidum, the reishi mushroom, is being incorporated into various brands, given the very high antioxidant power that it presents.

Finally, let us mention that the lactic acid used in peeling is obtained from the cultivation of the fungus Rizopus strains, and the ceramides used in cosmetics can be found in mushrooms such as Phellinus pini, or the Chinese truffle, Tuber indicum, although the latter is only being handled experimentally.

The tinder fungus. The hoof fungus, also with some medicinal properties

The tinder fungus par excellence (Fomes fomentarius) has been used both to light a fire and to carry fire from one place to another. If we collect a carpophore in the field, dry it in the sun or beside a radiator and set the area where it was attached to the tree on fire, a spark of fire will run through it for hours; this is how transhumant shepherds carried fire from one place to another.


Tinder fungus on an alive poplar.

If we impregnate a piece of this dried mushroom in saltpeter, it will start to burn with just a little spark: this is the tinder fungus.

Possibly the best known mushroom for its traditional use, the mushroom of the tinder fungus, Fomes fomentarius, can be easily found in dead poplar wood along the river banks.

burnt-fomes-2Its use as a hemostatic and healing product has been known since Roman times. For this purpose, it was used by burning it slowly on the affected skin. Today it is known that it has antibacterial properties and that this use was completely correct.

With the "fabric" of these tinder mushrooms, hats, shoe soles, and other things have been made. Thus you can make an elastic mushroom leather with multiple applications by leaving slices of the mushroom in a caustic soda solution for several weeks and then beating them with a hammer.

At an ecological level, let us mention that woodpeckers make their nests in the trees that have been parasitized by this fungus. This is because the wood is softer thanks to the fungus and it also gives warmth to their nests, through the fermentation process that it produces in the wood.

A mushroom with full taste, used to dye and that also decreases allergic reactions

The use of mushrooms to dye is not anecdotal. They have been used by different cultures around the planet to colour clothes and objects. Thus in Europe the Bohemian truffle, horse dung fungus, or perdebal, Pisolithus tictorius, was used to dye different fabrics from brown to gold. The color achieved on the clothes depends on the mordant used.

pisolithus-tinctoriusThis mushroom also has a lot of flavor due to its high concentrations of glutamic acid salts, and for that reason it was sold as flavoring bouillon cubes for some time.

However, the consumption of this mushroom can lower the body's defenses, unlike other fungi such as reishi (Ganoderma lucidum), so consuming the Bohemian truffle can make us catch a cold more easily.