Ganoderma: A Long and Distinguished History
Ganoderma lucidum is a key ingredient in the Organo Gold line of products that compliments the healthy lifestyle that are at the core of the OG way of life. At Organo Gold, we use only the finest Ganoderma lucidum, creating a flavorless, invisible powder that adds amazing properties to everything from our coffee and tea to our personal care products.
Here are some facts about the incredible history of this truly incredible mushroom:
Ganoderma lucidum goes by many names. It is also known as the “Lingzhi” mushroom and the “Reishi” mushroom. The Chinese name, Lingzhi, means “spiritual potency”, while the Japanese name, Reishi, translates as “King of herbs.”The Vietnamese name for the Ganoderma mushroom, “linh chi,”literally means “supernatural mushroom.”
The botanical name, Ganoderma, derives from the Greek words ganos, which means “shining”, and derma, which means, “skin”. This refers to the shiny exterior of the mushroom’s cap. The word Lucidum is also Latin for “shining.”
Ganoderma lucidum has a long and prestigious history — and has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years, making it one of the oldest mushrooms known to have been used medicinally.
Dr. Shi-Jean Lee —the most renowned doctor of the Ming Dynasty —strongly endorsed the effectiveness of Ganoderma in his renowned book Great Pharmacopoeia (Ban Chao Gang Moo). In it, he wrote that “long-term taking of Ganoderma will build a strong, healthy body and assure a long life.”
The proliferation of Ganoderma lucidum images in art began in 1400 AD, and they are often associated with Taoism. However the mentions of the mushroom soon extended beyond religion.
The Ganoderma or “Lingzhi” mushroom was often mentioned in ancient Chinese texts such as medicinal and herbology books, and was also featured in much artwork, including wood block prints in early mycology (the study of fungi) history books.
The first book wholly devoted to the description of herbs and their medicinal value was Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing, written in the Eastern Han dynasty of China (25-220 AD). This book is also known as Classic of the Materia Medica or Shen-nong’s Herbal Classics. It describes botanical, zoological, and mineral substances, and was composed in the second century under the pseudonym of Shen-nong (“the holy farmer”). The book, which has been continually updated and extended, describes the beneficial effects of several mushrooms with a reference to the medicinal mushroom Gandoerma lucidum. 
Ganoderma lucidum is a potent source of antioxidants. The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine says it contains one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants in any food.