Reishi mushroom is one of the most popular types of medicinal fungi used in Eastern medicine. Eastern countries are known for their use of different plants and mushrooms in medicine, so being on the top of that list really says something.
The reishi mushroom is mostly popular due to its huge variety of health benefits. It’s potentially great for boosting the immune system, treating cancer, and there are certain skin benefits as well. But don’t get excited just yet, there are a lot more benefits of this mushroom that are currently being studied.
In this article, we are going to talk about reishi mushroom benefits, side effects, dosage, and we will show you one great recipe you can use to try out this mushroom.
What is the Reishi Mushroom
The reishi mushroom (aka Ganoderma lucidum) can be found growing outdoors in many different hot and humid places located in Asia. They can mostly be found in China, Japan, and Korea and for centuries natives there have used this mushroom to treat various diseases.
The mushroom itself is edible and it has a bitter taste and tough texture, however, people tend to use reishi powder and reishi mushroom supplement more often.
The mushroom itself is edible and it has a bitter taste and tough texture, however, people tend to use reishi mushroom powder and reishi mushroom supplement more often. Also, if you have a knack for gardening and growing plants, there is a red reishi mushroom that you can grow at home by buying a reishi spawn.
There are a few different molecules contained in the mushroom. Triterpenoids, polysaccharides, and peptidoglycans are the compounds that scientists are the most interested in due to the huge potential health benefits.Reishi mushroom extracts have been researched so far in test-tube studies, animal studies, and a few human studies.
Reishi Mushroom Health Benefits
Reishi mushroom is believed to be able to provide a variety of different health benefits but these are the ones that seem to be most thoroughly tested so far.
These mushrooms are considered to be anti-inflammatory, which means they are full of healthy nutrients such as beta-glucans, amino acids, and antioxidants. However, the healthiest compound found in these mushrooms is polysaccharides. Polysaccharides are water-solvent nutrients that can be found in carbs that are known for anti-tumor properties. Healthy foods such as sweet potatoes and beets also contain this component.
Researchers have concluded that this compound has significant biological benefits because it can be radio-protective, and it has anti diabetes, osteoporosis, and fatigue properties.
Triterpene, another extract found in reishi mushrooms, are also believed to be able to fight cancer. Pumpkin, black rice, and berries also contain this compound and they are great for improving overall health. Triterpene has shown to be able to prevent tumor formations and metastases by stopping cancerous cells from sticking onto endothelial cells.
A lot of studies have concluded that there is a link between this mushroom and cancer prevention. It has been tested on patients with breast, ovaries, liver, lung, and prostate cancer and it has shown great potential when combined with other types of treatment.
Studies done on cancer patients have found that reishi includes anti-proliferative and chemo-preventive properties. It can decrease negative reactions caused by chemotherapy such as nausea and a weakened immune system.
For all of these reasons, and the amount of human studies done, reishi mushrooms are considered to be one of the best mushrooms for fighting cancer and preventing cancer cell growth.
Reishi Mushroom Sleep Benefits and Stabilizing Hormone Levels
Reishi are considered to be great adaptogens. They could help the body deal with stress and help stabilize hormone levels. A lot of people use reishi mushrooms for sleep as well.
Most of the current research is based on animal modes, and the results showed that reishi extracts could be very helpful in balancing the hormone levels of several receptors. This is also linked to cancer treatment.
Some other studies have concluded that it can also prevent negative impacts on the endocrine system. The endocrine system surrounds the glands in the body that have a role in producing hormones. This positive reaction could affect a lot of different health aspects since the endocrine system also influences our metabolism, sleep, mood, growth, and sexual activity.
Reishi Mushroom Side Effects
Considering that reishi have been in use for centuries and only a few side effects were recorded it’s believed that they are safe for general use.
Some negative reactions could include digestive problems and skin rashes, but these problems typically go away quickly and only affect people with weak immune system functions.
Although they are considered to be safe and well-tolerated, in certain situations it’s best to consult with your doctor before deciding to take them. Studies have shown that reishi are generally safe for adults if taken orally for up to one year.
Reishi mushrooms in powder form might be more powerful and therefore carry a higher risk for negative reactions. This is why you should be careful when purchasing reishi powder and always look for a company that has a good reputation for selling mushroom powder.
If you notice any side effects or negative reactions to reishi mushrooms, stop using them immediately and call your doctor.
Reishi Mushroom Dosage
Recommended reishi dose usually varies depending on the type of supplement. If you eat fresh reishi mushrooms, the recommended dose is from 35-95 grams a day. Reishi mushroom supplement, powders, capsules, and extracts all have more a more concentrated dose so it’s best to consume smaller amounts.
Studies have shown that 3-10 grams of reishi mushroom extracts (powder, tinctures, or capsules) are enough for adults looking to improve their overall health. Keep in mind that different supplements contain different amounts of extract, so make sure that you follow the instructions listed on the label.
Reishi Mushroom in Comparison to Other Mushrooms
If you have been researching numerous medicinal mushrooms and are in doubt about which you should use for your specific health condition, here is a comparison of reishi with some similar mushrooms to help you make a decision.
Reishi Mushroom: When it comes to stabilizing hormone levels and potentially preventing the growth of cancer cells you should definitely choose reishi mushrooms.
Shiitake Mushroom: Shiitake mushrooms are best for enhancing the immune system, promoting skin health, and supplying your body with high doses of vitamin B.
Turkey Tail Mushroom: The most common reason people purchase turkey tail mushrooms is to feed beneficial bacteria in the gut and preventing various infections.
Reishi Mushroom Recipe
Here is a great recipe you can use to make reishi mushroom tea.
Prep time: 3-5 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours
5-10 grams of dried reishi mushrooms
Honey or some other sweetener
Cut the dried reishi mushrooms into smaller chunks or pieces.
Fill a pot with enough water. Put it on the stove and wait for it to boil.
When the water starts to boil, lower the heat down a bit. Add the small mushroom chunks into the water and let the mix simmer for about 2 hours.
After the 2 hours have passed, take the cup off the stove and place it somewhere where it can cool off.
Place the tea into a cup and add the honey. Enjoy!
Reishi Mushroom – The Verdict
In summary, the reishi mushroom is an extremely popular medicinal fungi used in China, Japan, Korea and generally in Eastern medicine. It has shown the ability to be a potent immune system booster and it has numerous other benefits on the white blood cells in people who are battling cancer.
The studies that have been examining this mushroom’s effect on cancer seem promising, but there are still a lot of human studies needed before any conclusions are made.