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International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms
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ISSN Imprimer: 1521-9437
ISSN En ligne: 1940-4344

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International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms

DOI: 10.1615/IntJMedMushrooms.v1.i3.90
pages 263-282

Cultivation of the Medicinal Mushroom Ganoderma lucidum (Curt.:Fr.)P. Karst. (Reishi) in North America

Alice W. Chen
Specialty Mushrooms, 1730 Penfield Rd., No.41, Penfield, NY 14526, USA


In contrast to the long Chinese history of cultivation of Ganoderma species (ling zhi/reishi), the most important medicinal mushroom in China, growing reishi is a fairly new adventure in North America. In the past decade or so, increasing awareness of the potential health benefits of Ganoderma species led to production of this medicinal mushroom in the United States and Canada. Such interest was triggered primarily by the immune-enhancing property of the mushroom in integrated therapies for immune deficiency syndrome and cancer. In pharmacological studies in the United States, the search for effective antiinflammatory agents for safe long-term use was directed to this ancient medicinal mushroom. Western herbalists took initiatives in studying and using Ganoderma lucidum (Curt.:Fr.P. Karst.) and other species. Growers across the Pacific Ocean chose almost exclusively G. lucidum as the species for cultivation. North American Ganoderma growers are characterized on the basis of product orientation. Features of emerging North American growers are described. Methodology used in Ganoderma cultivation in North America is illustrated, focusing on synthetic log and natural log cultivation. Highlighted is the successful commercial-scale operation of Organotech in San Antonio, Texas. As a reference for growers, stepwise cultivation technology and crop management is covered.

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