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Herbalist Courses for all levels

He who has health has hope, and he who has hope has everything     

Arabian Proverb

Reishi mushroom also known as Ling zhi or “The Mushroom of Immortality” has been used for over 2,000 years in traditional Chinese Medicine.

It is becoming so popular that the wild grown form of this mushroom is becoming quite rare.

It is used extensively as a first line treatment in Asian cultures as a powerful adjunct in the treatment of chemotherapy to decrease the negative side effects and restore immune strengthening properties.

There is an increasing amount of interest in medicinal mushrooms including Reishi due to its immune-stimulating properties.

It is being used by many Chinese and Japanese doctors in the treatment of cancer, AIDS and hepatitis, diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, dementia, and hypertension.

“Prevention is better than cure.” – Desiderius Erasmus


It is considered for potentially being very effective in neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinsons, Huntingtons, and others.

It is one the most widely researched mushroom varieties in ancient cultures next to the coriolus mushroom in inhibiting tumor growth especially in cancer of the breast and prostate.

Certain mushrooms like Turkey Tail or Chaga have some specific properties as well in the battle against diseases like cancer and the ability to inhibit tumor growth but if there was one mushroom that should be consumed regularly for preventative and adaptogenic properties it would be the Reishi mushroom.

Side effects are rare and were seen when folks took the powdered form for extended periods of time causing liver toxicity.

Also because it prevents clotting it should not be taken if on blood thinners.

It can lower blood pressure as well so when taking blood pressure medication it should be closely monitored.

Read this for an overview with side effects and interactions from Web MD

This does not cure your ailments overnight. This is meant to be taken regularly over a period of time for lifetime longevity, wellness, and to aid in the prevention of illness.

And in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle.

“He who takes medicine and neglects to diet wastes the skill of his doctors.”

– Chinese Proverb


It can be consumed as a tea, tincture, or in powdered form. I like to put some Reishi in my bone broth to pull out as much of the constituents as possible.

I also make sure I always have a batch of tincture soaking in vodka. Oh, yeah!! Vodka!! Don’t get too excited as you are only consuming a dropperful.


  1. Take 1-2 large Reishi slices(I get mine at Starwest Botanicals) and put them in about a quart of water on the stove. Reishi tends to be a little bitter so you may want to add other herbs for flavor like licorice root to add a bit of sweetness
  2. Let this come to a boil and simmer for at least 15 minutes but the longer you simmer it the medicine you will get out of it. You will need to continue to add more water as it evaporates
  3. You can also do this in a crockpot on high for a few hours and it works wonderfully.
  4. Strain it off and drink it when it’s cool!


Unlike the typical quick and easy way to make a tincture, Reishi is special and you want to pull all the constituents out of it.

In order to do that you need to do what is called a double extraction method. I know it sounds super complicated but it isn’t and it is so worth doing the right way.

  1. Fill a pint or a quart mason jar with broken slices or ground reishi.
  2. Pour 2-3 cups of the highest proof of alcohol over it that you have (whiskey or vodka is fine) I use 100 proof vodka but even 70 or 80 proof will work fine.
  3. Set this in a dark area or wrap in foil or material or use amber mason jars as I do.
  4. Give it a little shimmy shake (as Rachel Ray would say), once or twice a day.
  5. Let it sit for at least 4 weeks or longer if you wish.
  7. Put the saved Reishi slices (this is called the mark) into a pot of water and boil it. It’s like making a tea, but you want the water to evaporate off this time. You can start with about a quart of water and boil it down to about a cup but it can be up to 2 cups.
  8. Strain the water into the jar that you want your tincture to stay in and compost the Reishi.
  9. When your Reishi water is cool, slowly pour the Reishi alcohol that you made into the water. Tip: Polysaccharides don’t like alcohol and they can come out of solution if you pour the water extraction into the alcohol extraction or if the overall alcohol content is higher than 40%
  10. You can then pour some of this into a smaller dark-colored dropper bottle for easier administration. I use these amber dropper bottles.

The little particles are just part of the good stuff so just give a little shake before you draw it up into the dropper.


If you prefer not to be bothered by all this you can purchase pre-made Reishi extract here.

But whatever you do you should definitely think about including this in your arsenal of best things to protect you and keep you happy and well.

It is hard to be happy if you are not well –      Lisa Manzer

The King of Immortality- Introducing the Reishi