The virtues of Ling-Zhi (Reishi), are believed to have been known since Chinese great antiquity, since at least the reign of “Fuxi”, a legendary ruler of that time known also as the first of the Three August Ones.

Seng Nong, the Holy farmer, who was the second of the Three August Ones, is said to have discovered the curative virtues of plants by tasting hundreds of species. “Seng Nong’s Herbal Classic” is considered to be the earliest manuscript on Chinese materia medica and is still today the foundation of Traditional Chinese Medicine and in general all Oriental Medicine.

Seng Nong’s Herbal Classic describes ling-zhi in detail: among 365 species of plants, roots, wood, fur, animals and stones, divided into 3 grades, Ling-zhi is listed No.1 among the first “superior” grade. The characteristic of the first grade is that no side effects occurs even being taken for a long period of time. On the contrary, longer taking reduces weight and extends life.

Six species of Ling-zhi, differentiated by colors, are mentioned in the Seng Nong classic. Li Shi Zhen, a famous medical scholar in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) introduced the indications of the 6 species concretely. The work of the latter was republished in 1956, and translated into several foreign languages including Japanese, English, French, German, Russian and Latin and is regarded as the cornerstone of Traditional Chinese medicine.

To find Ling-zhi in ancient times, people had to go high up on the mountains and deep into the forests to harvest this most valuable medicine. The discovery of Ling-zhi, which was very scarce, and which was believed to bring eternal longevity, led to wide spread festivities. Ling-zhi was so valued it was used almost exclusively by Emperors and by courtesans.

Preparation was a long process of boiling the mushrooms for hours or let them soak in alcohol for weeks so as to be able to drink them after its active ingredients have been dissolved.

Cultivation was attempted since ancient times in China but did not give satisfactory results both quality wise and quantity wise. It is only in 1971 that a Japanese researcher Yukio Naoi from the Kyoto University found ways to cultivate Ling-zhi or Reishi in quantity. Since the discovery of this method and with further amelioration, the production of Reishi raised more than 10 folds in the last ten years.

Today, an estimated 4,300 tons of Ling-zhi is produced yearly in the world, with China producing 3,000 tons followed by Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Thailand, USA, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia and Sri Lanka.

ReishiRescue: Ganoderma Lucidum – Mushroom of Immortality

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. phantom
    Mar 29, 2013 @ 19:45:48

    which brand of reishi pills do you advice?


    • blakemere
      Mar 30, 2013 @ 16:50:58

      Hi, I’d look for a reishi product that had been certified thus avoiding products which have fillers in them. There are certified products on e-bay.

      Regards Gary


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