A Reishi journal


I began my Reishi experiment one lovely Saturday afternoon by going to my local farmer’s market. I had seen the famous shroom there in the past, but had had no idea what to do with it. So I admired it from afar— until now. With some quick Internet research on DIY Reishi tea, I was able to buy my first fresh Reishi mushroom with confidence. I admit to staring at my Reishi on the kitchen counter for a long while though; it looked prehistoric, massively large, shiny, rubbery and excitingly alien. I began cutting it into thin slices, quite instinctively, because I knew it needed to dry in order to make some tea or other concoction. It took about a week before I was satisfied that it was completely dry and could be powdered successfully. The coffee grinder ground it down very finely— a word of warning though, the second attempt did break my grinder. You can also boil larger chunks of the mushroom and make a decoction. All methods of processing always points to using heat to access Reishi’s healing properties.

I decided to drink it on an empty stomach in the mornings to really feel its effect. I placed the powder in an empty tea bag— the taste of the Reishi is too earthy for my palette so I added some peppermint tea for flavor. I decided to stop drinking coffee also, and proceeded with the Reishi detox every morning for the next month. I loved the even keeled temperament that lived in my body, I would even call it a state of Zen

I want to preface this next passage by expressing my great disappointment on running out of Reishi at the end of the month. I loved it so much, and looked forward to it every morning but, I also needed to stop to see how long the effects stayed with me. When I first began drinking the tea, I felt a change pretty much right away. As I was giving up coffee at the same time, I expected some withdrawal effects from the caffeine but, they didn’t appear. My detox sailed smoothly into a state of serenity and calmness. These remarkable qualities increasingly became part of my own personality as well. I felt it even more after a few weeks. When dealing with everyday matters I could tell that a shift had occurred, I had the incredible ability to recognize when issues were insignificant in the bigger picture. I was not getting mad or over-reactive with people or things, in fact, it made me realize how unbalanced I’d been before the tea. My previous state of mind had been a little agitated and I would get irritated more than I wanted too. With Reishi, my brain became clearer, quieter, and I was able to remember things from way back in my past, as if the doors of my unconscious mind were opening one by one. It wasn’t overwhelming, I was just able to observe. I felt alert and also sensitive to people and situations. I did have one day that a NYer screamed at me— that upset me a lot. I realize that a contemplative state of mind could have its drawbacks but, I loved the even keeled temperament that lived in my body, I would even call it a state of Zen. Reishi seemed to heal and balance each of my chakras, soothing my nervous system and, in turn, allowing my creativity to soar. I felt my metabolism balance, my cravings diminish and, because my diet improved as well, I gained more energy and stamina.

This balancing effect stayed with me for about a month after I stopped drinking the tea; my daily bodily cramps stayed at bay as well. After another month, however, I began to feel some impatience creeping back into my life so, without hesitation, I immediately went out and bought another shroom. I would love to forage for Reishi but, buying it fresh at Union Square market is as good as it gets for this New Yorker. My Reishi journey has been fun and rewarding, and I can honestly say Reishi has transformed my life in a truly blissful way.