Numerous legends surrounding reishi mushroom provide an historical record which spans 2000 years. Traditionally used by Taoist monks and Chinese royalty seeking longevity, reishi mushroom has been held in high esteem and immortalized throughout Chinese culture. Reishi mushroom has commonly been referred to as the "mushroom of immortality", "ten thousand year mushroom", "mushroom of spiritual potency", and "spirit plant".
Reishi mushroom was listed among the superior tonics in the most famous Chinese materia medicas, the Shen Nung Ben Cao Jing (206 BC - AD 8). Reishi mushroom was listed as the most respected out of the 120 superior tonics cited.
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Here is a summary of research from the Reishi Mushroom Monograph published by the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia and Therapeutic Compendium.
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Upton, R. (2006). Reishi Mushroom Ganoderma Lucidum Standards of Analysis, Quality Control, and Therapeutics. American Herbal Pharmacopoeia.