Black Reishi is a rare saprotrophic Ganoderma species that colonizes decaying bamboo clumps. This mushroom is distributed in Asian countries including China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Malaysia. In Malaysia, Black Reishi which grows in the forests, has been harvested by the indigenous people (Orang Asli) for its medicinal properties.
Black Reishi, Ganoderma neo-japonicum
As the name suggests, this is a reishi with a black fruiting body. Black Resihi tends to be unevenly shaped and can measure up to ten inches in diameter, although most mature specimens are about six inches in diameter.
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Grows on hardwood stumps and logs including oaks, elms, beeches, maples, and more.
Black Reishi is primarily composed of complex carbohydrates called water-soluble polysaccharides, triterpeniods, proteins and amino acids. Researchers have identified that water-soluble polysaccharides are the most active element found in Reishi that have anti-tumour, immune modulating and blood pressure lowering effects.
Another major active ingredient found in Reishi are triterpenes , called ganoderic acids. Preliminary studies indicated that ganoderic acids help alleviate common allergies by inhibiting histamine release, improve oxygen utilization and improve liver functions. Triterpenes are bitter in taste and the level of the triterpene content contained in a product can be determined by the bitterness.
Reishi is a polypore mushroom, meaning that instead of gills it has small tubes (like pores) through which it releases its spores. It grows annually at the base and on stumps of specific hardwood trees.
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