13 HEALTH BENEFITS OF REISHI MUSHROOMS
Edible mushrooms have been consumed for centuries; however, in the last 50 years more research has been conducted on their effects and reishi mushrooms are one of the few that stands apart. Bio-compounds found in reishi mushrooms have the ability to activate our immune system. Some studies have found that reishi mushrooms could possibly increase lifespan, fight cancer and improve overall well-being.
Reishi is a bitter, edible mushroom also known as Ganoderma lucidum or lingzhi mushrooms. They are grown and cultivated in East Asia, where they have been used in Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years.
Reishi has 400 different bioactive compounds and these have been reported in scientific studies to have a number of effects including modification of the immune system, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, sleep promoting, antibacterial, antiviral, anti-diabetic, anti-oxidative, anti-aging and anti-ulcer to name a few.
Reishi Mushroom Health Benefits at a Glance
Immune-Strengthening: Helps to regulate and support the immune system
Antibacterial: Fights against bacterial infections
Anti-Inflammatory: Reduces inflammation and relieves aching muscles
Anti-Aging: Contains antioxidants which act as free radical scavengers
Neuroregenerative: Can enhance memory, focus, and concentration
Adaptogenic: Helps to lower cortisol and support the adrenals
Allergy Alleviator: Naturally inhibits the release of histamine
Liver Support: Supports the functioning of the liver
Fights Fatigue: Provides a near instant boost of energy
Meditation Aid: Is believed to create feelings of calm and peace
Lower Blood Pressure: Triterpenes may lower blood pressure
Safe to Use: No severe reported side effects
Have Anti-Aging Properties
With popular names such as “King of Herbs” and the “10,000-year old Mushroom”, reishi mushrooms have been highly praised in herbal medicine for thousands of years for their effects on longevity. In ancient times, those seeking immortality often used reishi mushrooms because of this belief. However, modern studies have positively linked reishi mushrooms to certain lifespan expansion which is accomplished by boosting the health of the immune system and preventing certain abnormal blood vessel formation. In addition, certain antioxidant properties of other organic compounds in reishi mushrooms neutralize free radicals, which can cause chronic diseases and premature aging.
Have Anti-Cancer Properties
The Reishi mushroom has not only been shown to prevent the development of cancers, but research has indicated that the Reishi mushroom may also eliminate existing cancer cells in the body.
Detoxify the Body
Our liver is a delicate and essential organ, so decreasing the level of toxins in it is extremely important. Studies have linked reishi mushroom extracts to faster regeneration of healthy liver cells and a release of free radicals that have built up in the organ, thereby promoting overall health and wellness.
Have Neuroprotective Properties
Studies conducted in 2012 have determined that the reishi mushroom can have highly therapeutic effects on neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s disease. It was shown that Reishi extract supports the production of nerve growth factor, a protein that is vital for healthy neurological function.
One of the most important properties of Reishi mushroom extracts is their anti-inflammatory capacity. For people suffering from arthritis or gout, Reishi extracts can be very helpful. Reishi mushrooms have also been relied on for relieving headaches.
Could Potentially Improve Diabetes Symptoms
Some studies have shown the potential of reishi mushrooms in regulating blood-glucose levels. They revealed that the reishi mushroom polysaccharide extract, called ganopoly, effectively lowered blood glucose levels. The researchers concluded that reishi mushrooms are a potential anti-hyperglycemic agent for diabetes.
Boost Immune System
There is a lot of evidence supporting the idea that reishi mushrooms can activate your immune system. Reishi mushrooms contain beta-glucans, one of the most effective and powerful immune system boosters that we know of. By increasing the number of beta-glucans in the body, we can protect ourselves against a vast range of potential diseases and reduce the signs of aging.
As we age, our energy levels do tend to drop, but adding a spirit in our golden years with the help of Reishi mushrooms can create wonders.
Improve Anxiety and Depression
In the studies, breast cancer patients reported reduced anxiety and depression, as well as an increased quality of life when they received Reishi along with their cancer treatment.
Studies have shown Reishi extract to reduce and inhibit all allergic responses.
Reishi mushrooms have been used for various conditions, including chronic bronchitis because they reduce histamine. Reishi mushrooms effectively inhibit the release of histamine from mast cells and stabilized mast cells at the same time.
Benefit the Heart
An extract of Reishi mushroom protein has been shown to potently lower blood pressure with effects lasting up to 8 hours and reduce damage to the cells that line blood vessels .
In people with diabetes, Reishi mushrooms can help reduce both cholesterol and insulin resistance.
Help with Insomnia
Reishi mushrooms traditionally were recommended by Chinese and Japanese herbalists for insomnia due to their sleep-promoting ability. Modern science supported this belief and found that Reishi mushrooms are useful for sleep.
Aid Gut Health and Weight Management
Reishi mushrooms help prevent ulcers from forming and lower fat in the body as well which in turn, promotes gut health.
Reishi Mushroom Tea Recipe
Dried Reishi mushrooms
A standard reishi recommendation is 3 - 5 grams a day, although doses up to 15 grams are not uncommon.
The amount of water is your choice as well. It all depends on how many cups of tea you want to drink. Usually about 4 - 5 cups of water for every 3 - 5 grams of reishi. This will boil down to a fraction of the original amount.
Smaller pieces are better for a hot water extraction. Grind them.
An easy solution is to buy a pre-sliced bag of dried reishi. This will save you the trouble of having to break them apart.
Bring the water to a boil in a stainless steel or ceramic pot. Don't use aluminum for such a prolonged boiling process.
Add the mushroom pieces. Reduce the heat until the mixture is simmering, not outright boiling. Let it simmer for 2 hours.
Remove from the heat, strain, and set aside. Allow the liquid to cool a little, as it's quite hot. You can repeat the process with the strained pieces until the resulting extraction is no longer bitter or colored.