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Ganoderma (Linzhi)

 

It is the dried sporophore of Ganoderma Lucidum (Leyss. Ex Fr.)KARST (Chizhi), or Ganoderma Sinensis Zhao, Xu et Zhang(Fam.Polyporaceae)(Zizhi), produced in most parts of the country.  Wild Ganoderma is rare in the market and the majority is cultivated.

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 Identification

Ganoderma consists of the pileus and stipe.  
    Ganoderma Lucidum (Leyss.exFr.) Karst: Its pileus is semi-round, round or bean-shaped. Its shell is hard, yellowish-brown to reddish-brown and lustrous, with circular arris edge stripes and radiate wrinkles.  The edge is thin and even, frequently slightly incurved.  The inner part is white to brown, consisting of numerous tubes.  The stipe is laterally grown, reddish-brown to purplish-brown, and luminous.  The spores are in the tubes.  It is fragrant to some extent with bitter and puckery taste.                               
Ganoderma Sinensis Zhao,Xu et Zhang: Its sporphore resembles Ganoderma Lucidum.  Its shell of the pileus and stipe is purplish-black or black.  Its body is rust-brown. There are very few wild ones and the majority is Ganoderma Lucidum.   
Cultivated Ganoderma:  Its sporophore is a little bit sturdy, plump, and its shell is often coated with massive yellowish-brown powder-like spores.
The quality is judged by its shape, color and luster, thickness and specific gravity.  The best one is characterized by the light yellow or gold sporophore under the pileus.  The white or whitish-gray sporophore is of the second quality, and the lowest quality ones are those with grayish-white color and bigger tubular holes. Of the third the nutrient spores are already ejected, so its effect is weakened.
The age of the cultivated ones are calculated by their size, weight and layers. 
Some of the wild Ganoderma are steamed to have an attractive appearance and good price.  But you can hardly know the fact that most of its precious constituents have already gone after steaming.  Therefore, if no spore powders are found on the surface of the pileus, and there are shedding stripes, it must be the steamed one and it is not wise to buy it.

 Commonly Seen Fake Ones

There are about one hundred varieties of Ganoderma differentiated according to the color and luster, among which Ganoderma Lucidum has pharmaceutical properties, and 85% active principles are in the pileus.  That is why it is generally believed that Ganoderma with small pileus has less active principles and thus is poor in quality. 
In identification we have to concern about the existence and location of the stipe and feature and color of the stripes on the pileus.
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