Hey guys! Check out this interview I did on Reishi mushroom, also called Ganoderma, with Barry Overton. Barry is an inspirational man who is out to make the world a better place by spreading the word about one of the most incredible medicinals on Earth. Because I became so inspired while refreshing my knowledge on the ancient Chinese medicinal, I decided to do a little write up for y’all as well.
Reishi mushroom is a fungus that grows on decaying wood in a wet environment high in the pristine mountains. It helps to speed up the decaying process and in turn promote more life in the forrest. Discovered thousands of years ago, it was put into the first known compilation of Chinese Medicinals around 500 AD. In this compilation, it was considered the best of the best of the 365 medicinals in the book, which are the medicinals we continue to use today. The reason it was considered to be so special was because the ancient doctors found that it treated the greatest number of ailments with the least amount of side effects. Sort of like a wonder drug.
In recent years, say 50 or so (don’t quote me on that), it has been one of the most highly researched natural medicinals, so there’s a lot of information on how it works on a biochemical level. What I find to be so incredible is that this medicinal that was so valuable thousands of years ago, effectively treats many of the illnesses of our modern time, which are issues with our immune system (autoimmune disease, and under active immunity), inflammation, cancer and the biggie- STRESS! It has been used by mountain hermits, monks and spiritual seekers throughout Asia because of its ability to calm the mind, ease tension, strengthen the nerves, improve memory, sharpen concentration and focus and build willpower. Of course, to the ancient people of Asia the intention behind all of this was to cultivate wisdom. It’s not like a pharmaceutical drug that will force you to numb out immediately and thus lead to a reduction in stress. It works subtly over time, clearing away the clutter of your mind, in the same way that it clears away the debris in the forrest.
From a Chinese Medicine perspective we say it does three things:
1) Nourishes the Heart and Calms the mind
2) Benefits the Lungs
3) Tonifies Qi and Blood
Nourishing the Heart to a Chinese Medicine Practitioner means calming anxiety, supporting sleep and relaxation and creating a more optimal internal environment for the experience of joy and contentment. Benefiting the lungs means benefiting the immune system, and interestingly modern research has shown that it increases oxygen utilization by the lung tissue. Tonifying, or strengthening, Qi and Blood is a very brood concept, meaning it helps everything. Qi is the Vital Force in our body, or the activator that makes everything happen. When it becomes deficient (and it is in just about every person I see) we start to feel tired, depressed, have troubles with our digestive system, foggy mind, lack motivation and that’s just a drop in the ocean of what can happen when our Qi is weak. When our Blood is deficient we end up with insomnia, anxiety, depression, fatigue, headaches, dizziness, lusterless complexion and much, much more. These are two building blocks that are ESSENTIAL for a highly functioning, healthy body. With the busy lives we live today (and staring at computer screens, which depletes the blood of the liver) we can easily end up with a deficiency in both.
Oh! And how could I forget the lack of nutrients we get in our food!! Food is the best way to strengthen our Qi and Blood, but all too often we are eating foods that deplete us rather than build us up. This leads to an inflammed intestinal wall and hyperpermeability of the gut, and we’re back to Reishi’s awesomeness.
Reishi helps to regulate the immune system. When we have a poorly functioning digestive system certain things start leaking into our blood stream that shouldn’t be there and our body perceives these “things” as foreign invaders. Thanks to the intelligence of our body it quickly tries to eliminate anything that is not supporting our optimal health. The immune system kicks into gear and a series of events lead to increased inflammation, which then leads to autoimmune disease, cancer, arthritis, pain, inability to lose weight and so on and so forth. Adding Reishi can help mitigate this process. And on the flip side, if you catch colds every year due to a weak immune system, Reishi will help with that, too. That’s why we say it “regulates” the immune system.
It goes on and on and on. If you want to learn more or find out how you can obtain a quality supplement (NOT all Reishi is created equal- especially because cultivation is not in the wild anymore for the most part), give me a call or send me an email. Barry’s business, Organo Gold, has some great products, including an Organic Coffee with Reishi, which makes it really easy to take it every day and it meets my standards for high quality. Let me know if you’d like me to connect you with him!