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    Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) fruiting body
    The reishi mushroom is a purplish-brown fungus with a long stalk, brown spores, and a fan-shaped cap with a shiny, varnish-coated appearance. Reishi grows on decaying wood or tree stumps. The mushroom is native to China, Japan, and North America but is cultivated throughout other Asian countries. Cultivation of reishi is a long, complicated process. The reishi grows in 6 colors, each thought to have different characteristics. People describe it as “tough” and “woody” with a bitter taste. The fruiting body (above-ground part) and mycelium (filaments connecting a group of mushrooms) are used in herbal medicine. Reishi mushroom contains compounds that seem to have a variety of potentially beneficial effects, including beneficial effects on the immune system.

     

    Shitake Mushroom (Lentinula edodes) fruiting body
    The earliest written record of shiitake cultivation is seen in the "Records of Long Quan County" compiled by He Zhan in 1209 during the Southern The 185-word description of shiitake cultivation from that literature was later crossed-referenced many times and eventually adapted in a book by a Japanese horticulturist Satō Chūryō in 1796, the first book on shiitake cultivation in Japan.

    The Japanese cultivated the mushroom by cutting with axes and placing the logs by trees that were already growing shiitake or contained shiitake Before 1982, the Japanese variety of these mushrooms could only be grown in traditional locations using ancient methods. A 1982 report on the budding and growth of the Japan Islands variety, revealed opportunities for commercial cultivation in the United States. Shiitake mushrooms are now widely cultivated all over the world, and contribute about 25% of total yearly production of mushrooms.

     

    California Spikenard (Aralia californica) root
    California Spikenard is known by the common name elk clover though not actually a clover, is a large herb in the family Araliaceae, the only member of the ginseng family native to California and southwestern Oregon. It is a deciduous,
    Herbaceous, perennial plant growing to a height of 2–3 m on stems which are thick but not woody. California Spikenard root is a powerful respiratory remedy and tonic. It has immune stimulating, anti-microbial and expectorant properties.
    It can be used during the first stages of cold or flu, to boost immune function
    and relieve respiratory symptoms. It also is a valuable lung remedy. It relieves coughing and deepens respiration.

     

    Maitake Mushroom (Grifola frondosa) fruiting body
    Maitake mushroom is a polypore mushroom that grows in clusters at the base of trees, particularly oaks. The mushroom is commonly known among English speakers as hen-of-the-woods, ram's head and sheep's head. The mushroom is known by its Japanese name maitake (舞茸), which means "dancing mushroom".
    It is typically found in late summer to early fall. Maitake is prized in traditional
    Chinese and Japanese herbology as a medicinal mushroom an aid to balance out altered body systems to a normal level.

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