Health — November 2, 2010
Reishi: The Japanese Mushroom of Immortality
The Reishi mushroom is found in nature on plum trees. However, it is extremely rare and almost impossible to find in this manner. For this reason, it was deemed as priceless and only consumed by royalty in China and Japan for thousands of years.
In the early 1970s, Japanese researchers discovered a method for cultivating Reishi on a mass scale. Now Red Reishi is readily available and can be found cultivated commercially in Japan, China, the US, and other parts of Asia.
According to classical literature, Reishi is classified as a superior herb. Superior herbs are said to be non-toxic and can be consumed in large quantities and for a long period without any side effects. After 2,000 years, there are still no side effects reported in available literature and clinical studies.
Researchers have identified that water-soluble polysaccharides are one of the active ingredients found in Red Reishi that have anti-tumour, immune modulating and blood pressure lowering effects. Another active ingredient is triterpenes, a class of them found in Reishi is known as ganoderic acids. Studies have indicated that ganoderic acids help alleviate common allergies by inhibiting histamine release, improve oxygen utilization and improve liver functions.
Normally one can notice the benefits from taking high quality Reishi after about 10 days to two weeks. One can experience a significant difference with their overall well-being after taking Reishi continuously for two months.
Only six kinds of Reishi have been studied in greater detail to uncover potential health benefits – red, black, blue, white, yellow and purple Reishi. Of these six types, black and red Reishi have demonstrated the most significant health-enhancing effects, and both are therefore widely used in the global health supplement market today.
However, red Reishi has been proven to be the most effective in improving one’s overall health by enhancing the immune system, many bodily functions, and vital organs. Black Reishi (Ganoderma sinensis), is fairly common and can be found in most Chinese herbal shops. This species of Ganoderma tends to be unevenly shaped and can measure up to ten inches in diameter, although most mature specimens are about six inches in diameter. The majority of Reishi products that claim to be using “wild”. Reishi generally use black Reishi. While it still possesses some value as a moderate herbal tonic, black Reishi is considered to be inferior to red Reishi because of its lower polysaccharide content.
While mushrooms such as shitake, maitake, and cordyceps, all share similar immune boosting properties, Red Reishi has also the longest history and has been known to be effective in the treatment of the widest range of health conditions. Unlike other mushrooms, only Red Reishi has many important compounds such as triterpenes (ganoderic acid) that gives Reishi its unique characteristic of being bitter in taste.
This little book will introduce you to a fungi that could change the way you live your life. Japanese Red Reishi mushrooms are changing lives around the world in dramatic ways. The ability of certain mushrooms to transform dead cells into life-enhancing compounds is a miraculous event, and may provide a clue about their immune enhancing and anti-cancer properties. Persistent and tenacious, these fungi factories slowly digest decaying matter, making way for new life.