Reishi, a.k.a Ganoderma lucidum, is a type of mushroom known in the Far East for thousands of years for its effectiveness in treating broad range of maladies "miraculously". In some cases, Reishi or "Lingzhi" is treated as "miracle herb" due to historical events in ancient China that mentioned Reishi’s ability to attain immortality. Reishi differs from the supermarket varieties in that its texture is similar to wood. In traditional Chinese medicine, Reishi is in the most highly rated herb category in terms of multiple benefit and absence of side effects. It is the only known source of a group of triterpenes known as ganoderic acids, which have a molecular structure similar to steroid hormones. It has the most active polysaccharides (long "chains" of sugars) among medicinal plant sources. Reishi also contains ergosterols, complete proteins, unsaturated fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. Wild Reishi is scarce and suffers from adverse environmental conditions such as insect infestation, lack of proper nutrients, non-optimum temperatures, and lack of humidity. The timing of the harvest cannot be controlled, and the mature Reishi has already lost most of its digestible active ingredients. The active ingredients in the dried mushroom may also have lost much of their beneficial biological activity. The 6 different types of Reishi (differentiated by color: red, purple, blue, yellow, black, white) recorded in Chinese pharmacopoeia are actually one species grown under different conditions. In 1972, a Japanese researcher who pioneered the growing of Reishi demonstrated that by varying the conditions of growth, Reishi of 6 different colors can be grown from the same species. Reishi are polypore mushrooms. Mushrooms are the fruiting body and reproductive structure of a higher order fungus organism, much like an orange is the fruit of an orange tree. The actual mushroom organism or "tree" is a fine thread-like network called mycelium. This mycelium is for the most part subterranean, living in soil, logs and other organic litter. Unlike green plants, which produce many of their own nutrients by photosynthesis, mushrooms primarily source their nutrients from dead organic matter or soil. Mushrooms and their mycelium are nature's original recyclers. Without them, the Earths' surface would be piled high with dead, decaying material. Mushrooms rise out of the mycelium when the right nutrients are amassed and the right environmental conditions are present. Mushrooms release spores at maturity. The wind spreads them and when they land in suitable locations, the cycle recommences. Numerous studies of Reishi mainly in China, Korea, Japan and the United States show effectiveness of Reishi for a very wide range of diseases and symptoms. But the studies have not given indisputable explanation on its healing mechanism because none of its presumed and known active components taken alone have given better results as a whole than the intake of Reishi itself. Its effectiveness applies to many areas so it is difficult to classify each of them and conduct research in each field. It is perhaps more comprehensible at this time, to explain Reishi's "miraculous powers" from the Traditional Chinese Medicine point of view. In the West, we have separated and classified each disease meticulously, and have specialized in each of them to such a degree that it seems today as if each disease is autonomous and standing alone. Oriental Medicine, resulting from knowledge accumulated through 4000 years of human observation, asserts that health can be maintained by sustaining the right balance within the body and that diseases can be cured by restoring this balance through nutrition, including medicinal herbs, exercise and mental peace. In other words, a disease is believed to be the tip of an iceberg, the result of the underlying imbalance of the body which must be restored. The 2000 years old medicinal book "Seng Nong's Herbal Classic", considered today as the oldest book on oriental herbal medicine, classifies 365 species of roots of grass, woods, furs, animals and stones separates herbal medicines into 3 categories. The first category, called superior, includes herbs effective for multiple diseases and mostly responsible for maintaining and restoring the body balance. They have no unfavorable side effects. The second category, middle, comprises tonics and boosters and their consumption must not be prolonged. The third category, low, must be taken usually in small dosages and for specific ailments. This category includes some poisonous herbs. Reishi, ranked number one of the superior medicines, was the most exalted medicine in ancient times. Reishi or Lingzhi is still a popular herb today prescribed by many herbalists in China, Hong Kong and Japan to threat various kind of sickness.
This video is a great introduction of the origin of Reishi and its modern applications. It starts with an overview of the history and explains how it was named the King of the Herbs. It explains some of the therapeutic values and how they benefit your health. It then shows you how it is cultivated and manufactured in today's market. There is also some guidelines on recognizing good quality Reishi mushrooms and end products. If you rather read a document, The World Health Publishing created a high quality PDF about Red Reishi. Click here to access the PDF.
Disclaimer: The information and statements on this website have not been evaluated by the FDA. We do not suggest that anyone should replace conventional medical treatment with our products, but rather as a complementary option. If you are under a physician's care, it is very important that you do not discontinue or reduce any prescription medication without consulting your physician first. This website is not to be used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any health condition or problem. If you are allergic to mushrooms, do not take reishi. Beneficial results vary per individual on a given period.
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