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The Heath Benefits of Reishi Mushrooms

Used in Ancient Asian Medicine, the Reishi Mushroom is known to boost immune systems and aid in decreasing the size of cancer tumors. Interestingly enough this mushroom is also called the “Mushroom of Immortality”.

In this post, you’ll learn the Health Benefits of Reishi Mushrooms, delicious ways to consume them, and their important role in keeping your body functioning well.

benefits of reishi mushroom

What is a Reishi Mushroom?

Reishi mushrooms, also known as Ganoderma Lingzhi, is a polypore “bracket fungus” native to Asia. Its fan-like appearance comes from a kidney shaped top and a shorter stem. The Reishi mushroom has a cork texture when fresh. When seen growing, it almost looks as if it belongs on the bottom of the ocean among the uniquely shaped coral.

Where to find them

When foraging for a Reishi mushroom, you’ll likely find them at the base of a maple tree. Statistically, only 3 out of every 10,000 aged trees will produce lingzhi growth making it a rare find in the wild.

If foraging for rare wild mushrooms isn’t a hobby of yours, it is possible to cultivate Reishi mushrooms at home on hardwood logs or in sawdust and wood chips. If you’re interested in exploring the option of growing your own, take a look at this Reishi Mushroom Grow Kit.

Maybe foraging and growing don’t sound like ways you’d like to collect Reishi mushrooms. Not to worry, it’s possible to find dried Reishi mushrooms on the internet. Because most recipes call for a small amount of mushrooms a package of dried mushrooms should last a while. Once you’ve opened the package, be sure to keep them in an airtight container so that they stay fresh.

Common Names for Reishi Mushrooms

The scientific name for the Reishi mushroom is Lingzhi Ganoderma Sichuanese. Other names for this immune boosting mushroom include “Soul Mushroom” and “King of Mushrooms”.

Reishi Mushroom Nutrition Facts

Lingzhi mushroom, Reishi mushroom in the forest Thailand

Reishi mushrooms have over 400 different nutrients that aid in reducing diabetes, heart disease risks, and more.

Reishi mushrooms are 90% water and 10% solid. They contain a high amount of antioxidants, macronutrients, and surprisingly enough protein despite their not being animal based. Because this mushroom is nutrient dense, many prefer consuming it in powder form by adding it to smoothies and culinary dishes.

Health Benefits of Reishi Mushrooms

reishi mushroom benefits

Reishi mushrooms are native to Asia and have been used in holistic medicine for centuries. Although some of the benefits haven’t been tested by science, people have been using them holistically for years with many success stories.

Ancient Chinese medicine documents note the benefits of Reishi mushrooms to strengthen heart function, increase memory, and detoxify the body.

Boosts the Immune System

Some research shows that Reishi mushrooms can have an effect on the genes of white blood cells which can boost the immune system. Research has also shown that Reishi mushrooms can alter inflammation pathways in white blood cells making them healthier and more abundant, in turn creating a healthier immune system to fight off illness and disease.

Aids in Responding to Stress

Ganoderma lucidum, also known as Reishi mushroom, is considered to be an adaptogen, meaning it helps regulate the body’s response to stress.

Studies show that people that take Reishi mushrooms faithfully for more than four weeks see a positive change in their mood, they sleep better at night, and feel an overall improvement to their quality of life.

Contains Powerful Antioxidants

Antioxidants are important because they help protect our cells from damage. Reishi mushrooms are known to have high antioxidant activity which aids in keeping our bodies strong, healthy, and functioning the way they were created to.

Supports Heart Health & Blood Sugar

Diabetic patients that have consumed Reishi supplements consistently report a noticeable decrease in blood sugar and triglycerides and an upswing in their good HDL cholesterol numbers.

While more research is needed, the current data seems promising for patients that choose to treat diabetes and heart disease naturally.

Promotes Anti-Cancer Effects

Studies show that consuming Reishi mushrooms can have a positive effect on cancerous cells in patients by increasing activity of white blood cells and improving quality of life.

Specific research done on patients with prostate and colorectal cancer indicates that the effect Reishi has on inflammation can aid in signaling pathways for the cancer to slow in developing.

There are multiple tests that have indicated Reishi anti-cancer properties can lead to the death of cancer cells.

Reduce Fatigue and Depression

In a world where anxiety and depression are more common than they’ve ever been before, it’s possible that Reishi mushrooms are more needed now than ever. Studies have shown Reishi to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression by supporting and boosting mood.

Oftentimes anxiety, depression, and fatigue come hand in hand. Because Reishi is able to support and boost mood, fatigue is reduced and people feel better overall.

Treat Urinary Tract Symptoms

Medicinal studies have shown that Reishi supplements have helped to alleviate urinary tract symptoms in male patients. These symptoms include but are not limited to, weak urine flow, urinating multiple times at night, unable to control urine flow.

Ways to Consume Reishi Mushrooms

Ganoderma lucidum. lingzhi mushroom or reishi mushroom growing on trees, Herb plant for alternative medicine.

The most common way to consume Reishi mushroom is in powder supplement form that can be added to tea or coffee. If you’re able to get ahold of raw mushrooms, they can be consumed as is. Reishi mushrooms have been described as having an earthy, bitter taste. If you aren’t keen on the taste of raw mushrooms, there are many fantastic recipes to try!

DIY Recipes

There are many ways to consume Reishi mushrooms. Because this is a rare mushroom the supplements can be pricey. If this is something you’re considering consuming on the regular, you may consider cultivating it yourself. Here are a few DIY ways to take your daily Reishi supplement.

Slow Cooker Reishi Mushroom Tea is a delicious way to consume the recommended daily amount of Reishi mushroom. This recipe for one is quick and only requires two ingredients: water and a small amount of Reishi mushroom. This tea is versatile as you can give it a kick with ginger, sweeten it with honey, or try a savory version by adding garlic or rosemary.

These Reishi Chocolate Bliss Balls are delicious and can be adapted to fit into many diets. The recipe called for Reishi mushroom powder, if you don’t have this you may be able to get away with finely chopped Reishi mushroom. The date’s stickiness helps to keep the balls together and also is an excellent source of natural energy.

Medicinal Mushroom Soup is just what your body needs when you’re feeling under the weather. Because Reishi has been proven to boost the immune system, there isn’t anything better than a warm bowl of soup full of natural medicine for your body. This recipe calls for unique ingredients, so it’s something that you’ll want to plan ahead for.

Reishi Mushroom Tapenade is a light, perfect-for-summer dish. It’s an excellent way to serve a Reishi mushroom supplement without feeling like you’re taking a supplement. With easy to find ingredients, this dish is a must try!

If you’re wanting to serve your kids a daily dose of Reishi mushrooms, give this Reishi Mushroom Chocolate Milk a try. Sweetened with maple syrup, your kids won’t be able to taste just how healthy the milk their drinking really is!

Health Risks to Keep in Mind

As with everything, there are side effects to consuming too much of something good. When starting on Reishi mushroom supplements, it’s important to pay attention to signals your body may be giving you. If you started these supplements to try to wean yourself off of medications, be on high alert for any changes your body may signal. Some studies have reported that changes, good or bad, aren’t noticed until up to four weeks of daily consumption.

Reishi mushrooms in general can cause itching, dry mouth, dizziness, nausea, upset stomach, and rash. More serious health risks can include liver damage.

Wrapping Up Reishi Mushrooms

Reishi mushrooms are a unique supplement that can support multiple body functions, organs, and aid in maintaining common diseases. If you’re looking for a natural boost to your immune system and overall health, Reishi mushrooms are for you.

Reishi mushrooms aren’t the only mushroom that seems to be a “cure-all”. Take a look at our Mushroom Page to learn about many other varieties and the incredible healing factors they each offer.