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Lingzhi Side Effects

author image A.M. Tacon
A.M. Tacon is an associate professor of health at Texas Tech University. Her research interests include psychosocial factors in cancer, complementary therapies and stress reduction in individuals with cancer. Dr. Tacon runs mindfulness-based stress reduction programs for women with breast cancer, which is based on various forms of mindfulness meditation.
Lingzhi Side Effects
A large mushroom growing on a tree stump. Photo Credit: ~Userc222da54_878/iStock/Getty Images

Lingzhi, a large woody-looking mushroom also known as Ganoderma lucidum or reishi, is highly revered in Asia. Indeed, lingzhi has been a component of Chinese medicine for more than 4,000 years; today, lingzhi is an ingredient in several weight-loss supplements. Lingzhi is Chinese for “herb of spiritual potency,” according to Drugs. com. This mushroom is used to treat asthma, coughing, fatigue, hypertension as well as liver problems. While this ancient mushroom has a long history of medicinal use, it can cause side effects in certain situations.

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Dizziness and Headaches

There are common and typically mild reactions associated with consuming this supplementation, according to Specifically, these side effects consist of feeling dizzy as well as headaches. These side effects may be accompanied by mild skin irritation as well. These are considered to be common and mild reactions that are temporary and will subside as the body gets used to taking this supplement.

Gastrointestinal Effects

Another potential side effect of taking this supplement is that of gastrointestinal disturbance, states For example, you may experience an upset stomach with nausea or vomiting. Additionally, diarrhea with some bloody stools is another possible side effect of taking lingzhi as a supplement, states Stop taking lingzhi and contact your doctor as soon as possible if you begin to experience these side effects.


Lingzhi contains adenosine, a compound that can inhibit platelet aggregation, which impairs clotting, states New York University’s Langone Medical Center. This can lead to unusual or excessive bleeding because of its blood-thinning properties, explains Therefore, if you have a bleeding disorder, avoid lingzhi until consulting first with your physician. On the other hand, if you are on anticoagulant medications, for example, aspirin, coumadin (warfarin), heparin, or ibuprofen, taking lingzhi may increase the risk of bleeding. Also, if you are planning on having surgery in the near future, let the surgeon know that you have been taking this mushroom.

Allergic Reaction

Some individuals are hypersensitive to mushrooms; therefore, an allergic reaction may be experienced by some, notes Specifically, hypersensitive or allergic reactions to lingzhi may include a very dry mouth, nose, and throat. A more serious allergic reaction is that of epistaxis or nosebleeds.


There is not enough evidence to determine if lingzhi is safe for young children, pregnant or nursing women, as well as individuals with liver or kidney disease, states New York University’s Langone Medical Center. Also, people who have been diagnosed witth diabetes or hypotension should not take linzghi, advises In these cases, it is best to avoid this supplement.

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