Reishi

History

Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) has been called the mushroom of immortality; in Chinese this mushroom is known as Ling Zhi. Native to Europe, Asia and North America, Reishi has been revered in China for thousands of years. It is depicted in many Chinese works of art and is utilized in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Reishi can be found in varying climates throughout the world, preferring tropical, sub-tropical and temperate climates where deciduous hardwood trees are abundant. Despite its adaptability to different climates and topography, Reishi remains elusive. Only two or three out of 10,000 mature hardwood trees have Reishi growing on them, with oak and maple being the most common.

A mushroom goes through many stages during its life cycle, just like any plant or animal. Each part of a mushroom has unique attributes that support wellness and serve a different purpose for the organism, but it’s the fruiting bodies that receive the most attention and are the most familiar. Fruiting bodies emerge from the substrate on which they grow — such as trees or fallen logs — to become the part of the mushroom we recognize. They’re the above-ground part that we can see when we walk through the woods, and they’re also what have been traditionally foraged and consumed, in food and supplements.

Function

The fruiting bodies of this mushroom contain polysaccharides, specifically a type called beta-glucans, which have been studied to support immune health and overall wellness, as well as normal, healthy cell growth and turnover.* The fruiting body extracts we use contain these polysaccharides, without unnecessary fillers or starches.

Reishi has been shown in studies to support immune function.* This mushroom is considered a tonic for Qi, or vital energy. The concept of Qi in Traditional Chinese Medicine can be thought of as a force field surrounding the body that maintains overall health and vitality.*

Modern uses of Reishi include cardiovascular support, a healthy stress response, healthy energy/stamina, overall wellness and immune health.*

Uses of Reishi

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

Beta (1>3),(1>6)-glucans; triterpenoids
130 Triterpenoids (ganoderic acids), polysaccharides (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.

Herb Reference Guide

 
*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Ecologically Harvested is a term that describes all herbs sold by Gaia Herbs that are not Certified Organic. Ecologically Harvested herbs include herbs that are harvested in their natural habitat, (i.e., wild harvested) according to specific guidelines for harvesting these herbs (i.e., away from roads and industry, as well as guidelines to avoid overharvesting). Our term, Ecologically Harvested, also includes herbs that are grown in managed woodland areas, fields designated for specific herbs, and herbs that are grown by indigenous growers, such as Kava Kava. All Ecologically Harvested herbs pass pesticide and heavy metal testing as well as microbial testing, prior to release.