With Red Reishi being a renowned powerhouse supplement, the demand fuels the competition of reishi product manufacturing. However, unlike most herbs, the active ingredients in reishi are very volatile and delicate, so every step from cultivation to quality control during the manufacturing process is extremely critical to retaining the concentrated essence. The following are 3 important factors to look out for when selecting reishi products:
The first and foremost factor is to choose the right species. There are over 80 different species of Ganoderma, and the species that we use in TCM is Ganoderma Lucidum, which is primarily found in the wild in east Asia. As previously mentioned in my farm to table posts, a proper farming environment is crucial to cultivating potent medicinal reishi. Many producers do not use the natural wood-log method, nor do they allow the mushroom to mature and develop before harvesting, hence creating subpar products.
Many reishi supplements promote the use of the mycelium (root-like structure) or the spores instead of the fruiting body, and although they may contain valuable substances, they are absent of many compounds found in the fruiting body. For instance, the ganoderic acids, a substance that benefits the liver, heart, and kidneys, are only existent in the fruiting body. Although spores can also contain triterpenoids, it is practically indigestible in the human digestive tract, and therefore it cannot be absorbed by the body.
Like any revered substance, its “holiness” is often exploited by less-than-stellar quality products, which often end up in containing little to no active compounds as the manufacturing process is not up to par in efficiently retaining the potency of the herb. Therefore, it is important to select a brand with proper certification and a clean reputation in the expertise of creating reishi products.