January 8, 2013

The reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) has been used in Chinese and Japanese medicine for thousands of years.  It looks like western medicine is starting to wake up; many current and ongoing studies are examining the reishi’s effect on such things as

  • cancer,
  • high blood pressure,
  • platelet aggregation,
  • liver disorders,
  • high cholesterol, and
  • general immune response.

The fruiting bodies of G. lucidum are valued for their triterpenes, fungal polysaccharides, and coumarin.  The triterpenes found in reishi are of the form of ganoderic acids.  These organic acids have a structural similarity to certain hormonal steroids.  Fungal polysaccharides tend to induce an immune response and promote general immunity.  Coumarin is a precursor for anticoagulants.

Cooking with reishi mushrooms is largely impossible because of its woody body and terrible bitter taste.  Typically they are chopped then added to alcohol to create a reishi tincture or combined with hot water for reishi tea.  Soup is possible, but reishi mushrooms will likely lend too much of their bitter flavor to be very palatable.

Reishi supplements are easily packaged away into capsule form.

One Comment

  1. […] has been used medicinally for centuries, and now Western medicine is taking notice. (Visit the previous Reishi article for more […]

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