Health Benefits of Reishi Mushroom
When you think of mushrooms you probably don’t think of them as a health food. Whether you consume them as a delicious pizza topping or as part of a stir-fry, the traditional mushroom isn’t often connected to aiding health. The reishi mushroom, however, has been used in Asian medicine for hundreds of years. This superfood boasts many healing properties, making it one of the best dietary additions you can use. So, what are the amazing health benefits of the reishi mushroom and how can you make it a staple in your diet?
What is the Reishi Mushroom?
There are different varieties of reishi, but the most common type has a cork texture and can appear red/orange to black. It normally has a bitter taste which is why many people prefer to use an extract or consume it as a tea.
Reishi mushroom boasts an array of sensational health benefits. Whether you’re searching for the best reishi mushroom supplement or are considering drinking a reishi tea, you’ll want to know how this amazing mushroom can boost your health and well-being.
Reishi Mushroom reduces inflammation
Research has shown that reishi extract demonstrates anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant activity which can aid varying diseases linked to inflammation.1
A study on the consumption of reishi after 14 days showed that it boosted anti-inflammatory/antioxidant markers in addition to protecting the blood from oxidative damage.2
Reishi improves feelings of anxiety and depression
Even though reishi will not cure symptoms of depression or anxiety, research has shown that the severity of these symptoms can be improved. A study of 132 people suffering from a condition called neurasthenia found that feelings of irritability improved when consuming reishi.3
Another study of breast cancer patients found that those consuming reishi alongside their cancer treatment noticed reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression, as well as an improved quality of life.4
Reishi mushroom can enhance your immune system
Several research studies have reported that reishi can affect white blood cell genes to lower inflammation. Your body is able to fight infection and disease better when inflammation is low. The majority of research on the effects of reishi mushroom on the immune system have focused on those who are in ill health.5 However, this suggests that even healthy people can benefit from consuming reishi. In particular, this mushroom has been shown to significantly improve wound healing 6 and have powerful anti-malaria activity to protect against liver damage and other issues.7
Reishi may regenerate the liver
Speaking of the liver, a study on mice in 2013 revealed that reishi mushroom reversed chemical-driven liver damage.8
Another research study on 14 patients with signs of kidney disease found that reishi consumption alleviated kidney damage and restored a balanced immune system.9
Reishi mushroom helps to prevent cancer
Consuming reishi regularly may help to fight cancer cells. It does this by reducing inflammation and inhibiting cell and tumour growth. A 2010 study reported that this may be due to the role of ganoderic acid found in Reishi. In a study on breast and prostate cancer cells, reishi was shown to suppress cancer cell adhesion and migration.10
A 13-week reishi treatment found reduced tumour growth and weight by up to 50%.11
Reishi may help you live longer
A study conducted in Taiwan focused on the properties of polysaccharides which are found in the mushroom. These life-span extending molecules boost the immune system, reducing the risk of cancer and preventing abnormal blood vessel formations.12
Reishi mushroom can enhance the brain
If you’re searching for ways to improve your memory or protect your cognitive functioning from age-related decline, then consuming reishi mushroom could be an effective solution. Reishi has been shown to possess therapeutic effects on neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s. This is due to reishi supporting the production of nerve growth factor which is essential for healthy cognitive functioning.13
In a study on rats who consumed alcohol, reishi improved energy supply to the brain and decreased the level of neurotransmitters that slowed the brain when alcohol was consumed.14
Additionally, reishi has been found to reduce IL-1B and TNF-a, two compounds that cause brain seizures.15
Reishi mushroom helps to alleviate allergies
Reishi extract reduces four types of allergic responses.16 This amazing mushroom has also been used to treat bronchitis due to its ability to reduce histamine. Reishi compounds inhibit histamine release from mast cells while stabilizing mast cells at the same time.17
Reishi aids heart health
Protein from reishi extract is able to lower blood pressure for up to 8 hours.18 Reishi has also been shown to aid the reduction of cholesterol and insulin resistance in people with diabetes.19
Reishi aids sleep
If you’re struggling to sleep, try adding reishi to your daily routine. It has been found to aid sleep and is a suggested treatment for insomnia thanks to its sleep-promoting abilities.
How to get started with reishi
While reishi is an edible mushroom, its texture makes it difficult to eat. The best way to consume reishi mushroom is either in tea form or as a dietary supplement. It can also be used in tincture form. If you’re considering taking a reishi mushroom supplement, the normal dosage is 1-2 capsules per day. However, if reishi is part of a complex formulation, its best to check the dosage instructions on the label.
Reishi mushroom is significantly beneficial for improved health, especially if you’re looking to enhance your immune system, reduce inflammation, improve your brain health or aid feelings of anxiety or depression. Just consider which type of supplement will suit your lifestyle and your health requirements best.