Botanical Medicine: Reishi Chocolate Recipe

You will not believe how delicious this recipe is.  Add this to your holiday recipe repertoire for a wintertime immune boost :).  Reishi peanut butter cup anyone?!

latin: Ganoderma lucidum; common name: Reishi

On the heels of a survey: ‘What’s your favorite comfort food?’ I decided to post this recipe courtesy of Dr. Jenn Dazey, a member of our incredible Botanical Medicine Department at Bastyr.  So far in my survey, pizza is winning as most popular comfort food among readers, but I bet some of you would vote for this if you had the chance to try it!  Click here to vote.

Reishi’s latin name is Ganoderma lucidum, and it’s in the Ganodermataceae family.  It is a tonifying herb and an adaptogen, working on the immune system, and also the cardiovascular system.  It is an immunomodulator, meaning it can help balance a hyperactive or suppressed immune system.  It has also been shown to have anti-neoplastic (anti-tumor) actions.   The part used is the fruiting body.  This particular species tends to grow on dead and dying deciduous trees (oak, maple, elm, willow, sweetgum, magnolia, locust, plum) (2).

3rd year naturopathic medical student and researcher, Renee Choi showing us some Reishi

Pictured above is my colleague and friend Renee.  In addition to being a medical student and overall wonderful person, Renee is also conducting research at Bastyr.  She will be examining the relationship between two plants: Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium) and sweet Annie (Artemisia annua), and prostate cancer.  To read more about Renee’s current research and background click here to read an article from Bastyr’s website.

Back to the topic at hand!  Here is the recipe:

  • take 1 cup powdered Ganoderma lucidum and decoct it in 1 cup of water for about an hour and a half (until the grit disappears).
  • add half a vanilla bean
  • add 1/2 a cup of sugar and boil the sugar while whisking vigorously at a rolling boil for 1 full minute
  • add 1 Tablespoon of lecithin
  • add a tiny dash of cayenne and cinnamon (very tiny amount – not even palatable)

It is that simple!  The result is a delicious chocolate sauce – you will not believe it is a mushroom (my husband didn’t 🙂 )!

Dr. Dazey finishing up the Reishi chocolate in Bot med lab

Enjoy!  And if you have tried it – please leave a comment and tell us what you thought!



1) Botanical medicine 4, Bastyr University.  Dr. Kat Martin, ND and Dr. Jenn Dazey, ND.  In class & lab notes, Fall 2011.

2) Ganoderma lucidum (reishi), monograph.  Dr. Eric Yarnell, ND.  Bastyr University, Department of Botanical Medicine, 2008.  (And references therein.)

* If you are looking for a specific reference on an above claim, please ask me in the comments section.