As its existence surpasses humanity, mushrooms have been apart of traditional medicine since the beginning of our time. Scientists uncovered that mushrooms were once towering like our modern day trees! There are over 38,000 varieties of mushrooms in the fungi kingdom, but today the spotlight is on reishi mushroom.
Originating from the forests of China, Lingzhi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) has a 2000-4000 year track in ancient Chinese texts. According to the Shennong Bancaojing texts, mushrooms are broken into six categories according to organ correspondence. Reishi belongs to the chizhi ("red mushroom"), as it effects the qi of the heart. In Chinese herbology, reishi is revered as an immortal herb, sustaining vitality and life to those that partake of it. Like its fungi siblings (not all of them!), reishi may be utilized internally, topically, or as a divination tool.
Now that science has caught up with the knowledge of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), reishi, along with other mushrooms, have been continuously cultivated; nearly giving the fungi a vulnerable status. It's no wonder it was reserved for the Chinese emperors, their families, and those that were able to wild harvest this marvelous fungi. But I digress, since reishi flourishes in mountainous area and in the comfort of your home in grow bag. It grows and transforms into conks, antlers, and fruits; however, the medicinal properties lie inside the fruiting body. The bitter fruit of reishi contains triterpenes, ganoderic acids, and beta-glucans. Reishi modulates the immune, hormone, and endocrine system, thus boosting immunity, vitality, and sexual experience.
Energetics: Bitter, Cool, Dry
Actions: Adaptogen, analgesic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antitumor, antiviral, cardiotonic, hepatoprotective, immune stimulant, rejuvenative.
Corresponding to the qi of the heart, it also opens the heart chakra, initiating the release of tension and stress there. As qi flows steadily from the heart, this expands our awareness to the reality we live in, inciting creativity and focused productivity from within.
The beta-glucans are stored within the cell membrane of the mushroom, thus making it difficult to extract when eaten raw; however, hot water has the capability of breaking the cell membrane, releasing all the beta-glucans!
I've found that ingesting reishi in the morning and in the evening to be extremely beneficial, as it grounds your energy and calms you down to focus on the tasks of the day or to relax once the day is done.