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Lingzhi (灵芝)
Lingzhi (灵芝) which means “herb of spiritual potency” in Chinese has also been described as the “mushroom of immortality”. Because of its presumed health benefits and apparent absence of side-effects, it has attained a reputation in the East as the ultimate herbal substance. Lingzhi is ranked number one as a superior medicine in Chinese herbology, and is therefore the most exalted medicine in Chinese ancient times.

According to The Materia Medica (本草綱目), Lingzhi may be classified into six categories according to their shapes and colors, each of which is believed to nourish a different part of the body. (Red-heart, Purple-joints, Green-liver, White-lungs/skin, Yellow-spleen, Black-kidneys/brain).

Shen Nong's Herbal Classic states of Lingzhi, "The taste is bitter, its energy neutral, it has no toxicity. It cures the accumulation of pathogenic factors in the chest. It is good for the Qi of the head, including mental activities... Long term consumption will lighten the body; you will never become old. It lengthens years.“

Therapeutic usage
1. Nourishes the Heart and Calms the Shen (Spirit)
  • Restless shen: Lingzhi nourishes the heart and strengthens qi and blood to treat heart and spleen deficiencies that manifest in insomnia, forgetfulness, fatigue, listlessness and poor appetite.
  • Insomnia: Combine Lingzhi with Dang Gui (Radicis Angelica Sinensis), Bai Shao (radix Pae Alba), Suan Zao Ren (Semen Zizyphi Spinosae) and Long Yan Rou (Arillus Longan).

2. Stops Coughing and Arrest Wheezing

  • Cough and asthma: Lingzhi dispels phlegm, stops cough and arrest wheezing. Symptoms include coughing caused by cold, coughing with profuse sputum, accelerated respirayion, chronic asthma and difficulty sleeping due to dyspnea.
  • Asthma and coughing: Add it to Dang Shen (radix Codonopsis), Wu Wei Zi 9fructus Schisandrae Chinensis), Gan Jiang (Rhizoma Zingiberis) and Ban Xia (Rhizoma Pinelliae).

3. Tonifies Qi and Nourishes Blood

  • Qi and blood deficiencies, weak digestion: Lingzhi has traditionally been used to strengthen the body and tonify qi. It treats qi and blood deficiencies with weak digestion, poor appetite, listlessness, loose stools, fatigue, dizziness and soreness of the lower back.
  • Qi and blood deficiencies: use Lingzhi alone.
  Pharmacological Effects
1. Antineoplastic
Lingzhi has shown to have antineoplastic activitiy due to its immune-enhancing properties.

2. Cardiovascular
Lingzhi has shown to increase cardiac contractility, lower blood pressure, and increase resistance to hypoxia in the cardiac muscles.

3. Antibiotic
Lingzhi has a broad spectrum of antibacterial activity, and inhibits the growth bacteria and viruses.

4. Others
Lingzhi exerts hepatoprotective, antidiabetic, antitussive, expectorant, sedative, analgesic, and anti-asthmatic effect.