CHINA. Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum), Whole, Certified Organic
Common names: Lingzhi, Het Lin Chue, Yeongji
Reishi mushrooms are polypore fungi that may reach a width of nearly a foot. They grow wild in both temperate and tropical regions in many parts of the world, often on dying hardwood trees or stumps, and are also cultivated in many places.
Reishi has fascinated people for at least two thousand years. Highly respected in traditional Asian medicine, it has gained global attention especially as an adaptogen and immune modulator, said to increase immune function where it is deficient in chronic infections or cancers, and reduce it where it is excessive in autoimmune conditions and allergies. It is reputed to calm the nervous system, reduce pain, and protect the cardiovascular system and liver. Antiviral and antibacterial effects, and benefits for a variety of conditions, from arthritis and bronchitis to HIV infection and hyperactivity, have been described by herbalists.
Considerable research has been published on Reishi. A 2018 review article refers to its “400 different biologically active constituents principally polysaccharides, triterpenoids, proteins, enzymes, steroids, sterols, nucleotides, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals which have been proved to have several therapeutical properties to control various diseases. Broad spectrum of its pharmacological actions have been established which include immunomodulation, anticancer, antidiabetic, antioxidant, antiatherosclerotic, antifibrotic, chemopreventive, antitumor, anticancer drug toxicity prevention, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antinociceptive, antimicrobial, hypolipidemic, hepatoprotective, antiandrogenic, antiangiogenic, antiherpetic, antiarthritic, antiosteoporotic, antiaging, antiulcer properties and estrogenic activity.”
A few more studies—among many—show evidence that the mushroom can improve physical fitness (aerobic endurance, lower body flexibility, and walking speed) in women with fibromyalgia; positively affect both behavior and biochemical and autoimmune markers, and actual brain pathology (senile plaques, neurofibrillar tangles and amyloid angiopathy), in animal models of Alzheimer’s disease; and alleviate pancreatitis and reduce obesity in separate experiments on animals, by improving gut microbiota.
Optimal extraction of Reishi’s components can be achieved by crushing the mushroom and using alcohol and hot water, separately, over extended periods of time, to create a stable, concentrated liquid. Drinking a briefly steeped Reishi tea, or eating powdered fungus, will not lead to the documented benefits that may follow regular use of a well-prepared extract.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.