Reishi Mushroom is also known by the name Lucky Fungus. Reishi Mushrooms grow wild on decaying logs and tree stumps in the coastal provinces of China. The fruit ing body of the mushroom is employed for health Reishi occurs in six different colors, but the red variety is most commonly used and commercially cultivated in North America, China, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea. The Latin word lucidum means "shiny" or "brilliant," and refers to the varnished surface of Reishi's cap, which is reddish orange to black. In Japan, 99% of Reishi growing in the wild are found on old plum trees, and wild Reishi Mushrooms are rare.
In the Taoist tradition, Reishi is said to enhance spiritual receptivity. It was used by monks to calm the spirit and mind. It is also considered a symbol of feminine sexuality. Reishi has been used in traditional China for more than 4,000 years to help support liver disorders, hypertension, joint pain, and other ailments. The Chinese have always regarded the mushroom as having special properties. Mushrooms are regarded as "spirit medicine" because they are believed to nourish the "shen," or spirit. As such, they are considered particularly important in vegetarian diets and regarded as a nutritional food that promotes longevity.
Various mushrooms are used by the Chinese. One of the oldest recorded botanical monograph has claimed that Reishi Mushroom made the body "lighter," which may refer to its ability to help support cholesterol and blood lipid levels. Reishi may also have immune potentiating properties. Fungi, such as Reishi, spend most of their life cycles in the mycelial stage. The mushroom mycelia excretes digestive enzymes to digest nutrients and fend off competition and other pathogens in their environment. At the peak of the growth cycle, the mycelial biomass contains a fully myceliated brown rice substrate, mushroom primordia, and various metabolites. The mycelial biomass is harvested and carefully dried under low temperature and then made into powder. Reishi mycelium is rich in carbohydrates, proteins and vitamins. Active compounds from Reishi include glycoproteins, enzymes, polysaccharides and other metabolites which can stimulate immune response in a host. Some compounds in Reishi Mushrooms are classified as immuno-potentiators. Reishi can also act to restore homeostasis in an immuno-suppressed host.
Studies have indicated that Reishi is able to induce potent anti-microbial activity in mice. In vitro studies point to the stimulative effects on the production of monocytes, macrophages and cytokines. Anti-viral and anti-oxidant effects are other in vitro effects observed from the study of Reishi. Reishi contains several chemical constituents, including sterols, coumarin, mannitol, polysaccharides, and triterpenoids called ganoderic acids. Ganoderic acids may support healthy blood pressure levels and decrease low density lipoprotein (LDL) and triglyceride levels. These specific triterpenoids also help reduce blood platelets from sticking together-an important factor in lowering the risk for coronary artery problems.
While human research demonstrates some efficacy for the herb in supporting altitude sickness and a healthy liver B, these uses still need to be confirmed scientifically. Recent test-tube and human studies have demonstrated anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antioxidant effects. Reishi is beneficial to the joints, can increase vital energy, strengthens tendons and bones, and is good for one's complexion. The common name Reishi includes the species Ganoderma japonicum, which is used interchangeably with Ganoderma lucidum.
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Stir 1/4 of a teaspoon into a glass of water and consume 3 times daily, with meals.
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