REISHI (LINGZHI)- Ganoderma Lucidum
The names "Reishi" and "Lingzhi" literally mean "Supernatural Fungus" and is considered a symbol of good luck. Traditionally it is used to promote health, longevity and a calm state of mind. Reishi provides immunological, neurological, metabolic, hepatic and vascular protection, among other functions. Like all herbs, especially the tonic and major remedial herbs, Reishi grows wild in a variety of natural environments, and is also widely cultivated. There are many varieties of Reishi.
All forms of Reishi are polypores, an extensive and diverse group of woody mushrooms found throughout nature. Polypores have a hard, woody nature and tend to grow on trees. Polypores have tubes on the underside of the fruiting body (the exposed mushroom part). Spores are produced in these tubes and the spores are released through thousands of pores on the underbelly of the mushroom head. Ganoderma mushrooms produce millions of spores which are released into the environment within a very short window of time when the fungus is ready. Colour can vary greatly. Ganoderma lucidum and tsugae tend to be brick red, but can be purplish-red or purple. Ganoderma sinensis is black.
Only a couple are widely used in herbal commerce as "Reishi" - Ganoderma lucidum and Ganoderma sinensis.
In Traditional Chinese medicine Ganoderma Lucidum is used to tranquilize the mind, enrich vital energy and tonic the blood. Good for deficient Heart energy and Heart blood manifesting as insomnia, dreaminess, amnesia, dullness, palpitations, and fright. Also good for all types of energy and blood deficient syndromes. It also helps eliminate phlegm, relieve cough and shortness of breath.
Reishi mushrooms found on a property in Northern NSW. Although they can grow in a suitable environment these are not appropriate in herbal medicine. The area should be organic, have a pure water sourc and be grown under strict rules according to TGA laws. tree that the Reishi naturally prefers is cut into logs in the forest and used to grow the Reishi. This is a superb method. The Reishi farms are usually in the mountains, and are simply created where the trees have been cut. The system is very semi-wild. The best farms use mountain water from a stream or spring. The growers are extremely careful about the water source, always assuring that no industry or other polluters are polluting the water. As a result of this diligence, good Reishi plantations tend to be high altitude. Chemicals are not used by the legitimate growers of Duanmu Reishi. So the Reishi is organically grown, whether certified or not.
Reishi Spores and Reishi Spore Oil
When the fruiting body reaches maturity, it suddenly releases spores. This amazing process is a natural wonder. The spores are released from the underside of the head of the fruiting body, and the spores cover the entire mushroom within a few minutes. Within a few hours the entire micro-environment is covered by spores.
The spores are of very significant medicinal and tonic value. They are very rich in triterpenes, one of the main active constituent groups in Reishi. In fact, the spores are far more potent than even the fruiting body. Spores are, however, impossible for humans to digest due to their hard coating. They must be "cracked" by a modern technique to expose the inside of the spore to our digestive system. Cracked Reishi Spores are very highly prized and are more expensive than Reishi. Reishi spores are widely used in cancer therapeutics in Asia and by people on longevity programs.
The Reishi spores are an excellent source of an oil, Reishi Spore Oil, that can be extracted once the spores have been cracked. This oil is among the most precious of all substances produced from Chinese herbs. It has been determined that Reishi Spore Oil is about seven hundred times more immunologically potent than the Reishi mushroom, one of the most potent immune tonics in the world. Reishi Spore Oil is a delight to consume.
Wild Reishi is a miraculous herb. It has been revered for millennia. If you get it from a reliable company that informs you where the Reishi comes from (mountains, of course), it can be a fantastic tonic herb. Its chemistry will be mixed but very broad. It is superb for building Jing (base kidney energy) and Shen (spirit), especially Shen. It is among the great Shen tonic herbs in the world. Consistent consumption of wild Reishi will have a noticeable positive impact on Shen, including their peace of mind, joy, emotional stability, optimism, sleep, clarity of thought, and so on. Wild Reishi has excellent effects on all the systems of the body. Most of this wild Reishi is Red Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum). Purple Reishi (also Ganoderma lucidum) is also available. This is a variety that grows in Western China. It has very potent Jing (and Shen) benefits and has been highly sought after by longevity enthusiasts (Taoists) throughout the centuries.
Duanmu (Duanwood™) Reishi is the world-standard for excellent Reishi.
Ganoderma lucidum is the most potent species. It grows only on hardwood logs. This is the true Red Reishi. Ganoderma tsugae (softwood Red Reishi) and Ganoderma sinensis (Black Reishi) are not considered to be as potent or effective. Ganoderma lucidum is always more expensive than the others because it is proven to contain hundreds of active biochemical constituents that benefit humans and promote radiant health and longevity. I strongly recommend you use mostly Ganoderma lucidum for yourself as a tonic herb.
Ganoderma lucidum can grow in a variety of shapes. Under certain growing conditions, the stem may elongate dramatically and produce a form known as "antler-shaped Reishi." This rare form occurs when there is more carbon dioxide in the air. The form has been proven to have potent immunological actions and is favoured by many immunologists and in cancer clinics in Asia, especially Japan.
Extraction and Consumption
Remember that Reishi cannot be digested by humans if it is raw – no matter how finely it is ground. If a product uses raw, ground Reishi powder, don't bother with it – it is next to useless. Reishi mushrooms must be extracted. Check the extraction ratio to make sure that large amounts of excipient are not being used to cut the product. Many Reishi products contain 50% excipient, while some contain as little as 5%. Obviously, go for the one that has only 5% excipient. Extracts that use almost no excipient in their production are known as "pure yield." This is ALWAYS the best way to go.
Reishi mushrooms can boost your immune system and help fight off bacteria and viral infections. They also show promising applications for treatment of cancer, diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, a range of autoimmune disorders and allergies, plus lots more.
Chinese healers began to use the mushroom in the Changbai mountain range in Northern China during the Han dynasty more than 2,000 years ago. In Chinese, the word lingzhi (靈芝) literally translates as “the mushroom of immortality,” “magic fungus” or “divine mushroom.”
Traditional Chinese medicine categorizes mushrooms into 6 categories that correspond to different areas of the body:
Green mushrooms for the liver
Yellow mushrooms for the spleen
White mushrooms for the lungs
Black mushrooms for the kidneys
Red mushrooms for the heart
Purple mushrooms for the “essence”
Reishi mushrooms are categorized as red mushrooms for the purposes of traditional Chinese medicine and they’re mainly used to treat binding in the chest and the heart qi (or energy.)
However, it’s also used to improve memory, sharpen the wits and prevent senility, and even allegedly prolong life to make someone immortal!
Reishi mushrooms found recently on a property while holidaying in the Byron hinterland in Northern NSW. Although they can grow in a varied environments they are not appropriate in herbal medicine. The area should be organic, have a pure water source and be grown under strict regulations according to TGA laws of Australia to be suitable for therapeutic use.