Reishi Mushroom

Reishi Mushroom

ganoderma lucidum

Reishi mushroom grows on trees and is used for boosting immune system, as well as bronchitis, heart disease. Reishi has also been used to fight against cancer

  • Plant type: Annual
  • Other names:
  • Medicinal: Yes
  • Culinary: Yes
  • Ceremonial: No
  • Parts Used: Fruiting Body
  • Side Effects:
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About Reishi Mushroom

Reishi- the queen of mushrooms.

Reishi mushroom is reckoned as the mushroom of immortality which has been used for thousands of years for promoting health and longevity in China and Japan. This oriental fungus produces annually and belongs to the family Ganodermataceae.

The spiritually potential Reishi is a big, kidney-shaped mushroom with glossy exterior and woody texture. It is void of lamella but has fine pores to release spores. Naturally, this red-varnished beauty grows at the base and stumps of deciduous trees, such as maple and oak.

Reishi is famous in both culinary and medicinal departments. The bitter taste and earthy aroma of Reishi have earned it a massive throne in Chinese culinary. The medicinal benefits of Reishi have also sparked a wave of joy as it aids in sexual potentiation, regulates sleep cycle, boosts the immune system, and prevents cancer and aging. Reishi is hailed in managing benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), lethargy, genital herpes, hepatitis B, cold sore, hypertension, and shingles.

In China, Reishi is called lingzhi which represents immortality, spiritual potency, success, divine power, and longevity. All these features are executed fur to the presence of various biologically active ingredients in Reishi, such as polysaccharides (beta-1,3-glucans), triterpenes (ganoderic acids and others), nucleosides, fatty acids (oleic acid), and amino acids.

Growing

Reishi mushroom is a rare sight in the wild and owing to its scarce distribution and increasing demand; different attempts have been made to cultivate it. Reishi burgeons happily in hot and humid conditions.

To start Reishi indoors (backyard), a favorable environment is created by using substrates grains, sawdust, wood logs, and cork residues. Nowadays, growing kits are available that have eased the process of cultivation. The Reishi kit requires a lot of moisture, humidity habitat, and fluorescent light. A small Reishi log is introduced to the kit and after 6 months or so, the fruiting body starts emerging.

To grow Reishi on logs, healthy logs are obtained in dormant season only to be left for 2 weeks in order to spoil its immune system. Holes are drilled in the log and it is inoculated and sealed with wax. The inoculated logs are then allowed to sit in a shady region, out of the direct sun exposure. Ample supply of water is the key to the robust growth of Reishi Mushrooms.

The fruiting bodies (aka mushrooms) of Reishi extricate tiny spores that get carried away to find themselves a suitable place where they can germinate to form a primary hypha. This hypha is in charge of finding itself a mate for the perpetuation of the lifecycle. The process of plasmogamy comes into play where the fusion of two cytoplasms occurs.

The fungus then steps into the dikaryon state where it releases hydrolase to disintegrate the wood. These hyphae then grow further into several branches that are collectively called mycelium.

Upon the arrival of unfavorable conditions, the fungus starts composing fruiting bodies that contain spores. These spores then migrate to favorable regions to grow and keep up with the lifecycle.

Harvesting

Reishi mushrooms are harvested when the underside of its body is white. A damaged or bruised mushroom that is not white from its underside anymore harbors potential threats.

The fruiting body or mushrooms of Reishi can be harvested by simply cutting them at the base of the stem, where it is attached to the log.

Reishi mushrooms can be permitted to sit in the refrigerator to stay fresh for weeks or else, they can be air-dried to be a prime ingredient of teas and whatnot.

Usage

Reishi mushrooms are utilized in various preparatory forms for the welfare of humans.

  • Tincture- Infuse dried Reishi in grain alcohol for 4 to 6 weeks. Strain the liquid and place it in a dark and dry place.
  • Tea- Dried powdered or broken reishi can be simmered or soaked in water for 10 to 15 minutes to make Reishi tea.
  • Decoction- Dried or fresh Reishi mushroom is simmered on low flame in water for 30 minutes to 2 hours to make a decoction.
  • Salve- Reishi mushrooms are blended with other formulating ingredients to make a salve.