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Health & Nutrition
Zaheera Swing
Nutritional Therapist & Herbalist BSc Hons Nutritional Science + NTPD

4 Incredible Health Benefits of Reishi For Supercharged Immunity, Energy & More!

Reishi mushrooms, known as Ganoderma lucidum, have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 2000 years. Modern scientific studies suggest that they may have various health benefits, including boosting immunity, reducing fatigue and depression, supporting cardiovascular health, and potentially regulating blood sugar levels.


Gather round because I'm about to spill the tea on a little-known secret of the ancient world - reishi mushrooms!

That's right, these fungi have been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine for their healing properties, and now, modern science is starting to catch up and back up what the ancients already knew. Let's start with a brief history lesson, shall we?

 

The history of reishi

 

Reishi mushrooms, also known as Ganoderma lucidum or Ling zhi, have been used in China for over 2,000 years. They were considered a symbol of longevity, good health, and spiritual potency and were reserved exclusively for emperors and their entourage, as they were extremely rare and expensive.

The earliest recorded use of the reishi mushroom can be traced back to the Han Dynasty in China (206 BC - 220 AD). They were so highly valued that they were even used as a form of currency and were often given as gifts to royalty and nobility.

Throughout Chinese history, the reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) was praised for promoting vitality and resilience. Reishi mushrooms were believed to have the power to balance the body's Qi (flow of energy) and were often used to treat a wide range of ailments, including fatigue, weakness, heart problems, men’s health concerns, and respiratory issues.

 

Reishi mushrooms were also used in traditional Chinese spiritual practices. They were believed to have the power to enhance spiritual development and were often consumed by practitioners of Taoism and Buddhism and sometimes even referred to as the “mushrooms of immortality”. 

As the popularity of the reishi mushroom spread, they began to be used in other parts of the world. The ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans all used reishi mushrooms for their incredible properties. The Japanese also have a long history of using this medicinal mushroom, and to this day, they are considered a symbol of good health and longevity.

In modern times, the use of the reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) has continued to spread globally, and the interest in their medicinal properties has led to extensive research on reishi’s potential health benefits. The market for medicinal mushrooms like reishi is growing, and it's becoming more popular in the form of reishi supplements, such as capsules, gummies, powders, and teas.

[1] [2]

 

 

 

Reishi mushroom benefits

 

 

Immunity

 

One of the key compounds found in the reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) are specific polysaccharides (a type of carbohydrate), which have been found to have anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. Researchers have found that a type of polysaccharide from reishi mushrooms can help to stimulate the immune system, namely the activity of natural killer cells, which may improve the body's ability to fight off infections. [3] [4]

Reishi mushrooms are also a great source of beta-glucans, which also play a role in strengthening immunity. Beta-glucans from the reishi mushroom can help to stimulate the function of certain immune cells, which in turn could improve the body's ability to fight off infections. [5] [6]

Some preliminary research in animals and in vitro models even suggest that Reishi mushrooms may have anti-cancer properties. For example, it’s been found that certain compounds found in reishi mushrooms can help to inhibit the growth of cancer cells and induce cell death in certain types of cancer cells. [7]

 

 

Fatigue and depression

 

While more research is needed to fully understand the effects of reishi on fatigue and depression, some studies suggest that supplementing with reishi may help to support mental health by elevating energy levels and promoting a happier mood.

 

For example, a randomized, double-blind controlled clinical trial found that supplementing with reishi for 8 weeks reduced fatigue and increased feelings of well-being in people suffering from neurasthenia (a condition characterized by symptoms such as fatigue, headache, muscle weakness, and irritability). [8] 

 

Another study discovered that a group of 48 breast cancer patients experienced a reduction in fatigue and an improvement in their quality of life after consuming reishi powder for four weeks. [9]

 

 

Cardiovascular health

 

Looking to boost your heart health? In addition to their immune-boosting properties, reishi mushrooms may also provide a protective effect for cardiovascular health. A randomized controlled trial published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that reishi may help to increase levels of HDL cholesterol, also known as the “good” cholesterol while decreasing triglyceride levels. [10]

Some preliminary evidence in animals has also shown that reishi may lower blood pressure. [11]

It’s important to note that more research is needed to confirm these effects since other studies have shown no improvement in these parameters. 

 

 

Blood sugar balance

 

Another health benefit of taking reishi mushroom is its potential to help regulate blood sugar levels. Preliminary research in animals shows that reishi may have anti-diabetic properties by helping to lower fasting glucose levels and improve insulin sensitivity. 

[11] [12] 

 

 

 

How to choose a reishi mushroom supplement 

 

 

With so many reishi mushroom supplements on the market, it can be tricky to know which one to choose.

Some people enjoy brewing a cup of reishi mushroom tea or adding a reishi mushroom powder to their daily smoothie or superfood latte (Try our adaptogenic hot chocolate recipe here, which includes reishi powder)

However, a reishi mushroom extract can provide the most potent benefits, thanks to the high potency of bioactive compounds.

That's why we created our Mushroom Gummy +, designed to provide the benefits of medicinal mushrooms in an easy-to-consume, delicious gummy form! The gummies contain reishi extract and a blend of 9 other mushroom extracts, including chaga, lion's mane for optimized brain health, turkey tail, and more, made from only the fruiting body of the mushrooms to ensure you're getting the highest potency of active compounds. 

Each gummy provides a potent dose of beta-glucans, antioxidants, and other beneficial compounds that are found in medicinal mushrooms. The gummies are also vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free, and made with all-natural ingredients and a delicious raspberry flavor. 

The potential health benefits of consuming Nutririse Mushroom Gummy + include:

  • Support for immune function
  • Improved cognitive health
  • Enhanced digestion and gut health
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Healthy inflammatory responses

It's important to note that while the medicinal mushrooms such as reishi have been found to have a wide range of potential health benefits, more research is needed to fully understand their effects and appropriate dosages. As with any supplement, it's important to consult a healthcare professional before taking them, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have any pre-existing health conditions.

 

 

 

Final thoughts

 

In conclusion, reishi mushrooms have a long history of use in traditional medicine and are now backed by modern science for their numerous health benefits. From boosting the immune system to reducing stress and improving sleep, these mushrooms are a true "superfood" and are worth considering as a supplement to support your overall health!

 

Note: This article is for informational purposes only and not intended for use as medical advice. Always consult your healthcare provider before starting any dietary supplement. Seek immediate medical attention should you experience any side effects pertaining to allergic reactions after using a new dietary supplement.

Zaheera Swing
Nutritional Therapist & Herbalist BSc Hons Nutritional Science + NTPD
As a qualified Nutritional Therapist (BSc Hons Nutritional Science + NTPD), Zaheera Swing has a deep passion for restoring balance and harmony to the body through the modalities of nutritional science, herbalism, and holistic lifestyle practices. Using the functional medicine model coupled with wisdom from ancient paradigms, she aims to provide insight into the underlying root causes of poor health and the holistic tools we can harness to enhance the well-being of mind, body, and spirit.
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