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Did you know? Fun facts: Origin of Reishi Mushroom

Reishi mushroom, also known as Ganoderma lucidum, is native to Asia and has been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine. It is also known as Lingzhi in Chinese and has a history of use in both Korean and Indian cultures. The first recorded use of reishi mushroom dates back to over 2,000 years ago during the Han dynasty of China. Reishi was considered to be a symbol of immortality and was reserved only for the emperor and his closest advisors. It was believed that consuming reishi mushroom would lead to a long and healthy life.


Reishi is so revered that it earned the nickname “the mushroom of immortality”. Ancient Chinese herbalists called reishi Lingzhi (灵芝) because it means “herb of spiritual potency”. Emperor Yan, the first (and most legendary) in the line of ancient China’s rulers, is the founding father of the farming practices and tools that became the foundation of China’s agriculture. He is also the attributed author of the “bible” of medicinal plants: Shennong Ben Cao Jing (a.k.a. Materia Medica). Of reishi, he wrote, “If eaten customarily, it makes your body light and young, lengthens your life, and turns you into one like the immortal who never dies”.

Ganoderma Lucidum has been depicted in ancient Chinese and Japanese artwork. For example, in a 16th-century silk painting by Qiu Yang, reishi is presented as a gift to the most worshipped goddess in Chinese mythology, Queen Mother of the West. Another example is the wall painting ChaoYuanTu from the Ming dynasty. In it there are maids holding reishi as gifts to the emperors. Many Chinese folk tales, myths, and poems also feature reishi. For example, the myth of Magu tells of a beautiful folk woman who lived on Guyu Mountain and practiced Taoism. Magu used the water from the 13 springs on the mountain to brew reishi wine. After 13 years, the wine matured and Magu became immortal (5). Magu features in both Chinese and Korean literature. She is typically portrayed as having healing powers and as having gifted the world with the healing herbs of cannabis and reishi.


To take advantage of the true reishi nutritional benefit, Reishi Essence carries the best and most potent reishi extracts in the market. For 17 years, Reishi Essence has supplied the world with quality affordable Reishi.

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