I asked an elderly Japanese friend why she looks so young for her age. She said she drinks tea made with reishi mushrooms. Is there anything to this? — A.F., Castle Rock, Colo.
The short answer is yes. The Chinese name for reishi mushrooms is ling zhi, meaning “plant of immortality.” These medicinal mushrooms have a history of safety that goes back at least 2,000 years. In my book, any herb that’s been used continually for centuries deserves respect from modern medical science as opposed to snide comments as if it’s “snake oil.” Mushrooms and fungi with incredible healing powers are now starting to gain attention from integrative physicians as well as folks who choose to self-treat after modern medicine fails them.
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