The last time I Googled “Reishi,” I get more than 621,000 hits. It will be too time consuming going through
all of them so let me save you the trouble by summarizing what most of these sites are talking about.
Reishi is the Japanese word meaning “ancient goddess of health, life and eternal youth,” a rare
mushroom with amazing healing qualities. It has to be amazing to be noticed. Lingzhi, in Chinese which
mean “divine herb that energizes the chi or life force,” or Ganoderma Lucidum, its scientific name, is also
known as the “King of Herbs” or “Gods Herb”. This mushroom practically takes care of the entire body
which beats multi-vitamins thus the “Miracle Herb” title is so fitting.
Paul Stamets, the American mycologist and author of “Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms,”
describes that fungi is more directly related to us than any other in the animal kingdom. He says that we
share the same pathogens, which is why fungi are great source for antibiotics. Its biological makeup is
more compatible to humans and probably why we see great health benefits from a number of them such
as Cordyceps, Maitake and especially, Reishi.
What is interesting about Reishi is its history. It has been in use in China for over 4,000 years. Because it
is such a rare herb – for every 10,000 trees, one or three maybe found. Chinese history indicates that only
Emperors were able to use them for their health and well being. There are stories where common folks
could lose their lives if they were found to consume it for themselves. Commoners are encouraged to
offer this rare mushroom to their Emperor whenever they discovered one, or lose their lives because of it.
The rarity is so extreme that when someone was to find one, he will keep it a secret even to his own
Shen Nong, the founding father of Chinese Medicine who lived during the Han Dynasty (206 BC ~ 8 AD)
documented 365 plant species. In his meticulous study, he found that Reishi came out on top even
superior to Ginseng.