Red Reishi (Lingzhi) Mushroom Extract | Ganoderma lucidum

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Description

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The lingzhi mushroom is a polypore mushroom belonging to the genus Ganoderma. Its red-varnished, kidney-shaped cap gives it a distinct appearance. When fresh, the lingzhi is soft, cork-like, and flat. It lacks gills on its underside, and instead releases its spores via fine pores. Depending on the age of the mushroom, the pores on its underside may be white or brown.

Lingzhi mushroom is used in traditional Chinese medicine. In nature, it grows at the base and stumps of deciduous trees, especially that of the maple. Only two or three out of 10,000 such aged trees will have lingzhi growth, and therefore its wild form is extremely rare. Today, lingzhi is effectively cultivated on hardwood logs or sawdust/woodchips.

It is part of a species complex that encompasses several fungal species. The most common and closely related species are Ganoderma lucidum (see also Scytalidopepsin B) and Ganoderma tsugae. There are multiple species of lingzhi encompassed within the Ganoderma lucidum species complex and mycologists continue researching the differences among species within this complex.

With the advent of genome sequencing, the genus Ganoderma has undergone taxonomic reclassification. Prior to genetic analyses of fungi, classification was done according to morphological characteristics such as size and color. The internal transcribed spacer region of the Ganoderma genome is considered to be a standard barcode marker.

It was once thought that Ganoderma lucidum generally occurred in two growth forms: a large, sessile, specimen with a small or nonexistent stalk, found in North America, and a smaller specimen with a long, narrow stalk found mainly in the tropics. However, recent molecular evidence has identified the former, stalkless, form as a distinct species called G. sessile, a name given to North American specimens by William Alfonso Murrill in 1902.

Environmental conditions play a substantial role in the lingzhi's manifest morphological characteristics. For example, elevated carbon dioxide levels result in stem elongation in lingzhi. Other formations include antlers without a cap, which may also be related to carbon dioxide levels. The three main factors that influence fruit body development morphology are light, temperature, and humidity. While water and air quality play a role in fruit body development morphology, they do so to a lesser degree.

Ganoderma lucidum and its close relative, Ganoderma tsugae, grow in the northern Eastern Hemlock forests. These two species of bracket fungus have a worldwide distribution in both tropical and temperate geographical regions, growing as a parasite or saprotroph on a wide variety of trees. Similar species of Ganoderma have been found growing in the Amazon.

In the wild, lingzhi grows at the base and stumps of deciduous trees, especially that of the maple. Only two or three out of 10,000 such aged trees will have lingzhi growth, and therefore it is extremely rare in its natural form. Today, lingzhi is effectively cultivated on hardwood logs or sawdust/woodchips.

The word lingzhi (靈芝) was first recorded in a fu (賦; "rhapsody; prose-poem") by the Han dynasty polymath Zhang Heng (CE 78–139). His Xijing fu (西京賦) (Western Metropolis Rhapsody) contains a description of the 104 BCE Jianzhang Palace of Emperor Wu of Han that parallels lingzhi with shijun (石菌; "rock mushroom"): "Raising huge breakers, lifting waves, That drenched the stone mushrooms on the high bank, And soaked the magic fungus on vermeil boughs." The commentary by Xue Zong (d. 237) notes that these fungi were eaten as drugs of immortality.

The Shennong bencao jing (Divine Farmer's Classic of Pharmaceutics) of c.200–250 CE, classifies zhi into six color categories, each of which is believed to benefit the qi, or "life force", in a different part of the body: qingzhi (青芝; "Green Mushroom") for the liver, chizhi (赤芝; "Red Mushroom") for the heart, huangzhi (黃芝; "Yellow Mushroom") for the spleen, baizhi (白芝; "White Mushroom") for the lungs, heizhi (黑芝; "Black Mushroom") for the kidneys, and zizhi (紫芝; "Purple Mushroom") for the Essence. Commentators identify the red chizhi, or danzhi (丹芝; "cinnabar mushroom"), as the lingzhi.

The name of the lingzhi fungus has a two thousand-year-old history. The Old Chinese name 靈芝 was first recorded during the Han dynasty (206 BC – 9 AD). In the Chinese languagelíngzhī (灵芝) is a compound. It comprises líng (); "spirit, spiritual; soul; miraculous; sacred; divine; mysterious; efficacious; effective)" as, for example, in the name of the Lingyan Temple in Jinan, and zhī (); "(traditional) plant of longevity; fungus; seed; branch; mushroom; excrescence"). Fabrizio Pregadio notes, "The term zhi, which has no equivalent in Western languages, refers to a variety of supermundane substances often described as plants, fungi, or 'excrescences'." Zhi occurs in other Chinese plant names, such as zhīmá (芝麻; "sesame" or "seed"), and was anciently used a phonetic loan character for zhǐ (; "Angelica iris"). Chinese differentiates Ganoderma species into chìzhī (赤芝; "red mushroom") G. lucidum, and zǐzhī (紫芝; "purple mushroom") G. japonicum.

Lingzhi has several synonyms. Of these, ruìcǎo (瑞草; "auspicious plant") (ruì ; "auspicious; felicitous omen" with the suffix cǎo ; "plant; herb") is the oldest; the Eryadictionary (c. 3rd century BCE) defines xiú , interpreted as a miscopy of jūn (; "mushroom") as zhī (; "mushroom"), and the commentary of Guo Pu (276–324) says, "The [zhi] flowers three times in one year. It is a [ruicao] felicitous plant." Other Chinese names for Ganoderma include ruìzhī (瑞芝; "auspicious mushroom"), shénzhī (神芝; "divine mushroom", with shen; "spirit; god' supernatural; divine"), mùlíngzhī (木灵芝) (with "tree; wood"), xiāncǎo (仙草; "immortality plant", with xian; "(Daoism) transcendent; immortal; wizard"), and língzhīcǎo (灵芝草) or zhīcǎo (芝草; "mushroom plant").

Since both Chinese ling and zhi have multiple meanings, lingzhi has diverse English translations. Renditions include "[zhi] possessed of soul power", "Herb of Spiritual Potency" or "Mushroom of Immortality". "Numinous Mushroom", "divine mushroom", "divine fungus", "Magic Fungus", and "Marvelous Fungus".

In English, lingzhi or ling chih (sometimes spelled "ling chi", using the French EFEO Chinese transcription) is a Chinese loanword.
The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) gives the definition, "The fungus Ganoderma lucidum, believed in China to confer longevity and used as a symbol of this on Chinese ceramic ware.", and identifies the etymology of the word as Chinese: líng, "divine" + zhī, "fungus". According to the OED, the earliest recorded usage of the Wade–Gilesromanization ling chih is 1904, and of the Pinyin lingzhi is 1980.

In addition to the transliterated loanword, English names include "glossy ganoderma" and "shiny polyporus".

The Japanese word reishi (霊芝) is a Sino-Japanese loanword deriving from the Chinese língzhī (灵芝靈芝). Its modern Japanese kanji, is the shinjitai ("new character form") of the kyūjitai ("old character form"), . Synonyms for reishi are divided between Sino-Japanese borrowings and native Japanese coinages. Sinitic loanwords include literary terms such as zuisō (瑞草, from ruìcǎo; "auspicious plant") and sensō (仙草, from xiāncǎo; "immortality plant"). The Japanese writing system uses shi or shiba () for "grass; lawn; turf", and take or kinoko () for "mushroom" (e.g., shiitake). A common native Japanese name is mannentake (万年茸; "10,000-year mushroom"). Other Japanese terms for reishi include kadodetake (門出茸; "departure mushroom"), hijiridake (聖茸; "sage mushroom"), and magoshakushi (孫杓子; "grandchild ladle").
The Korean name, yeongji (영지靈芝) is also borrowed from, so a cognate with, the Chinese word língzhī (灵芝靈芝). It is often called yeongjibeoseot (영지버섯; "yeongjimushroom") in Korean, with the addition of the native word beoseot (버섯) meaning "mushroom". Other common names include bullocho (불로초不老草; "elixir grass") and jicho(지초芝草). According to color, yeongji mushrooms can be classified as jeokji (적지赤芝) for "red", jaji (자지紫芝) for "purple", heukji (흑지黑芝) for "black", cheongji (청지靑芝) for "blue" or "green", baekji (백지白芝) for "white", and hwangji (황지黃芝) for "yellow".
The Thai word het lin chue (เห็ดหลินจือ) is a compound of the native word het (เห็ด) meaning "mushroom" and the loanword lin chue (หลินจือ) from the Chinese língzhī (灵芝靈芝).
The Vietnamese language word linh chi is a loanword from Chinese. It is often used with nấm, the Vietnamese word for "mushroom", thus nấm linh chi is the equivalent of "lingzhi mushroom".

Ganoderma lucidum produces a group of triterpenes called ganoderic acids. It also contains other compounds often found in fungal materials, including polysaccharides (such as beta-glucan), coumarinmannitol, and alkaloidsSterols isolated from the mushroom include ganoderolganoderenic acidganoderiolganodermanontriollucidadiol, and ganodermadiol.

Lingzhi is now commercially manufactured and sold. Since the early 1970s, most lingzhi is cultivated. Lingzhi can grow on substrates such as sawdust, grain, and wood logs. After formation of the fruiting body, lingzhi is most commonly harvested, dried, ground, and processed into tablets or capsules to be directly ingested or made into tea or soup. Other lingzhi products include processed fungal mycelia or spores.

Prime Benefits:
Immune System Protective†
Gastrointestinal & Digestive Support†

Secondary Benefits:
Cardiac Suppport†
Liver Protective†
Blood Sugar Support† 

How Hard Rhino Red Reishi Extract is Made
Our Reishi extract is made from a dual extraction process. The first step is a hot water extraction. This is the most common and the least expensive and where many companies stop. When you find "cheap" mushroom supplements, they are either simple dried powders or are water extracted only. To get the full benefit of medicinal mushrooms, the second (and much more costly) alcohol extraction step is required.

Ethanol (or sometimes methanol) extraction isolates the water-insoluble components. Alcohol extraction process is in general used as a second step after hot-water extraction. Also since alcohol alone will not break down chitin effectively, heat must be added.

Without this second step of alcohol extraction, many of the additional beneficial ingredients simply cannot be extracted.

How to Use & Recommended Dosage
Because of its bitter taste, fresh lingzhi is traditionally prepared as a hot water tea or soup product. Thinly sliced or pulverized lingzhi is added to boiling water which is then reduced to a simmer, covered, and left for 2 hours. The resulting liquid is dark and fairly bitter in taste. The red lingzhi is often more bitter than the black. The process is sometimes repeated to increase the concentration. Alternatively, it can be used as an ingredient in a formula decoction, or used to make an extract (in liquid, capsule, or powder form). The more active red forms of lingzhi are far too bitter to be consumed in a soup.

The recommended dose is 500mg to 1000mg per day which is roughly equal to 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon. At this dose, a 30 gram jar will last you 30 to 60 days.

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