The History of Ganoderma

The virtues of Ganoderma (Lingzhi, Reishi) are believed to have been known since ancient times in China, and first documented during the reign of Fuxi.  Fuxi was a legendary Chinese ruler, and historically known as the “First of the Three August Ones”.

Seng Nong, known as “The Holy Farmer”, was the second of the Three August Ones.  Seng Nong is said to have discovered the curative virtues of plants by testing hundreds of species.  The document ‘Seng Nong’s Herbal Classic’  is considered to be the earliest manuscript on Chinese materia medica and is still today the foundation of Traditional Chinese Medicine and in general all Oriental Medicine.

‘Seng Nong’s Herbal Classic’  describes the mushroom species Ganoderma Lucidum in detail:  among 365 species of plants, roots, wood, fur, animals and stones, divided into three grades, Ganoderma is listed as the highest ranked – No.1 of the first or “superior” grade.  The main characteristic of the superior grade is that no side effects occur even if taken for a long period of time.  It was also said that the longer you take Ganoderma, it will help reduce extra weight and extend your lifespan.

Six species of Ganoderma, differentiated by colors, are mentioned in the Seng Nong classic. 

Li Shi Zhen, a famous medical scholar during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), fully researched and concretely documented the indications of the six species.  The work of Li was republished in 1956, and translated into several foreign languages including Japanese, English, French, German, Russian and Latin.  This book is regarded as the cornerstone of Traditional Chinese medicine.

To find Ganoderma in ancient times, people had to go high up on the mountains and deep into the forests to harvest this most valuable medicine. The discovery of Ganoderma, which was very scarce and believed to bring eternal longevity, led to wide spread celebrations.

Ganoderma was so valued it was used almost exclusively by Emperors and by highly ranked courtesans.  It is no wonder Ganoderma is called “The King of Herbs”.

Extracting the primary healthful essence was a long process of either boiling the mushrooms for hours, or soaking them in alcohol for weeks.  This created a drink full of the active ingredients needed for promoting good health.  Fortunately there is a better way, today.

Controlled cultivation of Ganoderma had been attempted by many since ancient times in China, but did not give satisfactory results in either quality nor quantity.  Finally in 1971, Japanese researcher Yukio Naoi from the Kyoto University found ways to cultivate Ganoderma in quantity. Since the discovery of this method and with further amelioration, the production of Ganoderma has raised more than tenfold in the last ten years.

Today, an estimated 4,300 tons of Ganoderma is produced yearly in the world, with China producing 3,000 tons followed by Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Thailand, USA, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia and Sri Lanka.

For many years Dr. Lim Siow Jin, originator of Ganotherapy, carefully researched ways to improve upon the cultivation of Ganoderma.  Using a controlled atmosphere and very careful selection, he found a way to propigate only the most efficacious of the Ganoderma species.  Specialized organic farms in Malaysia cultivate only this particular plant in large quantity, and ongoing research is constantly improving upon it.  After much hard work and experimentation, Dr. Lim discovered a way to extract the most important part of his special Ganoderma mushroom and concentrate it.  Microfinely ground, the Ganoderma essence in modern organic products can be up to TWENTY (yes, 20!) TIMES more effective than raw Ganoderma found on the market today.