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Article: Mushroom Spotlight: Reishi, an Adaptogen Known as the Queen of Mushrooms*

Mushroom Spotlight: Reishi, an Adaptogen Known as the Queen of Mushrooms*

Mushroom Spotlight: Reishi, an Adaptogen Known as the Queen of Mushrooms*

Reishi at a Glance:

Latin names: Ganoderma lucidum or Ganoderma lingzhi are the two most common species used in herbalism 

Common names: The mushroom of immortality; queen of mushrooms; Ling zhi (spirit plant); lucidum comes from the Latin word lucidus, which means “shiny/brilliant”

Habitat: look for Reishi species on trees across the United States, Europe, South America and Asia. (This mushroom is usually found on elm, alder, oak and some conifer trees or their stumps.)

Common and traditional uses: Adaptogen; supports overall wellness, sleep and immune health*

Learn More about Reishi

Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum or Ganoderma lingzhi) is known as the mushroom of immortality, Ling zhi (spirit plant) and 10,000-year mushroom. Reishi has adaptogenic properties and offers support for overall wellness, healthy sleep and immune health.*

It is a well-respected mushroom, with 4,000 years of use in China and Japan. As far back as 1400 AD, Reishi has been immortalized in both secular and religious art in China, a nod to how valued this mushroom was (and continues to be). Over the centuries, the mushroom has become associated with Taoism.

Reishi can taste a little bitter, due to the natural flavor of its triterpenes (one of the active components). This mushroom comes in a variety of colors: Rich mahogany or orangish-brown are the best-known hues, but Reishi can also be red, black, blueish-green, white, yellow and even purple. Different colors and species are found in different regions of the world.

Reishi grows bands, with a light or white edge, and it often appears to have a glossy lacquer. Reishi is what’s known as a polypore fungus, or a “bracket” fungus. When you see it growing, you’ll understand why. It grows out from trees in the shape of a kidney, like a bracket (or a little awning).

While some mushrooms are tender, easily sliced and cooked, Reishi is a rigid and tough mushroom. (This is characteristic of polypores.) Even when Reishi is fresh, it is thick and sturdy – almost like a dense cork. Once dry, Reishi can be so difficult to slice that you may need an electric carving knife or similar tool to cut through it! (This is why you’ll often find dried Reishi sold in pieces or slices.)

Ready to try this mushroom? Here are some simple ways you can work it into your everyday life.

8 Easy Ways to Integrate Reishi into Your Daily Habits*

  1. The slight bitterness of Reishi pairs well with chocolate. Sip on spiced tea with Reishi or add a dropperful of tincture with Reishi to a mocha.

  2. Simmer a slice or two of dried Reishi in your next batch of veggie broth.

  3. Make Reishi tea by simmering dried sliced or powdered Reishi in filtered water. Sip on its own, or use as the basis for your favorite coffee beverage.

  4. Nibble on a chocolate bar with Reishi when your sweet tooth hits. 

  5. Add mushroom powder to your breakfast routine. Try it in your coffee or smoothie.

  6. Sprinkle mushroom salt – with Chaga, Reishi, Turkey Tail, Lion’s Mane and Black Truffle – into your favorite savory dishes. A sprinkle on top adds a tasty burst of umami and salty richness!

  7. Keep sleep capsules with Reishi by your bedside, to bring this mushroom into your evening winddown routine.*

  8. Sign up to reserve the Forager Box, to try Reishi in new-to-you ways every season. Every limited-edition collection is foraged with you in mind, to inspire you to keep bringing mushrooms into your daily rituals and routines.


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