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Reishi Mushroom: The Most Famous and Potent Natural Adaptogen

 Pictured is a reishi fruiting block that was planted in our veggie garden at Cloud Culture Mushrooms.  This reishi is growing antlers!


Reishi Mushroom: The Most Famous and Potent Natural Adaptogen


Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) or Ling Zhi in Chinese, has been known as the mushroom of immortality for over two thousand years.  This mushroom was highly sought after by Chinese royalty, and traditionally associated with wisdom, health rehabilitation, happiness, longevity, and sexual prowess.  Reishi is a slow growing mushroom that grows relatively scarcely in the wild, thus boosting its value to those who seek it.  Reishi is one of the most powerful and effective natural substances found on earth and renowned for its health-stimulating properties.

Reishi grows throughout the world, preferring subtropical regions, but can be found in temperate regions.  It spans from the Amazon to North America, as well as much of Asia.  It grows in deciduous woods on dead or dying trees.  It is usually found growing on stumps where the soil meets the wood.  It appears in two forms depending on environmental factors, appearing as the antler form or conk form.  The antler form looks like long protruding appendages, and the conk form looks flat, wide, and often kidney shaped.  Both forms are medicinal, but reishi collected before it begins producing spores may have a higher concentration of medicinal properties.  Reishi looks red and shiny, except for the actively growing portion which appears white with a yellow transition between white and red.

In current times, reishi is still collected from the wild and sold on the world's markets but has increasingly been cultivated indoors using modern farming techniques to meet market demands.  Demand has been growing quickly in the last few years due to its powerful properties.  Reishi helps almost everyone who consumes it.  So, what is an adaptogen anyway?  According to, “an adaptogen is a nontoxic substance and especially a plant extract that is held to increase the body’s ability to resist the damaging effects of stress and promote or restore normal physiological functioning.”  Considering the huge list of potential benefits gained by reishi enthusiasts, reishi exists at the top with the world’s most powerful and effective adaptogens. 


Pictured is reishi growing on a 6 lb. fruiting block at Cloud Culture Mushrooms. Grow your own reishi at home!


Reishi properties and benefits

Reishi is one of the most studied mushrooms and has been gaining popularity in western culture.  It has been used for gastric ulcers, kidney and liver disorders, asthma, hypertension, arthritis, insomnia, bronchitis, and for increasing life span from all aliments. 

Reishi is packed full of active ingredients with over 4000 bioactive compounds that have been isolated from its fruiting body.  There are over 200 types of polysaccharides/beta glucans, ergosterols, fatty acids, nucleotides, cerebrosides, proteins, peptides, and trace minerals including high quantities of germanium which is considered very beneficial to the body.


Minerals and active ingredients

Reishi contains ganoderma acid, lucidenic acid, polysachorides (beta & alpha glucans), sterols, antihistime active substances, geulucid acid, adenosine, all essential amino acids, and vitamin B, plus the minerals germanium, manganese, iron, magnesium, copper, zinc, potassium, and calcium.


Health Benefits:

Antihistamine, immunostimulant, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, antibacterial, immunomodulatory, hypoglycemic, cholesterol levels, and resistance to UV skin damage.


More on specific health benefits

-Immune system stimulating
-Decreases allergies
-Protects liver
-Lowers blood sugar


  • Immune system boosting- Reishi is known to have immunostimulating properties attributed to polysaccharides.  The specific polysaccharide group that is known for its immunostimulating properties is, Beta-glucans.  The Beta-glucan molecules stimulate the production of B cells, macrophages, and T cells, providing our bodies with increased defense, and improving immune response to bacterial and viral infections.
  • Allergy relief- Reishi can help reduce respiratory and food allergic reactions.  Reishi contains 4 active ingredients that activate antihistamine action (oleic acid, ganoderic acid C & D, and cycloctosulphide).  All 4 substances help decrease histamine release.  Histamine release causes the inflammatory response when there is an allergic reaction.  Reishi helps prevent the body from reacting strongly to substances that cause an allergic reaction, thus offering temporary relief.  Check out the research.  
  • Protects Liver- The liver protection support offered from Reishi is due to the multiple actions that indirectly improve liver function.  Reishi may also offer some protection from toxic substances. 
  • Anti-inflammatory- Research shows that reishi contains chemicals that are like hydrocortisone.  These substances help reduce pain and swelling where there is inflammation.
  • Lowers blood sugar- Studies in vitro and on animals have shown the reishi mushroom can help facilitate insulin production, hypoglycemic treatments, peripheral use of glucose, and hepatic metabolism of glucose.  Reishi can also help break down starches and food disaccharides, allowing for absorption of glucose.


Risks of reishi and interactions of reishi with other drugs

There are no cases of toxicity associated with consuming reishi.  However, with any mushroom, there are rare cases of mild digestive upset, rashes, and migraines.  The side effects have been linked to the detoxification process triggered by consuming the reishi.  Reishi is not recommended for those who take immunosuppressive drugs or who are allergic to mushrooms.  Those who take anticoagulant and hypoglycemic (insulin, sulfonylureas, or metformin) or antiplatelet drugs should avoid taking reishi.  Also, avoid taking reishi if you take blood pressure drugs.  Reishi has similar activities and can amplify the effects.



Reishi is an amazing mushroom!  We’ve seen numerous studies published in international journals that quantify the pharmacological effects of reishi.  In the western world, studies are currently being confirmed and appear to have high hopes for this mushroom given the large number of studies that are underway.

Reishi is easy to grow and amazing to watch develop into beautiful mushrooms.  Plus, when it’s ready to harvest, you get to enjoy one of the most powerful adaptogens on earth. 

Cloud Culture Mushrooms has you covered when it comes to growing reishi.  We have Reishi Home Grow Kits, Reishi Slants and Petri DishesReishi Spore Print, and Reishi Liquid Culture.  We offer nothing but the best products with great service.

"always grow culture"



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Merriam-Webster, 2021.

Stamets, P. 2000. Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms, Third edition. P. 352-356. Ten Speed Press.

Tasaka K, Akagi M, Miyoshi K, Mio M, Makino T. Anti-allergic constituents in the culture medium of Ganoderma lucidum. (I). Inhibitory effect of oleic acid on histamine release. Agents Actions. 1988 Apr;23(3-4):153-6. doi: 10.1007/BF02142526. PMID: 2455975.

Trapani, G. May 8, 2020. Reishi: Benefits and properties of reishi, the immortality mushroom.  IAF Network S.r.l.

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