Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum, red reishi), also known as the "Queen of Mushrooms," is one of the most highly respected botanicals in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It was held in such high regard that it’s been immortalized throughout Chinese culture, weaved into various forms of art and even the robes of emperors. Considered the “mushroom of the immortals,” and true to its Chinese name Ling Zhi, which represents spirit and longevity, it has been used for millennia to preserve health, support mental calmness, and promote longevity.
Reishi was listed as the most respected out of the 120 superior tonics cited in the most famous of all Chinese medical texts, the Shen Nung Ben Cao Jing. These botanicals were considered “superior” as they were considered to prolong life, prevent aging and boost Qi (vital energy or life force), and to be of medicinal value without toxicity -- the latter being one of the three specific qualities that a botanical must exhibit to be labeled a true adaptogen. In this text, Red Reishi was reported to tonify the heart, nourish the center, sharpen the wit and improve memory.
Ganoderma lucidum is a member of the Ganoderma genus of polypores (a group of fungi that form fruiting bodies with pores or tubes on the underside), which grows on the stumps of oaks and other hardwood trees, and includes over 250 species.