What is Reishi Mushroom?

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Reishi mushroom (scientific name: Ganoderma Lucidum), commonly known as Lingzhi in Chinese is a species of mushroom venerated especially in East Asia for its “supernatural” qualities. It is one of the oldest known mushrooms to have been used for medicinal purposes. For more than 2,000 years, it has built a reputation as the ultimate herbal substance due to its reputed health benefits without any accompanying side effects.

It grows naturally in both tropical and temperate regions of the world, such as North and South America, Africa, Asia and Europe, growing at the base of aged trees. Studies reveal however that only two or three Reishi mushrooms will grow out of every 10,000 aged trees hence it has been widely coveted especially during ancient times due to its scarcity and its presumed health benefits. Nowadays however, researches have already found a reliable way to cultivate Reishi mushrooms indoors under sterile conditions, or outside on either woodchip beds or logs simulating their conditions in the wild.

When it is fresh, it appears soft, corky, and flat with prominent shiny reddish cap shaped like a kidney which has white or brown pores underneath depending on its age.

Because of its bitterness, Reishi mushroom is traditionally taken as a hot water extract.

Research shows that Reishi mushrooms produce a group of organic compounds called ganoderic acids, which has a molecular structure similar to steroid hormones. According to lab tests, ganoderic acids in Reishi mushrooms have been found to inhibit platelet aggregation, lower blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar, as well as possessing tumor-fighting qualities.

Same studies reveal that Reishi mushrooms prevent the abnormal proliferation of cells causing lumps, tumors, or cancer. Even though it is still not known exactly how Reishi mushrooms affect the metastasis of cancer, its extracts are already being used in pharmaceuticals for producing medicines that suppress the proliferation of cancer cells.

Additional studies also indicate that ganoderic acids found in Reishi mushrooms has a huge potential for treating liver diseases in humans due to its lab record of preventing liver injury caused by viruses and other toxic agents in mice laboratory subjects.

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