Ganoderma Legends

The White Snake Stole the Celestial Herb

The Legend of the White Snake is a beautiful love story that has been passed down through the ages in China.

The story tells that in Sichuan Province in southwestern China, there was a famous mount called Emei with a cave named White Cloud on the top of the mountain. A white snake lived in the cave. After a long period of hard practice, the white snake accumulated extraordinary power and turned into a beautiful woman. Meanwhile, there was also a green snake on the mountain, which also turned into a human form. The green snake and the white snake made sisters. They were very friendly with each other and got along well.

One day, the two snakes transformed into young ladies and went to Hangzhou West Lake. The white snake was known as Bai Suzhen, wearing a milky white dress. And the green snake is called Qing'er, wearing a cyan dress.

When traveling around the lake, Bai Suzhen met a youth named Xu Xian. They fell in love with each other and got married.

Monk Fahai, the abbot of the Jinshan temple, figured out that the white lady was a white snake incarnated, so he instigated Xu Xian to force Bai Suzhen to drink a cup of realgar wine during the Dragon Boat Festival. Bai Suzhen showed her true snake shape after drinking, and Xu Xian was scared to death.

When Bai Suzhen woke up, she found that Xu Xian was dead and was very sad. Regardless of her pregnancy, she risked her life to steal the celestial grass - Lingzhi.

Bai Suzhen waded through the mountains and waters, and finally found Lingzhi (Reishi mushroom, or Ganoderma lucidum). When she found no one was around the Lingzhi, she secretly picked one. When she was about to leave, she was discovered by Mei Tong and Lu Tong who guarded the fairy grass. They blocked Bai Suzhen's way and stabbed her with her sword.

Because Bai Suzhen was fatigued after travelling a long distance and was pregnant. She was caught after a few rounds of fighting. Seeing that Bai Suzhen was going to be killed, an old man with the complexion of a youth and a snowy head named the Old Man of the South Pole was touched by Bai Suzhen's sincerity in saving her husband and ordered the two immortal children to release Bai Suzhen and gifted Lingzhi to her.

Bai Suzhen was unexpectedly rescued from a desperate situation and was grateful to the Old Man of South Pole. She took the celestial grass and flied home y riding on the clouds in a blink of an eye.

Qing'er boiled Lingzhi into soup, prying Xu Xian's mouth with a spoon, and pouring Lingzhi soup into it. Only a few moments
later, Xu Xian sighed softly, and his stomach murmured "Grunting". After a while, Xu Xian's limbs were gradually moving, and her heart began to beat again.

The Lingzhi indeed brought Xu Xian back to life.

Miss Dragon and Herb Gatherer

According to legend, there is a large cave at the top of the ice cave mountain. After May of each year, the cave starts to freeze and becomes as shiny as a fairyland. It used to be a dragon palace, where Miss Dragon lived, and she looked very beautiful. She often gathered Angelica sinensis and Haraella retrocalla on the mountain to treat Dragon Mother’s disease.

A young man lived in the rock house under the mountain, making a living by gathering herbs. He had only one relative in the family - his dad, who had been ill in bed for three years. The young man lived very poorly.

The young man had a purple bamboo flute. He often blew flutes on a clear and bright night, and the sound was very moving sometimes like a spring coming out of a hole or sometimes like a hundred birds singing together; his flute sound seemed to be able to move the trees to tears.

The flute sound even moved Miss Dragon. She often hid behind the rock house and overheard. When she heard the emotional department, she wept silently.

One day, the young man was collecting herbs in the old forest in the mountain and saw a beautiful lady with a hand-held herb basket smiling at him. The herb gatherer looked at her and was very surprised. In this deep mountain, how could such a woman appear? Besides, she was so pretty and not dressed like a common person, was she immortal? He was suspecting that the woman had already left, and he stood there and looked for a long time.

A few days later, the herb gatherer met the woman in the old forest of the mountain. She came to tell him that she was Miss Dragon. Now that her mother was seriously ill and needed a remedy named Lingzhi (Ganoderma lucidum, or Reishi mushroom), she had to search mountains one by one and had not found it. She hoped he could help find it. The herb gatherer promised to find such a herb by his own efforts. Then, they agreed the time when Miss Dragon came to get the herb.

Then Miss Dragon returned to the dragon palace, the herb gatherer immediately went up the hill to collect Lingzhi. He finally got one Lingzhi on a steep cliff but was bitten by the poisonous snake guarding the Lingzhi. He rolled down the steep cliff and fainted.

Miss Dragon came to the agreed place at the agreed time, and she could not find the herb gatherer. She realized something was wrong and searched him along the footprints left by him. When she found him, the young man had only one breath but still held the Lingzhi tightly in his hand. Miss Dragon was moved to tears and carried him on her shoulders to the foot of the mountain and rested him in the rock house. She took the Lingzhi and hurried back to the Dragon Palace.

Lingzhi cured Dragon Mother's illness. Dragon Mother was very grateful and wanted to thank the herb gatherer. She asked her daughter what the young man he wanted and promised to gift him any treasure she had. Miss Dragon replied that the young man wanted nothing but Dragon Mother’s daughter – Miss Dragon. After careful considerations, Dragon Mother decided to consult with Dragon King.

Dragon king refused to marry his daughter to the herb gatherer and locked her up.

Later, the herb gatherer missed Miss Dagon so much that he finally turned into a hill.

Lingzhi has been regarded as a magic herb by the people since ancient times. In fact, it is just a precious traditional Chinese medicine. It does not have the magical effects of curing all diseases, resurrecting life and making people live forever as legend says.

First Emperor of Qin Hunts for Elixir of Life

Meat Lingzhi, also known as Tai Sui, is the elixir of life that First Emperor of Qin sought in the legend. Li Shizhen did record meat Lingzhi in the Compendium of Materia Medica and included it in the "Zhi" category of the "Cai" department. It is edible and can be used as medicine. It is regarded as "the top medicine of the herbal classic" . It has the effect of keeping the body youthful and prolonging life if taken for a long time.

In 219 BC, First Emperor of Qin once sailed around the Shandong Peninsula, where he had been lingering for three months and heard that there were three immortal mountains in the Bohai Bay, named Penglai, Fangzhang and Yingzhou.

Three immortals lived on the three immortal mountains with elixir in their hands. The person who told First Emperor of Qin this amazing story was Xu Fu. He was a local alchemist. He said that he had seen the three immortal mountains with his own eyes. After hearing this, First Emperor of Qin was very happy and dispatched Xu Fu to lead three thousand boys and girls into the sea to find the elixir. The huge fleet led by Xu Fu set off, but after drifting for a long time at sea, he could not find what he called immortal mountains, let alone an elixir. First Emperor of Qin was a tyrant. But Xu Fu did not complete his mission. If he returned, he would be killed. So he took the thousands of boys and girls to Japan.

Although Xu Fu went away forever, First Emperor of Qin did not stop seeking immortality. Four years later, in 215 BC, he found another alchemist named Lu Sheng and dispatched Lu Sheng to seek immortality. Lu sheng’s duty was different from that of Xu Fu. Xu Fu went to look for an elixir while Lu Sheng went to the sea to look for two ancient immortals, one called "Gao Shi" and another called "Xian Men."

According to records, the elixir of life that First Emperor of Qin could not find everywhere is commonly known as "Tai Sui" and the scientific name is "Meat Lingzhi". But in the end, First Emperor of Qin didn't take the elixir and didn’t live for a hundred years, and even the Qin Dynasty died early.

Green Bull Ate Lingzhi on a Sly

In those days when Sun Bin learned the art of war in Yunmeng Mountain, his diligency and studiousness not only won Master Guiguzi's favor but also gained the Queen Mother's recognition. So he was appointed to guard Lingzhi (Ganoderma lucidum or Reishi mushroom) on the north cliff of the Peach Garden.

In his spare time of learning arts, Sun Bin took his attendant to visit the cliffs every day, and at the same time he took the green bull to sow a kind of millet called Sui Louxiu with a drill in North Peach Garden. The so-called Sui Louxiu meant that the seed was sown in the front, and the millet in the back showed the maturity of its earhead at any time. The young attendant followed the drill to collect the mature millet.

After a long time, the young attendant felt that there was nothing clever about sowing with a drill and there was no difficulty in ordering about the green bull, and he also wanted to try to do that alone. Another day at the peach garden, the young attendant asked if Sun Bin allowed him to try to sow alone. Sun Bin pointed at the cliff and told him that there was a millennium Lingzhi planted by the Queen Mother on this cliff. Sun Bin mentioned that the green bull had a bad temper and worried if the young attendant could manage it. Sun Bin worried If the green bull accidentally ate the Lingzhi, the Queen Mother would blame him for that. Since then, the young attendant stopped to mention about the sowing.

One day, Sun Bin had to go out for something. Before leaving, he repeatedly instructed the young attendant to keep a watch on the door and not to run around. The young attendant watched the master going out but wanted to try his own skills. But remembering the words of the master, he did not dare to act without permission.

The green bull seemed to have guessed the thoughts of the young attendant and suddenly suggested him to try his own skills since Master Sun Bin was absent. The little attendant listened to the bull’s words and asked happily whether the green bull would like to accompany him to the peach garden. The green bull agreed immediately but proposed two conditions. The first condition was to forbid the young attendant to cast magic spells while hoeing the ground. The second was to forbid the attendant to pull its nose. The young attendant agreed the two conditions.

In this way, the young attendant carried the drill and led the bull to the peach garden. By following the example of Sun Bin, he sowed the land from south to north.

That green bull was originally a magic bull in heaven. Because it did not abide by the rules in the heavenly palace, the Jade Emperor punished it by banishing it to Yunmeng Mountain to plough the farmland. It had long known that the Queen Mother planted Lingzhi (Ganoderma lucidum, or Reishi mushroom) in Yunmengshan Mountain. At the thought of this Lingzhi, its mouth watered. When Sun Bin sowed with a drill, he held its nose tightly. He was also casting spells, so the bull didn't dare to mess things up. Today, before sowing with a drill, the young attendant promised two conditions. It was determined to eat this millennium Lingzhi. As soon as it reached the edge of the northern cliff, the green bull stretched its neck to swallow the Lingzhi in one gulp.

After swallowing the Lingzhi, the green bull felt hot and dry all over his body, thirsty and unbearable. It suddenly recalled the water in the Duanwang Lake at the foot of the hill. Regardless of the repeated dissuasion of the young attendant, it ran down the north cliff to the lake and drank all the water in the lake. But it still felt thirsty. It could recall other places where the water was available.

Gradually it died of thirst and turned into a hill, which is current Golden Bull Ridge.

Peng Zu Lived to 800 Years

The Annals of Mount Wuyi complied in the period of Emperor Daoguang in the Qing Dynasty records that Peng Zu, who lives in the period of Emperor Yao of ancient times, has been regarded as the originator of Chinese health preservation in that he lived to 800 years (60 days was a year in ancient China, so 800 years in ancient China is converted into the present 128 years) by eating Wuyi Lingzhi (Ganoderma lucidum or Reishi mushroom) regularly and drinking the mountain spring water; the secret of promoting longevity by eating Lingzhi has been inherited by Mount Wuyi people from Peng Zu till now, which has earned Mount Wuyi the reputation of longevity town.

Pengzu Lingzhi originates from Wuyi Mountain, which has been the breeding place of wild Lingzhi for thousands of years. The local climate, water source, soil and surrounding ecological environment are in harmony with the nature of Lingzhi.

Fairy Yunv and Lingzhi

Legend has it that a long time ago, a green dragon practiced in the Dahong Mountain stream in Yingcheng. It is the youngest son of the Dragon King of the East China Sea. When he heard that Fairy Yunv of heavenly palace often bathed in the hot spring bathing pool, he hoped to get a little fairy air and add some skill, so he also took a bath in the hot spring bathing pool while Fairy Yunv was bathing. Because his magical skill was not deep, he polluted the hot spring bathing pool, which resulted in plague. After Fairy Yunv knew this incident, she immediately went down to earth to relieve the suffering of the common people.

She came to the land of the hot spring bathing pool, first pricked her finger with a hairpin, and then dripped blood into the hot spring to detoxify, and then went to Dahong Muntain to collect Lingzhi (Ganoderma lucidum or Reishi mushroom) back to cure the people. She stepped on the auspicious clouds to the mountainside and saw a huge Lingzhi shining on the cliff. When she was about to approach, a leopard-print python suddenly burst out of the grass, trying to bite her. She quickly took off the jade pendant from her waist and threw it at the snake, trapping it instantly. The jade pendant was a ruyi circle, which could become larger or smaller. The python was tightly trapped and would not move after a while. She fixed her eyes on the python, which had turned into a herb-gathering hoe. The fairy was secretly happy, took the hoe and approached the Ganoderma but she found a large hornet’s nest hanging under the Lingzhi nearby which hornets were flying up and down. The fairy took out her magic fan and waved it, and the hornet's nest fell down and became a herb-gathering basket. The fairy was so happy that she picked up the medicine basket to carry the Lingzhi and came back to make up a prescription.

Yingcheng county magistrate surnamed Diao was a greedy and lecherous official. He learned that eating Lingzhi could not only keep away diseases but also prolong life, he wanted to forcibly occupy Lingzhi. He seized Fairy Yunv and confiscated her herb-gathering hoe and basket. Seeing the beauty of Fairy Yunv, County Magistrate Diao was fascinated but put on airs by inquiring Fairy Yunv whether she agreed to surrender Lingzhi and share the great wealth with him to exempt from punishment.

After listening to it, Fairy Yunv thought for a while and required three things to be done. The first thing she required was to release the stolen women on the court. County Magistrate Diao felt that all those stolen women were less pretty than one thousandth of Fairy Yunv and immediately ordered his servants to do the same.

The second thing required by Fairy Yunv was to open the granary grain and relieve victims. County Magistrate Diao originally refused to agree, but the more he looked at Fairy Yunv, the more his evil fire rose, he then ordered to open the granary grain and relieve victims.

The third thing required by Fairy Yunv was to cut off Diao’s head and show it to the public. Diao was enraged and ordered his servants to catch Fairy Yunv. When his servants were about to come forward, Fairy Yunv waved her magic fan. Then the herb-gathering basket turned into a hornet's nest, and the hornets came to attack the servants. When Diao was about to run away, Fairy Yunv waved the magic fan, and the herb-gathering hoe turned into a leopard python to bind Diao tightly. Soon Diao was dead.

Fairy Yunv waved the magic fan again. The group of hornets then got into the beehive, which turned into a herb-gathering basket again while the leopard-print python also turned into a herb-gathering hoe.

Then, Fairy Yunv went out of the county government, bid farewell to the people, and used magic powder to put down the green dragon in the bottom of Wenfeng Tower.

Lingzhi Field in Yongcheng

Yongcheng lies in a place known as Xuanpu on the Kunlun Mountain. It is also known as Yujing and it is the residence of the Queen Mother of the West and other immortals. The dwellers there cultivate about 12,000 types of Lingzhi in the field, which are solely for immortals’ taking. This picture shows a scene where an immortal uses a dragon to plow the land to cultivate Lingzhi.

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