natural health articles
Miracle Healing Mushroom
By Sudha Hamilton
Published in Conscious Living Magazine
Mushrooms or rather Fungi are intriguing organisms, with certain species being the largest known on this planet (covering hundreds of kilometres) & with more species of fungi (1-2 million) than any other.
Even more bizarrely, the mushroom has been seriously suggested as one of our true visitors from outer space, with the spores having travelled here aboard meteorites millennia ago. Perhaps those mushrooms with psychotropic properties really do have something to say to us. Certain species of mushrooms are also known to have great healing qualities & the Lingshi (Chinese) or Reishi(Japanese) mushroom, which is known botanically as Ganoderma lucidum is perhaps the greatest of these. Widely revered & utilised in Traditional Chinese Medicine for over 4000 years, it is probably the oldest species of mushroom to have been utilised medicinally. Lingzhi in Chinese has been translated to mean’ “herb of spiritual potency.” In Shen Nong’s Herbal Classic, dating back 2000 years & considered to be the oldest book on oriental herbal medicine, the Linghzi mushroom is ranked number one superior medicine of all 365 listed healing herbs.
Ganoderma is a bracket fungus, which in nature grows at the base of deciduous trees like the maple. It is however quite rare in the wild & is now cultivated commercially both indoor under sterile conditions & outside in controlled environments. It is the polysaccharides & triterpenes contained within Ganoderma’s fruiting body & mycelia that have shown to have efficacy in improving immune system functioning. Ganoderma lucidum is the only known source of a group of triterpenes, called ganoderic acids, which have a remarkably similar molecular structure to steroid hormones. Also contained within the mushroom are ergostol, coumarin, mannitol, lactones, alkaloids, unsaturated fatty acids & vitamins B1, B2 & B6 & a variety of minerals.