Identification of some commercial samples of Linh chi (Ganoderma) in the Vietnam market

Than Nguyen Viet......... 

Hanoi College of Pharmacy (HCP) 


The samples were collected from various provinces of Vietnam were investigated on their both morphology and phytochemistry. Morphologically, the samples were subjected to macroscopic and microscopic examination. Phytochemically, the samples were extracted with a High Performance Thin-Layer Chromatograph (HPTLC). The results revealed different fungal species were circulated confusedly in the market, most of them belong to the genus Ganoderma. Ganoderma lucidum of different origins had the same characteristics, both morphologically and phytochemically and "Linh chi" other than the ganodermas (of unclear origin) differ from ganodermas and each other as well. It needs effective measures of management to control the trade and use of "Linh chi" to eliminate those of unclear origin from the market and medicinal practice for safety.     


Linh chi, Ganoderma, Medicinal plant.


Linh chi is a medicinal plant from fungi. At the present, it seems to be so the most favorite remedy for the elderly and its use has remarkably been increasing. The fact that the commercial articles are of various origins and greatly different in appearance and color has promoted the researches presented herein on their identification by macroscopy and microscopy and chemical tests.

Materials and Methods

- Samples were collected from various provinces of Vietnam and deposited in the Faculty of Pharmacognosy of Hanoi College of Pharmacy (HCP) as voucher specimens for further reference.

- Macroscopic examination made in routine ways. Microscopic examination was done for the fungal fiber and spore with different magnification degrees.    

- The identification was based on taxonomic key and consulting with experts.

- Extracts were analyzed with the High Performance Thin-Layer Chromatograph (HPTLC) CAMAG with software WinCATS-Planar Chrommatography Manager and VideoScan and adequate /specific chemical reagents.

Results and Discussions

- The samples were widely different in form, size and color. A large variety in color is seen in Picture 1.

- Intersections of different samples are different, as seen in Picture 2.

- Thin-layer chromatograms (with the same set of conditions) of their extracts differed greatly Picture 3.

Picture 1. Form, size and color of samples Linh chi Picture 2. Intersections of samples Linh chi Picture 3. Thin-layer chromatograms of extracts Linh chi (l = 365 nm)

- Fungal fibers of different samples are similar in form.

- Spores are rare and so similar that it is of no identification significance, even easy to lead to undesirable mistakes.

- Most collected samples were determined to belong to the genus Ganoderma.

- Ganoderma lucidum of different origins (sources, countries or regions), though are different in size, are of similarity in microscopy and phytochemistry (by HPTLC).

- Ganoderma lucidum is larger in size than others is used to cure and prevent a large variety of diseases. They are produced cultivating in large scales. It is worthy of being official in Pharmacopoeia Vietnamica in order to give professional, legal guide for production management and quality control.

- Linh chi gathered from the wild are of ambiguous origin, and so difficult to identify. Especially, their phytochemical compositions varied largely and remain questionable their therapeutic properties and values, the dependence of their chemical compositions on the substrates or host plants.

- In lack of such solutions to these, it needs temporarily effective measures to control the trade and use of Linh chi for avoiding any undesirable harm to the user's health.


1. Wu Xingliang & Zang Mu. Colored Illustrations of The Ganodermataceae and Other Fungi. Science and Technology Publishing House, BeiJing 2000 (in English).

2. Lin Zhi Bin. Contemporary researchs on Ganodermataceae. Medical Publishing House, BeiJing 2000 (in Chinese).

3. Kiet Trinh Tam. Big fungus of Vietnam. Science and Technology Publishing House 1981, (in Vietnamese).


- Phương pháp sắc kư lớp mỏng

- Phương pháp sắc kư lớp mỏng hiệu năng cao

- Sử dụng sắc kư lớp mỏng trong kiểm nghiệm dược liệu và chế phẩm đông dược

- Sử dụng kính hiển vi phân cực trong kiểm nghiệm một số dược liệu


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Revised: January 31, 2017 .