According to TCM theory, human health and disease coexist and are in constant conflict. The good and right “qi” represents the body’s resistance to evil or diseases, as well as the capacity to regenerate or renew damaged parts. In treatment of diseases, thus, does not mean to completely annihilate pathogens in the body, but to keep them in check. Chronic bronchitis is an inflammatory disease of bronchial mucosa. Its complex mechanism involves bacterial infection, environment pollution and immune dysfunction. Infection and pollution are the external factor, while dysfunctional immunity is due to inadequate “qi”. Hence, treatment to upgrade “qi”, or “strengthen and reinforce a person’s natural defense system” is considered vitally important in curing disease and restoring health. Pharmacological studies have clearly demonstrated the non-specific immunity-enhancing effect of reishi,
For instance, it promotes proliferation, differentiation and functions of the dendritic cells, and increases phagocytosis of the macrophage and the natural killer cells, which kill the invasive bacteria and viruses. Furthermore, Ganoderma improves humoral and cellular immunity by promoting immunoglobulin generation, the T and B lymphocytes proliferation, .cytokine secretion of interleukin-1, interleukin-2 and interferon and interferon. These can all contribute to the anti-bacteria and anti-virus capacity in the human body. Interestingly, reishi spore oil is capable of restoring the mumune functions when a body’s immunity is suppressed by other factors. The polysaccharides peptide in Ganoderma can protect macrophages from being damaged by the oxidant, tert-butyl hydroperoxide. Under an electron microscope, the villi on the surface of a marcrophage can be observed clearly. The villi practically disappear when the marcrophage is damaged by tBOOH. Yet, by adding Ganoderma polysaccharides peptide, the villi are protected. In addition, reishi spore powder can protect ciliated columnar epithelial cells, calceiform cells and cartilaginous tissue of trachea, and relieve pathological changes of the chronic inflammation caused by smog inhalation. It is apparent that Ganoderma’s ability to treat chronic bronchitis lies in its immunity enhancing function.
By virtue of immunity improvement, cold prevention, stimulant reduction and inflammation avoidance, tracheobronchitis could be alleviated. In other words, TCM theory of “strengthening and reinforcing a person’s natural defense system” is indeed the base of lingzhi extract effective treatment for chronic bronchitis. The polysaccharides and triterpenes in Ganoderma also have an anti allergic effect. By suppressing the allergic reaction of the skin and the release of anaphylactic mediators, the respiratory autoimmune inflammatory response induced by anaphylactogen could be prevented. It could reduce the inflammatory cells in tracheae and respiratory passages, the inflammatory mediators and release of eosinophil activating chemokine. Since allergy is another important factor involving the onset of chronic bronchitis or asthma, Ganoderma;s application for the prevention and treatment of these disease can be logically understood.