According to a study conducted by Datamonitor in 2007, Europeans skipped on average of 100 meals per year. The busy and competitive lifestyle that many of us live has especially impacted our immune systems and energy levels. We are often working beyond our limits. The signs of chronic illnesses and the lack of daily energy is a notable issue. Modern life requires new solutions.
Promising solution with much more potential
As many of you know one super-simple solution to solve some of these new dilemmas is to add highly nutrient-rich foods, also known as Superfoods, into one’s diet. These can be used to replace industrially-made synthetic supplements or just as a quick snack on top of the conventional diet to fill many nutrient-deficiencies. Those are easy to carry, easy to consume, and easy to get results with. Unfortunately not many people know about them and many superfood articles are not exactly an easy read either. On the product side drug-like pills and expensive super-duper-hyper juices leave a lot for improvement. This is sad considering all the potential health benefits there are to reap. So how can we popularize them to a much wider audience?
Putting All the Six E’s in Order
Traditionally it all starts with education and goes from there clockwise though the value chain. The challenge is that in current society it’s hard to provide enough scientific data in short time periods to convince especially the left-brain focused people. Whole food advocates also find it difficult to compete with research resources when large food corps and Big Pharma are funding the current studies so heavily – some of them even own the research firms. But what if you look at this completely the other way around?
Looking Things Through Another Lens
The worst thing ever is to convince someone to try out a “superfood” product and then s/he will not notice any results. What a let down! All that hard work would have gone down the drain. But if s/he would notice significant results by using very effective products — especially products that are fun and easy to use — then the rest will follow naturally. S/he will be willing to go further than one block away from home to buy them, spend more time studying the origin of the foods, and even to pay a small premium versus standard Western diet. In this case the individual doesn’t need double-blinded studies from industry-funded universities because the results are so obvious. This is a slower process to democratize super herbs and foods, but much more sustainable and personal.
This is Our Mission
Through Four Sigma Foods our own mission is to mitigate this communication and product innovation gap. Through Education, Effectiveness, Easier consumption, and Environmental values we think that we can assist in the two last E’s too. The more people buy whole foods and superfoods, the cheaper they will get. And the more we will create consumer demand, the more large distributors/resellers will be forced to change their highly processed products into more natural ones. But we can’t of course do this alone so please pass the word. Sharing is caring! And if it helps, you can start by forwarding people this free eBook about the most common superfoods or by giving them a small sample of some high quality products. Together we can make this happen!
Colostrum is a form of milk, produced by a mother’s mammary glands during the final days of pregnancy, and for a few days following the birth. It contains antibodies meant to protect the newborn baby against disease. It is also lower in fat and higher in protein than regular milk. Colostrum is produced in humans, cows and other mammals. It is highly absorbable, one of the most nutrient-dense foods that nature has to offer, and perhaps the single most important nutrient for a newborn’s future health.
Bovine colostrum (BC) has properties similar to human colostrum, and can be obtained in large quantities. Although there are not many double-blind, placebo-controlled trials to prove its efficacy, quite a lot of literature exists on its beneficial effects in treating various disorders. The nearer to the calf’s birth that bovine colostrums is collected, the more potent it seems to be.
It has proven three times more effective than vaccines in fighting swine flu, and it has demonstrated no side effects.
Why to Use Colostrum
One could call colostrum “immune milk,” because of its abundance of various important compounds – including some 97 immune factors. It also contains 87 growth factors, and possesses adaptogenic properties which stimulate the immune system and enhance rejuvenation and regeneration. Colostrum’s make-up includes potent anti-aging compounds, probiotics and many other bioactive substances, which assist the body in combating the inner and outer stresses we face every day.
Bovine colostrum has been used in treatment of a number of different infections, as well as disorders like chronic fatigue. It has proven three times more effective than vaccines in fighting swine flu, and it has demonstrated no side effects. Before the “antibiotic era” in the US, BC was often used to treat bacterial infections. It has also been used in rheumatoid arthritis therapy, and to enhance the healing of tissue injuries.
Colostrum is the ultimate superfood, delivering youth, health, vitality and offering a barricade against fatigue.
Credit: Huggleperson / Flickr
How to Use Colostrum
Colostrum dietary supplements are commonly available in powder and capsule form. The powder can be added to smoothies and beverages or mixed with foods. It is good to remember, though, that high heat can reduce colostrum’s beneficial properties.
Where to Buy Colostrum
Unfortunately, there is quite a scarcity of any sort of colostrum products all over the world, let alone high-quality products. Only product we can trust at the moment is Daniel Vitalis’ Surthrival Colostrum Powder.
Amazon US (Affiliate*): Surthrival Colostrum Powder
Amazon US: Surthrival Colostrum Powder
*Affiliate program link: Product costs the same to you but FSF gets a percentage of the sales to bring more healthy products to you
Some say that the word “chia” is derived from Nahuatl word “chian,” which means “oily.” Others maintain that “chia” is the Mayan word for “strength.” Both explanations sound logical enough, since chia seed is indeed oily, and has strengthening properties.
Chia seed is extremely rich in omega-3 fatty acids… it contains up to eight times more omega-3 per gram than salmon.
According to folklore, chia was cultivated by the Aztecs in the pre-colonial Americas. It was apparently so highly valued that it was often presented to rulers as an annual tribute. The modern Tarahumara people of north-western Mexico use chia in making a traditional drink called iskiate (or chia fresco) to fuel their active lifestyle. “Active lifestyle” is something of an understatement. Legendary long-distance runners, some Tarahumara may run as much 120 miles in a single session.
Why to Use Chia Seed
Chia seed is extremely rich in omega-3 fatty acids. In fact, it contains up to eight times more omega-3 per gram than salmon. Chia also supplies ample dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals such as calcium, iron, phosphorus, manganese, potassium and sodium. It is also full of antioxidants, which make it more nutritionally stable.
Chia seed may be beneficial in dealing with a variety of health issues, including diabetes, hypoglycemia, celiac disease and low cholesterol. In any case, chia seed is an extremely healthy adjunct to any diet, but particularly to diets lacking healthy fatty acids or dietary fiber.
How to Use Chia Seed
Chia seeds can be used much as you would flax seeds: sprinkle them into oatmeal, cereals, granola or yogurt. Chia seed flour works as a wheat flour substitute for baking, resulting in healthier breads, crackers and so on. Since chia seed can absorb up to nine times its weight in water, transforming into a gel, it is a wonderful thickening agent in smoothies, soups or puddings. The Tarahumara people add chia seeds to pinole (a drink made from ground corn and herbs). They also mix chia with water and lime to make their famous super-drink, iskiate, or chia fresca.
Where to Buy Chia
Chia seed products can be purchased from most health and natural food stores throughout North America, Western Europe and in some parts of Asia. We recommend the following products.
Navitas Natural Chia Seed Sprouted Powder | The most convenient way to use Chia
Amazon US (Affiliate*): Navitas Naturals Chia Seed Sprouted Powder
Amazon US: Navitas Natural Chia Seed Sprouted Powder
Nutiva Organic Chia Seed | High quality yet bargain-priced
Amazon US (Affiliate*): Nutiva Organic Chia Seeds
Amazon US: Nutiva Organic Chia Seed
*Affiliate program link: Product costs the same to you but FSF gets a percentage of the sales to bring more healthy products to you
Globally, algae have been used as a source of food and in treatment of various physical ailments for thousands of years. In coastal regions of the Far East, historical records of the use of macroalgae (seaweeds) go back to about 6000 B.C. In the West, certain microalgae have been approved as food sources for about 30 years.
One of the most common food microalgae is spirulina (Arthrospira platensis and Arthrospira maxima). Another, similar alga is Apanizomenon flos-aquae, or AFA, adopted for uses similar to spirulina’s in the early 1980s. AFA is a wild microalga, harvested from Oregon’s Upper Klamath Lake. The largest freshwater system in Oregon, the lake is practically pristine – almost completely free of pollution and other negative effects of industrialization. Attempts have been made to cultivate AFA, but without success. At present, it is only wild-harvested.
AFA is one the most antioxidant-rich foods, containing various carotenoids, chlorophyll and phycocyanin.
Why to Use AFA
AFA is popular among health food enthusiasts, since it contains some 40 different minerals and trace minerals, omega-3 fatty acid (DHA), a wide range of phytochemicals, plus vitamins, enzymes, antioxidants and a full amino acid profile. It is one the most antioxidant-rich foods, containing various carotenoids (beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein), chlorophyll and phycocyanin. Some research indicates that higher levels of carotenoids promote a longer lifespan in humans.
Beta-carotene activates the thymus gland as well as the immune system, and blocks healthy cells from transforming into cancer cells. Beta-carotene is a completely safe substance, even in huge doses. Phycocyanin is a blue-green pigment of AFA, which boosts the immune system by stimulating production of stem cells.
AFA has been found effective in treatment of viral diseases, chronic fatigue, concentration disturbances, inflammatory diseases and osteoarthritis.
Credit: USFWS Headquarters
How to Use AFA
The most common and convenient form for taking AFA is in capsules, though it is less expensive in its powdered form. The powder can be mixed with water, smoothies, juices or other beverages. Many of AFA’s nutrients are quite vulnerable to high temperatures, so it is recommended that it not be used in hot food or drinks.
Where to Buy AFA
Since AFA is a rather rare food product, it is sometimes rather difficult to find. We recommend the following product.
Oceans Alive Marine Phytoplankton | Whole food at its finest
Amazon US (Affiliate*): Oceans Alive Marine Phytoplankton
Amazon US: Oceans Alive Marine Phytoplankton
*Affiliate program link: Product costs the same to you but FSF gets a percentage of the sales to bring more healthy products to you
The açai berry is the fruit of a tall palm tree that reaches up to 25 feet (7.5 meters) in height, common throughout northern South America. The berry is harvested by hand. Although açai was introduced to the West in the 1990s, it has a long history as a medicinal food among indigenous South American tribes. Modern Brazilians value it as an excellent energy food. The berry made its first real popularity breakthrough in 2005, when talk show host Oprah Winfrey featured it on her famous program.
Açai is packed with antioxidants and healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Why to Use Açai
While Amazonian tribes use açai to enhance the immune system, fight against infections and protect the heart, modern Brazilians prize it for its nutrient density, which makes it an excellent energy food. In fact, açai is packed with antioxidants and healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. It also contains many other micronutrients such as polyphenols and flavonoids. Rich in the same healthy compounds as red wine, açai is also said to guard against heart disease when used regularly.
How to Use Açai
In most açai berry products, the berry is in powdered form – loose, in capsules, or in mixture with other substances. If not processed properly, the berry’s precious component compounds begin to lose their potency soon after harvesting. Therefore it’s crucial to choose high-quality, freeze-dried products. Freeze-drying is a chemical-free method of preserving as many of the fruit’s healthy compounds as possible.
One can add açai powder to various beverages, such as water, milk and juices. It is best to avoid mixing it with in hot foods or beverages, since some of its valuable nutrients are heat sensitive. Add açai to smoothies, milkshakes, cold cereals or raw porridges. Mix açai with water and honey to make a tasty sports drink or an alternative to conventional juices.
Where to Buy Açai
Açai products are available from most health and natural food resellers in North America, Western Europe and some parts of Asia. We recommend the following Açai products.
Navitas Natural Acai Powder | Good quality with affordable price
Amazon US (Affiate*): Navitas Naturals Acai Powder
Amazon US: Navitas Naturals Acai Powder
With a history of promoting health and longevity going back more than 4,000 years, reishi is definitely one of the mankind’s oldest and most precious herbs. In China it is known as Lingzhi, which means “herb of spiritual potency.” In Japan, the very same super-herb is known as “10,000-year-old mushroom.”
In different places and times, reishi has been known by many names. Adding to the list above, some of the better-known ones are:
- Auspicious plant
– Auspicious mushroom
– Divine mushroom
– Immortality plant
– The elixir of immortality
Reishi’s most important role is as a normalizing and balancing agent helping the body adapt to varying conditions and stresses
Why to Use Reishi
In recent decades, a respectable number of academic works in Japan, China and the U.K. have documented reishi’s value in treating a wide variety of diseases, common ailments and conditions. The mushroom’s curative properties seem to act on many of the body’s organs and systems.
Perhaps reishi’s most important role is as a normalizing and balancing agent, helping the body adapt to varying conditions and stresses. For the reishi user, this can mean a healthier lifestyle, fewer visits to the doctor and greatly reduced expenses for medication.
How to Use Reishi
Traditionally, reishi has been used as tea, or as an ingredient in various dishes. Today, especially in the West, people often take reishi in capsules or as an alcohol tincture.
Where to Buy Reishi
You can purchase reishi products in most health and natural food stores in America and Western Europe. Reishi is even more popular in Asia, where it is readily available in many different forms. Of course, we believe FSF Instant Reishi to be the most convenient, tastiest and healthiest reishi product available anywhere! Don’t take our word for it, though – try it out and experience it for yourself. (When you do, we would love to hear from you – your comments and feedback would be invaluable.) Here are some other reishi products we have tried and can recommend:
Fungi Perfecti Host Defense Capsules (product of Paul Stamets, America’s #1 mushroom expert)
Amazon US (Affiliate*): Fungi Perfecti Host Defense Reishi Capsules
Amazon US: Fungi Perfecti Host Defense Reishi Capsules
SurThrival Immortality Quest ReishiCapsules (nother quality product from Daniel Vitalis itself)
Amazon US (Affiliate*): SurThrival Immortality Quest Reishi Mushroom Capsules
Honey is produced by honey bees – these fascinating insects collect nectar from flowers and carry it to their hive. The nectar is acted on by enzymes in the bee’s digestive system, transforming it into honey. It is stored in the hive for use as food – indeed, one of the most remarkable foods in the world.
The Bible, the Koran, the Talmud, and ancient writings from Persia, Egypt, China and India all speak of honey as exceptional, even miraculous, as a food, in beverages and for medicinal purposes.
History tells us that apiculture (the practice of bee keeping) had its roots in ancient Egypt, where people began keeping bees in order to collect their honey and other products for medicinal uses. An enormous number of surviving Egyptian papyrus documents and other records include mentions and depictions of bees and beehives.
In his epic works The Iliad and The Odyssey, the Greek poet Homer speaks repeatedly of honey and bee pollen. At the ancient Olympic Games, competitors made a “sports drink” by mixing honey with water. It is also said that the famous Greek mathematician Pythagoras and his students ate honey daily.
The Prophet Mohammed declared, “Honey is a remedy for all diseases” and “rivers flowing with honey” are part of the Mohammedan conception of paradise.
Honey has proven effective in treating digestive problems such as diarrhea, indigestion, stomach ulcers and gastroenteritis.
Why to Use Honey
Honey is a superior natural sweetener. Its potent antiseptic, antioxidant and cleansing properties also make it extremely useful in caring for the body, both internally and externally. For example, honey has proven effective in treating digestive problems such as diarrhea, indigestion, stomach ulcers and gastroenteritis.
Honey has been called “nature’s energy booster,” known for its ability to give a near-instant boost to performance and endurance, as well as reducing muscle fatigue during exercise. Honey’s glucose can be absorbed rapidly, providing an immediate energy boost; its fructose absorbs more slowly, for sustained energy.
Honey is a humectant, meaning it attracts and retains moisture. Hence its use in numerous skin-moisturizing products.
Find more information about honey from our ebook Sovereign Superfoods.
How to Use Honey
The first and most important thing to remember is to choose only high-quality, raw honey products. Many honey producers heat the honey to high temperatures (pasteurization), destroying the healthful properties of many of the substances it contains.
Honey is said to make a better sport drink than any commercial product.
Raw honey may occasionally contain spores of Clostridium botulinum bacteria. The small amounts that might sometimes be present pose no threat to adults, but babies under the age of about one year have not yet developed the intestinal flora needed to deal with the bacteria. For this reason, it is very important that honey never be fed to young ones until they have passed their first birthday. Breastfeeding mothers may safely consume honey – any spores that might be present cannot be passed to the infant through the mother’s milk.
Honey may be used to sweeten almost anything. The amount to use is a matter of taste and preference, though many recipes recommend amounts to be used in place of sugar or other sweeteners. Honey is said to make a better sport drink than any commercial product. Try adding 1-2 teaspoons of honey (or more, if you like) to half a liter of water, then enhance it with a pinch of high-quality sea or rock salt. Adding a couple of teaspoons of organic apple cider vinegar boosts this drink to a whole new level, providing potassium and other important electrolytes and nutrients.
Where to Buy Honey
High-quality raw organic honey can be found in most larger grocery and health food stores, all over the world. In many countries it is common to pasteurize honey, so finding unpasteurized products is sometimes a challenge – but it’s essential. Like all real honey connoisseurs, we prefer locally-produced raw honey. So go your local store and ask for some high-quality raw honey. If they can’t help you out (and you can’t find a local producer to buy from directly), the next best options are:
Wedderspoon Raw Organic Manuka Honey (with Manuka honey you can’t go wrong)
Amazon US (Affiliate): Wedderspoon Raw Organic Manuka Honey
Amazon US: Wedderspoon Raw Organic Manuka Honey
YS Royal Jelly/Honey Bee (Honey enhanced with Roal Jelly)
Amazon US (Affiliate): YS Royal Jelly/Honey Bee – Raw Honey
Amazon US: YS Royal Jelly/Honey Bee – Raw Honey
The variety of the flora and fauna, which we humans can eat, is massive. Some of them are beneficial for your health, some of them are…well, less beneficial. If you know which one of them are the best of the best and how to use them, you are able to enhance the quality of your life tremendously. We at LUONTOlife have studied various diets and foods for years, and we are eager to share our knowledge to the world. This blog, Four Sigma Foods, is already a good source of superfood information, but now we have something completely new for you guys.
The Sovereign Superfoods ebook
Sovereign Superfoods ebook is stuffed with interesting and useful information about the healthiest foods on the Earth. We have given lots of love to it and I am confident that you will find it useful and handy no matter how well you already know the most common superfoods.
Our focus is to spread the word on superfoods, and help people to get more out of every second of their life. That’s why we will give Sovereign Superfoods -ebook out for free. All you need to do is to go on www.facebook.com/FourSigmaFoods and like us.
If you’ve already liked us before, don’t worry, you can download the ebook by just going to our Facebook page.
If you like what we have done, please share our Facebook page to your friends too. I’m sure they will appreciate it a lot.
On behalf of the FSF team: Enjoyable reading moments and happy new year 2012!
CEO & Co-Founder
Credit: soulmarket (flickr)
Since I can remember I have had a tendency to over-eat. I like binging. And there’s no better (or worse) season in Finland to gain pounds because of this than Christmas. It’s dark and cold outside, so you do less sports. You are free from work so you stay at home and watch bad Hollywood movies or read the latest and greatest holiday novels. The constant lying around is interrupted only by over-eating sessions filled with ham, smoked salmon, rice porridge, potatoes, carrots and basically anything really heavy. And after getting a massive food-baby you continue lying on the couch with a warm cup of mulled wine and milk chocolate.
Be it Christmas, Hannukah, Eid Al-Fitr, or Diwali one thing is certain: It’s crazy difficult to maintain a healthy diet during celebrations. You have parents who don’t understand why their little Mike no longer eats meat or why is our Sarah avoiding carbs. It’s the season to be merry and to relax from the hectic year. So what can you do if you still want to keep tight reigns on your diet during the holidays? Well, actually quit a lot. Here’s few pointers I try to follow.
Our body goes naturally through seasonal “fluctuation”. The amount of sun light, the temperature changes, and other factors make our body look and perform slightly differently in different times. Just like with professional athletes, we all have tougher seasons and recovery periods. So knowing this, don’t plan the toughest diet during the holidays, but rather just before it. This will mean that the holiday will serve as a well deserved rest period to re-build muscles and cells. Being conscious about this will reduce the stress and worry for the binging. Just like my grand-mom used to say: it’s not the celebration but the daily life.
Limit the over-eating to a fixed time period
My second tip for the planning phase is to make a conscious decision on when do you start and stop over-eating. Personally this is the toughest part. Getting back on-track requires will power, but making a decision in advance helps. I try to delay the start of the eating fest to as late as possible. I don’t change my normal healthy diet before December 24th. Then I also try to have a special activity for the 26th that will break my 24-48 hour nonstop eating spree. A pre-agreed sport activity with friends or family will often help to get back on track. I’m a tracking enthusiastic and a control-freak, but I have found that well planned break on a diet is mentally easier for almost all kinds of people.
Eat a proper breakfast
Start all your binge days with a high protein and fiber rich meal. An omelet from organic eggs and steamed veggies will do. Beans, guacamole, and a salad is also one of my favorites. This meal serves two purposes. First of all mentally having a good start to the day will naturally limit your worst need binge. Slowly digesting high protein meal will keep you content longer. Secondly the veggies are super important as the insoluable fibers in them will prevent making your stomach upset. You can eat a lot in the morning but keep it as protein and vegetable rich as possible.
Holidays are meant for resting so unless you absolutely want to, you don’t need to do any major exercises during the period. But doing few very short, but quite intensive, full-body exercises will help a ton. Doing these exercises will bring more GLUT-4 (it’s a glucose transporter type 4) to the surface of the muscle cells, opening more the flow of calories to them. So instead of saving the extra food you eat to fat, you can use it create muscle. 1-2 minutes of squats, push-ups, and other similar simple exercise should do the trick.
Now we’re going to a more specific nutritional tips. Insulin is a hormone central to regulating carbohydrate and fat metabolism in the body. Insulin stops the use of fat as an energy source by inhibiting the release of glucagon. That’s why all people who have have diabetes know this hormone very well. Basically if you can minimize insulin during the day, you can also minimize the damage of the binge. Easy way to accomplish this is through citric juices. Ideally 30min before your high protein breakfast you would drink around 0,6L ice cold water with lemon/citron squeezed into it. You can also have a glass of any fructose juice before the second meal of the day. This should flat-line the glucose levels for the rest of the day.
Drink plenty of water
Drink at least 1L more water than you would normally drink. Just like the breakfast, this serves two purposes; a mental and a physical one. Having your stomach (more) full from water will help your brain feel content. Other reasons is that it’s wise to combine excess carbs with excess water. The name carbohydrate actually means “watered carbon”. The more water you can put into your muscles, the more likely they are to grow. Carbs bind with water when they form muscle glycogen thus stretching the muscle cells and helping them to grow.
Credit: alantankenghoe (flickr)
Minimize digestion – maximize poo
In a normal diet you want to digest as many of the valuable nutrients and calories you eat. But in the case of holiday binge you might want to do the opposite. You want to make your food exit your stomach as fast as possible. You can use any basic stimulant, like caffeine or theobromine (hint: a lot in chocolate), to speed the movement in your gastrointestinal track. Green tea (theophylline) and greens also help. So a cup of Joe and some spirulina raw chocolate should do the trick.
Don’t cave in under pressure
Lastly, do not let other people pressure you to do anything you don’t want to. I mean sometimes cultural traditions are good to respect, but that doesn’t mean you need to become a meat eater if you don’t otherwise feel like so. And you definitely don’t need to drink toxic produced milk, crappy table salt or alloxan filled white flour to please your parents. Respect others, but also remember to respect yourself
Ps. This article is based on my own experiences combined with the advise from 4-Hour Body by Timothy Ferris. Highly recommend this controversial book from a self-experiment point-of-view. You might, or might not, agree with Tim, but he’s the undisputed king of self-experimenting.
Konnichiwaeveryone, and welcome to the Four Sigma Food blog (if you are a first timer), and thanks very much for coming back (if you have read the FSF blog before). We hope you enjoy this first part of a two-part article about the Reishi mushroom.Before discussing the history of Reishi, let’s clarify its various names.－ Scientific name (i.e., Latin name) is Ganoderma Lucidum
－ In China it is called Lingzhi and written 灵芝 (simplified is used in China) and also 靈芝 (traditional is used in Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan)
－ The Japanese call it Reishi and write it 靈芝 (which is the same as traditional Chinese)
The Internet shows many different translations of Reishi/Lingzi, and all suggest a different meaning. The truth is (feel free to disagree with me) that Asian languages, especially Chinese and Japanese, are so different from Western languages that usually you can’t translate them word for word. This means that all of them or perhaps none of them might be correct.
Credit: marlith (flickr)
The most common Chinese translations found on the Internet are shown below:
– Auspicious plant
– Auspicious mushroom
– Divine mushroom
– Immortality plant
– The Elixir of ImmortalityAnd finally as exact translation of the Chinese characters as possible:
– 靈 = quick / alert / efficacious / effective / spirit / soul; spiritual world / departed soul / coffin
– 芝 = sesame; a purplish or brown mushroom thought to have miraculous powers; “a divine and felicitous plant”.Now you can understand why there are so many different translations. I also like to give my two cents in it and translate it to “Spiritual mushroom”.
I will still call it Reishi, though, as this is the most common, the shortest, and I also like it more than the others.
Some sources state that Asian cultures have used Reishi for more than 4,000 years, but I haven’t been able to verify this anywhere. The first known written records of Reishi are from the Han Dynasty (200-25 CE), meaning that it has been used for at least 2,000 years. Reishi is definitely one of the oldest and most precious herbs used by humankind anywhere on earth, and several Chinese emperors have valued it as a source of longevity and vitality. In the Western world, Petter Karsten, a fellow Finn, was the first person to officially name Reishi when he identified it as being from the genus Ganoderma in 1881. Historically, Reishi is one of the most scientifically researched medicinal plants and has a well-proven track record of its medicinal benefits.
Reishi is extremely popular in Asia, especially in Japan, where it is more common to use it than not. People in Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, and South Korea know it well, and many use it as a normal part of their diet. This is not an overstatement. I have lived in Shanghai and Hong Kong, traveled to more than 20 different locations in China and Taiwan, and the same pattern is repeated everywhere:
1) I can go to a traditional Chinese pharmacy and buy a whole Reishi mushroom or pieces of one, or even Reishi powder. I can take these items home and boil a bitter-tasting concoction.
2) I can also buy fairly inexpensive, poorly branded Reishi capsules from local dietary supplement shops, but I never do because I don’t trust their quality.
3) I can go to a large health/wellness chain store and buy easy-to-use Reishi capsules that come in fancy (by Chinese standards) packages, with a quality guarantee and exorbitant price tag.
Credit: Randy Pertiet
With all the empirical data of traditional Chinese medicine, as well as new scientific data of modern medicine, I hope and believe that Reishi will make a global breakthrough and become part of the daily diet of men and women everywhere. Because Reishi has so many health benefits and no side effects, I’m confident this will happen. When it does, Big Pharma will have to start searching for new sources for revenue, because people will be healthier.
Credit: Clear Wal-Mart
This opinion may appear to be quite bold and exaggerated, but in Part 2, I will explain why I think this will occur.