Eastern medicine and its versatile benefits have certainly caught the attention and interest of more Americans interested in health and wellness over the past few years.
One of the most popular forms of Eastern medicine to be embraced by many Americans and celebrated by Eastern culture for thousands of years is the Reishi mushroom
According to Chinese medical literature, the reishi mushroom is referred to and revered as the “Elixir of Life” and the “Herb of Spiritual Potency” for its power and symbol of success. Considering the reishi mushroom contains a number of significant benefits for one’s health and wellness, it’s important to be aware of exactly what these benefits are.
If you’re considering adding the “Elixir of Life” into your health and wellness routine, read on to discover all you need to know about the potential health advantages of the reishi mushroom as well as any potential risks.
Reishi Mushroom: What Is It?
The Reishi mushroom is essentially a fungus that grows in various hot and humid areas across Asia. The fungus is considered one of the most widely known and used forms of Eastern medicine and has been used for over a thousand years.
It typically grows in decaying hardwood trees in the forests in Asia and some in Europe, South America and America.
The reishi mushroom is 90% water and 10% solid containing a variety of micronutrients including various proteins, fat and carbohydrates.
Considered once incredibly rare, the fungus has been used for hundreds of years to treat various types of infections. The reishi can be eaten fresh on its own or in a powdered form and capsules to be mixed in drinks for consumption.
Benefits of the Reishi Mushroom for Health and Wellness
The advantages of consuming the reishi mushrooms are versatile and wide-ranging.
The reason the reishi mushroom is so diverse is due to its bioactive properties.
Two of the compounds in the fungus include beta-glucans and triterpenes. Below, we reflect on the studied benefits of the reishi mushroom and why the fungus may be an ideal addition to your wellness lifestyle.
1. Boosts Immune System
Arguably the most important and popular benefit of the reishi mushroom is its ability to support the immune system in a proactive and preventative manner.
In fact, studies have found that the reishi mushroom may affect the genes in the white blood cells of an individual. Certain forms of fungus have been found to potentially alter and regulate inflammation pathways in the white blood cells.
Other mushrooms such as Turkey Tail also contain immune boosting properties.
Moreover, the reishi may boost the immune system through the following methods:
- Polysaccharide compounds in the reishi mushroom have been found to support the immune system by activating the macrophages and helper T immune cells which can positively influence cellular immunity. The mushroom functions as a stimulus to increase humoral immunity and support the body’s defence against harmful pathogens including bacteria and viruses.
- Reishi may help regulate the immune system when it overreacts and responds to inflammation or an allergic reaction and can be proactive in avoiding those reactions.
2. Contains Adaptogenic Properties
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has used reishi for its incredible benefits for years. One of its most revered properties is its ability to act as a premier adaptogen.
Adaptive mushrooms are used therapeutically and help support the immune system, reduce stress and balance hormones. Reishi is considered highly effective for its ability to support the endocrine system which balances hormone levels and adrenaline. In addition, studies have shown that the fungus can:
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Find stable focus
- Restore balance and promote restful sleep
3. Possesses Powerful Antioxidants
The antioxidants that the reishi mushrooms contain have been shown to neutralize free radicals such as atoms, molecules and ions.
Research studies conducted on animals and cell cultures have found that the antioxidants in the fungus are powerful enough to possibly help neutralize free radicals in balance. In addition, the antioxidants can even combat the effects of free radicals such that accelerate age and damage cells.
4. May Support Blood Pressure
The reishi mushroom has been highly regarded for its cardioprotective components which may help lower high blood pressure.
Studies have found that the active compound in the fungus, especially the triterpenes may help manage blood pressure and regulate cholesterol. According to a 2014 study carried out on rats, the reishi mushroom was found to help regulate high blood pressure.
Dosage Recommendations For Reishi Mushrooms
Compared to some other food and supplement types, reishi mushroom dosage can vary more significantly based on which type is used and how.
Higher doses of the fungus more likely occur when an individual is consuming the actual reishi mushroom itself. When that is not the case, doses can vary from 25 to 100 grams depending on the mushroom size.
More commonly, dried extract of the fungus is used instead of the full mushroom itself. In this instance, the dose will likely be 10 times less than when the fungus is consumed on its own.
For example, 50 grams of the entire reishi mushroom is comparable to about 5 grams of fungus extract.
Some supplements contain only certain portions and parts of the extracted mushroom. In that instance, the recommended dosage will likely be lower.
Potential Side Effects and Risks of the Reishi Mushroom
Although the reishi mushroom has been praised for its health properties, as with most supplements, safety and side effects must be considered.
Taking reishi mushroom supplements may be riskier if you have lower blood pressure and are taking diabetes medication or have an immune system disorder.
It’s essential that you consult with your doctor prior to taking any reishi fungus in any form. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, avoid taking reishi mushroom supplements or the fungus on its own.
Inform your doctor about any supplements you want to take, even if they are natural and organic to ensure your health and safety.
Some individuals have experienced the following:
- Nasal passages
Reishi Mushroom Recipes
There are countless ways to add reishi mushroom to your diet and reap its multiple benefits for your mental and physical health. If you’re curious about some simple, nutritious and easy ways to ingest your reishi mushroom, here are some:
- Reishi Ginger Broth
- Reishi Mushroom Tea
- Reishi Mushroom Soup with Carrots and Kale
- Cacao Reishi Green Smoothie
- Reishi Baby Bella Bolognese
How To Find A High-Quality Reishi Supplement
Reishi mushrooms have abundant wellness benefits, but how exactly can you add the fungus into your diet?
There are many varieties of reishi and its supplement form. It’s critical that you only purchase and consume high-quality reishi supplements that are processed according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).
Brain Brands cultivates only certified organic, high-quality reishi mushroom supplements that are easy to ingest, affordable, safe and designed to become a staple in your health and wellness routine.
Brain Brands products are methodically crafted and cultivated, nutritious and the ideal way for any individual to support their wellness daily on the go.
Developed organically, GMO-free and with healthy ingredients, our reiki mushroom supplement is highly accessible.
Check out our range of products that contain Reishi mushrooms:
Final Thoughts on the Benefits of the Reishi Mushroom
Reishi mushrooms are taking the health and wellness industry by storm!
The fungus contains some incredibly therapeutic properties that may help support your mental and physical health.
From boosting your immune system to protecting white blood cells, restoring focus, balance and reducing fatigue and anxiety, the reishi mushroom offers a number of diverse health advantages.
Each batch of our Reishi mushroom products and supplements is meticulously third-party lab tested for any allergens, heavy metals, bad bacteria, yeast, pesticides and irradiation prior to ever being sold.
We are committed to only cultivating organic reishi mushroom products that are clean and controlled to support your health and wellness needs.
- Tinsley G, Ph.D. (2018). 6 Benefits of Reishi Mushroom (Plus Side Effects and Dosage). Available at: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/reishi-mushroom-benefits.
- Mikstas C, RD, LD. (2021). Reishi Mushroom. Available at: https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/reishi-mushroom-uses-and-risks.
- Lin ZB. Cellular and molecular mechanisms of immuno-modulation by Ganoderma lucidum. J Pharmacol Sci. 2005 Oct;99(2):144-53. doi: 10.1254/jphs.crj05008x. PMID: 16230843.
- Wachtel-Galor S, Yuen J, Buswell JA, et al. Ganoderma lucidum (Lingzhi or Reishi): A Medicinal Mushroom. In: Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor S, editors. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2011. Chapter 9. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92757/
- Roberts, S. (2021). What Are Adaptogenic Mushrooms? Available at: https://ommushrooms.com/blogs/blog/what-are-adaptogenic-mushrooms-m2.
- Zeng P, Guo Z, Zeng X, et al. Chemical, biochemical, preclinical and clinical studies of Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharide as an approved drug for treating myopathy and other diseases in China. J Cell Mol Med. 2018;22(7):3278-3297. doi:10.1111/jcmm.13613
- Boh B, Berovic M, Zhang J, et al. Ganoderma lucidum and its pharmaceutically active compounds. Biotechnology Annual Review. Volume 13, 2007, Pages 265-301.