Ganoderma Lucidum
     
    is a species of the class Basidiomycetes, which belongs to the family Polyporaceae/Ganodermataceae of the order Aphyllophorales. Ganoderma Lucidum is commonly known as wood-decaying fungus; it causes white rot of a wide variety of trees and can thus be described as a phytopathogenic fungus. It has been an economically important species, particularly in the Far East countries (China, Japan, Korea, etc.), for over 4000 years. In Latin,
    lucidum means shiny or brilliant and aptly describes this mushroom’s fruiting body, which has a modeled, sculptured, varnished appearance. The Chinese and Koreans know it as Ling Zhi (mushroom of herb and immortality), whereas the Japanese call this mushroom reishi or mannentake (10,000 year mushroom). Based on the color of the plant, there are at least six varieties of  Ganoderma Lucidum 
    (Table 1). These mushrooms are all non-poisonous and too tough to be edible and are considered to be highly beneficial to health. They are  neutral in taste and warm, it acts on the heart, spleen, lungs, liver, and kidney meridians.





    Table 1 Six types of Gonoderma Lucidu

    Name and Color

    Taste

    Use

    Qing Zhi

     (Blue)

    Sour

    Improves eyesight and liver function, calms nerves

    Chi Zhi

    (Red)

    Bitter

    Aids internal organs, improves memory, enhances vitality

    Huang Zhi

    (Yellow)

    Sweet

    Strengthens spleen function, calms the “spirit” (shen)

    Bai Zhi

    (White)

    Hot (or pungent)

    Improves lung function, gives courage and strong will

    Hei Zhi

    (Black)

    Salty

    Protect kidneys

    Zi Zhi

    (Purple)

    Sweet

    Enhances function of ears, joints, muscles, helps complexion