The Reishi Mushroom

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Brenda Robinson
Brenda Robinson
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April 1, 2022

2:33 am


What is Reishi?

The reishi mushroom, formally known as Ganoderma lucidum for our science lovers, is a fungus that grows in hot and humid locations in Asia and North America. Fan-shaped and orange to reddish-brown in color, reishi are rare in nature and were typically reserved for royalty when humans first used them in Asian cultures more than 2,000 years ago. 

Deemed the “king of mushrooms” by many, reishi is extremely special. This fungi king is known for its cell-regenerating, immune-strengthening, and mood-boosting potential, which could improve your quality of life. 

They’re grown commercially and sold in various formats, including tea, capsules, beauty products, energy bars, and even hot cocoa! Reishi mushrooms exhibit many qualities that make medicinal ‘shrooms so excited. They’re adaptogenic stress-soothers and high in antioxidants, so they’ve long been a staple of Eastern medicine. 

Here’s what science has to say about the benefits of reishi mushrooms.  

Reishi’s Health Benefits

Reishi Can Boost Your Immune System

Reishi mushrooms can boost your immune system. Historically, people used reishi mushrooms as an immune system enhancer. Asian cultures even often use them as an immunostimulant for patients with HIV and cancer. The mushroom complex sugars may stimulate the immune system to prevent infections.

Studies have also shown that reishi can affect the genes in white blood cells, which are critical parts of your immune system. These studies have also found that some forms of reishi may alter inflammation pathways in white blood cells.

Reishi Can Fight Fatigue and Depression

Reishi mushrooms are adaptogens, which are plants that help the body fight stress. Inflammation has been linked to depression and a host of other chronic illnesses. Small clinical trials have shown decreases in depression and anxiety among regular mushroom consumers; the research is promising for those seeking nutritional solutions to prevent and treat mood disorders.

One trial assessed data from 2005 to 2016 and looked at two days of dietary recall of more than 24,000 U.S. adults to determine how often participants were consuming mushrooms. This data was then compared to the frequency of reported levels of depression. 

Researchers found that participants who ate moderate-to-high levels of mushrooms over the two days had lower odds of depression than those who consumed low or no amounts of mushrooms. They confirmed that people who eat mushrooms have a lower risk of depression. This is because they have high levels of vitamin B-12, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory components. 

Another study found that fatigue was reduced and quality of life was improved after four weeks of taking reishi powder. The people who participated in the study also experienced less anxiety and depression.

Reishi May Effect Cancer Cells

Numerous studies have been done on reishi mushrooms’ effect on cancer cells. One research study of cancer patients has shown that some of the molecules found in the mushroom can increase the activity of a type of white blood cell called natural killer cells. These natural killer cells fight infections and cancer in the body. 

Another small study found tumors shrunk in three cancer patients taking reishi mushrooms. Researchers believe beta-glucans in the mushrooms may prevent new blood vessel growth, vital as cancer cells need a steady blood supply to grow. The triterpenes, or essential oils, in the mushrooms may also inhibit the development and metastasis of tumors. More research shows that the mushrooms could alleviate chemotherapy-induced nausea and improve the efficacy of radiation therapy.

If you’re currently undergoing cancer treatment, check in with your doctor before adding reishi mushrooms to your health routine.

Reishi Could Lower Blood Pressure 

Reishi mushrooms contain compounds that may help keep high blood pressure at bay. If you are currently taking blood pressure medication, consult with your doctor before taking reishi mushrooms.

Reishi Might Be Good for the Brain

Research indicates that reishi mushrooms may be therapeutic for neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s. They may also protect the brain from seizures. However, further research needs to be done to confirm this.

Takeaways about Reishi Mushrooms:

Although reishi once belonged to the elite, it is now one of the most well-known and widely used medicinal mushrooms. With immune-supporting, adaptogenic, and antioxidant properties, it supports homeostasis and helps the body heal after stress. Take advantage of the reishi mushroom benefits by trying out Mushroom Design, the first-of-its-kind multivitamin powered by nature and dosed by scientists, designed to support your immune system with a perfectly balanced bioactive blend of 9 mushrooms and 9 vitamins. Reishi included!

Posted in B2C, Education, Health & Wellness, Nature
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