Ganoderma – also known as reishi or Ling zhi – is one of the best known and well-studied of all the medicinal mushrooms. Red in color, it has long been used in Asia and surrounding regions as a health supplement. Dating back nearly 4,000 years, it is well known in the Eastern World of Medicine and was once even used by the Emperors of the Chin Dynasty who believed it was the key to a long life and vitality. Although the health claims about ganoderma are many and wide-ranging, in this article we will just be concentrating on the different types of ganoderma extracts.
To extract literally means to draw or pull out something – often with great force or effort. Well, ganoderma extract is no different. It is the process of drawing or pulling out the health qualities and essence of the red mushroom known as ganoderma for use as a health supplement. Ganoderma extract is available in three main forms: powder, pill, or liquid. We will briefly discuss each type here:
The powder form of "ganoderma extract" is very popular and by far the most common. Extracting powder from the ganoderma has been going on for millennia and can be done in several ways, but the most common is by grinding the red mushroom up into powder.
Ganoderma extract powder is created by picking the reishi and drying it out in the sun or in some sort of an oven. Then, when the mushroom is completely dry, it is ground into a fine powder. This can be done with a mallet or hammer or it can be done with any sort of grinder. The powder is red in color and is often referred to as spore powder. This spore powder extract is used in gano coffee, gano green tea, ganoderma capsules, and even ganoderma cocoa.
Again, the powder is the oldest and most common method of ganoderma extraction; however, this is all beginning to change. Ganoderma is now beginning to be cultivated on a very large scale in greenhouses and on log wood. Whereas this mysterious little mushroom used to be very rare and hard to come by (sometimes only growing on about 1% of the trees and bark which it calls home) it has now begun being mass produced by man in artificial environments and greenhouses. Not only is it being mass produced, but these mushrooms produced artificially have been found to be far more potent and superior to the ganoderma that grow in the wild. Through careful cultivation and cross-breeding, the ganoderma extract from these man-made ganoderma creates capsules and pills that are far more potent than just the powder of the red mushroom. It contains a much higher content of beneficial active components than the powder does.
Essentially, it is now possible to laboratory-grow reishi which is dozens of times more potent than anything grown in the wild, and even more potent than the best reishi grown on log wood. When this is done correctly, the extraction concentration can be as high as 100-to-1. This means 1000kg of the fungus is extracted to only 1kg! Hence, by using modern-day technology, man has found ways to extract a more concentrated version of the mushroom essence than ever thought possible.
Last but not least, the liquid form of ganoderma extract is created when the red mushroom is picked and pressed (without being dried) for a liquid extract. This method of ganoderma extract is rare and is the least useful of the three types of extraction. Most people consider it to be wasteful as most of the mushroom is left unused and the overall potency of the juice is poor at best.
In a study published by medicinal mushroom expert Paul Stamets, the Ganoderma Extract was listed as therapeutic in 16 out of 17 areas of health Stamets outlined. This makes it by far the most therapeutic of any of the mushrooms observed in the study.
Ganoderma extract is sometimes called the spirit medicine, and although it is available at most pharmacies as an over-the-counter health supplement (usually as a pill or capsule), it would be wise to first talk to your doctor before consuming it. Also, always remember that ganoderma extract should be taken strictly general health supplementation and not as a treatment or cure for any disease or condition.
In the wild, ganoderma is a rare mushroom. It only grows in very specific conditions and on only certain types of trees. When the right conditions are found in nature and the proper environmental conditions are at play, gano will grow in nature. But the fact that gano is produced more and more in greenhouses and in other artificially created environments, more ganoderma extract is becoming available which could lower the prices. This has upped the ganoderma extraction process considerably and increased the supply vs. demand equation.
The gano used for ganoderma extract needs a lot of humidity and almost no light. If these two things can be created, the ganoderma can flourish.
There are over 200 active nutrients in ganoderma extract (including organic germanium, polysaccharides, and triterpenes). This has made it a very sought after commodity by many health clinics worldwide. There are 80 different species of ganoderma.
Since many people who use ganoderma extract feel it helps slow down the aging process and helps revitalize their skin, it is funny that the word ganoderma means shiny skin. The word comes from two Greek words meaning Bright and Sheen (ganos and yavoc).
As the trend of growing Ganoderma rather than harvesting it in nature continues, this extraordinary herb will likely continue to grow in popularity, status, esteem, and recognition.