HONJO Michio1* and KUWABARA Masato2
Article first published online: January 31, 2015
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Atopic dermatitis (ADE) is one of the most common chronic inflammatory skin diseases. Treatment options include the use of lubricants (emollients), antihistaminics and corticosteroids in either topical or oral forms. However, severe ADE patients are frequently recalcitrant to these medications. In this study, we investigated five out-patients suffering from severe ADE (age range: 11-41 years) who were treated with a mushroom called reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) at a dose of 4-6 tablets daily in divided doses at a hospital. Reishi tablets containing reishi extract equivalent to 0.94 g of dried mushroom each. In addition to physical signs and observations, the severity scores, serum immunoglobulin E (IgE) and thymus and activated-regulated chemokine (TARC) levels were monitored at 3 months after reishi administration. Four of 5 patients established marked alleviation of symptoms with improved clinical indexes after 1.5–3 months of treatment: viz., itching, flare and swelling on the face/skin were less pronounced, and excoriations and lichenification on the trunk and extremities were markedly improved after treatment. Based on our findings, reishi may serve as a valuable option in the treatment of severe ADE patients, albeit the efficacy of reishi may depend on the severity of pruritus.
Keywords: Atopic dermatitis, Ganoderma lucidum, reishi mushroom, TARC