1.WHAT IS REISHI ?
Reishi is a basidiomycete, lamellaless fungus belonging to the family of polyporaceae. In nature, it grows in densely wooded mountain of high humidity and dim lighting. It is rarely found since it flourishes mainly on the dried trunks of dead plum, guercus serrata or pasonia trees. Out of 10,000 such aged trees, perhaps 2 or 3 will have reishi growth, therefore it is very scarce indeed. The spores of reishi have such tough outer husks that germination is next to impossible and this accounts for its rarity. It was said that in the old days when one discovered reishi, it had to be kept a secret even from one’s closest relative and there was big celebration upon fruitful return. The herballous history of reishi had long been documented in the oldest Chinese pharmacopoeia written in about the first or second century B.C. In it reishi had been recorded as having the most extensive and effective healing powers. It is because of this recognition that there is diligent research for methods of reishi cultivation feasible for commercial productions. At about 1972, the cultivation of reishi became successful and as a result, what was once only attainable by the privileged is now readily make available to everyone. A number of countries are now conducting sophisticated research in reishi hoping to further the practice and science of medicine. The booklet reports the result of such research.
2. REISHI’S POWER IN ANCIENT CHINA
In ancient time, reishi in medicine was considered so auspicious that its medical efficacy has been attested to in the oldest Chinese medical text ( presumed to be over 2,000 years old ). The book, which are known in Japan as "Shinnoh Honsohkyo", is now accepted as being the original textbook of Oriental medical science. In it, 365 kinds of medicines are classified and explained. The medicines are basically classified into 3 categories: 120 of them are declared to be "superior" medicines, another 120 are classified as "average" medicines, and the remaining 125 are placed in the "fair" category. The "superior" medicines are called "God’s Herbs" and they are for perpetual youth and longevity – the medicines of the legendary wizards. The "average" category medicines are those which can be taken as a tonic, and those in the "fair" category are taken to remedy specific ailments. One must be careful about the volume taken of the "average" and "fair" category medicines, and should never take them continuously. However, the book states that for "superior" medicines, any amount can be taken as desired on a continuous basis with no unfavorable effects. Of the superior medicines listed in the text, reishi was rated number one. You can see how important and powerful reishi was considered in ancient times. It achieved its ranking in the Chinese text not because of its symbolic importance as a good omen but because of its medicinal properties. Centuries ago, reishi was said to be a medicine that would grant you eternal youth and longevity. But after 2,000 years, reishi has jumped into the spotlight as a specific medicine for cancer. This must be a better irony for those in the modern medical profession who discounted the herbal remedies of Oriental medicine as being " old wives’ tales". The families of many cancer patients who have received a diagnostic "death sentence" now seek reishi as the only way left for them.
3. SUCCESSFUL CULTIVATION OF REISHI
As mentioned before, reishi and ginseng is identically recognized as superior herbs in the old days. Because of its rarity, extensive research and the wide use of reishi is prohibited. With the success of reishi cultivation, the world is rejoiced over the abundant use of reishi in research and consumption. Reishi is cultured by grafting the reishi fungi onto aged dried wood of Japanese oak, then cultivated in greenhouses under strict controlled conditions. Recently, the use of the plum tree dust in culture bottles is tested but further experiments are needed for better balance development between the cap and stalk of the reishi.
There are many varieties of reishi :
- Akashiba ( red reishi )
- Kuroshiba ( black reishi )
- Aoshiba ( blue reishi )
- Shiroshiba ( white reishi )
- Kishiba ( yellow reishi )
- Murasakishiba ( purple reishi )
Each had been classified in the "Shinnoh Honshokyo" and in the catalogue of herbs written in the Ming Dynasty about the first or second century B.C.. The Akashiba ( red reishi ) is the one undergoing cultivation.
4. USING REISHI IN THE PREVENTION OF SICKNESS
In contemporary living, meat constitutes a major part of our diet and with the abundant supply of frozen, processed food products compounded by chemical additives such as emulsifiers and preservatives, large proportion of the population is constantly in the state of "pre-illness". Once that illness manifests, recovery can be slow and difficult. Under these circumstances, it is wise to prevent any deterioration in health rather than seek a cure after illness prevails. Fortunately, reishi is such superb medication because its extensive properties can be both curative and preventive. It produces exceptional results when used by one who is prone to illness in the pre-illness stage.
5. REISHI AND ITS MEDICINAL USES
Reishi has long been known to extend life span, increase youthful vigor and vitality. It also promotes good blood circulation by eliminating thrombi in the blood streams. As a result, the person feels renewed vitality. Deterioration of mind and body is arrested. Reishi is indeed a herb with multiple applications.
During recent years, experiments on animals and clinical tests are made in order to record constructions of reishi. Results were reported from time to time, yet no satisfactory conclusion can be arrived.
More research is being conducted and the vast number of such works adequately attest to the complexity and inviolability of the research matter. Summarized from these reports, it is found that reishi have the following properties:
- improves cholesterosis, coronary insufficiency
- improves hyper and hypotensions
- improves nervous tension, neurosis
- improves chronic bronchitis, hepatitis
- improves leukocytopenia and reticuloendothelial system
- effective in numerous other ailments.
The percentage of curing various diseases are tremendously high. For example in allergy related chronic bronchitis, among the difficult to cure has a recovery of 60% to 97.7% when treated with reishi. In treatment of upper respiratory infection, reishi has a complete cure rate of over 50% and shown effectiveness in 80% of the cases. This statistics is as impressive as that treated by pharmacology.
(A) Reishi Prevents and Improves Diseases that are related to Blood Vessels and Circulatory System.
The three major killers these days are: cancer, cerebrosis and coronary diseases. The latter two have their etiology closely linked to the blood circulatory system. Related problems like stroke, heart block, arteriosclerosis, obesity etc. are all tied to problems in the blood circulation. One out of three persons die from one of the above ailments everyday.
High incidences of these illnesses are closely linked to the adoption of the North American dietary habits: heavy meat consumption, heavy carbohydrates and sodium consumption, lack of food fiber, change in basic food components when food is processed, frozen, and mixed with chemical additives etc..
Consumption of these products provide fats and proteins in an unbalanced proportions. This assimilation damages the blood vessels and oxygenation process to a marked degree that could affect the body’s metabolism. Yet, reishi can correct this imbalance and strengthen the system to prevent further deterioration.
Reishi eliminates cholesterol build-up and promotes blood circulation. When there is a built-up of starch, protein or fatty acids in the blood stream, cholesterosis arise. The normal blood cholesterol level is between 130 – 230 mg per decimalitre (dl), it can elevate up to 300 mg/dl in case of cholesterosis; normal level of protein is between 230 – 500 mg/dl, it will also elevate to over 1000 mg/dl in this case. This can quickly leads to arteriosclerosis which is linked to hypertension, stroke, cardiac attacks, obesity, lung and liver diseases etc.. Cholesterosis also slows the circulatory system resulting in stiffness of the joints and shoulders, insomnia, anxiety attacks, dizziness and fatigue etc..
The function of blood is to transport oxygen and nutrients to various parts of the body. This function is being carried out by capillaries. These minute vessels is about 1% the thickness of human hair. When cholesterosis occurs, blood viscosity becomes too thick for fluid circulation. Nutrients cannot reach the extremities as easily as when under normal conditions. Immunity decreases following the decrease in nutrient supply especially in the extremities.
Simultaneously, the circulatory system carries waste products from all parts of the body via the veins to the liver and kidney to be expelled from the system as feces and urine. Pigmented splotches showed up on facial skin if any melanin substance settled due to waste accumulation in slowed circulation cycle. Areas like the face, eyes, bones marrow etc. have high capillaries concentration, a slowing in blood circulation shows prominently in this area as physical marks e.g. lost of skin lustre and texture, appearance of wrinkles and freckles etc..
In the case of tooth infection – black root indicates a lack of blood supply; the sign of nutrient deficiency results in a drop in natural immunity. Tooth becomes easily infected in the end.
In the case of cholesterosis, viscosity of blood becomes thick, heart muscle has to pump harder to transport blood especially to the extremities. This increases the heart load and elevates the blood pressure; an increase in both the systolic and diastolic measures.
Hemorrhoids is a copious escape of blood from the blood vessels around the anus when vessels ruptured under excessive pressure from a backlog of blood in an inhibited circulation. Once that circulation returns to normal upon removal of the obstruction, hemorrhoids disappear.
Consequently, problems mentioned above can be rectified by improving blood circulation. This is achieved when blood viscosity is kept normal by reducing cholesterol built-up. Anticoagulants are employed for such a purpose and reishi is a natural anticoagulant.
In a laboratory experiment involving 3 groups of mice, each given different diets for 4 consecutive days. Group A was fed a diet high in fat content. Group B was fed a diet of fat and reishi. Group C, the control group, was fed a regular diet. Refer to fig.1, Group A was found to have elevated levels in cholesterol, triglyceride and protein – all suffering from cholesterosis. But Group B maintained normal levels on all 3 categories. This result points to the positive factor of reishi in cholesterosis control. Examinations of the intestines found that GOT & GPT levels of fatty acids were under control in Group B. Reishi activates metabolism of fats thus restricting its deposition in the intestines. Body functions return to normal when excessive assimilation is controlled. After 2 months, Group A all acquires cholesterosis and fatty liver. When toxin from intestinal bacterium was administered, the mice developed thrombosis and phlebitis causing the blood vessels to rupture resulting in massive hemorrhage and eventually, death. Group B was prepared with the intake of reishi for a week. The mice were then injected with the same substance as Group A – toxin from intestinal bacterium. There were no death. It is therefore safe to conclude that reishi plays a role in controlling thrombosis and cholesterol in the blood streams, and facilitating circulation simultaneously. These together discourage formation of fatty liver.
Fig. 1 . Three Groups of Mice fed with a High Fat Content Diet for 20 Days.
* The first block is Cholesterol level, second is Triglceride level and the third is B protein level.
Another clinical test involved 10 cholesterotic patients. They were given essence of reishi daily ( equivalence of 0.7 gm ) to observe its effect on blood pressure and serum cholesterol level. Refer to fig.2, it was found that levels of cholesterol, triglyceride and protein were lowered, and related side effects of sluggish circulation, fatigue, stiffness, headache etc. disappeared. After 2 months continued use of reishi, a marked effect was noted : shallow skin tone and pigmented splotches faded, skin texture smoothed, facilitating better cosmetic application. Improvements in areas like tooth infections, hemorrhoids etc., demonstrated reishi’s efficacy in serum cholesterol reduction and blood circulation.
(B) Reishi Prevents Hyper and Hypotensions
According to the statistics set by the World Health Organization ( WHO ), blood pressure exceeding 139 ( systolic pressure ) and over 89 ( diastolic pressure ) is rated high; systolic pressure of readings below 100 is rated low. Systolic pressure is the measure of highest pressure during a heart beat cycle; this is the contracting force employed by heart muscle to deliver blood to its surrounding veins. Diastolic pressure is the measure of the expanding force of the heart muscle at which point surrounding veins received the least pressure. A high diastolic generally carries more risks, it indicates lost of elasticity in the veins. When blood vessels are obstructed, excessive pressure exerts on its walls. These repeated expansions weaken the structure sometimes to the breaking point.
Modern medication has trouble matching reishi’s effectiveness in reducing systolic pressure but more important is its ability to raise low diastolic pressure that indicates the recovery of blood viscosity and vessel elasticity. One clinical test involving mice with hereditary hypertension and frequent incidences of brain hemorrhage were given a reishi preparation daily ( concentration of 100 mg/Kg ) for 2 week period. The other group did not receive reishi treatment. Blood pressure measurements were tabulated in fig. 3. As illustrated in the graph, there was a rapid decrease immediately following reishi administration in the initial 5 hours. Then it gradually tapered and steadied for the next 14 days. Total decrease is 20%. This shows reishi’s efficacy in controlling hypertension. Furthermore, related problems are also solved by applying reishi treatment. No modern medication up to this date has satisfactorily achieved this.
Fig. 3 Reishi Lowers High Blood Pressure Level
* Higher graph line is group without Reishi treatment.
* Lower graph line is group with Reishi treatment.
* Daily dosage: 100 mg/Kg
Second clinical test involved 10 patients with inherent high blood pressure who were taken off their regular medications. Reishi extract of 3.5 gm was given daily for 4 weeks. Fig. 4 tabulates the results found during the test period. All test subjects’ blood pressures were maintained within the normal levels with outstanding improvements on the diastolic figure – excessively low pressure being brought to normal, a significant contribution on the part of reishi.
Fig. 4 Changes in blood pressure after applying Reishi for 4 weeks.
Another clinical test involved 10 hypertensive patients who were given 3.5 gm of reishi extracts for 20 weeks. 30% of the subjects were treated with reishi; the other 70% a combination with other medications. Fig. 5 tabulates the results. Reishi’s efficacy in stabilizing blood pressures is shown without a doubt in the test data, and its ability to improve diastolic condition is by far its most valuable function.
Subsequently, serum cholesterol related symptoms like stiffness, fatigue, headache, dizziness etc. gradually disappeared. Long term use of reishi did not show any harmful side-effects.
Fig. 5 Changes in blood pressure after applying Reishi for 20 weeks.
(C) Reishi Prevents Phlebitis and Thrombosis
Thrombi ( blood clots ) are directly responsible for problems like stroke, aneurysm, myocardial failure etc.. Thromboses veins deter blood circulation, decreasing supply to the extremities. This causes inflammation of gangrene to these parts. Other related problems are fatal e.g. hepatitis, nephritis, acute diabetes, cancer etc.. Analysis of blood reveals that it is composed mainly of red and white corpuscles; it also consists of a spherical component with diameter of 2.5 u called platelets. These are the primary blood clotting agents. Clotting is achieved when platelets accumulate at the wound site to stop out-flowing of blood and this bonding effect facilitates in tissue repair. After repair is completed, platelets are unbounded and flushed into the blood stream. But sometimes incomplete unbonding occurs and the larger fragments blocked the blood vessels. Further complication arises if the blood vessel is already clogged by cholesterol and snowballing of this combination results in complete arterial block.
Only mammals in the advanced evolution stage possess the blood clotting mechanism. When the delicate balance of bonding and unbonding is upset, artery blockage of excessive bleeding occurs; therefore, it is important to keep this balance steady and constant. In the case of major injury, the wound site is wide and platelets accumulation rate falls behind that of the bleeding resulting in massive blood loss. Phlebitis causes the blood vessels to rupture at various sections and intervals. As a result, platelets accumulation cannot react effectively thus leading again to arterial blockage. The causes of phlebitis varies from contamination of toxic-by-products, adverse metabolic process from excessive consumption of meats and proteins, infections in other parts of the system ( liver, joints etc. ). These all contribute to blood vessels damage one way or another. When compounded by allergic reaction, over-stimulating platelet bonding again results in arterial blockage.
One clinical test involved mice with cholesterosis that were predisposed to arterial blockages. Experimental data showed that reishi had inhibited excessive platelet accumulation; reinforced outer membranes of the red corpuscles and no harmful side effect was reported. Incidence of phlebitis decreased regardless of where the arteries were situated and overall strengthening was found.
( D ) Reishi is capable of Normalizing and Improving Allergic Reactions. When foreign matter enters the body system, it activates the natural defense mechanism. A substance termed antibodies are released. They engulf and expel the offending matters. Under normal conditions, the amount of antibodies is proportional to the degree of damage. Allergy occurs when an over abundance of antibodies flooded the system attacking both foreign and own tissue matters. The antibodies now act as toxin destroying body tissues. Symptoms of allergy include : itching, hives, difficulty in breathing etc.. Allergen suppressing injections and medications are found to have only short term effect. For permanent and complete erasure of the symptoms, intrinsic irritant has to be removed from the system.
Analysis of blood samples from allergy suffering patients found to contain a high concentration of allergen ( antibody ). LANOSTAN found in reishi can inhibit over zealous allergen production. Further research is being conducted at this time to map out its chemical constructions.
To further define the mechanism of the immunity system : When foreign matter enters the body system, specific antibody appropriate to combat this matter is manufactured and released. Thus the body needs to distinguish between foreign and its own matters. In order to do that , a signal is sent to the T-cell lymph node to divide and multiply, forming IgE antibodies which then take up defense against the invading matter. Portion of the IgE remains in the alkaline cells of either the adipose tissue situated around the respiratory tracts or the white corpuscles. Any further invasion immediately triggers the release of such stored antigens. This mechanism is termed "acquired immunity". Cells that house these IgE antigens undergo rapid chemical reactions releasing substances that activate all T-cells stimulated by the increased antigen level to produce its own antibodies. Blood supply around invasion entry point increases, vessels expand, surrounding area heats up; finally the wound site swells manifesting signs of infection. Normally, when foreign matter is removed, infection calms down. But in the case of excess antigen, infection continues to flare causing further cell damage that leads to chronic hepatitis and/or chronic nephritis. Intrinsic reaction is responsible for this condition and can only be remedied by hormones produced in the auxiliary kidney. Hormones catalyze metabolic pathways to produce cortisone that controls T-cell activities to regulate the immunity system. Consequently, healthy auxiliary kidney controls over-stimulation of T-cells, preventing allergic reactions. Subsequently, allergy sufferers have weak auxiliary kidneys. Reishi can energize the kidney thus increasing its hormone output.
Chronic bronchitis, chronic bronchitis asthma, typical dermatitis, allergic maxillary, sinusitis, chronic hepatitis, chronic nephritis etc. are the most difficult to treat. They are allergy-related one way or another and are generally treated by cortisone, a substance that is naturally produced in the body. If this substance is artificially introduced to the system continuously, auxiliary kidney’s functions are replaced and the organ atrophies.
Side-effects of a non-functioning auxiliary kidney includes : swollen face ( moon face ), enlarged neck and swollen shoulders ( buffalo neck ). Discontinued use of cortisone eliminates the side-effects but triggers fatal conditions like cardiac attack. Up to now, no better solution has been found. Cortisone treatment continues in spite of its known undesirable side-effects. However, when Reich is employed as treatment for allergy-related illnesses, the efficacy is gradual but pronounced. Reich works by nourishing and rebuilding the organ itself thus improving the function of immunity regulation. This process is gradual but reliable and produces no harmful side-effects. Nowadays, allergy-related problems like bronchitis asthma, rhintis etc. are common but medical science has yet to come up with a definite cure. Regulating one’s diet and supplementing it with reishi has proven to be the most effective treatment.
( E ) Reishi can prevent Metastasis of Cancer
Dr. Ito of Japan discovered the positive effect of reishi in arresting metastatic cancer in laboratory mice. The Japanese Cancer Society also released their research data on the effectiveness of reishi against sarcoma 180. Indeed, Kawara-Dake, belonging to the fungus family, has long been marketed as an anti-cancer drug in Japan. Research on the relation between reishi and cancer is just in the beginning stage; therefore, no conclusive result can be arrived. But reishi is recognized to play a role in preventing spontaneous death in cancer patients. However, the following findings were reported when reishi was used in combating cancer :
( 1 ) Reishi reinforces membrane of the cancerous cell to impede spreading.
( 2 ) It also prevents thrombi formation aiding in fusion of medications within the system.
( 3 ) Joint usage with other anti-tumor drugs and chemotherapy diminishes their side-effects and heightens their effect.
( 4 ) It normalizes the overall body system thus decreases further health complications.
Scar tissues surrounding cancerous cells cause continuous infection. The permanent thrombi formed serve to isolate the diseased area. In this respect, thrombi became an aid in arresting the spread of diseased cells. On the other hand, medication is unable to act on the disease area due to the thrombi barrier. Anticoagulant is employed to dissolve this build-up and to inhibit further platelet bonding. Such treatment carries a high risk since patient now has no defense against bleeding. Reishi’s ability to inhibit thrombi formation with none of the side effects of modern medication proves to be invaluable contribution in the fight against cancer.
Following the increases in cancerous cells, some of the thrombi multiples are carried along by the blood stream and lodged in other parts of the system, e.g. phlebitis and spontaneous bruises are caused by clogged blood vessels. Arteriosclerosis is the more fatal system of such blockage. Cerebrum and coronary arterial block lead to stroke, cerebral vascular accident, myocardial infarction etc.. In fact, cancer patients die more frequently from related complications than the disease itself. Reishi’s ability to prevent thrombi formation indirectly plays a significant role in preventing such medical complications.
( F ) Reishi and its Effectiveness Against other Ailments
Conclusively, clinical observations have indisputable proof of reishi’s efficacy against cholesterosis, arteriosclerosis, hypertension, fatty liver, hemorrhoid, tooth-infections, obesity and various problems that arise from high serum cholesterol level compounded by a lack of blood circulation. Reishi is also recognized to have some effect in cases of stroke, cerebravascular accident, coronary insufficiency, myocardial infarction, phlebitis etc. – problems that arise directly from arterial blockage. Furthermore, it is found to be effective in treatment of typical dermatitis, bronchitis asthma, allergy rhinitis, chronic hepatitis etc. – problems related to allergic reactions. Reishi inhibits thrombi to facilitate medication absorption; it also has an additive effect that strengthens the prostate gland situated between the bladder and the urinary tract. It has the same effect on the early stage of diabetes mellitus. Bladder infection is accompanied by the usual thrombi formation. Treatments with reishi arrest the latter thus eliminating complications within a short period. Other clinical tests showed that administering reishi instead of insulin can reverse blood sugar level back to normal after one year. Medical complications associated with diabetes also disappeared.
GANODELAN A – B found in reishi is responsible for blood sugar maintenance, but further research into the relationship between diabetes and the herb is still needed.
Reishi activates the body’s immunity system, increasing one’s ability to fight against diseases, but it can also arrest the excessive production of allergen to regulate overall functions in the system.
( G ) Reishi as an ADAPTOGEN
Patients troubled by side-effects from taking drugs like antibiotics, hormonal supplements etc. often acquired other related illnesses. This problem is under serious debate by the medical profession since 1965. Recently, the Royal Medical Society of Russia, Australia and England developed a new medical concept of ADAPTOGEN, a substance that is :
- non-toxic ( no harmful side-effects ),
- not limited to special organs or tissues, and
- has overall normalizing effect.
With the above characteristics, the substance is termed as an adaptogen. Modern medicine based their diagnosis on examinations of organs and symptoms. Medications with known side-effects continue to employed as long as they serve satisfactorily for their purposes. The adaptogen concept aims to cure by normalizing all body functions. It holds the notion that unless everything is put into its right track, there can be no complete cure. This idea coincides with the original supposition of superb herbs like reishi and ginseng that normalize body functions as the bases of their medical efficacy. Since reishi is an adaptogen that normalize the body functions and with no side-effects, it can be used as a preventive medicine. Because of this, some people may develop a concept that reishi can cure all type of diseases. However, be aware that no substance can be an absolute, ultimate cure-all.
( H ) Medical Components of Reishi
As previously reported, reishi is recognized to be effective against a wide variety of diseases due to its extensive properties. Regrettably, up to now there is no categorizing linking individual curative effect to its responsible components. What has been found, however, is that reishi contains b-3-glucan-polysaccharide which is a potent anti-canceremia agent. In 1984, Dr. Komota of Tokyo Medical & Dental University, Japan, isolated the substance GANODELAN A and B from extracts of reishi – glucan-polysaccharide. At the same time he was also studying the body shape of the reishi in which I have participated. With further research results, it was found that GANODELAN A is composed mainly of lactose, glucose and glucuronic acid. Its molecular weight is 3,000 and belongs to the polysaccharide group. GANODELAN B is found mainly composed of mannose, glucose and glucuronic acid, belonging to the molecular weight class 3,600 of polysaccharide.
Experiments done on white mice found Ganodelan A & B to be responsible for lowering blood sugar content. When it is infected into test subjects’ abdominal cavity ( concentration of 30 mg/Kg ), analysis of samples 7 hours later found blood sugar level to drop 59% – 86%. Long term use has significant effect on diabetes – one of the many uses of reishi. However, further research to pinpoint whether the effect comes from a combination of substances and how LANSTAN, another substance discovered in reishi has been known to impede allergies. Lanstan is closely related to Ganodelan A & B, but its chemical components has not yet been defined. Gradually, more and more similar substances are discovered. Previous evaluation of the potency of individual reishi are based on its thick cap, short stalk and abundance of spores. Hoping in the very near future, we can grade each crop using analysis of its chemical components.
( I ) How to Select the Right Reishi ?
In the future, research on reishi’s miraculous properties will be vastly extended because reishi does contain a vast number of medicinal substances and it is the combination of these elements that make reishi so potent in the curing of our diseases.
To be able to distinguish the different medicinal elements of reishi and apply it to different medical use will require further studies with substantial time and effort !
At the present, we would like to clarify how to select the best reishi available for use effectively. As mentioned before, reishi comes in 6 different colors. According to our studies, the medicinal properties among the different reishi do not differ much from one another, but, most studies are done with the red reishi because of its abundance due to the success of cultivation and the common understanding that the red type is the most potent.
It is found that the essence extracted from the crown is more potent than that from the stalk. The essence from the stalk is especially potent for people who has high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. From this, we have concluded that the most potent reishi is the red type with short stalk and large, thick crown.
Cultivation of reishi also plays a very important role in determining the potency of the reishi.
Some type of reishi which are not fully grown would develop into a branch-like looking reishi. Its essence potency will be about 1/5 or 20% of the full grown reishi.
Recently, wood-pulp cultivation is widely used. The resulting crops’ medicinal values are not as potent as the ones using whole logs. Wood-log cultivation is considered to be the best possible way to cultivate reishi. Rumors of using plum tree logs would produce the better reishi crop is not true – there is no facts or studies supporting this claim.
Aside from the above, we are certain that using the same reishi fungi for cultivation, the climate and cultivation method do present a significant difference in the resulting crop.
Be cautious when you are purchasing raw reishi. One have to check the type of reishi that are being sold; its cultivation method used; the cultivation area and the care of the cultivator given before you make your decision.
There are also the immorality of some business minds that you have to look out for – they sell low grade reishi products and purchasers would often be blinded by the low prices and in turn get poor quality products. Worst of all, the products might not have the proper bacteria elimination control due to the manufacturers’ lack of funds and their lack of business ethics.
Because of reishi’s texture, even with the use of very fine grinders, you cannot really pulverize reishi properly without the use of the hot-water-boil extraction method. Furthermore, reishi itself is developed from fungi and while in the cultivation process, there is bound to be a lot of bacteria organisms present on the plant. When these merchants grind up the reishi and put it in capsule form, the bacteria content still far exceed the minimum requirement of bacteria control in food, that is, the bacteria count should not be more than 3,000 per cm3. This is the one reason why the Chinese in the past have always boil the reishi and drank the essence and never consume pulverized reishi from its raw state.
ALWAYS REMEMBER THE FOLLOWING WHEN YOU ARE SELECTING RAW REISHI OR THE END PRODUCT 1. Manufacturers credibility 2. Vendor’s reliability
To sum it up, a manufacturer with credibility is the best choice. Although the cultivation of reishi has been successful, it is still sad that the end product is so expensive because of its high production cost. But one’s good health is far more important than the price tag. Take note: You pay for what you get, quality is the most important.
In the past, not too many individuals are exposed to the word "reishi", even less when coming to seeing the actual plant. Now, the word "reishi" can be seen everywhere and the actual plant is commonly displayed in stores. We have to give praise to the scientists who have succeeded in the cultivation technique. From this, an abundance of reishi end products are made available to the general public who in turn can benefit from the miraculous medicinal values of reishi.
As recorded in the oldest Chinese medical text, reishi is the "king of herbs", the superior herb for perpetual youth and longevity. Continuous intake will achieve the best results.
Again it was mentioned in the text that reishi is to be used for preventive measures rather than a cure. We think that this is the best solution to modern day sickness like allergies, diabetes, asthma, cancer, arthritis, arteriosclerosis etc..
Besides reishi, Korean ginseng is also another good preventive medicine. We hope that our readers will benefit from the continuous intake of the two herbs.
Because of different individual’s hereditary factor, individuals with diseases like cancer or heart attacks due to their genetic codes, is highly recommended to take reishi as early in life as possible. To start the preventive measures early in life is the best possible way to avoid the deadly consequences due to heredity.
By chance, those readers who are suffering from the modern day diseases and are under medication, it is advisable to get a diagnosis from a Chinese herb doctor or a naturopathic doctor. After prescription is given, ask the herbalist to add reishi as an extra ingredient, the patient will benefit tremendously from doing so.
Regular intake of reishi will not only help to prevent the occurrence of modern day diseases, but prevent one’s body from degenerating too fast.
Reishi is indeed the solution to mankind’s miseries.
1. The Brewing of Reishi
- Cut up the dried reishi into small pieces with a garden cutter. The smaller the better. For a person daily usage of 3 – 5 gms, add 3 bowls of water ( 600 c.c.) and boil for 30 minutes using low heat. ( Note: Should only use clay pots or glassware, avoid the use of metallic containers.)
- The boiled reishi can be used again until the bitter taste is gone. Usually, it is good for 2 – 3 times of boiling.
- You can prepare 2 – 3 days portions at one time and keep in the refrigerator for daily use. Re-heat is best before use.
- It is best to drink before each meal. For people with stomach problem, have the brew after each meal.
- If you dislike the bitter taste of the brew, add pure honey or glucose. (Avoid the use of refined sugar.)
- You can also mix reishi pieces with brandy or Chinese wine. Store for 3 – 4 months before use.
- Used reishi pieces can be used as fertilizers for house plants.
- Reishi should be stored in a dry place, but never in the refrigerator.
2. Reishi Soup Recipe
10 grams of sliced reishi pieces ;
6 whole frozen or fresh quails ;
70 grams of dry scallops ;
100 grams of lean pork ;
1.5 litre of hot water ;
salt and pepper ;
A. Soak the sliced reishi pieces in 1.5 litre of water for 4 hours.
B. Remove the quails from boiling water after 5 seconds and put in Chinese steam pot. Pour in the 1.5 litre of water together with the reishi pieces. Add dry scallops, pork lean meat and add dash of cooking wine.
C. Steam boil for 3 hours.
D. Before use, season the soup with salt and pepper to your preference.
Note: You can put in dried long-gang meat or dry red dates to sweeten the soup. You can also substitute 2 frozen whole pigeons, a whole chicken or half a turtle instead of the 6 quails for the above recipe.
3. A Word From the Editor
Reishi is best used in disease prevention measures. When you are in a healthy state, the use of reishi will enhance your immunity system against attacks and vitalize your body. Reishi work best when you are in your mid-thirties, continuous use of reishi will help prevent degeneration of your body and improve your health and attain longevity.
Although reishi has miraculous powers, we would like to remind our readers that you should pay special attention to the following when you are using reishi:
- Refrain from using refined sugar. Substitute with pure honey, glucose or fruit sugar instead.
- Avoid processed foods – canned food, instant noodles, soda pop etc.
- Eat all types of natural foods to maintain your nutritional balance.
- Include all types of vegetables in your diet, especially those with stalks and roots.
- Drink more water to provide excretion ease . This will enhance your metabolism functions and rid your body of poisonous waste.
- Exercise will definitely help but not rigorous exercise that you cannot handle.
- Avoid stress. Be mentally relaxed and keep an open mind on all matters.
At the present, the recommended daily usage of reishi tea is the boiling of 3 – 5 gm of the dried reishi. One can increase to 10 or 20 gm per day since there is no harm in abundant intake of reishi as it is the ‘king herb’ and an ‘adaptogen’.
There are also the reishi essence products by extraction method in the market place for sale that comes in tablets, pill or granular form. My final advise is to buy the products from reliable manufacturers.
Best of health to you all.