Wild Red Reishi

We were totally blown away when we realized we had Red Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) growing wild in our backyard!  What a treat!

A rare find

Wild Red Reishi on our doorstep!

Wild Red Reishi on our doorstep!

We soon foraged further afield on our land, and although we found a little more, we also found that this mushroom is indeed rare, unlike the Ancient Reishi (Ganoderma applanatum), which is abundant in comparison.

Also unlike a lot of the other species growing here, Red Reishi is an annual mushroom, growing on hardwood – in our case, Blackwood, or Acacia melanoxylon.  It seems to favour older trees and loves old stumps, helping to break them down and create new life – but we have also found it growing on living trees too.

Wild reishi products are extremely rare as wild harvests are obviously limited – which doesn’t make for highly commercial products.  But we believe the increased potency of wild plants as well as the energies they absorb from growing in a wild natural environment rather than in a grow-room or controlled outdoor area makes this a precious, powerful product of note – this really is Wild African Energy at its best! 

Reconnecting with the wild

The joy of finding Reishi that has grown wild rather than been grown in a hothouse is that it has absorbed all of the energies of the forest, of the weather, of the astrological activity – and we believe that that is what makes it so special, because it is these wild energies that we then take into our own bodies when we drink wild Reishi teas or tinctures.  This helps remind us of our wilder, more natural, less “domesticated” state of being and helps bring us closer to it.

Wild plants also have to be tough to survive as their predators are not controlled as they would be in a farming situation.  As a result they are vulnerable to attack and they develop potent chemical defenses against such attacks.  These chemical substances, if beneficial and biologically assimilable in our own bodies, then become “medicines” to us and can have profound health benefits.

Wild soils also tend to be far richer and less demineralized than cultivated soils and this, too, adds to the potency of wild plants.

Immuno-modulating benefits

Reishi will keep the immune system perfectly balanced.

Reishi will keep the immune system perfectly balanced.

The benefits of Reishi are many and varied.  One of its main benefits is that it is a very potent immune system modulator.  This means that it is capable of balancing the immune system either way – if the immune system is deficient or underactive it will bring it up again; if it is overactive (as in cases of auto-immune disease and allergies) it will regulate it back down.  The ganoderic acids in Reishi help to fight allergies and are also powerful anti-oxidants.

No 1 Anti-Aging-Longevity Herb

Reishi mushrooms have always been known as “the mushroom of immortality” and for good reason.  They contribute to longer life spans by combating some of today’s most challenging age-related conditions such as autoimmune diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes, and liver and cardiovascular disease.  Research has identified 3 specific compounds in Reishi that are essential to its powerful antioxidant and anti-aging effects:-

  1. Polysaccharides – help prevent abnormal blood vessel formation and also boost immune function.
  2. Triterpenes – these protect the liver, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, prevent blood clotting that leads to heart attack and stroke and fight allergic responses triggered by histamines.
  3. Ganoderma lucidum peptide is a unique protein that has incredibly potent antioxidant properties.

Reishi extracts act on many different areas of our bodies and it is this multi-targeted action that may contribute to their promotion of longevity.  Reishi extracts are known to protect cellular DNA from oxidant damage that causes aging.  They also protect mitochondrial DNA, as well as the mitochondria themselves, from oxidant damage – which otherwise causes mitochondrial inefficiency, reducing energy production – another major cause of aging. Reishi also protects kidney tubule cells from oxidant damage that leads to kidney failure.  And reishi also increases expression of a key longevity gene which promotes an increased life span in mammals (between 9-20% increase in total life span).

Neuro-protective properties

Reishi extracts have been found to stimulate the production of “nerve growth factor” – which in turn supports the rapid development of healthy neurons and enhances their mitochondrial function.  The triterpenes and polysaccharides found in Reishi reduce the oxidative impact of destructive proteins such as “Abeta” – the chief trigger of Alzheimer’s disease, as well as protecting the brain cells from the inflammation known to cause Parkinson’s disease.

Studies have also shown that Reishi extracts can also benefit those who have suffered a stroke.  Firstly, it can limit the size of the stroke-damaged area in the brain, in turn limiting the behavioural and functional damage caused by the stroke.  Secondly, Reishi extracts protect brain tissue from hypoxia/reperfusion injury – the “one-two” punch of oxygen starvation followed by excessive oxidation that produces most of the damage in the brains of stroke sufferers.

Diabetes and Obesity

Reishi has been shown to have benefits across the entire spectrum of diabetes and its associated condition obesity.  These 2 health conditions are now recognised to be so closely related that a new term “diabesity” has been coined to describe these 2 conditions as one single disease.

Research has shown that the polysaccharides and triterpenes in Reishi extracts can prevent the development of new fat cells from pre-adipocytes, helping to limit excessive fat storage seen in obese people.  These extracts also have favourable effects on lipid profiles (cholesterol and triglycerides) which are often elevated in those with obesity and/or diabetes and are also risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Reishi extracts also work to lower blood sugar by inhibiting alpha-glucosidase, the chief enzyme responsible for digesting starches into sugars.  This inhibitory action prevents the sharp after-meal spike in glucose that can be very dangerous as we get older.  Reishi extracts also limit the destruction caused by “advanced glycation end” products (AGE’s) – the proteins whose malfunction promotes aging and inflammation.   Reduction of high blood sugar and glycation in turn reduces diabetic consequences such as kidney disease and Reishi extracts also speed up wound healing in diabetics due to the result of increased antioxidant function in the body.

Liver tonic

Our livers are the processors of all of the toxic threats from our environment and also from the destructive molecules produced in our own bodies.  And whilst the liver is well-protected with its own antioxidant and detoxification systems, oxidation and inflammation can eventually take their toll.  Reishi extracts increase the detoxification action of the liver and inhibit inflammation in liver cells.

Reishi polysaccharides also restore natural liver antioxidant systems to normal function following an infection, while inhibiting liver enzymes that produce excessive oxidative stress.  Reishi also limits the activity of beta-glucuronidase, an enzyme that is elevated in many liver conditions, including inflammation, cirrhosis and jaundice.

Reishi has also been shown to have extraordinary results in the condition “liver fibrosis” – the final stage of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (the most common liver disease).  Reishi extract has been demonstrated to actually reverse the fibrosis even after it was well-established.  This is particularly note-worthy as fibrosis is usually considered to be irreversible.

Cardiovascular protection

It is used to improve cardiovascular health as it helps to lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol and reduce hardening of the arteries, angina and shortness of breath related to coronary heart disease.

Natural cancer protection

Reishi is, of course, also well-known for its anti-cancer properties.  This comes from its stimulatory effect on the body to produce interferon and interleukin-1 and -2 – which are our own bodies’ potent natural anti-cancer substances.  Stimulating our natural protection like this is probably what makes it such a strong protective substance against this disease.  Reishi also reduces angiogenesis – the formation of new blood vessels to tumours.  Reishi has also been shown to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation, whilst at the same time building up the body’s immune system, which gets so damaged by these conventional cancer treatments.

Spiritual benefit

And last, but certainly far from least, is Reishi’s ability to bring about excellence on an inner, spiritual level.  It is known in Asia as the Mushroom of Spiritual Potency.  It is an incredible anti-stress herb and has been used for its spiritual benefits for thousands of years.  It is known to calm the mind, sharpen focus and concentration, improve memory, ease tension and build willpower, thus offering us the potential to build great wisdom.  It is these “Shen” qualities that make it such a revered herb in Chinese tonic herbalism.  People who take a lot of Reishi on an ongoing basis will testify to its peace-bringing qualities – it helps people leave behind damaging habits.

The Supreme Protector


Reishi is known as the “Supreme Protector” because it protects us on every level – physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally.  When we are so looked after it is then easy for us to soar free and reach greater and greater heights in our lives.

We really can’t speak highly enough of this incredible herb.  Wild Red Reishi is also safe for anyone to take in any quantity – it is totally non-toxic and anything not taken up by the body will be automatically excreted.  It appears to have a cumulative effect in the body so… more IS more!

Dual extraction tinctures

The immuno-modulating effects of Reishi come from its beta-glucans and other beneficial polysaccharides and are extracted via a hot-water extraction.

The adaptogenic qualities of Reishi come from the terpenes it contains and these are extracted via an alcohol extraction process. Adaptogens assist the body in dealing with various types of stress – whether physical, emotional or mental. It is these adaptogenic qualities that make Reishi an effective anti-cancer medicine, liver & heart tonic and blood sugar-stabiliser.

African Forest Medicinals’ Wild Red Reishi Tincture is a dual-extract tincture – i.e. both hot water and alcohol combined – providing the best of both worlds in one single product.

Directions For Use

Red Reishi is a tonic herb and, as such, can safely be taken daily in high or frequent doses.  We suggest 1-3 squirts/squeezes of the pipette per day as a good maintenance dose – but this can be increased as needed/desired.  Shake well before use.


Blessings abound! I am so delighted that wild Knysna forest medicinal mushrooms are now available. Being a mushroom hunter I know how massively RARE these Reishi are, and having used them how powerfully nourishing to the immune system they are. This is one of the most unique and exciting products available in the world!
(Peter Daniel, Author – Rawlicious & The Magic of Superfoods, Cape Town)

I have found your Wild Red Reishi Tincture to be one of the most powerful immune boosters I have ever used – both for myself and for my kids! If I feel a cold coming on I take a dose of tincture and within hours I can honestly say I am symptom-free!  I also dose my kids if they complain of a sore throat or have a runny nose and find that they also recover super-fast!
(Rosemarie Langley-Moodley, Harkerville)

What WAS that stuff that you gave me?!  I had never heard of reishi, but I took this tincture when I was feeling very run-down due to overwork and lack of sleep (I am a new Dad!)  I took it every morning in my cup of tea and it set me up for the day – I felt energised, clear and all my symptoms of low immunity have just disappeared.
(Rion Merryweather, Knysna)

This is a powerful product.
 I had glandular fever some years ago which has left my immune system very compromised. 
Since using this tincture I have been fighting off infections within hours, not days!
 My energy levels have increased radically and (remarkably) so has the visual quality of my eye sight (colours are brighter and more saturated). 
I can feel how my body responds to this medicine in no uncertain terms, and I believe that we have a powerful ally in this sacred mushroom.
(Kirsten Tilley, Cape Town)

African Forest Medicinals’ Reishi mushroom tincture is my ‘desert island’  supplement, the number one herbal product I prioritize for my travel survival kit.   I feel my immune system being supported on a profound level and am extremely grateful to have this powerful medicine wild harvested from our own forests!  It’s a very rare blessing!  Extracted using mountain spring water and tested pesticide-free alcohol this product ticks all the boxes and rivals the best products endorsed by the likes of David Wolfe and Daniel Vitalis.
(Devin Howell, Plettenberg Bay)

Check out more testimonials here!

How to order

Firstly, check our Outlets page to see if there is a retailer near you.  If not, then please email our distributor at orders@earthshine.co.za and they will help you find one.  You can also place an online order with Earthshine directly.

Wholesale Enquiries

Please contact Earthshine, our distributor in South Africa  – orders@earthshine.co.za.

Reishi experiences?

If you would like to share your Reishi experiences with us, we would love to hear from you – so please leave a comment below!



13 thoughts on “Wild Red Reishi

  1. Alex

    Hi, i would like to order some of your tincture and also know more about the passion flower tincture. Thanks, Alex

    • admin Post author

      Hi Alex, thanks for your enquiry – will email you a pricelist shortly. Passion flower tincture will be a few weeks still but I will make a note to let you know as soon as it is available. Passion flower tincture is used to combat estrogen dominance in the body. It does this by stopping DHEA, testosterone and progesterone “flipping over” into the type of estrogen that can cause breast, ovarian, prostate and testicular cancers in the body. Estrogen dominance can cause all sorts of other chaos in the body too including anxiety, depression, mood swings, fibroids, fibrocystic breasts/breast tenderness, chronic fatigue, infertility, eating disorders, insomnia and weight gain to name some of the most common symptoms. There are other ways of dealing with estrogen dominance too which I am happy to share with you if you would like to know more. I’ll also write a detailed blog on this in the near future.

  2. Bronwyn de Klerk

    HI …This is really the most amazing discovery…..for one specific reason, and that is that I practically “grew up” I newlands forest and as kids we used to find the Reishi, and look at it ..smell it look under the..cuz they look so wise…sit next to them…almost talk to them and mostly play amazing games around them…yes they have an ancient wisdom in their very being and so very clearly as children we felt it and responded likewise. I so agree that they seem to have absorbed the very “being’ of the forest…and exude that …SO now I discover that they have great healing properties…wow. and thankyou for that. I will def go and get myself some of the tincture…AND im still talking to them.haha.

    • admin Post author

      That’s beautiful to hear Bronwyn! And sorry I’m only finding this comment now… years later! 🙂

  3. emile shreve

    Found two Reishi in my back garden a year ago – one growing on a submerged plum stump (we cut it down because the fruit were always wormed) and the other seems to spring up from the ground. I have harvested 5 large and 2 small ones to date. No sure why I was blessed with this bounty. Checked the web – many comments are that it is not safe to take if you have high blood pressure and are on medication – another bit of advice is that you need to supplement with vitamin C – then I found your column.
    You have profound knowledge on the subject but does one size fit all individuals?
    My question: is there a Reishi practioner one can face to face consult on dosage, when do you stop taking prescribed meds etc??
    Thanks for a most interesting read

    • admin Post author

      Hi Emile, thanks for your message. Great to hear you have found Reishi in your garden… or, rather, that it found you! It really is such a superior health tonic and everyone can benefit from taking it daily – regardless of age or medical condition. It would not be considered a Superior Tonic Herb (in fact, the Number 1 Superior Tonic Herb) unless it were this safe. But Reishi definitely does lower blood pressure – so it would be wise to wean yourself off your blood pressure meds slowly if you wish to take Reishi on a daily basis. I am not a medical doctor so cannot advise a protocol for doing this – so for advice on meds dosage I can recommend a friend of mine – Dr Jon Morley, who is an incredible integrative medicine doctor. That means he is conventionally trained as a GP but also integrates natural medicine into his treatment protocols. And he is a big fan of Reishi too! He is based in George, on the Garden Route – but if this is too far for you then perhaps he can help via Skype/phone consultation. His telephone number is 044-8890119. I hope this helps and wish you all the best for making the transition to this incredible healing herb! 🙂 Juliet

      • EMILE

        Many thanks, have just returned from a break and will contact the good doctor soon. It seems that the rain plays a big part in the Reishi’s size, I have two more… would love to meet you as well… one day. So much delight, so little time!

        • emile

          Juliet huge thanks for Dr Morley – an absolute mine of information and so helpful to me.
          Well recommended!
          Best wishes, Emile

          • admin Post author

            Excellent! Happy to hear you found him helpful… he’s a fine doctor and a really great guy too 🙂 All the best, Juliet

  4. Derrek

    I dont know of any indigenous sp of Ganoderma to naturally occur anywhere in South Africa. Is this a fact or would I be imagining I saw some in the wild?

    • admin Post author

      Hi Derrek, Ganoderma applanatum (Ancient Reishi) is prolific throughout SA forests and Ganoderma lucidum (Red Reishi) occurs too, albeit more rarely. Both grow on hardwood trees. There are numerous photographs of both throughout this site and on our Instagram and Facebook pages – all taken within South Africa. So no, I certainly don’t think it was your imagination!!!


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