Ganoderma tsugae – Hemlock Reishi

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Reishi mushrooms have been used medicinally in Asia for over 2,000 years. Hemlock reishi (Ganoderma tsugae) fruit in New England from May-June.
Hemlock reishi are most often found on dead or dying Eastern Hemlock trees. They like to grow near running water.
Reishi are known as the “Mushroom of Immortality”. They can be used medicinally to regulate blood sugar, lower cholesterol, and decrease inflammation. Reishi have water-soluble polysaccharides which have immuno-modulatory effects and alcohol-soluble triterpenoids which are cytotoxic. Reishi are used as a part of standard cancer treatment in Japan as the mushroom helps to alleviate chemotherapy-induced nausea and enhance the efficacy of radiation.
Young reishi mushrooms can be eaten, although they become bitter and corky quickly. The medicinal benefits of reishi can also be consumed through a double extraction tincture.

Written by Amy Demers, founder of the Connecticut Foraging Club. To learn more about foraging in Connecticut, check out our upcoming classes.

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