Reishi Mushrooms

Reishi Mushrooms, Ganoderma lucidum, are a staple in Traditional Chinese Medicine. But guess what? I found them in my backyard in East Texas. Not many of them, but they are there. You can’t find as much about these wonderful little fungi as easily as you can about more common herbal remedies, but I wouldn’t be here if there wasn’t anything to be found on the subject.

Reishi is known in Eastern cultures as the “immortality” or “spirit” mushroom. Because of their relaxing effects, they help open your mind to shift perspectives and release things that are not a benefit to you, which includes anxiety and other mental ailments that can affect you in every area of your life.

Gano= “shiny”

Reishi is known for its red-varnished look but loses its shine as it ages.

Although I will be including medicinal uses backed by science for Reishi, this is a slightly different post. We will deal with some of the unseen aspects of what ails us and how to overcome things that are holding us back.

Mind over matter.


  • Beta Glucan
  • Triterpenes
  • Sterols

BETA GLUCAN is a type of water-soluble polysaccharide and functions as a fermentable fiber that interacts with the human immune system, which makes it so effective at improving your immunity. Beta Glucan can vary widely throughout nature in how it reacts to the human body, so don’t take all of this as a fact for every plant you come across that contains this compound.

TRITERPENES are not water-soluble. They are fat and alcohol-soluble, which means to extract them, you need to tincture Reishi. Making an infusion or tea will not extract these compounds.

  • Ganoderic Acid is one of the main triterpenes found in Reishi and has a hand in the bitter flavor. Research has shown that upwards of FIFTY Triterpenes found in Reishi are not found in any other mushroom.

STEROLS like ergosterol, a precursor to Vitamin D, are produced in Reishi.

Simply eating Reishi does not lend itself to being the most productive medicinal ally. Many compounds in Reishi must be extracted by infusion (Beta Glucan) or tincture (Triterpenes).


  • stimulates the immune system (immuno-modulator)
  • anti-inflammatory
  • promotes heart health (cardiovascular health)
  • helps with sleep (triterpenes are known to have a sedative effect)
  • reduce stress (anti-depressant effects that can, in turn, reduce anxiety)

Reishi mushrooms are ‘edible’ and have been used for thousands of years medicinally. They are a true superfood that enhances your immune system and longevity of life; hence the name “immortality mushrooms” mentioned earlier. Reishi is anti-inflammatory and helps with mental clarity, the latter of which is what lends to its usefulness in the more metaphysical aspects it offers.

There is a spiritual aspect to everything physical. I could go into the supernatural on every plant I research. If that is something you are interested in, please leave a comment. I may go back and add to previous posts if you want to read more. Follow my Facebook page to get updated if that happens!

Sometimes you need to sit with yourself, free of the distractions of the world, to go deep inside yourself and find out where you are and what state of being you are currently in. Depending on your beliefs, you may call it meditation, introspection, praying, etc. I’ve come to find that all of it is about the same in many ways. It’s your intention that makes it what it is, and it isn’t the same for everyone.

Please, don’t get turned off by something just because you have a stigma attached to certain words/names. Instead, go look deeper into the thing that ‘offends’ you. You would be amazed at how many things, including words, practices, and traditions, have been warped over time and made taboo. If you need an example, research who originally used the pentagram symbolically…It was Christians but now is exclusively associated with witchcraft. You should know where things come from, not what they “are” now, because, as humans, we are great at lying to ourselves. We buy lies, many of which we tell to ourselves, and we readily accept the lies that other people have bought and spread through generations.

Fungi constitute the most poorly understood and underappreciated kingdom of life on earth.

Michael Pollan

I don’t think it actually needs to be said, but I know common sense isn’t so common anymore:

When wildcrafting mushrooms, you must be 100% certain that you have the right one. Mushroom look-a-likes can literally kill you. Although Reishi does not have any poisonous look-a-likes, anytime you are messing with mushrooms, you must be positive that you know what you are dealing with.


The water-soluble polysaccharides in Reishi are known to boost immune response and are even known to have antitumor properties that can kick the immune system into gear and target cancer. The alcohol-soluble triterpenes take what the polysaccharides do a step further and can combat cancer directly!

Western science has actually proven that Reishi mushroom extracts are:

  • analgesic
  • anti-inflammatory
  • anti-bacterial
  • anti-viral
  • anti-oxidant
  • anti-allergenic
  • anti-tumor

They have been known to reduce blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar, prevent blood clots, and have even been used to treat diabetes. Does all that sound great? Let’s learn how to make our own extract/tincture. Those two words are used interchangeably in regard to mushrooms, as far as I have seen.

  • Thinly slice your Reishi mushrooms and fill a mason jar halfway full if using dried mushrooms or 2/3 full if using fresh mushrooms. Dried mushrooms will swell considerably as they absorb the alcohol.
  • Cover with 100-proof alcohol (vodka works the best but use what you want) with one inch of headspace.
  • Put a lid on and store in a cool, dark location for 4 to 6 weeks, shaking the jar a few times a week or even daily, if you can remember.
  • After 4 to 6 weeks, strain your liquid off with a fine mesh sieve, cheesecloth, or muslin. Bottle and store in a cool dark place. Don’t forget to label it!

100-proof alcohol is half water and half alcohol. If you were to use something like 200-proof Everclear, you would need to use half Everclear and half filtered water to get both the water and alcohol-soluble bits out. In my opinion, it’s just easier to buy 100-proof vodka and be done with it.

I firmly believe that your intention is everything. It affects everything you do. I told you today’s post would be a little different, and that is why I’m gonna tell you this:

Intentional medicine is the most effective medicine. When you shake your tincture, do so with your intentions for its use in mind. You can even pray over your remedies if you are into that kind of thing. Speaking intentions out loud are supremely powerful. If that statement intrigues you, I would urge you to go research the ‘power of the tongue.’

To learn about creating a double-extract, which some would say is superior to a 100-proof tincture in regards to mushrooms, subscribe today to read the premium content on this post.

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Many blessings,
Emma Lee Joy


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