Grow Your Own ReishiNorth Spore
Reishi Mushroom kits are one of the easiest of all of our Grow Your Own kits. They are very reliable producers and require next to no upkeep. They live their entire life-cycle within their bag (do not open the bag!). They grow very slowly but should have dramatic growth patterns within 1 year.
Reishi mushrooms are intensely bitter and woody and usually aren't considered culinary unless harvested very young. However, we do recommend throwing a slice or two of dried reishi into soup stock, much like you'd use a bay leaf, to infuse the broth with its medicinal properties. You may also choose to incorporate reishi into medicinal teas or tinctures.
Known commonly as the 'Mushroom of Immortality' in Chinese, Reishi is a highly esteemed medicinal mushroom thought to promote longevity and overall health. Studied most for its ability to boost the immune system, Reishi extracts stimulate T-cell action, Natural Killer cell activity, and Dendritic cell maturation (Gao, 2004). Other pharmacological effects of Reishi extract include the following: anti-infammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, reduces blood pressure, lowers cholesterol levels, promotes anti-tumor activity, and acts as a central depressant to relax muscles (Hobbs, 1995; Gao et al., 2014).
1) Your Reishi grow kit is an amended sawdust block that has been completely colonized by Reishi mushroom mycelium. Reishi mushroom is one of the easier species to grow indoors as you simply allow the block to produce the mushrooms inside the bag. DO NOT OPEN THE BAG!
2) Keep your Reishi kit out of direct sunlight in an area that is between 55 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Mushroom pinsets (baby mushrooms) will begin to form within the first month or two of purchasing the kit. The inside of the bag is like a terrarium that will provide the mushroom proper air exchange and humidity. This kit needs ambient light to grow properly. Make sure you don’t put the kit someplace where there isn’t any ambient light.
3) Reishi grows extremely slow, you may harvest it early when the reishi antlers are only a few inches tall, or allow it many more months of growth to achieve more interesting growth paterns. As the antlers hit the top of the bag they will start to twirl back around themselves which can create other-wordly mushroom sculptures. We’ve allowed our own blocks to grow for more than six months in some instances with dramatic results!
4) If you plan on harvesting your Reishi, simply remove the bag and cut the individual antlers off the sawdust block. Reishi is a bitter and woody medicinal mushroom. You may dehydrate and use the antlers in tea, or create tinctures from them by macerating and steeping them in 100 proof alcohol for a month or more (directions for double extract tincture making can be easily found online!) Alternatively, you may choose to keep your Reishi antlers on the sawdust block and allow the whole kit to dry out. You can then use your Reishi kit as a table centerpiece or natural sculpture! Just remove the plastic bag and keep the kit someplace warm and dry for 2-3 weeks.
*IF YOU PLAN ON MAKING TEA OR TINCTURE FROM YOUR HOME-GROWN MUSHROOMS IT IS BEST TO START WITH A SMALL AMOUNT TO SEE HOW YOUR BODY RESPONDS, ESPECIALLY IF IT IS YOUR FIRST TIME CONSUMING THIS SPECIES!*