Reishi Mushroom

King of Health Foods

Reishi is a unique health food with a wide range of medicinal properties which collectively strengthens the immune system and gives the user longevity:

The Most Common Uses of Reishi

Reishi is commonly used for:

What is Reishi?

Reishi is the Japanese name for Ganoderma Lucidum. The Chinese call it Lingzhi.

Ganoderma Lucidum is a mushroom, a higher order organism of the world of fungus. It belongs to the Polypore group.

"Polypores, commonly known as bracket or shelf fungi, are conspicuous mushrooms that grow off the sides of trees. On a walk through the forest one can commonly see many such bracket mushrooms."

"What is not readily visible to us however is the actual mushroom organism, or mycelium. Just as an apple is the fruit of an apple tree, so too is a mushroom the fruit body of a mycelial "tree". Mycelium is a network of the threadlike filaments that originates from spores. The mycelium spreads throughout the nutrient base or substrate, amassing nutrients as it grows. As long as environmental conditions are right, the mycelium will continue to grow and propagate until it exhausts the available nutrients."

"As long as nutrients are available, the mycelium can be considered perennial and will live for many years. At least once a year, mushrooms emerge from the mycelial network. As the reproductive organ of the fungus, mushrooms are the means by which spores are created and spread."

--- from Reishi Mushroom: Herb of Spiritual Potency and Medical Wonder, Terry Willard, Sylvan Press, 1991

In Jan. 1992 an excellent article about Reishi appeared in Health Foods Business: "Rei-Shi: Ancient Medicine is Modern Hope." By Linda McGlasson, Assistant Editor.

Why is Reishi so special?

The status of Reishi in the health food industry is unparalleled. It is the culmination of the knowledge and wisdom of the East and West for 5,000 years. Its effectiveness as a health food and as a highly potent medicine have been demonstrated by over 30 years of modern scientific research in Japan, Taiwan, China, U.S.A., Canada, and Poland. Backed by 5,000 years of accumulated experience, Reishi can safely claim to be totally free from side-effects. The wide range of health benefits we can receive from Reishi is also unmatched. As it was so rare, Reishi was available only to emperors in ancient times. The first emperor of China, Shih Huang Ti, sent a fleet with 250 yourng men and 250 young ladies to Japan in search of the herb of longevity, which is Reishi.

Reishi is the king of adaptogens. It is superior to Ginseng. Adaptogens share three important properties:

1. Non-toxic and free from side-effects.

2. Non-specific, acting on the entire body.

3. Normalizes physiological functions.

Reishi contains 800-2,000 ppm of organic germanium, which is 4-5 times more than Ginseng. Germanium is a trace element with adaptogenic functions.

Active Ingredients

Modern medical research in the East and West have identified some of the physiological actions of Reishi. Chemical analysis has revealed that Reishi contains:

In addition to all of the ingredients in the fruit body, Reishi mycelium contains:

The Benefits of Reishi

The scientific data accumulated over the past 30 years help explain why Reishi is effective in all parts of our body:

The different types of Reishi

In ancient times, only wild Reishi was available. Reishi was classified by color into 6 types: Red, Green, White, Black, Yellow, Purple.

In 1972, researchers at Kyoto University in Japan successfully cultivated Reishi in the laboratory. From a single species, Ganoderma Lucidum (Red Reishi), all six colors could be grown by varying the temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide content, and the available nutrients. The six types of Reishi are thus shown to be one species.

Wild Reishi is extremely rare. Only one or two mushrooms can be found on a hill. Due to damage by insects and weather, the quality of wild Reishi is unpredictable. Only the fruit body can be harvested, when the active ingredients have already decreased. The dried mushrooms may not have the potency of the fresh mushroom. When buying wild Reishi, expertise is required in order not to confuse Reishi with the hundreds of other mushrooms (some of which are poisonous). After it matures, the fruit body is hardened by fibers which makes it more difficult to extract and digest the active ingredients. The spores are of microscopic dimensions, similar to the size of bacteria. They are protected by two layers of hardened cell walls. These cell walls trap the active ingredients inside and are indigestible.

Although wild Reishi fruit body and the spores are all effective products, our ancestors had to use a large quantity of Reishi to get a little benefit. As it was impossible to cultivate, this rare mushroom was available only to emperors.

Modern bio-engineering technology has made Reishi available to the general public in large quantities. The quality can be carefully controlled by providing the best conditions and sufficient nutrients. Further investigations have discovered that the largest amount of active ingredients exist in the mycelium, and that the mycelium is more digestible. The extraction process can be timed at the precise stage when the mycelium contains the largest amount of active ingredients. Fresh mycelium is available, and there is no chance for mistaken identity. Without the obstacles of the fibers, the extraction is more complete and the extract is more digestible. Therefore, the latest research on the medicinal properties of Reishi are done on the mycelial extracts.

Reishi is now available in capsule or tablet form, which makes it possible to avoid the bitter taste and standardize the dosage. However, not all Reishi capsules are the same. Some capsules are made from the fruit body, which contain a large quantity of dietary fibers. Some capsules contain other herbs, which may lead to side-effects. Some capsules made from the mycelium contain also the grain from which the mycelium is grown (so only a small fraction of the capsule is actually Reishi mycelium). The differences can be readily identified by tasting the powder. Pure Reishi has an intense, pure bitter taste. The best Reishi capsule is the extract of pure Reishi mycelium without the grain.

Several manufacturers have printed misleading brochures to promote the use of their own products. Such conflicting information can be confusing. The intelligent consumer will be careful in checking the source of information. Third-party documentation, especially those written by scientists, are the only reliable source.

An excellent definitive work on Reishi is "Reishi Mushroom, herb of spiritual potency and medical wonder", written by Dr. Terry Willard, Ph.D., member of the Canadian Government's Expert Advisory Committee on Herbs and Botanical Preparations. Also very informative is the Chinese books "Lingzhi and Health Vol. I-III" edited by Dr. Shiuh-Sheng Lee, Professor of Biochemistry at National Yang-Ming University School of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan.

How to use Reishi

Reishi polysaccharides have high molecular weights of up to 1,050,000, which makes absorptiion by the intestines difficult. Dr. Fukumi Morishige, M.D. found that patients given large doses of Reishi (2-9g/day) had diarrhea, but when a large dose of vitamin C was also given at the same time, there was no diarrhea. Vitamin C breaks down the high molecular weight polysaccharides to a molecular weight of around 30,000, so that they are much more easily absorbed by the intestines.

For general health maintenance and prevention, take 2 Reishi mycelium capsules twice per day on an empty stomach. Also take 500 mg of Vitamin C per day after breakfast.

When a discomfort occurs from minor illness, increase the dosage to 2-3 capsules 3 times per day. Also take 1,000 mg of Vitamin C per day after meals.

For insomnia, take 4-5 capsules before bedtime. Take 2 in the morning. Also take 1,000 mg of Vitamin C per day after meals.

When a serious illness occurs, increase the dosage to 4 capsules 4 times per day. Also take 2,000-3,000 mg of Vitamin C per day after meals.

Some people may experience Vertigo Reaction when they first take Reishi. During the first week, they may experience slight swelling of the head or dizziness. Arthritis patient may experienced a temporary increase in the pain level. This is a cleansing reaction, often called a "healing crisis". Continue to take Reishi and the symptoms will be alleviated within a week.

Reishi used in formulas

Reishi is best used in combination with other herbs or medicine. An outstanding combination is Reishi & Placenta. Another good combination is Reishi & Cordyceps, which has been clinically tested and found to be more effective than the two individual herbs alone.

Reishi Tea is an excellent health drink.

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