We here at Releaf are excited to announce that we are now carrying Organo Gold products in our office for purchase over-the-counter. Organo Gold produces a line of instant coffees (black, mocha and latte) and teas infused with Reishi mushroom extract. Known as Ling Zhi in China, this mushroom has been used as a medicinal substance in Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years.
While most Chinese herbal remedies are composed of multiple herbs assembled to enhance each others effects, the Traditional Chinese Medicine pharmacopeia contains a few herbs which were sought out and taken on their own as longevity tonics. Wild Ginseng was one such herb, Ling Zhi is another. Throughout its 2,000 year history as a medicinal substance in China, Ling Zhi has enjoyed high esteem and has been called the “auspicious mushroom”, “immortality plant” and “mushroom of immortality.”
There has been a lot of research done on Ling Zhi in modern times and there’s good news and bad news. The bad news, just to get it out of the way, is that Ling Zhi doesn’t actually make you immortal. It does, though, seem to have a host of really cool physiological effects. Research indicates that Ling Zhi may have anti-tumor, immunomodulatory and immunotherapeutic actions. To unpack that a bit, immunotherapeutic refers to substances that boost the function of the immune system. Immunomodulatory means that it helps the immune system to function within healthy levels. This is exciting for people with immune-modulated hypersensitivity disorders like Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, and allergies as immunomodulatory substances offer a potential way to blunt the effects of these disorders without the immune suppressing effects of common therapies such as corticosteroids, TNF binding proteins and interferons.
Other studies have shown that Ling Zhi may lower blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Additionally, it may have anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-viral actions.
I was excited to find the Organo Gold line of products because, while Ling Zhi is traditionally prepared as a hot water extract the flavor of the mushroom is quite bitter and it can be difficult to take on its own. Coffee, however, does a wonderful job of masking this flavor. At Bastyr University, the instructor in my Herbal Preparations class would make himself ground Ling Zhi with coffee, but until now I hadn’t seen an actual product with this combination. It makes supplementation with an optimal extraction form quite pleasant and easy.
We will have free samples available in our office for the rest of the month, after which we will be selling it both by the cup and by the box.