Reishi mushroom benefits

Nutrition

Reishi mushrooms are a staple in Eastern medicine and have been nicknamed “the mushroom of immortality” for their potential effects on health and vitality.

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What is reishi mushroom good for? 

Reishi mushrooms have been a staple of traditional Eastern medicine for thousands of years — and for good reason. These woody, wild-growing fungi have a host of potential health benefits, from boosting the immune system to fighting cancer and inflammation to reducing blood sugar and improving cardiovascular health. And many recent scientific studies support these claims. Today, you can easily find reishi mushrooms in a variety of dietary supplements, drink mixes and teas. It’s also a common ingredient in immune-boosting supplement blends. 

What is reishi mushroom? 

The reishi mushroom, also known as ​​Ganoderma lucidum, is a wild fungus that grows on the bark of some trees in hot and humid climates. The mushrooms are primarily cultivated in Asia, but they also grow in the southeastern United States, southern Europe and other areas. Reishi mushroom has a thick, woody texture and a dark and glossy exterior that ranges from orange to purple to brown. You may be able to find reishi mushrooms growing wild in forests — in which case a wild mushroom field guide can help you properly identify them. 

Reishi mushroom has a lengthy history in traditional Eastern medicine and is known for its ability to promote health and longevity. The mushrooms can be consumed fresh but are more often used in powders, teas and extracts. These days, you can find reishi mushrooms in a range of different dietary supplement products, from capsules and tinctures to drink mixes and teas

Reishi mushroom benefits

Boost the immune system 

Reishi mushroom has a number of immune-boosting benefits shown in both traditional medicine and scientific studies. This is probably due to its high concentration of beneficial phytochemicals, including triterpenoids, polysaccharides and peptidoglycans. Several studies have found that reishi mushrooms can boost white blood cell production, responsible for fighting infectious diseases and cancer. These benefits are particularly pronounced in those with existing medical conditions and illnesses. 

Fight cancer

Reishi mushroom has been used as a cancer treatment for many years in China and Japan. It is often combined with other treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation. Reishi mushrooms may improve lymphocyte function, which helps create antibodies, fight tumor cells and regulate the immune system. It may also increase the survival rate of breast cancer patients. Some research also suggests potential benefits for prostate cancer, as reishi mushrooms may regulate testosterone.

Reduce fatigue 

Some research studies suggest that reishi mushrooms may fight fatigue, reduce irritability, regulate energy levels and improve sleep. One study also found that reishi mushroom reduced fatigue and improved the quality of life in breast cancer survivors. 

Improve mental health

Reishi mushroom has adaptogenic properties that may have positive effects on stress, depression and anxiety. Several studies suggest that reishi mushroom supplements can reduce anxiety and depression and improve overall mental health. This is particularly the case in those with existing medical conditions. Some studies have also found that reishi mushroom extract can improve memory and cognitive health and may reduce the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

Strengthen respiratory function

Reishi mushroom has shown the potential to strengthen respiratory function and improve oxygen utilization in the body. This makes reishi mushroom particularly beneficial to those with some pulmonary diseases or illnesses such as asthma, bronchitis and pneumonia. In addition, its anti-inflammatory properties can likewise aid in the treatment of pulmonary disease and reduce inflammation in the lungs. 

Boost heart health 

Though more evidence is needed, some preliminary evidence suggests that reishi mushrooms can decrease LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and triglycerides while boosting HDL (“good”) cholesterol. This is likely due to their high concentration of beneficial antioxidants. 

Reishi mushroom side effects and risks

Although reishi mushroom is generally well-tolerated, it does carry a few potential side effects and risks. For one, reishi mushrooms may increase the risk of bleeding and may also interact with some medications, including high blood pressure medication and diabetes medication. For this reason, you should always speak to your doctor before taking reishi mushroom supplements. Reishi mushrooms should also be avoided during pregnancy and breastfeeding. 

What you need to buy for reishi mushroom benefits

Host Defense Reishi Longevity Support

Host Defense Reishi Longevity Support

These reishi mushroom capsules can be taken daily to support overall health, longevity and vitality. They are made with sustainably grown organic mushrooms and vegetarian capsules and are safe for daily use. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Four Sigmatic Mushroom Elixir Mix with Reishi

Four Sigmatic Mushroom Elixir Mix with Reishi

This convenient powdered drink mix contains a high dose of reishi mushroom powder plus tulsi, rose hips and mint. It’s specifically formulated to support stress relief and sleep. 

Where to buy: Sold by iHerb and Amazon

 

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Katy Severson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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