The Reishi Mushroom: Materia Medica

The Reishi Mushroom: Materia Medica

A History, Scientific Research, and Spiritual Benefits

Reishi mushroom, also known as Ganoderma lucidum or ‘Lingzhi’, has been used for centuries in traditional medicine practices, particularly in China, Korea, and Japan. In these cultures, Reishi is believed to promote longevity and enhance spiritual well-being. In recent years, scientific research has confirmed many of these traditional beliefs, revealing a wealth of health benefits associated with the consumption of Reishi.

Reishi is the most studied and widely used variety of mushroom in the WORLD.

The name “Reishi” generally refers to a few very closely related species of woody mushrooms in the genus Ganoderma. Continuous consumption of Reishi helps to improve functioning of our whole body system. Reishi provides immunological, neurological, metabolic, hepatic and vascular support functions. Numerous studies have also verified reishi mushrooms’ effect on cancer cell lines - showing cytotoxic effects on various cancer morphologies. Traditionally, it is valued as a tonic herb that can help pave the path to and help maintain radiant health on all levels. 

Latin Name: Ganoderma lucidum

Family: Polyporaceae (Polypor Family)

Part used: Fruiting Body

Energetics: Bitter, Cool, Dry

Celestial associate: Moon 


Adaptogen, hepatoprotective, cardiotonic, analgesic, immune stimulant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, nervine tonic, antioxidant, antitumor, antiviral, rejuvenative.


  • Allergies
  • Tonic
  • Adrenal support
  • Altitude Sickness
  • Bronchitis
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Fatigue
  • Stress and Anxiety
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Hypotension
  • Immune system strengthening
  • Insomnia
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Stroke
  • Ulcers
  • Varicose Veins

Preparation and Dosage

  • Tincture - take 10 drops 1-3 times daily according to need of use 
  • Infusion – place 3-4 mushroom slices in 1-2 cups of water, simmer on the stove for 30min-1 hour. This can be drunk as is or used as a base for a delicious cup of cacao or moon mylk.
  • Soup/ broththis is a wonderful and fun way to include this medicine to your diet - add three to four mushroom slices to your broth and allow it to simmer for a minimum of an hour. You can also add this to your own stock recipe if you make your own broth at home with your vegetable scraps. 

History of Reishi Mushroom

Reishi has a long history of use in traditional Chinese medicine, dating back to at least the Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD). It was known as "lingzhi", which means "spirit plant" or "mushroom of immortality", and was believed to have a variety of health benefits, including the ability to boost immunity, promote longevity, and enhance spiritual enlightenment.

In Japan, Reishi was called "mannentake", which means "10,000-year mushroom."

It was believed to be a powerful tonic for the body and mind, and was often used by Buddhist monks to promote meditation and spiritual growth.

In modern times, Reishi has become a popular supplement in the Western world, thanks to its numerous health benefits and rich cultural history.


Benefits of Reishi Mushroom


Boosts Immune System

One of the most well-researched benefits of Reishi is its ability to boost the immune system. Studies have shown that Reishi can enhance the activity of white blood cells, which are responsible for fighting off infections and diseases. It can also stimulate the production of cytokines, which are chemical messengers that help regulate the immune system.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Reishi contains compounds called triterpenoids, which have been found to have anti-inflammatory effects. Inflammation is a natural response to injury or infection, but chronic inflammation can lead to a variety of health problems, including heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. Reishi's anti-inflammatory properties may help reduce inflammation in the body and protect against these diseases.

Promotes Heart Health

Reishi has been shown to have a positive effect on heart health. It can help lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol levels, and prevent blood clots, all of which are risk factors for heart disease. In one study, participants who took Reishi for 12 weeks saw a significant decrease in their LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels.

Improves Respiratory Function

Reishi has been found to have a positive effect on respiratory function, making it an excellent aid for individuals with asthma and other respiratory conditions. It can help reduce inflammation in the lungs and improve lung function, making it easier to breathe deeply and fully.

Enhances Sleep Quality

Reishi contains compounds that have a calming effect on the body and mind, making it an excellent aid for individuals who struggle with sleep. It has been found to enhance sleep quality and increase the amount of time spent in deep, restorative sleep.


Spiritual Benefits of Reishi Mushroom

The Reishi mushroom has a long history of use in spiritual practices, and modern research has also suggested that these benefits are of relevance and importance in order to maintain a healthy and balanced life. Here are some of the spiritual benefits of the Reishi mushroom:

  1. Calming the Mind: The Reishi mushroom has a calming effect on the mind, making it an excellent aid for meditation and mindfulness practices. It can help you achieve a state of mental clarity and calmness, allowing you to focus on your spiritual journey.
  2. Promoting Spiritual Growth: The Reishi mushroom is believed to promote spiritual growth by enhancing your connection to the universe. It can help you achieve a deeper understanding of yourself and your place in the world, and can help you tap into your inner wisdom.
  3. Enhancing Sleep: The Reishi mushroom is known for its ability to promote restful sleep. This is important for spiritual practices, as restful sleep is essential for mental and emotional well-being, it can also facilitate deeper ventures into the subconscious mind through dream interpretation and understanding.
  4. Boosting Energy: The Reishi mushroom can help boost your energy levels, making it easier to engage in physical and spiritual practices. It can also help you maintain your focus and concentration, which is essential for achieving spiritual growth.



At Aether we stock four kinds of Reishi, here’s a little more information so that you can understand them a bit better:


(click the picture for link)

Our beloved Reishi. This tincture is for those who want all the above benefits of this incredible medicine with the intention to use it for long periods of time - as a tonic medicine in order to fortify and strengthen the body in all of the above ways.


Reishi Antler

Also known as rokkaku-reishi, this morphology is obtained by exposing the growing mushroom to a high CO2 environment, this results in the stems elongated growth in search of oxygen - triterpines are found in high concentrations in the stem of this fungus, thus bioactive compounds such as phenolics, flavonoids, water- soluble polysaccharides and most importantly ganoderic acid (and other triterpenoids ) show an almost two-fold increase in the antler-type fruiting bodies as compared to normal kidney- shaped fruiting bodies. This means an overall higher quantity of bioactive compounds and higher antioxidant potential. 

Reishi Spore

Reishi Spores are regarded as one of the most treasured tonics in the world - this is due to the exceptionally high triterpenoid content of each individual spore. Reishi spores contain almost all the same triterpenes as the fruiting body along with some rare phytochemicals not currently found anywhere else - namely ganosporel-actone A & B as well as six new highly oxygenated lanostane type triterpenes, called ganoderic acid γ, δ, ε, ξ, η, θ, together with ganolucidic acid D & ganoderic acid C2. This means reishi spores are incredibly active against cancer cell lines, autoimmune disease, liver conditions and more. Reishi spores have a low polysaccharide content but D-glucose polysacharides known as PSGL-I-1A are found in this medicine providing minor immune boosting benefit 

7 Reishi

Our Magnum Opus when it comes to medicinal polypores - this blend of Reishis can be used as a long term preventative for ailments or to help enhance the immune system, reduce stress, improve sleep, and lessen fatigue. Reishi can also assist with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and even cancer treatment / as an adjuvant. 


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May this materia medica enrich you with the knowledge you need to support your wellbeing in every way you can



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"Immunomodulatory and Antitumor Activities of a Polysaccharide-Protein Complex from Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi Mushroom) in Tumor-Bearing Mice." Journal of Food Science, vol. 76, no. 1, 2011, pp. T125-T131.
"Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Ganoderma lucidum Triterpenoids in Human Rheumatoid Arthritis Cells." Food and Chemical Toxicology, vol. 62, 2013, pp. 529-534.
"Cardiovascular Benefits and Risks of Moderate Alcohol Consumption." Alcohol Research and Health, vol. 34, no. 4, 2011, pp. 341-347.
"Ganoderma lucidum (Lingzhi or Reishi): A Medicinal Mushroom." Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects, 2nd edition, 2011.
"A Review of the Bioactivity and Potential Health Benefits of Peptide Lunasin." Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, vol. 63, no. 44, 2015, pp. 9669-9681.
"Ganoderma lucidum (Lingzhi or Reishi): A Medicinal Mushroom." Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects, 2nd edition, 2011.
Golden Poppy (2020) Reishi, Golden Poppy. Available at:,Allergies (Accessed: March 27, 2023).