What is Reishi (Lingzhi)?

by Dr. Eric Karchmer, PhD, MD (China), LAc |

What is Reishi (Lingzhi)?

Reishi, also referred to as Lingzhi, is a form of mushroom with centuries of history in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It has a distinctive red, glossy cap and a woody stem, and is often referred to as the "mushroom of immortality" or the "elixir of life."

Often referred to as an adaptogen, this incredible mushroom has grown rather trendy over the last several years, specifically given the energy and focus it provides - but as a scholar of Chinese Medicine, it's an "herb" that I've long used and recommended within my community. 

The History of Reishi & Lingzhi: A "Tonifying" Herb With History

Reishi has a long history of use in Chinese Medicine, dating back more than 2,000 years. It was used to treat a wide range of needs, including fatigue, asthma, insomnia, and liver disease.

In Chinese medicine, reishi is considered a tonifying herb, which means that it is believed to have a general strengthening and nourishing effect on the body.

Reishi was also highly prized in ancient Japanese and Korean Medicine, where it was used to treat conditions such as high blood pressure, bronchitis, and digestive disorders. In Japan, reishi was known as "the herb of spiritual potency" and was often used by Buddhist monks to promote calmness, improve meditation, and increase longevity.

5 Reasons to Try Reishi
DAO Labs Pure Reishi

As I noted above, reishi has become increasingly popular over the last several years, but the modern popularity is slightly late to the lingzhi party.  It's been famous for more than thousands of years.

Here are five reasons why:

Immune System Support

Reishi has been shown to have "immuno-modulatory" effects, meaning it can help regulate the immune system and enhance its function. This may help the body better defend itself against infections and diseases.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Reishi contains compounds that have anti-inflammatory effects, which may help alleviate symptoms of inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and asthma.

Cardiovascular Health

Reishi may help benefit blood pressure and support cholesterol levels, which can help with heart health and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Stress Relief

Reishi has adaptogenic properties, meaning it can help the body better cope with stress. It may help reduce anxiousness, improve sleep, and promote feelings of calmness.

Longevity (Not Immortality

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine theory, the concept of "supplementing essence" refers to the practice of nourishing and strengthening the body's vital energy or "essence," also known as Jing.

Essence is considered one of the three treasures in Traditional Chinese Medicine, along with Qi (vital energy) and Shen (spirit). It is believed to be the basis of growth, development, and reproduction, as well as the foundation for overall health and vitality.

In the words of the renowned Chinese herbalist Shen Nong, "long-term consumption of Reishi will lighten the body and prevent aging, extend one's life, and make one an immortal."

While we may not be able to achieve immortality, incorporating Reishi into our daily lives can certainly help us live healthier, happier, and more vibrant lives.

Care Consideration: Just a reminder that the above information is not a substitute for medical care and is not a substitute for medical advice or recommendations  from a healthcare provider.  This information is not intended to treat, mitigate or cure any disease.  That said, we encourage you to connect with an Acupuncturist in your community to learn more about this and other Traditional Chinese Medicine options.  If you’ve got questions about Chinese herbal medicine or getting started with an Acupuncturist, feel free to connect with us on hello@mydaolabs.com

Dr. Eric Karchmer is a practicing Chinese medical doctor, medical anthropologist, and co-founder and Chief Doctor of Chinese Medicine for DAO Labs. From 1995-2000, Eric studied at the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine and today is both a licensed acupuncturist and professor at Appalachian State University. Eric can be reached at drkarchmer@mydaolabs.com.

Related Articles

Older Post Newer Post

To a healthier lifestyle and receive holistic recipes | TCM TIPS | SPECIAL OFFERS
My Dao Labs