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Reishi: The Mushroom of Spiritual Immortality

Reishi: The Mushroom of Spiritual Immortality

Reishi is a highly revered mushroom throughout Chinese history. Its name, Ling Zhi, literally means “spiritual mushroom,” but its more commonly used name is the Japanese name - reishi. Reishi and other tree fungals are in a special class called Polypores, named for their smooth porous under-sides, which distinguishes them from gilled mushrooms that grow on the ground. Its latin name Ganoderma lucidum simply means “shiny mushroom.” 

Reishi has been used in China as a benevolent ally for spiritual perception. It was first documented in Shennong’s Pharmacopoeia, one of the world's earliest pharmacopoeia possibly written as long ago as 4975 B.P. (before present). It described reishi “the herb of spiritual benevolence.”

Reishi Represented in Art

Reishi has been depicted in many ancient paintings. In one scroll painting, reishi is pictured in the middle on top of a rock escarpment, representing “a bridge between Earth and Heaven.” 

In the lower portions of this artwork, many mendicants of Taoist ideology seek enlightenment, study, converse and make tea. They live in nature at bottom left, and in civilization on the right. They are guided by Quan Yin(bodhisattva of compassion) and Lao Tzu (philosopher and the Father of Taoism), who teach the true road to the Tao. A reishi mushroom grows out of the rock in the center, representing the bridge to higher realms, where masters enjoy a pleasant life in temples and government institutions, and also fly on dragons as celestial immortals - “Tien Hsien.”   


Reishi’s Health Effects

Reishi is said to initiate benevolent cycles of health of the person who drinks the tea. It is not mind altering, but does have beneficial effects on consciousness, bringing clarity and activating connection with one’s higher destiny and potential. Reishi can show us the way to our abundance. When we have reishi in our lives, along with pure foods, healthy lifestyle, a clean inner body and a spiritual discipline, enlightenment can be accelerated. 

It could be a great blessing when reishi comes into your life, a sign that you are opening to abundance in your life, and that you may be able to help others. Reishi mushroom is truly a cosmic messenger to help us manifest higher energy, protect us from the lower frequencies of discord, and rapidly relieve karma of past negative acts.

Reishi was considered superstitious by the Communist Party, who removed it from the Chinese Materia Medica. Efforts are being made to restore reishi in the category of spirit (Shen) herbs in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

Reishi is well known throughout Asia as an immune strengthening and modulating herb, which balances immune response. It contains a special class of polysaccharides called Beta 1-3-6 glucans, which support empowerment of white blood cells. It is a liver tonic and anti-stress agent, which benefits the adrenals.


Where to Find Reishi

Reishi grows all over the world, usually found on dead wood in deciduous forests across the Eastern and Northwestern U.S., and you can also cultivate it yourself in Oak or Hemlock logs. Mycelinated plugs of reishi are available from Fungi Perfecti Company and other sources. Drill ¼” holes in the logs and hammer in the plugs. Bury them just underground and cover with a tented tarp and mist regularly. Reishi caps may begin to appear after the mushroom has sufficiently mycelienated into the wood.

Reishi can be purchased in capsule form or bulk powder. It is easy to make delicious tasting beverages with reishi. A relatively bitter mushroom with a coffee-like taste, it can be included in various drinks, such as smoothies and lattes. Reishi can be added to deserts, muffins or cakes, or in granola and hot cereals. Extracts of the fruiting body are the highest quality. Some products include the mycelium and spores.

Reishi is not a stimulant and is considered free of side effects. It is considered beneficial for people of all ages, including children, and even pets.


Disclaimer: All information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Please consult a naturopathic or medical doctor.

About The Author - Rehmannia Dean Thomas

Rehmannia is a Taoist Tonic Herbalist in the Gate of Life lineage, a 5000 year old herbal system from China. In 1998, he met Master herbalist Ron Teeguarden and became his personal apprentice until 2006, when he formed Shamanshack. Rehmannia studied Chinese medical diagnosis at Alhambra University, and obtained a degree from Natural healing College as "Master herbalist", but adheres to the title master Teeguarden gave him as "Superior herbalist." He is a pending member of the American herbalists Guild.

Rehmannia is adept in the 5000 year old healing discipline called the Gate of Life lineage, which utilizes "Tonic" herbs to maintain balanced health. He has written 5 books including Raw Chi, Healing Thresholds and The Hsien, and is near completion of an online course in Taoist health philosophy and Tonic herbalism in the Gate of Life lineage (

Rehmannia created all Shaman Shack products, and sources only the highest quality herbs. He is truly a front-runner in his field, and has taught and influenced many mendicants of Tonic herbalism.


Shaman Shack Herbs offers high quality 10:1 extracts of the Reishi fruiting body only.

Tags:Rehmannia Dean Thomas, Health, Chinese herbalism, reishi, reishi mushroom,

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