Known in China as lingzhi, or the “mushroom of immortality”, the reishi mushroom has been a pillar of traditional Chinese medicine for centuries as well as in Japan. This fungus gets its name from its powerful immune system boosting qualities, which were so potent that they were originally reserved for royalty alone in ancient China.
What is Reishi Mushroom?
Reishi mushroom, as its name implies, is an edible fungus that grows in hot and humid areas of Asia. It is shaped like a shiny half circle curling fan and usually orange or red-brown. When dried, reishi mushroom is long and has a woody texture. What makes reishi mushroom so special is its high concentration of polysaccharides, triterpenoids, and peptidoglycans, which contribute to the wealth of health benefits we describe below.
What are the Health Benefits of Reishi Mushroom?
Both traditional Chinese medicine and Western medicine acknowledge the incredible health-boosting attributes of reishi mushroom.
Reishi Mushroom for Immune System Health
Reishi improves the immune system, a characteristic that earned it its lofty nickname. It has been documented to stimulate the growth of white blood cells, which are key in fighting infections and cancer. It can be consumed by both sick and healthy people- to fight infection and to also boost the immune system in general.
Reishi’s Anti-Cancer Characteristics
Many people take reishi mushroom to supplement their cancer treatment plan, as reishi has been found to inhibit cancer cells. Several studies have shown reishi to inhibit the development, growth, and metastasis of tumors. In addition to directly impeding cancer in individuals, it can make cancer patients’ lives a lot better in other ways, such as alleviating nausea from chemo-therapy and generally improving the immune system.
Fight Fatigue and Depression with Reishi Mushrooms
As adaptogens, reishi mushrooms help the body lower its stress levels. Adding reishi mushrooms to your daily supplements can help you reduce fatigue and feel better. It also has wonderful benefits for those with anxiety and depression, helping the body restore balance in these areas.
Other Potential Health Benefits of Reishi Mushrooms
- Increase good cholesterol
- Decrease triglycerides
- Lower blood sugar
- Antioxidant effects
- Manage high blood pressure
- Therapeutic for those with neurodegenerative disorders
- Protect the brain against seizures
- Have antihistamine properties
- Improve oxygen supply
- Promotes liver cell regeneration
How to Take Reishi Mushrooms
Reishi mushrooms don’t taste like other mushrooms, since their chemistry is quite different. The flavor is earthy and bitter, which can be a turn off for some people. Luckily there are several options for adding reishi mushrooms to your diet.
Reishi capsules usually don’t have a flavor, which is good for those who don’t like the reishi flavor, however it may take a little longer to absorb into your system.
Reishi tea is a relaxing way to integrate this mushroom into your diet. This method allows reishi to absorb into your body the fastest, though it might not be as tasty as your typical chamomile tea.