by Denis Manzer

“Taoists continuously claimed that Reishi promotes calmness, centeredness, balance, inner awareness and inner strength. … Reishi was believed to help calm the mind, ease tension, strengthen the nerves, strengthen memory, sharpen concentration, improve focus, build will power and as a result, help build wisdom. That is why it is called “The Herb of Spiritual Potency”.” 

   – Ron Teeguarden on Duanwood Reishi    

Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) : Treasured Mushroom of Immortality 

Terry Willard’s book Reishi: mushroom of spiritual potency and medical marvel sums up for us what Modern Scientific studies have revealed about Reishi:

  • Has an immune enhancing response (this is due to its high content of polysaccharides, complex sugars that have been shown to increase RNA and DNA in bone marrow where immune cells are born
  • Disrupts viral disease, inhibits bacteria & is beneficial in the treatment of Cancer
  • Reishi helps alleviate allergies
  • Reishi provides liver protection and regeneration
  • Reishi oxygenates the blood
  • Reishi has an adaptogenic (stress relieving) effect, relieves insomnia, stress induced tension and has a calming effect
  • Reishi reduces blood fat levels, high blood pressure and hypertension
  • Reishi is a powerful anti-oxidant
  • Reishi has anti-inflammatory effects  & contributes to pain relief

So we can see how Reishi provides relief from some of the most prominent diseases that afflict modern man! They called it the Mushroom of Immortality for good reason!

Reishi Mushroom’s healing qualities might all be related to the “Adaptogenic” properties it holds: 

Adaptogen : “An herb that increases resistance and resilience to stress, enabling the body to avoid collapse because it can adapt around the problem.”-David Hoffman

Adaptogenic Substances:

  • Produce an increase in the power of resistance against stress
  • Stimulate, activate and promote responses to harmful influences
  • Build a reserve of “Adaptive Energy”, the capacity to adapt to changes
  • Have a broad spectrum of influence, normalizing and balancing many functions of systems within the body
  • Most have long traditions of use, with vast experience to attest to their effectiveness and their diverse healthful qualities and actions
  • Know as “Tonic Herbs”: Alleviate Symptoms of Weakness in the Body, Enhance Energy and Well Being, Prevent Exhaustion and Improve Performance and are safe to take for long-periods of time
  • Possess “Intelligence”: They Can Have a Dual-Directional Activity on The Body Depending on The Need

Soviet Scientists coined the term Adaptogen in describing the energetic qualities of certain herbs. They measured improvements in mental alertness, work output & quality of work under adverse conditions.  They also noticed improved stamina, increased oxygen intake and better athletic performance. Those Herbs that showed positive results in these categories became a new class of herbs: Adaptogens!

This modern knowledge stands in an interesting parallel with the beliefs of Traditional Chinese Medicine:

“Reishi is Indeed the Supreme Protector, protecting us on every level – physically, immunologically, mentally and spiritually. It helps us to adapt to the world and provides additional power for us to achieve a superior level of life. When we are so protected and provided for, we can achieve things that would otherwise be impossible. That is why Reishi is called “The Herb of Good Fortune”.    -Ron Teeguarden, The Ancient Wisdom of the Chinese Tonic Herbs“

Preparation: How To Consume Reishi

  • Decoction : 

 Bring to a boil, 4-5 Slices of mushroom in one litre of water, turn to low and simmer this concoction for at least 20-30 minutes, up to several hours. Large quantities can be made and stored in the fridge to be used as needed. Feel free to combine other herbs that also require decoction! 

  • Tincture: alcohol tinctures of these mushrooms are also highly effective at extracting the medicinal principles out of the tough mushrooms and making them bio-available to humans.   

            I- Fill a suitable Jar 2/3rds of the Way Full Of Mushroom Material

            II- Fill To The Top With 40% Alcohol of Your Choice

            III-Let This Infuse Two Weeks Minimum 

IV- Strain The Mushrooms Out Of The Alcohol and Decoct Them As Per The Above Instructions. Combine 1 part Decoction with 1 Part Alcohol Infusion to Have A Minimum 20% Alcohol Tincture and  Voila!

  • Extract powders: Modern technology of mushroom cultivation is making it possible to consume high-quality extracts of medicinal mushrooms that are of the highest quality and purity. This is making it possible for more and more people to consume medicines that were once quite rare. Convenient and highly-effective: Add them to Soups, Savory Dishes, Chocolate.. You Name It!   
  • Soup broth: Simmer Reishi to obtain a healing and nutritious broth for soups! 

About Denis Manzer:  

Denis Manzer has been a popular figure in the health food industry in Calgary for over a decade. Instructor of workshops at The Light Cellar Superfoods shop, Denis has been helping guide people to optimum health and wellness through nutrition.