Ganoderma lucidum has a significant effect on insomnia for the neurasthenia patients. Within 1-2 week after the administration, patient’s sleep quality, appetite, weight-gain, memory and energy improved, and palpitation, headache and complications are relieved or eliminated. Actual therapeutic effect depends on dosage and treatment period of the specific cases. In general, larger doses and longer treatment periods tend to yield better results. For those patients diagnosed by TCM practices as “ deficient in qi (vital energy) and blood or the heart and spleen” (shown with the symptoms, such as palpitation, forgetfulness, insomnia, loss of appetite, abdominal distension, loose bowel , sallow face, weak pulse), Ganoderma lucidum’s efficacy may be more pronounced than in other types of patients.
For chronic bronchitis, coronary heart disease, hepatitis or hyper, tension patients, who also suffer from insomnia, Ganoderma lucidum can not only help improve their sleep quality but also aid in the treatment for their main diseases. Pharmacological study showed that Ganoderma lucidum significantly decreased the autonomic activities, shortened the sleep latency induced by pentobarbital, and increase the sleep time on pentobarbital-treated mice, indicating that Ganoderma lucidum had a sedation effect on the test animals.
Aside from its sedative function, Ganoderma lucidum homeostasis regulation effect might also have contributed to its efficacy on neurasthenia and effect might also have contributed to its efficacy on neurasthenia and insomnia. Through homeostasis regulation, Ganoderma lucidum could revive the disordered nerve-endocrine-immune system interrupting the neurasthenia-insomnia vicious cycle. Thereby, patient’s sleep could be improved and other symptoms relieved or eliminated.
These effects of Ganoderma lucidum for neurasthenia and insomnia appear in agreement with the “soothing the nerves”, “promoting intelligence” and “forgetting-not” characteristics of Ganoderma lucidum as described in Shengnong Material Medica.