Reishi Mushroom and Extract Benefits

SCIENTIFIC NAME(S): Ganoderma lucidum (Leysser ex Fr.) Karst. Family: Polyporaceae

COMMON NAME(S): Reishi, ling chih, ling zhi, "spirit plant"

Reishi is that age old medicine cited thousands of years ago in several texts and scripts as being a tonic for emperors. At one time this mushroom was specifically used under the prestigious vestiges of the ruling class, but it has since made its way into the pantries of us common folk. Reishi grows in six different colors, but the red variety is most commonly used and commercially cultivated in North America, China, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea.


Reishi has been used in lruditional Chinese medicine for over 4000 years to treat problems such as fatigue, asthma, cough, and liver ailments, and to promote longevity.The Chinese name ling zhi means "herb of spiritual potency." A Japanese name for the reishi is mannentake, meaning 10000-year-old mushroom." Reishi's use is documented in what is said to be the oldest Chinese medical text, which is over 2000 years old. This book contains information on about 400 medicines but lists the reishi as the most superior.Cultivation of reishi began in the 1980s.

Botany :- The reishi mushroom is a purplish-brown fungus with a long stalk and fan-shaped cap. It has a shiny, "varnish" -coated appearance, with spores resembling brown powder that can sometimes be seen. The reishi grows on decaying wood or tree stumps. It prefers the Japanese plum tree but also grows on oak. The fruiting body is the part of the plant used for medicinal purposes. This mushroom grows in China, Japan, and North America and is cultivated throughout other Asian countries. Cultivation of reishi is a long, complicated process. The reishi grows in 6 colors, each having its own characterstics: Aoshiba (blue reishi), Akashiba (red reishi), Kishiba (yellow reishi), Shiroshiba (white reishi), Kuroshiba (black reishi), and Murasakishiba (purple reishi).

Uses of Red Reishi Mushroom

Reishi is high in polysaccharide content, which may be for anticancer md immunostimulatory effects. It also may have liver protectant actions, beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system, antiviral actions, and other effects.

Drug interactions:

Do not take with anticoagulants.

Side Effects of Reishi Mushroom

Side effects are mild and may include dizziness, gastrointestinal (GI) upset, or irritated skin. Do not use reishi with pregnant or lactating women.


  • Take 1.5-9 grams per day of dried mushroom
  • Take 1-1.5 grams per day in powdered form
  • Take 1ml per day of tincture or as a tea

Side effects: Side effects from reishi may include dizziness, dry mouth, stomach upset, nose bleed, sore bones, irritated skin, diarrhea, or constipation from initial use, which may disappear with continued use or may develop from use over 3 to 6 months. Because reishi may increase bleeding time, it is not recommended for use with anticoagulants. Pregnant or lactating women should consider these issues and consult a doctor before taking reishi.

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