Aug 17, 2019
It is known as the most highly praised ancient medicine and it is undoubtedly one of the most respected medicinal mushrooms of modern times.
Reishi mushroom grows wild on decaying logs in Japan, China, Taiwan, Korea and the rest of the costal regions of the Far East in densely wooded mountains with high humidity and dim light. 99% of Reishi mushroom growing in the wild in Japan are found on old stumps of plum trees. In ancient times people had to go high up on the mountains and deep into the forests to harvest this most valuable medicine.
Wild Reishi mushrooms are scarce. Out of 10,000 aged trees, perhaps on 2 or 3 would have Reishi mushroom grow. The spores of this fan shaped mushroom have such a tough outer husks that makes the germination extremely difficult and this accounts for its rarity. In the old days when one discovered Reishi mushroom, its location had to be kept a secret even from one's closest relative as a precious possession.
The cultivating process is extremely difficult making Reishi mushroom an expensive fungus.
Reishi mushroom has a large, tough and thick woody body with no gills but instead pores that release their seeds (spores). All six varieties of this mushroom are in fact one species that under different environmental conditions display the six colours in full splendour - yellow (Kishiba), black (Kuroshiba), purple (Murasakishiba), blue (Aoshiba), red (Akashiba) and white (Shiroshiba). Each has been classified in the "Shinnoh Honshokyo" and in the catalogue of herbs written in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 A.D.). The red variety is the most commonly used and commercially cultivated.
The hard texture makes Reishi an inedible mushroom, but it is suitable as tea or extract.
Part of the scientific word for Reishi mushroom is lucidum which means "shiny" or " glossy " and refers to the cap's surface beautifully glazed effect.