This remarkable mushroom has an ancient and venerable history in Chinese Medicine and also Chinese culture as a whole, it was first recorded in the premier book of Chinese Herbology the Shen Nong Ben Cao attributed to the legendary emperor of the Xia Dynasty Shen Nong – The spiritual farmer.
It is prized as a Shen tonic, that is a herb that helps calm the mind and expand the sphere of consciousness. It was so highly regarded, one of the Chinese emperors had its image embroided into his royal robes.
Reishi has been studied rigorously by scientists especially in Japan and modern science has confirmed Reishi’s special status among herbal substances. As well as it’s broad spectrum adaptogenic qualities it has been shown to have a double direction immune function, meaning if the immune system is overactive as in allergies Resihi normalises it and if it is underactive Reishi boosts it. Reisi has been shown to improve oxygen utilisation, have cardiotonic properties and be liver protective and also to mildly boost testosterone.
In Japan, Reishi is used in cancer treatment for it’s ability to increase killer T cells, white blood cells count and macrophages as well as interleukin 1 and 2 and be generally protective against the side effects of chemotherapy.
Reishi also has a strong calming effect on the CNS and promotes restful sleep. Scientists attribute most of these effects to Reishi’s unique blend and concentration of polysaccharides and triterpenes not found in other substances.