Mushroom Myths and Legends: Part 1 (Reishi, a Mushroom for the Immortals?)

Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) has gained a reputation as the “mushroom of immortality” thanks to its numerous health benefits. According to many sources, it has been used as a tonic in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years.

Key Points

  • Reishi has been the subject of many myths and legends, especially in East Asian cultures
  • It is often known as the “mushroom of immortality,” but the origin of this name is unclear
  • Reishi has numerous benefits, but has probably not been used for thousands of years as some sources suggest
  • Other substances, including certain hallucinogens, may have been used more widely than reishi in ancient times

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