Ganoderma Lucidum (also known as reishi or lingzhi) has been used for over 2000 thousand years in China, Japan and the Far East, and is the subject of many modern clinical trials in an attempt to isolate the beneficial components of the fungi. It is a large, bitter medicinal mushroom with shining exterior that grows in the dark, dense, highly-humid mountain woodlands of the Far East. It grows on decaying wood and can take nearly 1 year to reach maturity. It's importance in Chinese medicine can be gleened from some of the names usd o refer to it and its puported curative properties - ‘supernatural mushroom’, ‘magic mushroom’ and ‘plant of longevity or immortality ’.
The wider genus of Ganoderma forms a part of the polypore mushrooms, which grow on wood, and include about 80 species, many from tropical regions. Because of their extensive use in traditional Asian medicines, and their potential in bioremediation, they are a very important genus economically and are often referred to as shelf mushrooms or bracket fungi.
Ganoderma Lucidum uses the wind to scatter its spores, forcing the ancient Chinese herbalists to trawl the country to get the right mature wild ganoderma with full nutrients for the Chinese emperors and royal officials. But now, after years of rigorous research work on its cultured cultivation, it’s being grown indoors where high humidity and darkness are created for its better growth on a very large scale to meet its high pharmaceutical demand in the international medicine market. Special nets are used to cover the Ganoderma cultivation area. In this way, its spores are protected from being scattered by winds.
As a result of this successful cultivation, Ganoderma Lucidum products are now within the easy access of most people in the West, whether at the health food store or a few clicks away on internet. Such are the advances in it's propagation, It is now being produced not only in its native Far East countries such as China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Malaysia but also in the USA.