The mushroom, Ganoderma lucidum, alters the bacteria in the gut, and slows weight gain. Researchers reckon it could one day be used in the fight against obesity.
Surprisingly, the mushroom hasn't been used for weight control in TCM; instead, practitioners have used it to encourage 'health and longevity'.
But when researchers from University College Cork in Ireland gave it to laboratory mice that were being fed a high-fat diet, they discovered that the mice were putting on less weight than those not given the mushroom.
Mice fed a normal diet would have been much slimmer, the researchers added. They also reckon that the fungus could be used as a pre-biotic to reduce body weight gain, chronic inflammation and insulin resistance, or type 2 diabetes, in obese people.
(Source: Nature Communications, 2015; 6: 7489; doi: 10.1038/ncomms8489)