Reishi (Ling Zhi)

Reishi (Ling Zhi)

Botanical Name: Ganoderma lucidum

Famous for its miraculous health benefits, Reishi contains compounds said to prevent and reduce various cancer tumors. Reishi mushrooms significantly reduce the effects of allergic reactions, including asthma, congestion, contact dermatitis, stiff necks, and conjunctivitis.

Below is an overview of Reishi, combining and interpreting the best of Western Science, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Shamanism, Folklore and more. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of Reishi.

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Western Name: Reishi

Also Known As: Red Reishi

Organs/Systems: Immune System, Whole Body Tonic

Key Actions: Immune Enhancing, Anti-allergic, Anti-inflammatory, Anticonvulsant, Antioxidant, Antitumor, Diuretic, Laxative, Sedative, Tonic

Medicinal Uses: Boosts immune system, asthma, cancer, edema, convulsions, muscle spasms, constipation, allergies.


Pin Yin: Ling Zhi

Also Known As: Muchroom of Immortality, Mushroom of spirit, Mu Ling Zhi, Zi Ling Zhi

Meridians: Heart, Lung, Liver, Kidney, Spleen

Key Actions: There are six different types of G. lucidum. Each mushroom is classified by color and each has slightly different properties. The most commonly used and most potent is the red variety. Calms Shen, Tonifies Wei Qi and Blood, Nourishes the Heart, Supports Shen, Removes Toxicity, Disperses Accumulations, Supports the Three Treasures (Jing, Qi and Shen)

Medicinal Uses: Insomnia, reduces anxiety, restlessness, promotes emotional well-being, enhances immunity, allergies, asthma, longevity, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, calms allergic reactions, sooths nausea, tumors, reduces arthritis, longevity, spiritual and emotional well-being.

Basic Habitat/Botany:

Reishi mushrooms encompasses several fungal species of the genus Ganoderma. They are polypore mushrooms that are soft corky and flat, with a red-varnish, kidney shaped cap. They do not have any gills on their undersides. They grow as a parasite or saprotroph on a wide variety of trees.

They grow in the Northern Eastern Hemlock forests, with a worldwide distribution in both tropical and temperate geographical regions.  In nature, Ling Zhi particularly grow at the base of deciduous trees, especially maple trees.


Reishi (Ling Zhi) Parts Most Frequently Used: Mushroom

Flavors/Temps: Bitter, Warming

Caution: Non-toxic, can be eaten daily.

History/Folklore: The botanical name, “Ganoderma” derives from the Greek and Latin roots meaning “brightness or sheen” describing the appearance of the mushrooms caps.

The Japanese name is Rieshi. Other words for Reishi can be translated as “sage mushroom, grandchild ladle and departure mushroom.”

The Chinese name is Ling Zhi.  In Chinese, “Ling Zhi” is made up of the compounds, “Ling” meaning “spirit, soul, miraculous, sacred, divine, mysterious or effective” and “Zhi” meaning “plant of longevity, fungus, seed, branch, or mushroom”.  Taken together, “Ling Zhi” can mean “auspicious plant, divine mushroom or immortality plant, magic fungus or marvelous fungus.”

Ling Zhi mushrooms have been used in Chinese Medicine for over 2,000 years , making them one of the oldest mushrooms known to be used medicinally. They were originally thought to be an elixir of life for gaining immortality.  As such, they were valued by Taoist monks for both their properties of increasing health and aiding the development of spritual experiences and understanding. Ling Zhi was said to “absorb earthly vapors and leave a heavenly atmosphere.”

In China, only two or three out of 10,000 aged trees still have Ling Zhi growing at their bases, making the wild variety extremely rare. In Japan 99% of all wild mushrooms are found on old Japanese plum trees, but are so rare that only a few are found per 100,000 plum trees.

The polysaccharides in the mushrooms provide the anticancer effect by preventing abnormal blood vessel formation while also boosting immunity. The triterpenes protect the liver, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, fight allergic responses triggered by histamine and also possess anticancer activity.

Reishi also enhance bone marrow nucleated cell production as well as increase white blood cells and hemoglobin.


Key Constituents:

Triterpenes (called Ganoderic acids, that have a molecular structure similar to Steroid Hormones), Polysaccharides, Coumarin, Mannitol, Alkaloids.  Isolated Sterols include: Ganoderol, Ganoderenic acid, Ganoderiol, and Ganodermadiol. Carbohydrates, Amino acids, Lipids, Riboflavin.
Did you know?

Increase Virility

The Chinese attribute Ling Zhi with increasing virility.

A Bitter Taste

Often described as being “tough” and “woody” with a bitter taste. Reishi is often traditionally prepared as a hot water extract, tea or decoction, that is brought to a boil and then left to simmer for up to two hours.
Fun fact!

Protects Cellular DNA

Reishi protect cellular DNA from oxidant damage caused by aging and cancer.

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ATTENTION: All material provided on this website is for informational or educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of your healthcare professional or physician. Redistribution permitted with attribution. Be Healthy. Be Happy. Be Whole. Be Free.

ATENCIÓN: Todo el material proporcionado en este sitio web es sólo con fines informativos o educativos. No es sustituto del consejo de su profesional de la salud o médico. Esté sano. Sea feliz. Siéntase completo. Sea libre.

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