The Ganoderma Lucidum mushroom is also known as "Reishi" in Japanese and Ling Zhi in Chinese. It has been used in traditional Asian culture for thousands of years to promote optimal health. The name Ganoderma Lucidum means “spiritual potency”, while the Japanese name Reishi can be translated as “King of Herbs”.
There is so much information on the internet about this mushroom that it can be overwhelming. If you want an idea of what research is being done on this herb, check out this search link to the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
A nice article by Paul Stamets discusses the health benefits of the Ganoderma Lucidum mushroom. Some highlights from his article:
- "probably the most respected medicinal mushroom in Asia
- historically prepared as teas or infusions; other modern preparations include capsules, tinctures, and fractionated extracts of mushrooms, mycelium, and spores. Reishi is also added to chocolate bars, candies, energy drinks, and even coffee blends.
- one of the few mushroom species whose DNA has been fully sequenced
- many of the traditional medicinal claims can now be validated, especially the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties
- the adjunct use of reishi may augment chemotherapeutic drugs to treat cancer and may extend their effectiveness
- Reishi is remarkable for its diversity of genes coding for cytochrome P450 enzymes. These enzymes not only afford this species a broad arsenal for producing secondary metabolites for digesting nutrients, but may also confer benefits to human health such as enhancing the degradation of toxins and free radicals and increasing the liver’s metabolic efficiency. The variety of these enzymes, among more than 400 active constituents that have been found, indicates to me that mushrooms such as reishi are like miniature pharmaceutical factories that can produce hundreds of medicinally-interactive compounds. Through trial-and-error and observable outcomes, our ancestors narrowed the field of edible mushroom candidates to just a few with remarkable, health-supporting properties. Today, reishi stands out as one the most valuable of all polypore mushrooms in nature for the benefit of our health."
This herb, the Ganoderma Lucidum mushroom, is fairly easy to find. Be sure you find a quality source. My favorite way of consuming it is in this Red Tea. It is delicious hot and as iced tea!