Until 1971, when Reishi was first cultivated successfully, this precious fungus was extremely rare. In nature, it grows in densely wooded mountains which are dark and humid, but is found on average growing on the trunks of only two or three out of every ten thousand dead plum, guercus serrata or pasonia trees. Due to its extreme rarity it was said that when one discovered Reishi, it had to be kept a secret even from one´s closest relatives.
In the earliest Chinese herbal pharmacopoeia (the Shen-nong Ben-cao Jing/Shen- Nong´s Herbal Classic), which was composed around 200 AD, the first six herbs listed in the "superior" class of medicines are all varieties of Ling Zhi (Ganoderma/Reishi). In terms of traditional Chinese medicine, Ling Zhi tonifies qi, nourishes blood and yin, strengthens the Spleen and promotes qi and body fluids, calms the spirit (shen) and strengthens the Stomach. It is mildly bitter, neutral, balanced, mildly warm and enters the Kidney and Spleen channels. It is used traditionally to treat cough and asthma due to weakness of the body, especially in the elderly and young children, and to treat lack of appetite, insomnia and dizziness due to deficiency.
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