Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum)

According to Chinese beliefs Ganoderma is the “Miraculous King of Herbs”. It is also called “Manentake” and the “Mushroom of Longevity”. Reishi has been revered as medicinal plant for 5,000 years. Emperors of the great Japanese and Chinese dynasties turned Ganoderma tea or concoctions drinking into a religious ritual, which they believed, ensured long life and vitality. Reishi was considered the “Elixir of Eternal Youth”, which ancient Taoists were constantly searching for. It is still highly recommended by Chinese doctors as the best remedy for home medicine cabinets.

ReishiReishi is classified by color into 6 types: Red, Green, White, Black, Yellow, Purple. The best Reishi grows on Japanese decayed plum trees. It is proven that this mushroom type has the strongest medicinal properties. Only young mushrooms are to be used for curative purposes. Ganoderma is a tree mushroom with bitter taste. The Reishi mushroom is rarely found in the wild because of its particular growing requirements. Despite its rough spores are easily attached to any type of tree, temperature requirements are not easily met and spores rarely sprout. In ancient China, finding a decaying plum tree with this extremely fastidious mushroom on it was considered a great luck. A lucky collector of healing mushrooms only once coming across a Reishi spawn, was able to live comfortably for many years, keeping the tree in secret, gathering his harvest every year and selling it to a Chinese court doctor. Reishi is very popular in Asia. It is the most ancient medicinal mushroom.

The Chinese name of Ganoderma lucidum is “Ling-Zhi”. It means “herb of spiritual potency” or “mushroom of immortality”. The Chinese symbol of this term consists of three logographic signs – one for shaman, one for prayer and one for rain. Reishi is also called “Ten Thousand Year Mushroom”, because it is believed that the mushroom brings longevity. Sometimes it is also called “Varnished Conk” because of its glossy surface or “Phantom mushroom”, because it is so rare and difficult to find. “Reishi” is the Japanese name of Ganoderma lucidum under which the mushroom is known in the West.
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Due to its numerous health benefits and the lack of negative side effects Reishi occupies prominent place among medicinal mushrooms. The “Ling-zhi” mushroom was included in the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia and Therapeutic Compendium. The mystery of Reishi cultivation was discovered only in 1972 when a Japanese farmer, interested in healing mushrooms, after many experiments was able to identify the fungus culture and grow the first Reishi on his “mushroom farm”. In Japan and China, Reishi extracts are used for treatment of practically all diseases. They possess almost mythical properties to increase spiritual strength and enhance positive emotional attitude. The Reishi mushroom is the queen of adaptogens and as such it is even better than Jang Shen.

Adaptogens have three important qualities: safety (no side effects), broad influence on the entire body, ability to normalize all body functions. Reishi contains organic germanium, an element which also functions as an adaptogen.
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Reishi is not an edible mushroom. Because of its very unpleasant bitter taste even tea made from Reishi is used mainly for curative purposes. The bitterness of Reishi is due to its 113 terpenoids – organic substances with anti-inflammatory, anticancer and antiviral action. This bitterness is not found in cultured mycelia. People who decide to take capsules should not worry about the taste.

Reishi is considered to be in the highest class of tonics. It is used to build up energy and increase physical strength. Herbalists also mention a transient calming effect. It is believed that the combination with vitamin C improves the mushroom absorption. For that reason researchers recommend it.

Cordyceps
Cordyceps
Hericium
Hericium
Coriolus
Coriolus
Polyporus
Polyporus
Auricularia
Auricularia
Coprinus
Coprinus
Maitake
Maitake
Shiitake
Shiitake
Agaricus blazei
Agaricus blazei