Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum)
Mushrooms brown in color with shining cap. The lower pore surface creamy to white changing color on bruising. Spores brown. It can be grown on sterilized sawdust or paddy straw. Optimum temperature requirement for spawn running 30-32°C. Spawn running period 25-30 days. Cropping requires an optimum temperature of 30-32°C, humidity of 80-85%, light and ventilation. Mushrooms can be harvested in 2-3 flushes after which the entire cycle is repeated. Total cultivation cycle of 120-150 days. Biological efficiency potential 25-30%. Since this mushroom is woody it can be dried and stored for several months. It can be marketed as powder. Reishi mushroom by virtue of being a plant pathogen, demands that utmost care be taken during disposal of the spent mushroom substrate. The spent substrate may be burnt off to avoid its spread to other trees. It is an excellent medicinal mushroom. Species of Ganoderma have been used traditionally as medicinal mushrooms in China and Southeast Asia. Ganoderma nutriceuticals are used for treating patients suffering from cardiovascular problems, leukemia, leucopoenia, hepatitis, nephritis, gastritis, insomnia, asthma, bronchitis and for cholesterol-lowering. Modern research has shown that polysaccharides and tri-terpenoids are the major active ingredients triggering the human immune system. Recent pharmacological and clinical studies suggest that this mushroom is a blood-thinner and exhibits anti-cancer/anti-tumour effects. It is effective against Hepatitis – B and lowers blood glucose and blood pressure.