The lingzhi mushroom is a polypore mushroom belonging to the genus Ganoderma. Its red-varnished, kidney-shaped cap gives it a distinct appearance. When fresh, the lingzhi is soft, cork-like, and flat. It lacks gills on its underside, and instead releases its spores via fine pores. Depending on the age of the mushroom, the pores on its underside may be white or brown.
In nature, it grows at the base and stumps of deciduous trees, especially that of the maple. Only two or three out of 10,000 such aged trees will have lingzhi growth, and therefore its wild form is extremely rare. Today, lingzhi is effectively cultivated on hardwood logs or sawdust/wood chips.
This can be grown on supplemented hardwood like one of our easy to inoculate grow kits.
Below is some of the science showing the health benefits gained from these mushrooms.
Scientific studies have shown that the Reishi mushroom has properties that contribute to the healing of tumours, lowering of blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Laboratory tests have confirmed that the mushroom has extracts that fight some kinds of cancer. These cancers include epithelial ovarian cancer. When tested on an animal, Reishi was found to work just like the Shiitake mushroom in preventing cancer metastasis.
The stage when Reishi mushroom fights cancer best is yet to be specified. It is established though, that it may inhibit fresh formation of tumour induced blood capillaries or veins. This has the impact of cutting food supply to the tumour and curtailing perpetual growth. It may also inhibit movement of cancer cells within the body. It has the potential also to hinder the cancer cells’ ability to multiply. Currently, extracts from the Reishi mushroom are in use commercially in pharmaceuticals. The medication made and sold in these pharmaceuticals is geared towards suppressing the proliferation and spread of cancer cells. MC-S is one such pharmaceutical company.
In addition to fighting cancer, Reishi is also considered important in reversion of viral activity, regulating cardiovascular activity, fighting against chronic fatigue, rheumatoid arthritis, and helping diabetes patients. These areas, however, have limited clinical tests to support them.