The Red Reishi

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on November 21, 2014 by Network Marketer

Reishi (pronounced ray-she) is also known in some parts of the world as Ling zhi, Yeongji, Mannentake, or even Hangul. Reishi is considered a special, sometimes even sacred and mythical herb grown in Asia and the surrounding regions. Used as a medicinal mushroom in China for more than 4,000 years, it was once thought by Chinese Emperors to hold the key to long life and vitality.

Reishi has been known by many different terms and nicknames throughout history. Sometimes called The Herb of Spiritual Potency, The Herb of Immortality, The King of the Herbs, God’s Herb, and even The Elixir of Eternal Youth, this little red mushroom has created a place for itself in the annals of Asian History. (Mannentake actually means 10,000 Year Old Mushroom, in Japanese.)

Although very little has been proven conclusively, it has been claimed that reishi can do everything from cure cancer to help bring a person’s high blood pressure down. Another reason for reishi’s immense popularity is that it has almost no side effects when taken. If side effects are experienced, they are usually very mild and innocuous.

Reishi is a type of polypore mushroom. It has a very soft, corky texture, and has an unusually flat, red-varnished, kidney-shaped cap. This is how someone can identify it in nature. Not only does the reishi mushroom have a shiny skin, but it usually grows in a fan or hoof pattern. Reishi is a wood-decaying fungi and grows on both coniferous and hardwood species of trees. As one of the main white-rot fungi, reishi has enzymes that allow it to break down wood components in logs, stumps, and wood chips.

Reishi mushrooms originated in China, but they are now grown the world over in places like Northern and Southern America, Africa, Europe, and many tropical locations.

Carbon dioxide plays a large role in the growth and development of “reishi” mushrooms. Depending on the carbon dioxide levels in the environment where the reishi mushroom grows, the mushroom can grow in different shapes and even take on different colors.

Each different color of reishi mushroom supposedly nourishes a different part of the body. It is believed inn Traditional Chinese Medicine, red colored reishi (Akashiba) supposedly helps the heart, purple reishi (Murasakishiba) supposedly helps the joints (arthritis), green reishi (Aoshiba) supposedly helps the liver, white reishi (Shiroshiba) supposedly helps the lungs and skin (acne), yellow reishi (Kishiba) supposedly helps the spleen, and black reishi (Kuroshiba) is believed to help the kidneys and the brain. Though there are six different types of reishi, herbalists generally call red reishi the most potent, and therefore, it is the most commonly used form of reishi. Most pharmacies and health supplement shops carry only the red variety of reishi.

There are many different compounds and nutrients found in reishi. Ganoderic acid, beta-glucan, mannitol, and alkaloids are all compounds found within the reishi mushroom. Other nutrients include Polysaccharides, Organic Germanium, and Triterpenes.

Reishi is grown both in nature and in greenhouses and artificial environments by reishi producers. In nature, reishi grows on decaying wood and at the bottom of the stumps of deciduous trees (especially maple trees, Japanese plum trees, and oak). In man-made environments, reishi is effectively cultivated both indoors (under sterile conditions) and outdoors on logs, wood chip beds, etc.

Reishi can literally be grown anywhere in the world. Anywhere. Of course, reishi does the very best in the tropical or temperate regions to which it is indigenous; however, if you do not live in such a region, you can build a greenhouse in your yard and grow reishi in an artificially created environment. The process of growing reishi is really quite simple. First and foremost, you need to purchase some reishi dowel plugs. These are almost like mushroom seeds. You can get these from most Fungi shops. Then you get some reishi logs. Decomposing logs work well, but you can also use wood chips or other fibrous compost. Next, you must inoculate the logs. Finally, you watch and wait! You will find, like most fungi, reishi mushrooms grow rapidly and you can harvest several batches of reishi from each inoculated log.

Due to its extremely bitter taste, reishi is almost never eaten straight. Although some health supplement enthusiasts have been known to eat them whole, reishi is usually boiled in water and the extract is made into teas, coffee, or cocoa.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), an extract of the reishi mushroom fruit body is used to help with overall wellness. Although the fruit body contains many compounds and nutrients, the actual mycelium is almost never used.

The reishi mushroom is categorized as a medicinal fungus and exhibits a variety of biological properties. With over 200 active nutrients in reishi, it has been widely sought after by many holistic and health clinics worldwide. You can find it online, in pharmacies, at health stores, and almost anywhere herbs are sold.

Very popular among the health supplement enthusiasts, there are about 80 different species of reishi in total. One of the best known and well-studied of all the medicinal mushrooms, reishi has been used as a health supplement for thousands of years.

In closing, reishi has been called the Spirit Medicine; however, although it is available at pharmacies as an over-the-counter health supplement, it is highly recommended that you consult with your doctor before taking it. Although many studies have been done on reishi and many books have been written about this little red mushroom, the true health benefits are still unknown. Also, reishi should be viewed as a preventative medicine and not as a treatment or cure for health ailments.



Coffee in Malaysia

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on November 20, 2014 by Network Marketer

Not unlike in China, Malaysia has traditionally been more of a tea-drinking nation, but coffee has been on the rise, as coffee culture grows more popular, particularly amongst young professionals, and coffee shops are mushrooming up all across the country.

Here are some facts and figures about the the history and recent growth of coffee culture in Malaysia:

Traditional Malaysian coffee, called “kopi,” is for some an acquired taste. It is made by pouring boiling water through grounds held in a cloth “sock” or filter, and is thick, strong and bitter. Kopi can be drunk hot or iced, and is often mellowed with sweetened condensed milk.
Liberica, a coffee variety native to Africa that’s considered inferior in taste to arabica and robusta, is thought to have been introduced to the Malaysian peninsula in the 1800s. The plant is still cultivated in small numbers, mostly in the central and southern states of Selangor and Johor.

Malaysian kopi’s distinctive burnt flavor comes from the butter and sugar that the beans are roasted with.

Whatever today’s coffee connoisseurs might make of kopi, the traditional coffee beverage is a cherished part of Malaysian cultural heritage.

Kopi is served in “Kopitiam” (“tiam” is the Hokkien Chinese word for shop) — traditional Malaysian coffee shops that also serve Western dishes like toast and eggs, and Malaysian standards such as fried rice and noodles.

Since the early 2000s, an array of kopitiam-inspired coffee chains with nostalgia-inducing names have sprouted across the country.
In a February 2014 article in Business Insider Malaysia, it was reported that “the mushrooming of coffee shops has even spread to Southeast Asia, and very visibly in the past two years, in Kuala Lumpur.”

“Coffee shops are a rising star in the specialty eatery industry and the fastest growing niche in the restaurant business, elevating the taste by offering brewed coffee and specialty espresso drinks like cappuccinos and lattes,” the Business Insider Malaysia article reported.

For those keen to experience Malaysian coffee culture first-hand, here’s a quick glossary of “kopi” and how to order this national beverage:

Kopi: hot coffee with sweetened condensed milk

Kopi O: hot coffee with sugar only

Kopi kosong: hot coffee with no sugar and no milk

Peng: added to any of the above will get you the said version in a glass, over ice.

Kaow: added to any of the above will get you an extra strong cup (or glass).


Germany’s Coffee History

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on November 20, 2014 by Network Marketer
The German word “Kaffeeklatsch” is a term often used to describe an informal gathering for coffee and conversation. The term is derived from the German words “Kaffee” which of course means coffee, and “klatsch” which means gossip.

The Germans love to have their afternoon coffee with cake, an occasion that is often dubbed “Kaffee & Kuchen”. It is also a way to welcome guests and spend time with family and friends.

Everyone associates Germany with beer, but statistically, coffee is even more popular! On average, Germans drink 150 liters each of coffee per year — which is more than the average annual intake of beer, wine or mineral water.

Germany is actually the world’s second largest importer of coffee — behind the United States.

Drip coffee was a German invention — when, in 1908, Melitta Benz, a housewife from Dresden, tried to get rid of the coffee grounds in her coffee by filtering the freshly brewed coffee through a piece of blotting paper. Today Melitta is a successful company, producing coffee filters and other coffee-related products.

Germans have a long history focused on building good machines for coffee. In the 1950s, Otto Bengtson from Berlin invented the first mass catering, fully automated coffee machine, which featured an integrated mill, and in 1954, German inventor Gottlob Widmann invented the Wigomat, the first drip coffee-maker.

The trend in Germany appears to be moving towards fast, easy-to-prepare, convenient coffee products. According to a recent Euromonitor report (May, 2014): “Demand for coffee products that are fast and quick to prepare is predicted to remain high.” The report continued: “Tight work schedules and a relatively low unemployment rate mean that most Germans have a regular income but little spare time. This acts as a strong incentive to buy convenient products, particularly because the desire of working Germans to engage in many activities in their spare time is high, and time-saving products are needed. Products which allow for quick consumption and easy preparation are thus expected to be the best performers over the forecast period.”

Renowned German composer Johann Sebastian Bach was passionate about coffee. He once wrote an operetta, called the Coffee Cantata, which tells the story of a girl’s addiction to coffee. “I need to have coffee, coffee; if you want to give me a treat – pour me a cup of coffee,” wrote Bach in 1732.


New York: A Great City for Coffee Lovers

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on November 20, 2014 by Network Marketer

Take a look at the coffee culture in the two team’s home cities. Time to take a look at Manhattan, the home base of the New York Rangers:

On average, New York inhabitants consume seven times more coffee than people from any other US city.

New York households also tend to spend about three times the national average on their coffee.

Younger people (in the 18 to 34 age group demographic) spend about twice as much per week on coffee as those in the over 45 age bracket, with young coffee drinkers spending an average of $24.74 (versus the $14.15 of their older counterparts) each week.

New York City is home to more than 800 venues for coffee — not including street vendors.

The iconic “We Are Happy to Serve You” paper coffee cup is ubiquitous to New York. It was first introduced in 1963, and was designed by Leslie Buck of the Sherri Cup Company.

The cup design features an image of an Ancient Greek amphora container, a Greek key design on the top and bottom rim, and the words “We Are Happy to Serve You” in a font that is intended to resemble ancient Greek writing. The blue and white color schedule was inspired by the Greek flag.

An estimated 180 million of the blue and white distinctive paper cups are used in New York City every year, and a ceramic version of the cup is now available through the New York Museum of Modern Art store.

Manhattan neighborhoods have the highest density of cafés per ZIP code in the greater New York City area.


China: Birthplace of Ganoderma

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on November 20, 2014 by Network Marketer

Asia Tour 2014 — and we could not be more excited. Organo Gold has strong ties to China, not least because it is home to the miraculous Ganoderma mushroom that lies at the heart of all of our products.

As we prepare for Global Master Distributor Shane Morand and Crown Ambassador John Sachtouras to conduct their leadership training event in Pucheng, China, we thought we’d revisit the remarkable history of the remarkable mushroom that is Ganoderma lucidum.

The History of Ganoderma

For as many as 4,000 years, Ganoderma Lucidum has been recognized by practitioners of traditional Asian medicine as the highest ranked of all herbs found in the Chinese pharmacopoeia.

The Chinese name for Ganoderma, Lingzhi, means “spiritual potency,” while the Japanese name, Reishi, can be translated as as the “King of Herbs.”

Dr. Shi-Jean Lee — the most renowned doctor of the Ming Dynasty — strongly endorsed the effectiveness of Ganoderma in his famous book Great Pharmacopoeia [Ban Chao Gang Moo]. In it, he wrote that “long-term taking of Ganoderma will build a strong, healthy body and assure a long life.”

Ganoderma mushrooms are unique in that they grow on wood, mostly out of large trees. At Organo Gold, we source only the finest quality organic Ganoderma, grown undisturbed on maple logs high in the Wuyi Mountains of China’s Fuxhou region.

Our natural log harvested Ganoderma is superior to plastic bag harvested Ganoderma. Some companies attempt to cut corners and use plastic bags to harvest their Ganoderma, but this means the precious spores cannot effectively propagate, which makes the end product much less potent.

Once our mushrooms are harvested from the maple logs, they are then processed at one of the largest Ganoderma facilities in the world. Here, using the latest technologies and only natural processes, our agricultural and food scientists gently dry, sterilize and process the mushrooms, transforming the tough, woody caps into a fine powder.

That fine, flavorless powder is then added to the entire range of Organo Gold products, from coffee and tea to supplements and even our soap, body lotion and toothpaste.

It’s our privilege and pleasure at Organo Gold to bring this ancient treasure to the Western world, and it’s such an honor to visit the land where the wonders of Ganoderma were first discovered.


All the Coffee in China

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on November 20, 2014 by Network Marketer

China was the birthplace of tea almost 5,000 years ago, when it is said that tea leaves fell into a pot of water the emperor Shen Nong was boiling. While more legend than historical fact, this tale nonetheless illustrates the central role that tea has played in Chinese culture for literally thousands of years.

But while coffee may have taken a while to make inroads in China, it is rapidly becoming more popular. So popular in fact, it has even provoked alarmist headlines, wondering if coffee will overtake the ancient Chinese affiliation with tea. “Is Coffee a Threat to Chinese Culture?” asked a headline in the Beijing Review, April, 2013? “As the number of cafés continues to grow in China, could the teahouse become a thing of the past?” queried writer Elvis Anber. That’s unlikely, but the massive recent growth of the coffee industry — and the increasing widespread acceptance of coffee houses amongst the influential younger and more affluent demographic — does reveal a pro-coffee shift in mainland China.

Here are some facts and figures about the history and amazing growth of the coffee market in China:

Coffee’s history in China goes back to the 19th century. Coffee is thought to have made its first appearance in China when a French missionary planted beans throughout the Yunnan Province in the 1890s. And many Western missionaries and businessmen brought coffee with them to treaty ports such as Shanghai.

During the 1920s and ’30s, as Shanghai basked in its reputation as the cosmopolitan “Paris of the East,” cafes became one of the many examples of the city’s international flavor, but were shut down after Mao and the Communists took control of the country in 1949.
The reemergence of coffee shops in Shanghai since the 1980s has been part of the reemergence of China itself on the global stage. As historian and writer Jeffrey Wasserstrom wrote in his essay ‘All the Coffee in China’, the recent proliferation of cafes and coffee culture in mainland China’s big cities such as Shanghai and Beijing represents “both a novelty and a resumption of an old cosmopolitan trajectory that was interrupted for a time.”

Coffee is seen as a symbol of the Western lifestyle and China’s emerging middle class, and is associated with fashion, modernity and prosperity. Not surprisingly, coffee consumption in China is highly concentrated in large cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou — appealing to adventurous, open-minded, young, affluent, urban consumers. These consumers are more exposed to Western influences and tend to look up to Western lifestyles.

“Café chains only really began to appear in China in the late 1990s, and have since grown very rapidly in number,” said Matthew Crabbe, Director of Asia-Pacific Research at Mintel, the UK-based market research company, in a recent press release. Part of the appeal, particularly for the aforementioned young, affluent crowd, are the lifestyle factors associated with coffee and café culture —namely those of exclusivity and luxury.

According to Mintel research, the number of cafés in China rose to 31,783 in 2012, double the 15,898 of 2007. That’s about 1,025 cafés for each of the Chinese mainland’s 31 provinces and municipalities.

China’s coffee market has reportedly grown by an estimated 10-15 percent annually over the past decade, in comparison to the worldwide average of just 2 percent.

In 2006, coffee consumption in China was roughly 45,000 tons. Some industry analysts predict this number could reach 300,000 tons annually by 2020.


Coffee: A Ceremonial History in Ethiopia

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on November 20, 2014 by Network Marketer

Traditional Japanese tea ceremonies are well-known across the globe — but many people are unfamiliar with some of the elaborate rituals surrounding coffee. One such ritual with a long cultural history is the coffee ceremony that is still performed to this day by Ethiopians. The nation is considered the birthplace of Arabica coffee, it’s no surprise that coffee has a special significance. Coffee is revered with almost spiritual significance in this ritual, which has been performed for thousands of years.

Let’s take a look at the traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony, which takes the humble green coffee bean – and guests at the ceremony – on a journey through the roasting process, and then the brewing process, before it is finally poured and served for guests in small ceramic cups.
The Ethiopian coffee ceremony is an integral part of their social and cultural life, and often takes place two or three times per day.
An invitation to attend a coffee ceremony is considered a mark of friendship and respect, and is an excellent example of Ethiopian hospitality.

The ceremony can take 2-3 hours, and gives attendees time to catch up on local news, share their experiences and problems, rest, relax and spend time chatting.

First, the hostess performing the ceremony spreads fresh, aromatic grasses across the floor. She begins burning incense to ward off evil spirits, and continues to burn incense throughout the ceremony. She fills a round-bottomed, black clay coffeepot (known as a “jebena”) with water and places it over hot coals.

Then, the hostess brings out the washed green coffee beans and begins roasting them in a pan on a small open fire or coal furnace. The traditional coffee roasting pan is similar to an old fashioned popcorn roasting pan — it has a very long handle to keep the roaster’s hands away from the heat.

To ensure that the beans are all evenly roasted, the hostess will shake the beans, then will take the pan around the room so that all attendees can experience the powerful aroma of the roasting coffee beans.

When roasted, the coffee beans turn a dark brownish black color, and are often slick with the aromatic oils that are released during the roasting process.

After the hostess has completed roasting the beans, she grinds them by hand into a coarse ground using a tool similar to a mortar and pestle. The “mortar” is a small, heavy wooden bowl called a “mukecha” (pronounced moo-key-cha) and the “pestle” is a wooden or metal cylinder with a blunt end, called a “zenezena”.

The grounds are then added to the now boiling water in the jebena coffeepot, and when ready, the hostess pours the coffee from the pot onto a tray of small, white china cups, from a height of one foot above the tray, without interruption — a feat that can take years of practice to master.

After adding sugar if they desire, guests “buna tetu” (or “drink coffee”), and praise the hostess for her coffee-making skills and the coffee for its flavor.

After the first round of coffee, there are traditionally two additional servings. The three servings are known as “abol”, “tona” and “baraka”. Each serving is progressively weaker than the first. Each cup is said to transform the spirit, and the third serving is considered to be a blessing for those who drink it.

Coffee is usually served without milk, but with sugar. In some villages, variations also include the addition of salt, butter or honey.
Depending on the region, the coffee is often served with traditional snack foods, such as popcorn, peanuts or cooked barley.

Coffee clearly has a long and reverent history in Ethiopian culture. The Ethiopians have a saying, “Buna dabo naw,” which translates literally to “Coffee is our bread.” This demonstrates the central role coffee making, and drinking, has not only for providing sustenance, but for the important social bond it provides for those who share it. We’ll drink coffee to that here at Organo Gold.


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