Reishi: The Brilliant Mushroom

Pamela Duff, Green Med Info
Waking Times 

These varnished-looking mushrooms are gorgeous when fresh since the caps are liver-red to a reddish brown and distinctively glossy.

Ganoderma is from the Latin gan, meaning “shiny”, derma meaning “skin”, and lucideum meaning “brilliant”.

The surface is arranged in lumpy zones with colour progressing to white or yellow along the edge.

Lucideum grows on hardwoods (maple, elm, oak, alder) while tsugae species prefers conifers, especially hemlock.

There are no known poisonous look-a-likes.

They can reach up to a foot (30 cm) across and rarely found in the wild anymore. Most of the 15,000 tons sold world-wide is cultivated under sterile conditions in at least 15 countries.

A rare yellow species (G. curtisii), called kishiba in Japan, can sometimes be found growing on hardwood trees around the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway in Canada as well as other parts of eastern North America.

In Japan, it is found almost exclusively on wild plum trees but in Southeast Asia, it is commonly found on palm trees.

  • Because the husks on the pores are so hard, reishi does not germinate as quickly as other mushrooms and therefore, difficult to find in the wild.

    Reishi is also too tough and bitter to eat so it is generally cut up for teas or its medicinal substances extracted for supplements.

    Reishi is found in six colours: red, white, black blue, yellow, and purple but it is the RED that is most prized and medicinally effective and studied.

    Reishi is considered to be one of the greatest of the traditional Chinese medicines, ranking up there with ginseng.

    GreenMedInfo has at least 46 abstracts listed for the reishi mushroom.

    Reishi has proven to treat and prevent such conditions as

    About the Author

    Pamela Duff is a retired Registered Nurse, once certified in Gerontology and now certified in sports nutrition and raw foods. A former nursing director, she was forced into retirement after developing a heart condition, which she resolved strictly through diet, supplements, and a less stressful lifestyle. She is the author of Nature’s Evidence-Based Pharmacy: Evidence-based Alternatives to Drugs.

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