Ganoderma lucidum, Reishi, Ling-zhi.
Ganoderma lucidum, known as reishi in Japan or ling-zhi in China, is typically found in herb markets as the whole fruiting body. According to Christopher Hobbs in his 2021 book Medicinal Mushrooms - The Essential Guide (which it is), much of what is in the market formerly known as Ganoderma lucidum, is actually Ganoderma lingzhi, first recognized in 2012 based on new genetic data. Also known as the mushroom of spiritual potency, Reishi has been a folk medicine in China for thousands of years. It is mentioned in the first class of herbs in the 2000 year-old classic Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing for calming the spirit, benefiting vital energy (qi), and improving the complexion. This important tonic was considered an elixir of life. The Chinese name ling zhi means spirit plant. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) it is used to treat hepatitis, hypertension, arthritis, nervous conditions, insomnia, lung disorders, and as a general tonic to lighten weight and increase longevity.
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