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Reishi Mushroom

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Showing 1-25 of 175 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 29, 2011 9:14:36 PM PST
MT says:
What Reishi Mushroom to use and what is your experience? I found extract from $10 to $130 for 60 capsules. What about drops?

Posted on Jan 29, 2011 10:04:21 PM PST
Marla Singer says:
My Father and brother have used them to make tea. My Father and brother have very different temperaments and outlooks on life, but they described the same physical/psychological effects. The Reishi Mushrooms made them feel warm and content. My Father is usually a stress case, even standing next to him is stresssful. Trying the tea (Reishi Mushroom powder with Distilled water) made him feel relaxed, pleasant and he was even a little engaging. They didn't feel any after effects, it just gradually wore off, leaving them content from the experience.

Posted on Jan 31, 2011 5:40:47 PM PST
MT says:
So, which one to buy, powder or tincture?

Posted on Feb 3, 2011 7:06:12 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 3, 2011 7:47:37 PM PST
ParrotSlave says:
A tincture, if you knew for a fact that it had been extracted properly, would clearly be superior to a powder. Eating powdered mushrooms is not going to give you significant bioavailability. The apparent bioactive compounds, the polysaccharides, are very difficult to extract from the mushroom, and it isn't going to happen in your stomach. Sorry. Take your money and throw it into the wastebasket; it will do you the same amount of good.

Head to an oriental supermarket. The larger ones will have an herbal department, and they sell sliced and whole ganoderma. The sliced product is about $10 a pound, but examine the product carefully. I am not sure how it ends up in it, but the product I have access to, from the Xin Chang Trading Company, has clear plastic embedded in it sometimes, which has to be removed before boiling it. Dried whole ganoderma is available in various colors, usually brown and black. Sometimes rarer varieties are available. The TCM belief is that the different colored mushrooms are efficacious for different disease conditions or health benefits, such as the black ones being somehow beneficial for the brain, but I don't know of any actual research that verifies that or even that there is any measurable chemical difference in the subspecies.

I cut the whole mushroom up with pruning shears (a laborious task), then cook it in a pressure cooker for several hours. The finer you can cut it, the better it is to extract the polysaccharides; you need to create as much surface area as possible to give the hot water access to the cut material. Several South Korean suppliers market an extract as individual packets of what they refer to as young ji extract, mixed with lactose or glucose into granules, to use as instant tea. Few give you any clue as to how strong their extract is, so you would be guessing as to whether you are wasting your money or not. I buy those also, though, for use when traveling, but it's too much trouble to make it as tea; I just open the packets and eat the contents as though it were powdered candy (which, to me, it really is.) When you buy a raw herb, you obviously have the same problem of not knowing how strong it is. In most of these cases, you also have the problem, especially with products from the PROC, that you don't know how polluted the products are in terms of heavy metals or pesticide residues. I have great confidence in South Korean products, though, as well as Japanese products. On the other hand, if you are considering paying $130 for 60 capsules, it is inconceivable to me that those 60 capsules would be stronger than what you would get if you extracted 13 pounds of the dried mushrooms. I have a 2 gallon pressure cooker that works quite well at making such tea.

Posted on Feb 4, 2011 9:27:56 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 4, 2011 9:29:01 AM PST
MT says:
After you do below, you are drinking it as is or you eat the mushrooms or both? How to store it and for how long?
I cut the whole mushroom up with pruning shears (a laborious task), then cook it in a pressure cooker for several hours. The finer you can cut it, the better it is to extract the polysaccharides; you need to create as much surface area as possible to give the hot water access to the cut material.

Thank you

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 5, 2011 8:45:44 PM PST
ParrotSlave says:
That particular mushroom is virtually indigestible; there is no point in eating it. I do not know how long the tea will last if made from only the mushrooms, but I cook the mushrooms for a few hours, then cook it a while longer with a number of other herbal ingredients, which seems to keep it from deteriorating. Once it has cooled down, I also add a little bit of grapefruit seed extract. GSE is often apparently intentionally contaminated with germicidal chemicals similar to the active ingredients in Lysol, and I use it not despite such chemicals but because of the presence of those chemicals. The NutraBiotic brand I use is even advertised as being not an extract but the product of a chemical reaction that turns actual GSE into germicidal quaternary ammonium compounds: "Citricidal® is synthesized from the polyphenolic compounds found in grapefruit seed and pulp. Numerous reactions are involved, including distillation, catalytic conversion, and ammoniation. The active component of Citricidal is a quaternary ammonium chloride (a diphenol hydroxybenzene reacted with ammonium chloride) similiar to benzethonium chloride when analysed in accordance with USP XXII/NF XVII." Citricidal is no more natural than polyethylene, but it is a germicide, and is presumably safe for human consumption, so a little bit in your tea will make the tea last. I have one more cup in my refrigerator of some ganoderma "plus" tea that I made more than a month ago, and it shows no sign of mold.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 29, 2011 12:58:48 AM PST
can i soak the reish in votka and make a ticture;

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2011 12:34:13 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 30, 2011 3:47:34 PM PST
ParrotSlave says:
Most people think of "the" active ingredients in reishi as being beta glucans and other polysaccharides, which are not particularly soluble in alcohol; other constituents that seem to have some activity are complex proteins, which are also not alcohol soluble, and triterpenoids. The triterpenoids are characteristically poorly soluble in water, so you might gain some activity there by using an alcohol extract. We do not know everything there is to know about the reported bioactivity of the mushroom as it relates to their chemical composition, nor do we know what synergism occurs. I would be inclined to try an alcohol extract, then do a water extract, and take some of each. Since the anecdotal activity and the research studies are based on water extracts, you would be going into uncharted territory: you have no history of safety. Although you would be extracting more of the triterpenoids, it might well be that you would be extracting more of a toxic substance that had never before presented a problem due to its insolubility in water. The problem with hot water extracts is that if you don't cook it long enough, you won't extract the beta glucans, but if you cook it too long, you may hydrolyze them into inactive substances. A patented water extract called "Ganopoly" is sold in Asian countries as an anti-cancer and hepatoprotective drug. You might see if you can find the patent and see if you can replicate it in your own kitchen; I don't think there is any law against copying a patented process if only for your own personal use.

Posted on Dec 7, 2011 6:12:00 AM PST
Michelle says:
What is the recipe for making tea in a pressure cooker? How much water do you use per ratio of herb? Will too much water damage the pressure cooker?

Posted on Dec 7, 2011 10:09:49 AM PST
Music Lover says:
It's been 6 months, but my personal experience with the Reishi Mushroom has been good. A "little dab will do you" as they use to say back in the old days! Tap dancing was much easier after the Reishi were absorbed - - as was skeet shooting practice! Good luck!

Posted on Jan 15, 2012 6:19:20 AM PST
has anyone expiernced side effects from the coffee?

Posted on Feb 3, 2012 4:19:04 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 3, 2012 4:20:05 PM PST
The reishi in coffee products is negligible If you are serious in taking reishi, make sure to get the RED reishi. My family and I have been taking the ganocrest and ganoprime reishi from reishi essence and we are very pleased with their products.

Posted on May 8, 2012 12:50:53 PM PDT
StephenK says:
Hi Thanks Slam Dunk Sam. I tried the Ganoprime and really feel the difference. I spent hours researching and come to the same conclusion than you. I am taking 3 capsules a day and found that it is the right dosage for me. I also love the free shipping too.

In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2012 3:33:37 PM PDT
I think it is important to differentiate raw solid state powder from the reishi versus and extract powder that actually comes from hot water extraction (similar to your pressure cooker). In fact, a few extract products out there are triple hot water extracted. In order to make the resulting essence into powder for a better and more appealing final product, the "broth" goes to a process called vacuum drying. The final extract powder is then encapsulated and ready for consumption. The better ones out there are 15:1 to 20:1 ratio of dried reishi to extract. No need to cook it yourself, unless you have the time.

In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2012 4:55:57 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 23, 2013 12:24:46 PM PDT
ParrotSlave says:
If I were going to use ganoderma to treat a specific disease condition, i.e., as a daily medicinal, I would definitely be wanting some kind of standardized extract and, obviously, data as to how that particular company's product's dose correlated to doses used in whatever studies have been done. (You might be interested in reading

But I think of mushrooms as part of a balanced diet, and even though ganoderma is not culinary, I still look at it no differently than I would at the guavas, kiwis, ground flax, and numerous other "healthy" things I keep in my kitchen. I don't need "dose" information if I am going to have a tea every now and then; all I need to know is that it is non-toxic and whether or not it contains anything that might interact with, say, a beta blocker.

By coincidence, I have read that ganoderma is useful for certain medical conditions with which I have been diagnosed, so, just for the heck of it, I include it as part of such an herbal tea, not every day, but regularly. On a hunch, last week, when I was making a pot of pinto beans, I cut up some slivers of ganoderma to go along with the shi[I'm going to add this to disrupt the spelling since, in the past, Amazon sometimes deletes the post when I mention this particular mushroom]itakes that I put into the pot (my beans are a little different than what you'll find in a cafeteria.) Strangely enough, the slivers were almost edible; in fact, I did eat them. Although they were more like cardboard, the juice they held inside seemed nourishing, and it was less cardboard-y than the reishi I've tried to taste after a plain water extraction. I've been able to chew it up before after a hot water extraction, just to get the residual juice out, but I never found it even remotely edible before. I had not intended to eat the slices after cooking, but it wasn't bad; the rationale for putting them into the beans was that, in addition to getting the water solubles out, the other substances in my mix (small amount of fat, as well as a lecithin compound, PPC) might well assist in getting the rest of the triterpenoids and other water insolubles out, and possibly get them to be adsorbed by, say, the beans, or the black rice I also put in. The result of cooking it that way, with all those other components, might have resulted in a decently "full spectrum" extract.

The problem with the extracts is the price. I can get Chinese red reishi, sliced, for about $10 a pound, and the Japanese for about $24 a pound [May, 2012]. It is certainly within the realm of possibility that, if you're going to spend $150, it might be better to spend it on that one bottle than upon 10 pounds of the raw material. Since the material is not well enough documented, we have no idea whether whatever way we prepare it ourselves is going to give us the activity we want or not. The fact that TCM did it a certain way does not guarantee that we might not be losing valuable components that way, so in that respect, a properly done extract (i.e., more than a simple water extraction) would give us something that we would probably not otherwise get. On the other hand, we're not talking about something that requires a ton to get one gram of an extract, and the activity that caused the substance to be investigated in the first place originated from simple hot water extraction. Just going by the ball park figure on TCM usage makes me suspect that the tea-making is a better deal.

The Chinese is available, unsliced, in various colored subspecies; I don't remember the price of the black, and I don't remember seeing purple very often. According to TCM, the black is better for "brain" conditions, whatever those are; they think it improves memory, which, if it works, I should use it every day to keep my cell phone from vanishing in the house. I suspect that all of the varieties are immune stimulants. What is amazing is that it blocks 5-alpha reductase, which is involved in BPH, it inhibits cholesterol synthesis, so it might be a good agent for treating dyslipidemia, it is anti-bacterial and anti-viral, and, on top of all that, it appears to be hepatoprotective, not to mention its use as an antineoplastic. It looks like "nature" put that on the earth just for me.

@C. Michelle, I just throw a whole bunch in, such as a third of a pound, and cook it. Water at the manufacturer's suggested level in your pressure cooker won't hurt the pressure cooker. A third of a pound is about 15 doses of ten grams each, which is the maximum I've seen recommended for actual illnesses. You need to do your own calculations and make judgments as to how much you would want to use for whatever reason you are wanting to use it. WebMD warns, "side effects including dryness of the mouth, throat, and nasal area along with itchiness, stomach upset, nosebleed, and bloody stools. Drinking reishi wine can cause a rash. Breathing in reishi spores can trigger allergies." They warn that it can interfere--in this case, increase the effects of--antihypertensives and blood thinners. So if you were on any of those medications, you would definitely want to be cautious. Of course, the point to be gained from that is that the reason it increases the effects of antihypertensive medicines is that it IS an antihypertensive. The only warning I do not see there is the possibility of the presence of toxic chemicals such as hydrazines, examples of which would be agaritine, found in common button mushrooms and other members of the genus Agaricus, and gyromitrin, found in the false morel and other members of the genus Gyromitra. Although I've never heard of toxicity from reishi, one must always remain vigilant to the possibility that whoever collected the specimens might have thrown in something else.

I consider Fungi Perfecti to be the most reliable source of all things to do with mushrooms; I'm not sure that a much better source of information exists than Paul Stamets. Judging by their products, it would seem that Stamets must believe that several different kinds of mushrooms mixed together would be more effective generally than any particular one. Maitake has been better studied than reishi as far a standardization of the extracts is concerned; I'm sure that, in years to come, there will be a "Reishi D-fraction" and a "Reishi-SX" fraction for sale, similar to what exists now for maitake.

In reply to an earlier post on May 23, 2012 9:57:18 PM PDT
Shiloh Jaxen says:
I think that there is benifit to ingesting the mushroom even if its not going to be digested. Just having it run through your body does attract benificial substances.
I'm thinking partly of Rudolph Steiners writing on nutrition, that the body is not build of the food itself, but of the energetic substance attracted to the body by eating.
Anyways, sometimes I nibble on the Reishi and I definitly feel an effect right away, though I know it isn't being digested.

Posted on May 24, 2012 12:07:59 AM PDT
J. Taylor says:
I've tried various Reishi capsules and formulas, many of the ones available are low quality and not really worth buying or taking. But high quality Red Reishi does indeed have many documented benefits - improves mental clarity, immune tonic, adaptogenic (helps you deal with stress), regulates blood pressure, and much more. I did find a good Reishi product at - they sell a 10:1 extract powder at various quantities, as well as in capsule form. There is alot of good info there as well. It's a bit more pricey than the Reishi products you will find elsewhere, but in my opinion it is well worth it.

Posted on May 24, 2012 1:42:27 PM PDT
StephenK says:
Taylor, I found hyperionhebs during my research, but it does not seem as potent as GanoPrime with a 30% polysaccharides and 2% triterpenes concentration. Hyperionherbs did not provide this information on their website so not sure about its concentration. GanoPrime reishi is the highest concentrated red reishi extract I could find on the market along with another brand called Mikei reishi from japan. It is an 15:1 extract ratio which beats hyperionherbs. Check it out for yourself at

Posted on Jun 4, 2012 3:02:59 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 4, 2012 3:03:48 AM PDT
ParrotSlave says:
StephenK, there are all kinds of variables in these extracts, the very first being how the mushroom is cultivated: did they use log cultivation, sawdust, or was it possibly wild collected? See It might or might not make a difference as to the origin of the material: the plant grows throughout tropical regions, and what I had been thinking of all this time as ganoderma lucidum has been renamed to ganoderma multipileum. If mycologists themselves have not been sure as to the exact nature of the species, it would probably not be difficult for a supplier to provide a related species to a company that is using it to make extracts. Who would know the difference--if it actually makes a difference. The "extract" you are buying might be getting made from mushrooms whose origin was, say, Panama, instead of, say, Japan. In addition to the species identity issue, how it is grown could make a difference as to components such as trace metals. You would suspect, for instance, that tank cultivated ganoderma would be less likely to contain contaminants, such as lead or pesticides, but, on the other hand, it is not inconceivable that some of the reported activity of the mushroom might be due to the presence of a trace amount of an uncommon element such as germanium, which would be lacking in the cultivated product. And when they give you their figures on extract ratio, are they talking about completely dried mushroom, or fresh? It wouldn't make that much difference with reishi, since it is not as "wet" as normal culinary mushrooms to begin with, but it would make some difference.

Ganoderma seems to be a haven for bioactive compounds. "The basidiocarp, mycelia and spores of Ganoderma lucidum contain approximately 400 different bioactive compounds, which mainly include triterpenoids, polysaccharides, nucleotides, sterols, steroids, fatty acids, proteins/peptides and trace elements which has been reported to have a number of pharmacological effects including immunomodulation, anti-atherosclerotic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, chemo-preventive, antitumor, chemo and radio protective, sleep promoting, antibacterial, antiviral (including anti-HIV), hypolipidemic, anti-fibrotic, hepatoprotective, anti-diabetic, anti-androgenic, anti-angiogenic, anti-herpetic, antioxidative and radical-scavenging, anti-aging, hypoglycemic, estrogenic activity and anti-ulcer properties" (

When we don't know enough about the mushroom to say exactly what constituents are responsible, either separately or together, for this or that reported activity, even standardizing to something such as % polysaccharides doesn't necessarily help in evaluating it. Extracts also have the potential of concentrating toxic metabolites, such as hydrazines, for which mushrooms are notorious. If they are standardizing it for one thing, it is entirely possible that whatever part of its activity results from other components would be lessened or lost. So merely having an extract that is "strong" in one component does not imply that you are going to be able to reproduce the activity you are hoping for. Most traditional uses have been based on hot water extracts, although some alcoholic extracts have been studied. You never know, different types of extracts may have different activity. You might want a hot water extract for one purpose, but an ethanolic or petroleum ether extract for something else. With 600+ bioactive compounds in it, you really don't know.

If it were me, I would try to have my cake and eat it too by taking an extract as well as making my own.

Posted on Jun 4, 2012 5:50:50 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 4, 2012 6:25:32 AM PDT
I find Ganoderma lucidum all over in wooded habitats (here in FL). Pretty common. Easy to ID too, by the reddish-brown, shiny-lacquered look (mature parts of the fruit body).

I like the price, compared to commercial reishi products. That its "cultivated" by Mother Nature, not some business interest 'standardizing' the product, also poses no turnoff (for me personally). Besides, going out to the woods for it, stalking the fabled wild reishi ... is somewhat more enjoyable experience than - going up and down aisles in a store (or surfing the web).

BTW, often I find specimens not yet fully formed, recognizable by non-pigmented regions -- edge of the cap especially. Pics on web show such earlier development stages. In fully mature specimens, the cap as seen from above (pore layer, undersurface, remains whitish even in maturity) is mostly or all pigmented and tough in texture. Growing tips are tender, much as with plants.

The texture of that newly-formed flesh is 'fleshy' like edible mushrooms. It can be eaten, per se, not being hard and tough like fully-ripened parts. And its probably active because it tastes 'mediciney' -- seems reasonable to think secondary compounds are present.

Posted on Jul 10, 2012 4:26:48 PM PDT
The best Chinese mushroom products can be found here. They are grown & harvested with 21st Century Chinese technology for super potency...and they are treated and processed very carefully in sterile conditions for maximum effect...people are getting miracle results from taking them....much stronger than any home made tea or normal capsule. For more info go here

Posted on Jul 10, 2012 10:11:40 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jul 10, 2012 10:11:54 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 11, 2012 8:09:06 AM PDT
Does the 21st century Chinese technology include the use of Melamine similar to their dairy products?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 11, 2012 8:27:06 AM PDT
no melamine used....for more info on the production of the mushrooms and the space age technology used to produce & process them, you can look here:
it really is quite amazing!

Posted on Jul 13, 2012 3:38:45 PM PDT
the link has changed...go here for more info on these super potent reishi tablets...
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Initial post:  Jan 29, 2011
Latest post:  4 days ago

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