Ganoderma applanatum

(Shiny skin, Flattened)

Artist’s conk, “Ancient ling zhi”, Flesh Polypore. White Reishi, Tree Tongue


A tree falls in a forest when nobody is around, and it does not matter if it is to make a sound, but what a wonderful opportunity for this G. applanatam to make a home. These fruiting bodies are most often found on trees that are dead or dying. Fallen trees, bridging across a stream are a common host. With the movement of the stream, the breakdown of the tree, an example of how life is always cycling through the forest. G. applanatum plays a major role in the breakdown of a dead tree and so, supplies the earth with nutrients and makes it possible for regrowth to happen on the forest floor. Most often, I find this mushroom by streams, sometimes hiding under fallen logs. Near to the ground, and pore surface underside, it would seem difficult to spread spores. Electrostatic and thermal differentials dust the crust with the spores, allowing grand opportunity for the wind to spread them about the forest, in the trillions.


Perennial, Grows on hardwoods and conifers, loves the old Douglas fir, Pseudotsugae menzeseii.

Active Known Constituents

  • B-Glucans,
  • hetero-B-glucans
  • Ganoderic acids-triterpenes
  • Lanostanic triterpenoids
  • Applanoxidic acids A, B, C, and D
  • Ergosterol
  • Ganoderma aldehyde
  • Meroterpenoids: Applanatumols A and B

Spore Print- Brown

Therapeutic Actions

Styptic, carminative, analgesic, immune-stimulant, anti-tumor, anti-viral, hypoglycemic, hypo-cholesterolemic, anti-inflammatory, anti-obesity, anti-bacterial, antioxidant, anti-tumor, anti-fibrotic

Medicinal Use

  • Anti-tumor actions in one study6 showed a 39.7% tumor reduction in tumor formation
  • Can live for 40-50 years, resisting rot for this long proves strong anti-microbial activity.
  • Alcohol extract of the fruiting body showed activity against a wide range of bacteria, E. coli, S. aureus. coli, B. cereus, S. pyogenes
  • Significant anti-oxidant activity
  • Applanatum terpenes showed liver protective activity by decreasing ROS and MDA. These terpenes renewed activities of antioxidant enzymes and suppressed the inflammatory response.9
  • Antiviral actions are effective against Epstein Bar Virus
  • Inhibits the differentiation of preadipocytes into mature adipocytes by reducing triglyceride accumulation.7 Therefore, proving possible effectiveness as an anti-obesity agent.
  • Significant increase in nitric oxide synthase1
  • Nitric oxide is a vasodilator, hence increasing blood flow to the arteries. Taking part in cardiac function, peristalsis and sexual arousal in males and females, applanatum could be classified as an aphrodisiac.
  • Meroterpenoid, applanatumol A and B, are potent extracellular matrix inhibitors in TGF-beta induced rat epithelial cells, and was extremely beneficial in end stage kidney disease/kidney fibrosis.(10)


Removes heat, reduces phlegm

  • “Acrid and balanced. It mainly treats cough and counterflow qi ascent, boosts the lung qi, disinhibits the mouth and nose, fortifies the will to cultivate bravery and undauntedness, and quiets the corporeal soul (Po, held in the lungs, representing our primal urges or animal instinct.) Protracted taking may make the body light, prevent senility, and prolong life so as to make one an immortal.” –The divine farmer’s materia medica p18

Ethnobotanical uses

  • Dian Fossey, on page 314 of “Gorillas In the Mist” states,“Still another special food (for the gorillas) is bracket fungus (Ganoderma applanatum)… The shelflike projection is difficult to break free, so younger animals often have to wrap their arms and legs awkwardly around a trunk and content themselves by only gnawing at the delicacy. Older animals who succeed in breaking the fungus loose have been observed carrying it several hundred feet from its source, all the while guarding it possessively from more dominant individuals attempts to take it away. Both the scarcity of the fungus and the gorillas’ liking of it cause many intragroup squabbles, a number of which are settled by the silverback, who simply takes the item of contention for himself.”
  • Athabaskans of Alaska burn the fungus to provide a mosquito repellent smoke3
  • In Nigeria the mushroom has been used for it’s antioxidant properties and for diabetes5

Preparation of Dual Extract

See Fomitopsis pinicola preparation

Works Cited

  1. Acharya, Krishnendu, Parinita Yonzone, Manjula Rai, and Rupa Acharya. “Antioxidant and Nitric Oxide Synthase Activation Properties of Ganoderma Applanatum.” Indian Journal of Experimental Biology43 (2005): 926-29. Web. 18 Mar. 2015.
  1. Hobbs, Christopher. Medicinal Mushrooms: An Exploration of Tradition, Healing & Culture. Santa Cruz, CA: Botanica, 1995. Print.
  1. Rogers, Robert Dale. The Fungal Pharmacy: The Complete Guide to Medicinal Mushrooms and Lichens of North America. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic, 2011. Print.
  1. Stamets, Paul, and C. Dusty Wu Yao. “Ganoderma Applanatum.” Mycomedicinals: An Informational Booklet on Medicinal Mushrooms. Olympia, WA: MycoMedia, 2002. 22-24. Print.
  1. Oyetayo, Ov. “Medicinal Uses of Mushrooms in Nigeria: Towards Full and Sustainable Exploitation.” African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines8.3 (2011): n. pag. Web.
  1. Jeong, Yong-Tae, Byung-Keun Yang, Sang-Chul Jeong, Sang-Min Kim, and Chi-Hyun Song. “Ganoderma Applanatum: A Promising Mushroom for Antitumor and Immunomodulating Activity.” Phytotherapy Research22.5 (2008): 614-19. Web.
  1. Kim, Ji-Eun, Sung-Jin Park, and Mi-Hee Yu. “Effect of Ganoderma Applanatum Mycelium Extract on the Inhibition of Adipogenesis in 3T3-L1 Adipocytes.” Journal of Medicinal Food17.10 (2014): 1086-094. Web. 20 Mar. 2015.
  1. Usui, Taichi, and Yoshio Iwasaki. “Antitumor Activity of Water-Solubleβ- D-Glucan Elaborated by Ganoderma Applanatum.” Agricultural and Biological Chemistry(2014): n. pag. Web.
  1. Ma, Jie-Qiong, Chan-Min Liu, Zhi-Hong Qin, Ji-Hong Jiang, and Yun-Zhi Sun. “Ganoderma Applanatum Terpenes Protect Mouse Liver against Benzo(α)pyren-induced Oxidative Stress and Inflammation.”Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology31.3 (2011): 460-68. Web.
  2. Luo, Qi, Lei Di, Xiao-Hua Yang, and Yong-Xian Cheng. “Applanatumols A and B, Meroterpenoids with Unprecedented Skeletons from Ganoderma Applanatum.” RSC Adv. 6.51 (2016): 45963-5967. Web.

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