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Herb Reference Guide

Reishi Mushroom

History

This wood fungus/polypore is known as “Ling Zhi” in traditional Chinese medicine, and has been used in Japanese medicine for over 2,000 years. It has been called "The Mushroom of Immortality" by those cultures. The fruiting bodies have a reddish-orange or almost dark brown color, which is shiny on the exterior (lucidum). Reishi grows at the base and stumps of deciduous trees, especially maple. Only two or three out of 10,000 such aged trees have Rieshi growing on them, and therefore its wild form is generally rare. It is now commercially cultivated both indoors under sterile conditions and outdoors on either logs or woodchip beds. The history and information available on this remarkable mushroom literally fills hundreds of volumes. It has a very high degree of safety and widespread benefits for the entire body.

Function

Reishi mushroom is an excellent tonic and is referred to for restoring Qi, or vital energy. The concept of Qi in traditional Chinese Medicine can be thought of as a protective force field surrounding the body. Reishi is wonderful for supporting immune function and modern research has proven that it is safe for this use with almost no known side effects.

Uses of Reishi Mushroom

Disclaimer

This information in our Herbal Reference Guide is intended only as a general reference for further exploration, and is not a replacement for professional health advice. This content does not provide dosage information, format recommendations, toxicity levels, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Accordingly, this information should be used only under the direct supervision of a qualified health practitioner such as a naturopathic physician.

Active Constituents

Triterpenoids (Ganoderic acids), Polysachharides (beta glucans), coumarin, mannitol, alkaloids

Parts Used

  • Fruiting body

Important precautions

Not for use during pregnancy. If you have a medical condition or take pharmaceutical drugs please consult your doctor prior to use.

Additional Resources

Liu J, Kurashiki K, Shimizu K, Kondo R (December 2006). “Structure-activity relationship for inhibition of 5alpha-reductase by triterpenoids isolated from Ganoderma lucidum”. Bioorg. Med. Chem. 14 (24): 8654-60.

Chinese Herbal Medicine: Materia Medica, Third Edition by Dan Bensky, Steven Clavey, Erich Stoger, and Andrew Gamble (2004)

Wachtel-Galor S, Tomlinson B, Benzie IF. Ganoderma lucidum (“Lingzhi”), a Chinese medicinal mushroom: biomarker responses in a controlled human supplementation study. Br J Nutr. 2004 Feb;91(2):263-9.