If you are interested in natural medicine, chances are you have come across reishi mushrooms at some point. These fungi are treasured by herbalists and traditional Chinese medical practitioners and have been used clinically for thousands of years.
The good news is that they are highly developed around the world! This means that when you are on your next forging adventure, you will be able to get something.
What is a sage?
Known as genus Ganoderma Is a type of fungus that grows on various tree species. They are commonly referred to in English as “shelf fungi”, and they have many beneficial properties when used medicinally. In fact, these fungi are known as “sage” in Japanese or “lingjhi” in Chinese, known as the “mushroom of immortality” for many millennia.
Many Ganoderma The species has remarkable immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, they seem most beneficial when used preventively. 
In fact, research has shown that the primary Asian species, Ganoderma lucidum, Are about 400 beneficial, bioactive compounds. Not only do they have immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory actions, they also show antimicrobial, anti-tumor, and free radical scavenging activities. 
The two main North American species are Ganodrama Tsuge And Yes. Oregonense. Yes. Tsugae Fungus names are Tsuga The conical they grow, colloquially known as hemlock. These trees are not poisonous in the least. He got his name because crushing his needles smelled like hemlock of water.
As you can imagine, Yes. Oregonense The fungi are named because they are prolific in the Pacific Northwest. Like Oregon. Ohhhhh. They grow on conifers in the PNW, and in some cases can be completely spacious: up to a yard. Look at this picture to get an idea of this huge species.
I’m going to concentrate Yes. Tsugae, Because these are what I am familiar with. I have harvested them from various places on my property, and I have succeeded in figuring out the best way to get them out without rubbing myself.
How to identify and harvest sage
Different Ganoderma Identifying the species is very easy. They have bright brown, brownish-red or orange tops, and porous white underbelly.
The lower white part turns beige-brown by age. When you are forcing sage, make sure to cut out fungi that are still white underneath. They will be the freshest and most powerful, rather than their most dehydrated counterparts.
Reishi mushrooms have no gills, and if you hit them, their white part will crumble. They grow fan-like or kidney-shaped, and may vary from one to four inches in thickness.
As mentioned, harvest only with white vines. Once they start to brown, they start to rot … and you don’t want to get the drugs out of the rotting plant. Just healthy stuff.
You will find these shelf fungi on dead or dying cones. Remember how Yes. Tsugae Fungi got their name? Well, look for hemlock trees wherever they grow. I usually find them growing three to five feet above ground level, but they can be seen anywhere.
Be sure to familiarize yourself with the sage photos before you go for a walk in the forest after them. They do not have a poisonous looking bike, which is reassuring, but it is always best to know what you are looking for. You can see a similar looking conch species named Fomitopsis pinicola. They are super hard to touch and when you hit them, they won’t peek inside.
Okay, now that you are fully convinced that you know what you are looking for, it is appropriate.
Since you are preparing these fungi during the summer for the weather and your surroundings. From here on, it means stopping high boots ticks. We wear light but tightly woven clothes to ward off mosquitoes. I also wear leather gloves because sages can be stubborn to harvest.
If you have a good all-purpose utility knife, take it with you. Otherwise, a Swiss Army or Leatherman would also work with a saw blade option. The sword can be fun, but you can surprise other villagers.
Bring a large cloth bag or bag to carry in the plastic bags as the mold does not fit well. I would also recommend bringing water, as a quick rinse to the dust-ridden sage can reveal their distinctive shiny top. This makes them easy to identify.
How to remove fungus
When you find a tasty sage who asks you to harvest, try to pull it down. You may be pleasantly surprised and learn that it is simply on the platform without any major effort.
This was not my experience.
Obviously, others had an easier time, but my sage adventures need a little more hacking and worship. And swearing.
If it does not allow its grip on the tree to diminish, take your knife and make a vertical cut of about 1/2 go from the tree, the blade pointed to itself. Now stand on the side where the blade is facing, and gently pull it towards you. I have found that moving it up and down in a saw motion makes this process very easy.
This will free the fungus in half, and you may be able to pull it free. My guess is that it will still be in the “Neh-not-come-to-know land”, so repeat the process in the opposite direction. If you have a friend with you, keep them open with a cloth bag so that the mold can fall into it.
If there are other ideal sages around, feel free to grab a couple more. Please remember to harvest morally and responsibly. Do not harvest more than a particular area, and try to collect fungi that have already shed their spores. You will be able to identify them as they will be wrapped in light brown rust powder. Brush in these closed airs so that the spore can fly away and multiply on other trees.
Processing and storage
Sage starts losing its integrity very quickly after harvest, so try to process it as soon as you take it home. Use a damp cloth to wipe it well. This should remove any dust, dirt, stray coniferous needles and dead insects.
If you plan to make a tincture from it, cut enough to fill a quart jar of 2/3 on the way. Then, add enough vodka, brandy, or other 80- to 100-proof alcohol to completely cover it. Fill the jar to about 1/4 of the top. Then cover the lid and store it in a dark cupboard for six to eight weeks, shaking occasionally.
Alternatively, if you are not going to use fresh fungus immediately, you will need to dry it.
I tried drying once Ganoderma Slices in hanging baskets instead of dehydrator. Oh, they dried quite well, but in the process developed a great fuzzy. Needless to say, I lost that entire batch. Do not make that mistake.
Grab a small, sharp knife or cleaver, and cut the fungus into 1/2, slice. Arrange these on your dehydration shelves, and dry them at 120 ° F to 130 ° F for 10–12 hours. You can do the same thing in an oven on a baking sheet, but you have to turn the slices a few times during the process.
You will know that the slices are ready when they are “drying cracker.” This means that when you try to bend them, they will pounce like firecrackers.
Best medicinal preparations
Most herbalists agree that a decoction or tincture is the best way to use sage medicinally.
The former is a type of slow-slow tea prepared by boiling the fungus for about an hour. This technique removes the medicinal properties with heat and time and has to be consumed immediately. It can be stored in the fridge for a few days, but it is fresh at best. Just note that this drink will be quite bitter, so you may want to belt out a shot or two at once.
Tinctures also draw all the good stuff; It is only the alcohol content that sucks the beneficial components while they are infected for a month or so. These tinctures remain shelf-stable for years, so you can take a few drops whenever you want. They are also concentrated, so you only need a few drops to get all the beneficial effects.
Another option is if you prefer a quick reishi fix. Brew the fungus in a crockpot overnight, take out the chickens, and boil it until it has a super-concentrated, gravy-like texture on the bottom of the pot. Then add in the flour of your choice (corn starch is a great choice), and give that saturated well. Next, make patties from that mixture and dry them in a dehydration or oven until they crumble to the touch.
Process these into powder in a coffee grinder, and store in an airtight jar. Then, whenever you make them add a teaspoon to the soup or stew. This will add one dose of beneficial compounds to the entire batch.
As always, a warning: be sure to do proper research before taking any medicinal preparation. Reishi has many benefits, but it is also contraindicated with medicines for liver (liver) conditions. If you have any doubt, consult a herbal doctor, naturopath or traditional Chinese doctor and if it makes you sick then stop taking anything.
- Basnet, B.B., Liu, L., Bao, L., and Liu, H. (2017). Current and future perspective on antimicrobial and anti-parasitic activities Ganoderma Sp .: An update. Mycology 8, 111–124. doi: 10.1080 / 21501203.2017.1324529
- Patterson, RRM (2006). Ganoderma-A therapeutic fungal bioactivity. Phytochemistry 67, 1985–2001. doi: 10.1016 / j.phytochem.2006.07.004
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