Wild Red Reishi
We were totally blown away when we realized we had Red Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) growing wild in our backyard! What a treat!
A rare find
We soon foraged further afield on our land, and although we found a little more, we also found that this mushroom is indeed rare, unlike the Ancient Reishi (Ganoderma applanatum), which is abundant in comparison.
Also unlike a lot of the other species growing here, Red Reishi is an annual mushroom, growing on hardwood – in our case, Blackwood, or Acacia melanoxylon. It seems to favor older trees and loves old stumps, helping to break them down and create new life – but we have also found it growing on living trees too.
Wild reishi products are extremely rare as wild harvests are obviously limited – which doesn’t make for highly commercial products. But we believe the increased potency of wild plants as well as the energies they absorb from growing in a wild natural environment rather than in a grow-room or controlled outdoor area makes this a precious, powerful product of note – this really is Wild African Energy at its best!
Reconnecting with the wild
The joy of finding Reishi that has grown wild rather than been grown in a hothouse is that it has absorbed all of the energies of the forest, of the weather, of the astrological activity – and we believe that that is what makes it so special, because it is these wild energies that we then take into our own bodies when we drink wild Reishi teas or tinctures. This helps remind us of our wilder, more natural, less “domesticated” state of being and helps bring us closer to it.
Wild plants also have to be tough to survive as their predators are not controlled as they would be in a farming situation. As a result they are vulnerable to attack and they develop potent chemical defenses against such attacks. These chemical substances, if beneficial and biologically assimilable in our own bodies, then become “medicines” to us and can have profound health benefits.
Wild soils also tend to be far richer and less demineralized than cultivated soils and this, too, adds to the potency of wild plants.
The benefits of Reishi are many and varied. One of its main benefits is that it is a very potent immune system modulator. This means that it is capable of balancing the immune system either way – if the immune system is deficient or underactive it will bring it up again; if it is overactive (as in cases of auto-immune disease and allergies) it will regulate it back down. The ganoderic acids in Reishi help to fight allergies and are also powerful anti-oxidants.
No 1 Anti-Aging-Longevity Herb
Reishi mushrooms have always been known as “the mushroom of immortality” and for good reason. They contribute to longer life spans by combating some of today’s most challenging age-related conditions such as autoimmune diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes, and liver and cardiovascular disease. Research has identified 3 specific compounds in Reishi that are essential to its powerful antioxidant and anti-aging effects:-
- Polysaccharides – help prevent abnormal blood vessel formation and also boost immune function.
- Triterpenes – these protect the liver, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, prevent blood clotting that leads to heart attack and stroke and fight allergic responses triggered by histamines.
- Ganoderma lucidum peptide is a unique protein that has incredibly potent antioxidant properties.
Reishi extracts act on many different areas of our bodies and it is this multi-targeted action that may contribute to their promotion of longevity. Reishi extracts are known to protect cellular DNA from oxidant damage that causes aging. They also protect mitochondrial DNA, as well as the mitochondria themselves, from oxidant damage – which otherwise causes mitochondrial inefficiency, reducing energy production – another major cause of aging. Reishi also protects kidney tubule cells from oxidant damage that leads to kidney failure. And reishi also increases expression of a key longevity gene which promotes an increased life span in mammals (between 9-20% increase in total life span).
Reishi extracts have been found to stimulate the production of “nerve growth factor” – which in turn supports the rapid development of healthy neurons and enhances their mitochondrial function. The triterpenes and polysaccharides found in Reishi reduce the oxidative impact of destructive proteins such as “Abeta” – the chief trigger of Alzheimer’s disease, as well as protecting the brain cells from the inflammation known to cause Parkinson’s disease.
Studies have also shown that Reishi extracts can also benefit those who have suffered a stroke. Firstly, it can limit the size of the stroke-damaged area in the brain, in turn limiting the behavioural and functional damage caused by the stroke. Secondly, Reishi extracts protect brain tissue from hypoxia/reperfusion injury – the “one-two” punch of oxygen starvation followed by excessive oxidation that produces most of the damage in the brains of stroke sufferers.
Diabetes and Obesity
Reishi has been shown to have benefits across the entire spectrum of diabetes and its associated condition obesity. These 2 health conditions are now recognised to be so closely related that a new term “diabesity” has been coined to describe these 2 conditions as one single disease.
Research has shown that the polysaccharides and triterpenes in Reishi extracts can prevent the development of new fat cells from pre-adipocytes, helping to limit excessive fat storage seen in obese people. These extracts also have favourable effects on lipid profiles (cholesterol and triglycerides) which are often elevated in those with obesity and/or diabetes and are also risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
Reishi extracts also work to lower blood sugar by inhibiting alpha-glucosidase, the chief enzyme responsible for digesting starches into sugars. This inhibitory action prevents the sharp after-meal spike in glucose that can be very dangerous as we get older. Reishi extracts also limit the destruction caused by “advanced glycation end” products (AGE’s) – the proteins whose malfunction promotes aging and inflammation. Reduction of high blood sugar and glycation in turn reduces diabetic consequences such as kidney disease and Reishi extracts also speed up wound healing in diabetics due to the result of increased antioxidant function in the body.
Our livers are the processors of all of the toxic threats from our environment and also from the destructive molecules produced in our own bodies. And whilst the liver is well-protected with its own antioxidant and detoxification systems, oxidation and inflammation can eventually take their toll. Reishi extracts increase the detoxification action of the liver and inhibit inflammation in liver cells.
Reishi polysaccharides also restore natural liver antioxidant systems to normal function following an infection, while inhibiting liver enzymes that produce excessive oxidative stress. Reishi also limits the activity of beta-glucuronidase, an enzyme that is elevated in many liver conditions, including inflammation, cirrhosis and jaundice.
Reishi has also been shown to have extraordinary results in the condition “liver fibrosis” – the final stage of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (the most common liver disease). Reishi extract has been demonstrated to actually reverse the fibrosis even after it was well-established. This is particularly note-worthy as fibrosis is usually considered to be irreversible.
It is used to improve cardiovascular health as it helps to lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol and reduce hardening of the arteries, angina and shortness of breath related to coronary heart disease.
Natural cancer protection
Reishi is, of course, also well-known for its anti-cancer properties. This comes from its stimulatory effect on the body to produce interferon and interleukin-1 and -2 – which are our own bodies’ potent natural anti-cancer substances. Stimulating our natural protection like this is probably what makes it such a strong protective substance against this disease. Reishi also reduces angiogenesis – the formation of new blood vessels to tumours. Reishi has also been shown to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation, whilst at the same time building up the body’s immune system, which gets so damaged by these conventional cancer treatments.
Reishi calms the mind and enables us to step into self-mastery
And last, but certainly far from least, is Reishi’s ability to bring about excellence on an inner, spiritual level. It is known in Asia as the Mushroom of Spiritual Potency. It is an incredible anti-stress herb and has been used for its spiritual benefits for thousands of years. It is known to calm the mind, sharpen focus and concentration, improve memory, ease tension and build willpower, thus over time building great wisdom. It is these “Shen” qualities that make it such a revered herb in Chinese tonic herbalism. People who take a lot of Reishi on an ongoing basis will testify to its peace-bringing qualities – it helps people leave behind damaging habits.
The Supreme Protector
Aim HIGH on Reishi!
Reishi is known as the “Supreme Protector” because it protects us on every level – physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally. When we are so looked after it is then easy for us to soar free and reach greater and greater heights in our lives.
We really can’t speak highly enough of this incredible herb. Wild Red Reishi is also safe for anyone to take in any quantity – it is totally non-toxic and anything not taken up by the body will be automatically excreted. It appears to have a cumulative effect in the body so… more IS more!
Dual extraction tinctures
The immuno-modulating effects of Reishi come from its beta-glucans and other beneficial polysaccharides and are extracted via a hot-water extraction.
The adaptogenic qualities of Reishi come from the terpenes it contains and these are extracted via an alcohol extraction process. Adaptogens assist the body in dealing with various types of stress – whether physical, emotional or mental. It is these adaptogenic qualities that make Reishi an effective anti-cancer medicine, liver & heart tonic and blood sugar-stabiliser.
African Forest Medicinals’ Wild Red Reishi Tincture is a dual-extract tincture – i.e. both hot water and alcohol combined – providing the best of both worlds in one single product.