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Ganoderma is the name of the fungus Ganoderma lucidum. It is also called the reishi mushroom or in Chinese ling zhi. It is one of the most popular medicinal mushrooms in China, Japan, and the United States.

Ganoderma grows on logs or tree stumps. It has a shiny, hard, asymmetrical cap that ranges in color from yellow to black. The cap, spores, and mycelium are all used medicinally. Wild ganoderma is rare in Asia.

In ancient China, ganoderma was so rare and so highly prized that it was reserved for the emperors and called the “Elixir of Life.” In 1972, Japanese researchers successfully cultivated the mushroom. There are six different colors of cap: red, green, white, black, yellow, and purple. These researchers showed that all colors are the same species, and that the color variations are the result of differences in environmental conditions. Despite this, some herbalists insist that certain colors of reishi mushroom are more potent or effective in healing certain conditions than others.



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