IN traditional Chinese medicine, an odd looking woody mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) has a reputation as a panacea matched only by ginseng. This mushroom has been linked with life-giving and prolonging properties. It is praised as the “Grass from Heaven” and has been proven clinically to prevent and cure diseases, and possibly, even help extend life.
It is also called “Celestial Herb” and “Fungus of the Universe”. It fact, it is said to be the content of the bowl held by Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy. The Chinese name lingzhi translates as the “herb of spiritual potency” and the mushroom was highly prized as an elixir of immortality. It was once given as gifts to emperors. Indeed, many Chinese emperors had their own personal lingzhi cultivators.