China: The Birthplace of Reishi

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. 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.”
  • 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, they 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 Rae’s Cafe 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.

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10 Fun Facts About Soap

It’s easy to tell when people start using Rae’s Premium G3 Beauty Soap — they generally cannot stop talking about soap! And sure, we realize that with its amazing moisturizing formula — packed with goodness such as grape seed oil, Ganoderma lucidum and antioxidant-boosting glutathione — this is certainly more than just your average bar of soap.

But there’s actually a lot more to a humble bar of soap than meets the eye. So, let’s take a look at some fun and interesting facts about the history of soap:

  • The earliest recorded evidence of the production of soap-like materials dates back to around 2800 BC in ancient Babylon. A formula for a soap-like substance, consisting of water, alkali, and cassia oil, was found written on a Babylonian clay tablet that dates back to around 2200 BC.
  • The ancient Egyptians are believed to have bathed regularly and used the combination of animal and plant oils with alkaline salt to produce a soap-like substance.
  • Roman philosopher Pliny the Elder wrote of the Phoenicians using soap as early as 600 B.C.
  • Early soaps were generally used for cleaning clothes and for curing animal hides.
  • It was the Romans who are thought to have first begun using soap on their bodies as part of bathing, and thus spread their soap-making skills across Europe.
  • By the eight century, soap was common in France, Italy, and Spain, but the rest of Europe rarely used it until the 17th century.
  • Soap production began in England around the end of the 12th century. Soap-manufacturers had to pay a heavy tax on all the soap they made.
  • Early soap makers simply boiled a mixture of wood ash and animal fat. A foam substance formed at the top of the pot, and when cooled, it hardened into soap.
  • Around 1790, French chemist Nicolas Leblanc patented a method of making lye from an ordinary salt, replacing the wood ash as an element of soap. Another French chemist, Eugene-Michel Chevreul, discovered the chemistry behind the relationship of glycerin and fatty acids and put the soap-forming process (called in English saponification) into concrete chemical terms in 1823.
  • Soap was manufactured with industrial processes by the end of the 19th century, though people in rural areas continued to make their own soap at home. By 1890, many different types of soap were offered by the five major companies that emerged in the soap industry, these being, Colgate, Morse Taylor, Albert, Pears, and Bailey.

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Enjoi Rae’s Organic Products!

As Rae’s Café expands, sharing our ganoderma-enhanced coffees, teas and other beverages and products with people all across the continent, one of the things that we are proudest of is our organic items. Organo Gold’s commitment to organic farming wherever possible means that several of our best-selling products are certified organic by Ecocert, the global certification body for sustainable development. These organic products — which include Organo Gold Organic Green TeaOrganic Red TeaPremium King of CoffeeGanoderma Lucidum Spore Powder, and Organic Ganoderma Lucidum Capsules — are some of Rae’s finest, and represent the pinnacle of what Organo Gold is all about — providing customers with the products they need for an active lifestyle.

Europeans in particular seem to truly appreciate Organo Gold’s commitment to quality — and organic farming wherever possible — because Europe has always been on the cutting-edge of organic farming. Here’s some info on just how progressive Europe is on the organic front:

  • Twenty-four percent of the world’s organic land is in Europe.
  • The countries with the largest organic area are Italy (1’150’253 hectares), Spain (988’323 hectares) and Germany (865’336 hectares).
  • In 2007, sales of organic products were approximately 16 billion Euros.
  • The largest market for organic products in 2007 was Germany — with a turnover of 5.3 billion Euros, which increased to 5.8 billion Euros in 2008.
  • Germany is followed by the UK (2.6 billion Euros), France and Italy (both 1.9 billion Euros) in spending on organic products.
  • Support for organic farming in the European Union (as well as some of the EU’s neighboring countries) includes grants under rural development programs, legal protection and a European Action Plan as well as national action plans in individual countries.
  • One of the key instruments of the European Action Plan on organic food and farming, an information campaign, was launched during 2008, with the aim of increasing awareness of organic farming throughout the European Union.

We look forward to the organic-conscious European community embracing the Cafe’s and our pro-organic ethos, and to sharing Organo Gold’s certified organic products far and wide across the world.

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The Natural Difference

The Ganoderma lucidium mushroom, so prized by Chinese herbalists, is unique in that grows in wooden trees or logs. Some Ganoderma is harvested using plastic bags which mean that the mushroom’s precious spores cannot effectively propagate, making plastic bag-harvested Ganoderma much less potent.

At Rae’s Cafe, we’re proud of Organo Gold’s natural, organic growing methods and all-natural processing practices. They partnered with some of the most reputable people in the world to produce our Ganoderma lucidum powder.

Here’s a breakdown of how we take these fantastic-looking mushrooms and turn them into an almost magical, potent and wonderfully beneficial powder:

  • First, OG’s Ganoderma mushrooms are grown undisturbed on maple logs high in the Wuyi Mountains of China’s Fuxhou region. It’s cold and deeply forested up there, and these miraculous mushrooms thrive.
  • Once harvested, their partners at the $240 million Gano Herb Industrial Park process the mushrooms. The agriculture and food scientists at OG’s state-of-the-art facility use cutting-edge technologies, techniques and equipment to gently dry, sterilize and process the mushrooms, transforming the tough, wood-like caps into a fine powder.
  • OG’s expert team then carefully transforms the mushroom stems and caps into a fine powder, which is then easily added to our coffee, tea, and other beverage products, as well as personal care products.
  • OG packages and ships all beverage, personal care and nutraceutical products to our partners and distributors in more than 30 countries across the globe.

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Simple Ways to Save Time and Money

Let’s crunch the numbers: An estimated 120 to 150 million cups of coffee are consumed every day across the USA, at an average rate of 1.6 cups per man and 1.6 cups per woman over the age of 18. No doubt, one or two of them are consumed in or around your household.

Now imagine the 10 to 15 minutes it takes you to either:

  1. Fix the cup yourself at home using your: drip brew coffee machine; espresso machine; French press; or other DIY coffee method of choice; add a few additional minutes if you grind your own beans at home (for the time it takes using and washing the grinder).
  2. Stand in line at your local coffee shop or cafe.

On average – whether it’s prepping coffee at home or buying it to-go – that’s around 12 minutes per cup, per day. This doesn’t seem like much in the grand scheme of things, but let’s add that up and look at the bigger picture. The average prep time for six days a week of just one coffee per day, breaks down to 12 minutes per cup. Multiply that by 312 days a year and that’s a grand total of 3,744 minutes per year, or, roughly 62 hours or about two-and-a-half (2.6 to be exact) days a year just preparing coffee.

Now imagine what else you could do in that time? Two-and-a-half days could be spent enjoying a lovely vacation — perhaps in a ski lodge, or at a resort on a sunny tropical island, if that’s more your style. Or you could read a book. Or write a short story. Or see multiple movies. Or take in your favorite sporting event, in person or live via broadcast television.

Time is valuable in today’s busy, multi-tasking society. For many of us, time is money. So wasted time means wasted money. What if you could save those 62 hours?

In honor of the Coffee Connoisseur Club, here are our six top tips on using the Cafe’s coffee, mocha and tea products to help literally save you time and money, and make your life simpler, more efficient, and possibly even happier. And who doesn’t want to be happier?

  1. Gourmet Cafe Supreme not only has the light and creamy flavor of a $5 store-bought latte, it has added benefits. Namely, it is enhanced with two powerful ingredients: 100% pure Ganoderma extract; plus the prized ancient ingredient of Panax Ginseng root.
  2. For basic black coffee connoisseurs, Gourmet Black Coffee features a classic, robust, smooth flavor, and is enhanced with antioxidant-rich Ganoderma extract.
  3. With Gourmet Café Latte, a light, creamy latte is at your fingertips in an instant — minus the wait in line.
  4. Guilty of a sweet tooth and tend to crave a sugary pick-me-up in the middle of the afternoon? We have the answer— Gourmet Café Mocha. This instant product offers a rich, cocoa-tinged coffee that’s ideal for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up.
  5. Organic Green Tea adds an element of instant zen to your day, blending the finest organic green tea leaves with our renowned organic Ganoderma extract for an antioxidant double dose.
  6. Prefer a chilled beverage on those hot summer days and nights? Try an instant cup of Black Ice— a naturally invigorating iced black tea that has already been sweetened with pure, natural honey and enhanced with Ganoderma extract and Amazonian Guarana, to revive your body and mind.

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Ginseng: Back to its Roots

Since it was discovered over 5,000 years ago, the root of the ginseng plant has become one of the most prized ingredients in Chinese and herbal medicine. It has been dubbed the “King of all Herbs”, and was so treasured in ancient China that its use was exclusively reserved for the privileged elite.

Here are a few facts about this unique plant, and the root that has been hailed for its health-affirming properties for thousands of years, both by Chinese herbalists and Native healers in North America.

  • The ginseng plant grows only in the Northern Hemisphere, primarily in the cooler climates of North America and eastern Asia (Korea, the Manchuria region of China, Bhutan and eastern Siberia).
  • The English name “ginseng” is derived from the Chinese term “rénshēn” —rén meaning “man” and shēn meaning “plant root” — due to the fact that the root of the plant often resembles the human form.
  • Similarly, the Native American term for the plant, “garantoquen” translates to “like a man”, again referring to the human-like form of the plant’s prized root.
  • Ancient healers believed that the human-like shape of the root indicated that it would act as a tonic for the entire body.
  • The botanical name of the plant, “Panax” is derived from the Greek root meaning “cure all” or “all healing” and is related to the word panacea.
  • Ginseng is known as an “ataptogen” which means it is a botanical that can help improve the body’s ability to adapt to stress and bring the body back to a healthy, balanced state.
  • In Chinese herbal medicine, ginseng is used in many preparations to help with a wide range of conditions. Primary uses include stimulation of circulation, mental function, performance or endurance, and balancing or improving the function of the adrenal gland.
  • Recent studies have indicated that ginseng could also help control blood sugar levels in people with Type 2 diabetes.
    Organo Gold has infused the incredible benefits of Panax Ginseng into the Gourmet Café Supreme, which means that today, obtaining the renowned benefits of this ancient medicinal root is as easy as drinking a smooth, delicious cup of coffee.
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8 Reasons to LOVE Ganoderma

It’s at the heart of all of our products, which is why Rae’s Café is such a big fan of Ganoderma, the ancient Chinese mushroom that has long been used in Eastern medicine. Here are just some of the many reasons this precious fungus has been revered for thousands of years, and why Rae’s Cafe just loves it so!

  1. The names given to Ganoderma in various Asian languages reflects its potency. The Chinese name, Lingzhi, means “spiritual potency”, while the Japanese name, Reishi, translates as “King of herbs.” The Vietnamese name for the Ganoderma mushroom, Linh Chi, literally means “supernatural mushroom.”
  2. With their long brown stems and shiny orange caps, the mushrooms look like something straight out of a children’s book!
  3. Ganoderma Lucidum has been recognized by practitioners of traditional Asian medicine as the highest ranked of all herbs found in the Chinese pharmacopoeia. 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), where he wrote that “long-term taking of Ganoderma will build a strong, healthy body and assure a long life.”
  4. Today, Ganoderma has become known by modern science for its potent antioxidant properties, and antioxidants have a wide range of health benefits. According to The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, Ganoderma contains one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants in any food.
  5. Certain types of Ganoderma, such as the Cafe’s Ganoderma Lucidum Mycelium, also contain the polysaccharide Beta-glucan, which has been shown to help stimulate immune function.
  6. Because Ganoderma Lucidum respires just like humans — oxygen in and carbon dioxide out — it helps add a quality source of oxygen to the body.
  7. At Rae’s Cafe, the Ganoderma is grown naturally in logs, as it was meant to, high in the Wuyi Mountains of China’s Fuzhou region.
  8. Finally, Ganoderma is transformed in Organo Gold’s multi-million dollar facility in China into a flavorless powder that adds goodness to all of the Cafe’s delicious products — such as our BrewKups, our pre-brewed coffees, organic teas, gourmet hot chocolate, nutraceuticals, and more!

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Recipes or ReciTEAS???

After reading my post “A Taste-Tea Option,” I know that you’re all experts on how to brew and steep the line of teas featured at Rae’s Cafe. This week, I’m going to take it one step further and give you a brand new recipe to put your expertise to the test!

Try out this new Vanilla Green Tea Latte recipe and tweet me a photo with the #raezcafe!

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of Organic Green Tea
  • ½ cup of boiling water
  • 1 cup of milk of your choice
  • 1 tablespoon of honey (or sweetener of choice) to taste
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:

  • Steep the bag of Organic Green Tea in the ½ cup of boiling water for 1-3 minutes (as mentioned in “A Taste-Tea Option”, never go over 3 minutes!)
  • While the Green Tea is steeping, heat the milk until it is very hot, but not boiling
  • Once the Green Tea is done steeping and the milk is hot, mix together
  • Add in the honey and vanilla extract
  • Pour into mugs and enjoy while hot

*Note that you have the option to use a frother to make the milk foamy. Or check out “Foam Sweet Foam” for a quick, easy way to create foam.

Recipes

Mocha Almond Pancake

It’s been a little over a year since the introduction of the delicious BrewKups at P50K in San Antonio, Texas. To celebrate the “occasion”, I want to share with you one of my favorite recipes from the OG Cookbook: OG Brewed Mocha Almond Pancake by Roberto Carlos Cruz from Puerto Rico.

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Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Brew Organo Gold Chocolate Almond BrewKup using the medium size.
  2. Dissolve OG Café Mocha and OG Black Coffee into the brewed Chocolate Almond. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine flour, beaten eggs, oil and milk and whisk until well incorporated. Add Organo Gold brewed coffees and chocolate to the mixture. Blend well.
  4. Cook pancakes on a hot griddle or pan over medium heat. Turn once and cook until they are golden.
  5. To serve, add a small scoop of butter and drizzle with honey.

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Iced Green Tea

FINALLY! It’s staying warm outside on a consistent basis and I really wanted some iced green tea. What better way to enjoy it than with the Organic Green Tea featured at Rae’s Cafe. The organic Ganoderma supplements the benefits of the green tea for an even healthier drink!

Did You Know?

Green tea has been used as a medicine for thousands of years, originating in China but widely used throughout Asia this beverage has a multitude of uses from lowering blood pressure to preventing cancer. The reason that green tea has more health benefits attached to it than black tea is due to the processing. Black tea is processed in a way that allows for fermentation whereas green tea’s processing avoids the fermentation process. As a result, green tea retains maximum amount of antioxidants and polyphenols the substances that give green tea its many benefits!

Iced Green Tea

Ingredients:

While you’re waiting for water to boil, open Green Tea sachets and place in mug; pour desired amount of honey over tea bags, if desired. Pour boiling water over bags to top of mug (honey will melt easily). Steep for 1-3 minutes (depending on taste preference) then squeeze excess liquid out of bags and discard them; stir tea. Cool the tea in the fridge for 15-20 min. Pour tea over desired amount of ice and enjoy!

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