What’s doctors saying about Reishi
Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi) has been prized from ancient China to the present, and has had a long association with people, having been described in the "Book of Herbal Medicine" of Oriental medicine for a long time.
The classics of oriental medicine, which originated in ancient China, are mainly composed of three parts: "Iike", which corresponds to the so-called pathophysiology of modern times, "Keiho", which is the theory of prescription and treatment, and "Honzo", which classifies the functions of herbal medicines and foods.
Among the many classics of herbology that have survived, the Shennohonbonsoukyou (about 2,000 years old), which is called the root of herbology, and the Honzo-kamoku (published in 1596 by Lee Ji-jin), which was composed by comparing and reviewing many later herbological texts, are particularly important even among modern Oriental medicine clinicians.
In the Shennong Bencao Jing, the items listed are divided into three categories: superior medicines, Chinese medicines, and inferior medicines. Upper medicines are those that are taken for a long period of time and are non-toxic, lower medicines are those that should be used only in times of illness, with careful attention to dosage and duration, and middle medicines are in between.
Reishi is listed as one of the topical medicines in the Shennong Hongso Jing, and is classified into six types: Red Zhi, Black Zhi, Blue Zhi, White Zhi, Yellow Zhi, and Purple Zhi. One of the theories of oriental medicine is the "five elements," which classifies everything in nature, including food, herbal medicine, and the functions of the human body, into five concepts, including "five grains, five vegetables, five colors, five tastes, and five organs.
Reishi in the Shennong Hongso Jing seems to be based on the concept of the five colors and emphasizes the relationship with the five organs that correspond to each of them.
The five colors correspond to the five organs: red=heart, black=kidney, blue=liver, white=lung, and yellow=spleen. The reishi mushroom mentioned above, Zizhi mushroom, does not belong to the five colors, but the description of Zizhi mushroom shows that it was considered to be close to black and had a strong relationship with kidney qi.
In addition, all of them have the expression "if eaten for a long time, it will lighten the body", which is peculiar to superior medicines, and the addition of expressions such as "immortality and divinity" suggests that they were valued by people for a long time.
On the other hand, in the Honzou Tsunamoku, six kinds of Ganoderma lucidum are listed in the order of "Qingzhi, Redzhi, Yellowzhi, Whitezhi, Blackzhi and Purplezhi".
Most of the Ganoderma lucidum in circulation today is brownish to reddish in color, with some black ones in southern China.
In Japan, Ganoderma lucidum is regarded as a food, and the extracts from Ganoderma lucidum are taken as health food rather than eating Ganoderma lucidum itself. In China, where Reishi has long been a part of the food culture, Japanese Reishi is also very popular.