Ganoderma lucidum has traditionally been indicated for the treatment of insomnia1-3 and aqueous extract from G. lucidum fruiting body decreased sleep latency, increased sleeping time, non-REM sleep time and light sleep time in pentobarbital-treated rats in a benzodiazepine-like manner4.
Clinically Hericium erinaceus (3-5g/day) produces consistent improvements in anxiety and insomnia, especially in menopausal and peri-menopausal women and one study reports reduction in anxiety from 2g/day5.
Both G. lucidum and H. erinaceus are helpful in the treatment of anxiety and insomnia and Christopher Hobbs reports preferring G. lucidum to valerian for deficiency type insomnia6.
1. Sleep-promoting effects of Ganoderma extracts in rats: comparison between long-term and acute administrations. Honda K, Komoda Y, Inoué S. Tokyo Ika Shika Daigaku Iyo Kizai Kenkyusho Hokoku. 1988;22:77-82.
2. The hypnotic and sedative actions of the spores of Ganoderma lucidum (Curt.: Fr.) P. Karst. (Aphyllophoromycetideae) in mice. Yu L, Wei H. Int J Med Mushr. 2000;2(4):323-328.
3. Ganoderma lucidum: a potent pharmacological macrofungus. Sanodiya BS, Thakur GS, Baghel RK, Prasad GB, Bisen PS. Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2009;10(8):717-42.
4. Extract of Ganoderma lucidum potentiates pentobarbitalinduced sleep via a GABAergic mechanis. Chu QP, Wang LE, Cui XY, Fu HZ, Lin ZB, Lin SQ, Zhang YH. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior. 2007;86(4):693-698.
5. Reduction of depression and anxiety by 4 weeks Hericium erinaceus intake. Nagano M, Shimizu K, Kondo R, Hayashi C, Sato D, Kitagawa K, Ohnuki K. Biomed Res. 2010 Aug;31(4): 231-7.
6. Hobbs C. Medicinal Mushrooms: An Exploration of Tradition, Healing and Culture. 1986 Botanica Press, Williams.