There are several adaptogenic herbs from traditional Chinese medicine that can be used
as tonics safely and economically to maintain youthful vigor and health. Because virtually
everyone can benefit, the Reishi mushroom will be discussed briefly in this in this
article after a quick summary of Part I.
But this is not a subject to be glossed over lightly. One should consult a practitioner of Chinese or Ayurvedic medicine, or a qualified herbalist while furthering one's understanding of other herbs for long term self application. If you're interested, you can start your research using the "Sources for more information" section below this article.
Summary of Adapotogenic Herbs Part I
Adaptogenics address the whole body to create internal balance, increasing or decreasing functions as necessary. They can be taken as tonics for a lifetime without side effects. There are three basic aspects of the human condition being balanced known as Chinese medicine's three treasures.
This candle metaphor describes these three treasures. The wax body of the candle is Jing, which is the body's physiological energy foundation or reservoir. The flame is Qi or Chi, the body's daily functioning energy. Shen is the light from the candle's flame depicting one's spiritual and emotional tone.
The Reishi or Ganoderma Mushroom
Traditionally, Reishi is considered the master longevity herb that benefits all three treasures of Chinese medicine.
Reishi also has immunomodulatory characteristics. This means that if anything is lacking in any system, such as the immune or endocrine system, this herb acts to stimulate and increase that system as needed. Conversely, any overproduction or excess is toned down to maintain proper balance.
Some benefits of Reishi observed in modern science are anti-bronchitis, expectorant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antioxidant, antitumor, antiviral, lower blood pressure, bone marrow nucleated cell proliferation, cardiotonic, central relaxent, killer cell enhancer, immunomodulatory, anti-HIV, liver protective and detoxifying, radiation protection, anti-ulcer, white blood cell and hematoglobin blood increase.
Making Your Tonic
When ordering, make sure you get mushrooms that are organically farmed or picked wild far away from highways or factories. Pesticides and synthetic fertilizers must be avoided. Mushrooms are like sponges, and they'll soak up whatever poisons there are in the soil.
Teas are the most common means of ingesting tonic herbs. After bringing the water and mushrooms to a boil, how long you simmer depends on the cut of mushrooms.
The rule of thumb is to pour out the liquid after at least a half hour or more, then add some water and boil further until the liquid no longer changes color or has a bitter taste. You should make enough for a week at a time. This is not a quick tea arrangement.
Many think tinctures are even better. You can use 100 proof vodka, which is 50 percent alcohol, or pure grain (drinkable) alcohol mixed 50 percent with distilled water. Put enough mushrooms in a large jar to fill it at least one-third to half way.
Then pour in the alcohol/water solution or vodka to just below the top of the jar. Seal and shake gently. Store in a cool dark space, and gently shake once every day for a month. You tincture is ready. A couple of droppers a day should suffice and last a long time. By the way, this is how to make any herbal tincture.
You can use teas while your tincture solution brews if you wish to start taking advantage of Reishi's benefits right away. (naturalnews, 12.10.2009, Paul Fassa, citizen journalist, See all articles by this author, Email this author) http://www.naturalnews.com/027701_adaptogenic_herbs_anti-aging.html
Sources for more information:
Chinese Tonic Herbs by Ron Teeguarden (Japan Publications, 1984)
How Long Do You Choose to Live by Peter Ragnar (Roaring Lion Publishing, 2001)
The Way of Herbs by Michael Tierra L.Ac., O.M.D. (Pocket Books, 1980)