03.15.2015 •

A Red Reishi a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

Every culture has its health slogans, and they all have an element of truth. In India, you hear “Laughter is the best medicine.” In Africa, it’s Harambee—You’re only as well as your community. The most memorable in North America is, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Dating from 19th century Wales, that health adage was primarily referred to apple being a rich source of fiber, keeping one regular.

But in Japan, the “apple a day” is actually a medicinal mushroom known as red reishi, which has a long recorded history of numerous benefits—so many that the legendary emperors and doctors of 4,000 years ago regarded it as the superior herb for overall health and longevity. Today, you’ll find red reishi supplements in most household cabinets across Asia. People truly don’t go a day without it since reishi is outstanding for naturally increasing energy, enhancing immunity, and beating stress.

Now that scientific studies confirm what traditional herbalists have long known, more Western doctors are getting convinced that red reishi might just be the new “apple a day.” The therapeutic compounds contained in this remarkable mushroom include polysaccharides, which offer a wide range of benefits from improving blood pressure to modulating blood sugar. Reishi also has triterpenes, specifically ganoderic acid, which improves liver function and heart health. However, when harvested in the wild, reishi’s therapeutic compounds can vary dramatically. That is why it is important to use a brand that has proven methods of cultivation and manufacturing to achieve the highest quality reishi product.

The Japanese are foremost experts on reishi growing, with one Japanese family having identified and patented the most superior strain of red reishi for generations. Mikei Red Reishi uses this superior strain which has been proven to provide the highest quality of healthful compounds. The mycelium is grown to maturity and organically cultivated on aged logs for a full year. It is then harvested, and prepared according to the traditional hot water extraction method. While many manufacturers take short-cuts and simply chop up the mushroom as cost-saving measures, you can trust Mikei to provide you with the extraordinary “apple a day” from the East.


Dr. Meg Jordan, PhD, RN, CWP, is a medical anthropologist known as the Global Medicine Hunter®. She is an integrative health specialist, international health journalist, and a professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies.