Ganoderma Lucidum, commonly referred to as Reishi or Ling Zhi, is a highly prized medicinal mushroom that has been part of Eastern cultures for thousands of years. One refers to Reishi as a mushroom of spiritual immortality. Reishi grows naturally on hardwoods (such as birch & alder) in temperate climates ranging from Japan to British Columbia. It varies in color, with red being the most common, and can appear as a conk, shell, or various other forms. Reishi belongs to a class of fungi known as polypores; polyporous mushrooms have recently been in the limelight due to their theorized importance in relation to healthy bees. Reishi is a saprophytic fungus, meaning it feeds on decaying organic matter. Through this modality, it assists in the process of humification that is theorized to be responsible for the existence of shilajit.
Humification is the natural process that turns once-living plants into mineral-rich humus, utilizing all sorts of microorganisms, fungi, & other creatures. During this cycle of breaking down, humic & fulvic acids are created that chelate metals in the decaying matter into smaller molecular complexes that are much more readily available to plants. This is the same concept that we discuss when pondering the health benefits of shilajit; assisting our bodies in breaking down & absorbing nutrients, as well as helping to chelate toxic heavy metals. It is interesting to ponder the symbiotic relationship between Reishi and its immediate environment as a microcosmic example of the possible synergy of premium quality Pürblack & Reishi in the human body.
The reason it is so crucial that cultivation of medicinal fungi such as Reishi takes place on hardwood is due to the presence of triterpenes in the tree. Reishi extracts these triterpenes from the tree and concentrates them in its fruiting body. Birch, in particular, contains a unique triterpene that is only active in acidic conditions; it is called betulinic acid.
In return for this extravagant diet of triterpenes, the Reishi generates & feeds the tree various phenols & sterols. Most notably is the beta glucan/polysaccharide lentinan, which exists for the purpose of strengthening the tree’s immune system. It’s ingenious of the fungus to do so, as a healthy host means a higher chance of surviving & thriving. Again, it is enjoyable to ponder the effects compounds like lentinan may have when consumed by humans, especially when amplified by the ashless humic acid and metabolites in shilajit.
Perhaps you can now imagine more easily why medicinal fungi grown on rice or oats can be problematic. This is especially true when there is no fruiting body present to extract alkaloids from (i.e., using only the mycelium biomass). It is also crucial to use hot water during the extraction, as all the scientific data points towards this as the most effective way of creating efficacious Reishi extracts. The polysaccharides dissolve into the water, which in turn contain the much sought-after beta-glucans.
It is hard to get high-quality Reishi extract. Most companies will cheat and promote Reishi fruiting body and mycelium instead of a genuine reishi extract. If you want genuine benefits from reishi as described in scientific literature, we recommend you use only Reishi from Mushroom Science.
Beta-glucans are essentially bio-response modulators. This terminology is not that different from Pürblack, which we refer to as a biogenic catalyst. As human beings have evolved (theoretically) with fungi for a very long time, there are immunological systems hard-wired into our physiology that have specific responses in the presence of beta-glucans. The reaction can include enhancing a healthy and natural macrophage & natural killer cell function.
It is important to recognize how this process is different from that of taking something that has immediate action in the body. For example, when you consume the powerful antioxidant astaxanthin, it absorbs into the bloodstream and proceeds to exert its powerful forces over free radicals. The astaxanthin acts as a free-spirit so to speak, and once spent it leaves the body. Dendritic and macrophage immune cells absorb most of the beta-glucans, which is akin to knocking over the first domino in a long line. These medicinal compounds cause beautiful, healing chain reactions.
*Side note: Eating mushrooms raw is never a good idea, as fungi have incredible resilient cellular walls that are completely indigestible for human beings. In order to get benefits from mushrooms, they first need to be made into a tea. Then the tea is made into an extract powder. Very few companies can produce genuine quality extracts. We recommend that you use only Mushroom Science as they have the highest quality and diversity of organic extracts available.
Reishi is a substance that reportedly initiates cycles of benevolent health and has over 4,000 years of usage for liver health, blood pressure health, joint and immune health. Legends also state that it promotes longevity, aids in maintaining vitality, and promotes spiritual immortality through increases intellectual capacity, and banished forgetfulness.
Modern research has focused mostly on hepatic & cardiovascular support, as well as healthy immune modulation. Reishi contains over 800 biologically active constituents, including triterpenoids, polysaccharides, protein, fat, carbohydrates, steroids, nucleotides, peptidoglycans, vitamins & minerals.
Great synergy is possible here, utilizing Pürblack to catalyze these abundant medicinal compounds and deliver them where the body most needs them. Bees, humans, mushrooms, trees, and Live Resins all living in harmony with one another. One can only imagine!
Propolis and polysaccharides note:
If you are unfamiliar with bee propolis, please see our article on bees for further information. Otherwise, please continue reading. Bees make propolis in a similar fashion to honey, except the resin is collected from gouged tree bark, brought back to the hive, regurgitated, and made into propolis via the magic of the bees.
Medicinal compounds, such as polysaccharides, imbued to the tree’s resin via the symbiotic tree/fungus relationship are thought to contribute directly to the antiviral/antibacterial properties of the propolis. Hence, the lack of a diverse mycological ecosystem working in symbiosis with nature may play an enormous role in Colony Collapse Disorder.
Furthermore, bee propolis contains 13 of the 14 minerals required for the proper functioning of the human body. These include calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chloride, iron, manganese, chloride, copper, iodine, zinc, fluoride, & selenium. Intriguingly, the humic & fulvic acids in shilajit contain organically bound sulfur, the only mineral missing from propolis.
Beyond the obvious health benefits that one could acquire from combining Pürblack with propolis, the interconnectedness of everything is truly boggling to the mind. Ergo, it seems it is often better to feel it than to think about it.