Spotlight On: Reishi Mushroom – Ganoderma lucidum

Reishi Mushroom

The Reishi mushroom is probably the most well known of the functional mushrooms, and has been highly regarded for centuries - particularly in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

It is known as the ‘Mushroom of Immortality’ and was a common decoration on the robes of Chinese emperors, who thought it might help give them long and fruitful lives.
It also goes by the name Lingzhi in Chinese, which means ‘spirit mushroom’ or ‘mushroom of spiritual potency’.


Reishi is a polypore fungus native to Asia, where it grows at the stumps or base of deciduous trees, particularly maples. Its wild form is rare but it can be cultivated on logs, wood chip or sawdust.


Young reishi



Reishi has a long history of medicinal use, but is rarely used in cooking as it is quite tough and very bitter. In fact, lately, it has been used to make a leather-like material, mycelial bricks and even mycelial furniture!

The wide range of health benefits that Reishi provides are due to its high polysaccharide content (41% beta glucans), and is best taken or given as a dual extract (a hot water and alcohol extract) to ensure the widest range of beneficial extracts are being delivered.




● Anti-inflammatory

● Antioxidant and anti-ageing  – neutralise free radicals produced by oxidation, which can damage cells

● Adaptogen – helps the body to adapt to stress

● Hepatoprotective – helps protect the liver from damage

● Anti-tumour 

● Antihistamine – inhibits histamine release, helping to reduce allergic hypersensitivity reactions. 

● Anti-hypertensive – lowers blood pressure

● Immunomodulation – modulate the immune system to encourage normal function, where it might be over or under functioning and causing disease

● Antimicrobial and antiviral – has actions against various microorganism including bacteria and viruses

● Nervine – has a beneficial influence on the nervous system, either through relaxation or tonic effects

● Neuroprotective - protects the nervous system from injury and damage

● Help control glucose and cholesterol levels

● Analgesic – pain relieving

It’s easy to see how the mushroom got its nickname and continues to be so revered and sought after!

You almost wonder what this mushroom can’t do, rather than what it can.

Reishi can be found in all three of our supplements - click here to learn more!

Related Articles