Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum)
Also known as Ling Zhi, plant of immortality, and herb of spiritual potency
It is a saprophytic and/or parasitic fungus that grows on hardwoods, especially on oaks. A related species, Ganoderma tsugae, grows on Hemlocks. G. lucidum grows throughout the US, Canada, Europe, Asia, and South America.
Reishi mushrooms have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years. Reishi has the ability to balance the immune system. Recent scientific studies on Reishi carried out in Japan demonstrated anti-tumor and immune-modulating properties. Reishi is currently accepted by the Japanese government as an adjunct treatment for cancer. See web links listed below.
- Sulphur compounds
- Proteins/amino acids
- Nucleosides and Nucleotides
- Polysaccharides/Beta-glucans* (long branched chains of sugars)
- Terpenes and Triterpenes* (responsible for the bitter taste)
- A glucoside
- A coumarin glycoside
- Volatile oil
- Ascorbic acid
- Minerals, including Mg, Zn, Mn, Fe, Cu, and Ge
- Fungal lysosome
- Acid protease
Willard, Terry Ph.D, with research by Kenneth Jones. Reishi Mushroom: Herb of Spiritual Potency and Medical Wonder. Sylvan Press, Seattle, Washington USA. 1990.
Hobbs, Christopher, L.Ac. Medicinal Mushrooms: An Exploration of Tradition, Healing, & Culture. Botanica Press, Summertown, Tennessee USA. 1986.