The Food Reality Blog

Trust in the Power of Nature

Growing Reishi Mushrooms: Build your Immunity With This Funky Mushroom

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The role of Red Reishi in maintaining a healthy lifestyle can best be explained through the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) point of view because none of the known active components taken alone is as more effective than the consumption of Reishi itself. Whereas Western medicine focuses on the “cure” after the disease has already occurred, TCM, established through over 2,000 years of human observation, focuses on disease prevention by sustaining the right balance within the body through proper nutrition, exercise, and meditation.

Another major active ingredient found in Red Reishi are triterpenes , called ganoderic acids. Preliminary studies indicated that ganoderic acids help alleviate common allergies by inhibiting histamine release, improve oxygen utilization and improve liver functions. Regular consumption of red Reishi can enhance our body’s immune system and improve blood circulation, thus improving better health conditions. Red Reishi is also used to help treat anxiety, high blood pressure, hepatitis, bronchitis, insomnia, and asthma.

  • Common Names
  • Reishi Mushroom , Ling-zhi, ling chih, ling chi mushroom
  • Botanical Name
  • Ganoderma lucidum
  • Family
  • Ganodermataceae


Growing Reishi Mushroom– Gardening Basics

Image result for reishi mushroom benefits

Reishi mushrooms have been used in Chinese medicine for 2,000 years and are called the mushroom of immortality. Now you can create your own reishi mushroom garden using those freshly cut logs in your back yard!

Purchase dowels which have been inoculated with a superior, fast-growing strain of reishi mushroom spawn.

When inserted into logs and covered with natural soy wax to prevent contamination, the dowel spawn colonizes the log and produces mushrooms. Please note that when you grow mushrooms on logs with myceliated dowels (also called plug spawn), it may take anywhere from 6-12 months before you start to see mushrooms growing. However, the wait is well worth it. You will be enjoying fresh mushrooms from your mushroom log for years to come.

Note that the reishi mushroom, extensively researched for its health promoting qualities, is used to make a medicinal tea- but is not a cooking mushroom (it is hard, like bark).

We suggest using the following wood types to grow reishi mushrooms: oak, maple, beech, alder, elm, plum, sweetgum, and sycamore.

Do not use : cedar, redwood, cypress, fruit trees, or conifer.

UK – purchase plug spawn

US – purchase plug spawn


Important Growing Information:


SOWING:drill and fill with plugs



HARDINESS ZONE: all zones, year round



Flower Arrangements

Image result for dinner party discussions

not applicable.  But it will lead to awesome discussions at dinner parties!


Medicinal Uses & Benefits of Reishi

  • Medicinal Uses: * Alcoholism * Allergies * Anxiety * Bronchitis * Chinese * Fatigue * Hypertension * Immune * Liver * Longevity Tonics * Stress
  • Properties: * AntiViral * Cordial * Hypoglycemic * Immunostimulant
  • Parts Used: Fruiting body

Image result for reishi mushroom benefits

  • Reishi, or Ling zhi is the extract of the Ganoderma lucium mushroom. This mushroom has been used in traditional Chinese and Japanese medicines for thousands of years, who place it in the highest class of tonic medicines, those who benefit the vital life energy or Qi. Reishi mushrooms are commonly prescribed for a host of conditions such as anxiety, high blood pressure,bronchitis, insomnia, and asthma but is particularly renowned for its use in hepatitis and other diseases of the liver and for promoting longevity. Reishi is used to prevent “fatty-liver” and cirrhosis due to alcohol abuse.

    The Western focus on reishi is on the mushroom’s immuno-enhancing and anti-tumor activities, the exact mechanism is still unknown, but it is thought that the mycopolysaccharides contained in the cell walls may hold the key to the mushrooms medicinal properties.

    Preparation Methods & Dosage :Tea from the dried mushroom, Powdered sprinkled on food or in beverages, as a liquid herbal extract (non-standardized), and as an encapsulated (non-standardized) product from whole mushroom tops.

  • Traditional Chinese Medicine traditional Chinese medicineCordyceps is another immune-modulating medicinal mushroom that possesses anti-tumor properties and stimulates tumor necrosis factor, a cytokine protein that destroys cancer cells. The name cordyceps in Chinese literally means “winter bug summer herb.” It is an antlered fungus that grows in insect larvae, usually before the insect’s cocoon is formed. Cordyceps relieves conditions that traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) associates with the kidneys, including high cholesterol and ringing in the ears. The herb is an aphrodisiac that has been used as a cure for impotence.

    Reishi Side Effects: Though rare, side effects including dry throat, nosebleeds, stomach upset have been reported after three to six months of continuous use.


This information in our Herbal Reference Guide is intended only as a general reference for further exploration, and is not a replacement for professional health advice. This content does not provide dosage information, format recommendations, toxicity levels, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Accordingly, this information should be used only under the direct supervision of a qualified health practitioner.

Additional Resources

Herbal Preparations and research:

C Katt Krespach, NTP

C Katt Krespach, NTP

C Katt Krespach, NTP is a nutritional therapist and long time activist with a passion for healing arts and social entrepreneurship, …working in both areas for over a quarter of a century. Her site has a worldwide following. is her newest project and coaches brick-and-morter business owners into global social entrepreneurship. She is an author, public speaker, and entrepreneur. You can get Katt’s free edible flowers e-book here and also watch a short documentary on how she overcame neuropathy, significant weight gain, and more with easy, natural and healing mindsets. Follow Katt on Facebook, Wordpress, Twitter, and Instagram.

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