About Reishi mushrooms
"Reishi" is a species of Ganoderma fungi and is said to have been in existence on the earth for many thousands of years.
Ancient records, lore, and novels of Japan and China hint that Reishi mushrooms have been consumed by man since long ago. In particular, in the ancient Chinese book, "Materia Medica of Deity of Agriculture, (book of medicinal plants and herbal medicine in China)", purportedly edited during the Eastern Han Dynasty, a wide variety of natural products are classified into three ranks, "high," "middle," and "low." Among these, Reishi mushroom is classified as "high" for its efficacy in maintaining health.
Reishi mushrooms are thought to have been introduced to Japan from early on and can be found in the "Chronicles of Japan" (720) and Japan's oldest botanical dictionary "Honzo Wamyo" (918), described as a mushroom that maintains one's health.
Reishi mushroom comes in various flavors, colors, and shapes. One theory states that there are more than 100 types of Reishi mushrooms. In the world renowned Chinese Han literature, "Bencao Gangmu (Compendium of Materia Medica)" later edited during the Ming dynasty, Reishi mushroom is classified into 6 types of red, black, blue, white, yellow, and purple based on their different colors and flavors. In addition, Reishi mushrooms, regardless of color similarity, grow at different rates depending on production location or cultivation environment and are classified according to form as "flesh mushroom," "rokkaku reishi (literally translated as "antler shape reishi")," "half reishi," or "reishi."
Reishi mushrooms are naturally abundant in Nagano, Gifu, and Mie prefectures in Japan, but difficult to find. The main method of cultivation even in such areas is artificial. Today, technical advances and thoroughly managed artificial cultivation methods are said to provide safer Reishi mushrooms with greater stability in quality, in terms of taste and composition. Most Reishi mushrooms cultivated in Japan today are organically raised.