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Learn about Reishi

Botanical name: Ganoderma lucidum
Other names: Mushroom of immortality

Commonly known as Ling Zhi in Chinese, which translates to ‘herb of spiritual potency’. Reishi is also referred to as the “mushroom of immortality” or the Taoist ‘elixir of life’, and has been traditionally revered as a longevity and vitality-enhancing tonic.

“In traditional Chinese medicine, Reishi is considered to be a 3 treasure tonic. Taoist health philosophy is founded on the idea that all life is comprised of 3 treasures, or energies; Jing or ‘essence’, Qi or ‘subtle matter’, and Shen or ‘spirit/ consciousness’. Modern Chinese Medicine Texts often list Reishi as a powerful ‘Shen tonic,’ which translates loosely to an herb that ‘nourishes the spirit’. “ – Dr Jimi Wollumbin (TCM)

Although it has been prized for over 2000 years in Asia (some say 4000 years), Reishi has been relatively unknown if the West until the last 30 years or so. In recent times however, Reishi has become popular worldwide (and studied extensively) for its many benefits.

It acts as an immune stimulant; is adaptogenic; lowers blood pressure, blood sugar levels and cholesterol; is antibacterial; is anti-viral (active against HIV, Herpes Simplex, HBV, and Influenza A); is anti-tumor (reduces angiogenesis, antiproliferative); is antifungal; acts as a liver protector (even used for mushroom poisoning).

Preparation: Cook 100 grams of dried reishi slices with 4 cups of water on low for a minimum of 8 hours (or overnight) and up to 24 hours. Strain out the Reishi slices and compost.

Reference: Stephen Harrod Buhner (2012), Herbal Antibiotics: Natural Alternatives for treating drug-resistant bacteria, pp. 298-305.

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