Reishi is the Japanese word for a group of mushroom species that fall under the scientific name Ganoderma lucidum. The Chinese equivalent is ling zhi.
Once thought to be a single species, recent studies have shown that there are actually more than 5 different kinds of Reishi mushroom; this resulted in them being labeled a “species complex, ” which means they are considered different species despite having an extremely similar genetic makeup.
According to Paul Stamets, an advisor for the Program of Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona Medical School, Tucson, “these species…have 98-100 percent commonality of DNA.” This means that even though they’re technically different strains, their forms and functions are practically identical, and their healing properties are the same.
Reishi mushrooms have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years and have consistently been hailed as a “mushroom of immortality, ” since it was understood that they help people live longer lives. Although they grow naturally in China, Japan and North America, they tend to be extremely rare, which is likely why those that were found were exclusively consumed by nobility.
The ancient Chinese also believed that Reishi could restore equilibrium to the body by recalibrating its physical, emotional and energetic defenses against sickness, stress and fatigue. These mushrooms were seen as a sort of natural panacea, or a cure-all, that could vastly improve human health.
Although these beliefs were developed millennia before modern medicine, there has been a significant amount of research done on Reishi mushrooms, and it is clear that they truly do have an incredible amount of healing potential.
What can Reishi be used for?
Aside from the baseline health benefits that Reishi offers us, its healing properties are effective against a multitude of very dangerous diseases, many of which are the most common diseases we’re susceptible to developing in this modern era. Here are some of the diseases Reishi can fight against.
This powerful natural remedy works wonders when coupled with chemotherapy and radiation treatment, sometimes boosting patients’ response to these treatments by 50%. It’s been known for many years that Reishi helps the immune system pinpoint and destroy cancer cells that may appear, but in 2012 new studies were conducted which showed that Reishi mushrooms have more complex and efficient methods for fighting cancer than anyone had ever thought possible. This does not mean that Reishi is a valid substitute for standard cancer treatment, but consuming these mushrooms can result in a patient needing far less chemotherapy drugs.
By increasing nerve growth and production, Reishi helps the brain develop stronger neurons at a more rapid pace and protects them against inflammation, which is what causes the neurons to degenerate after the initial stages of Parkinson’s disease.
Reishi can also heal or even prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease by reducing the oxidative stress that proteins like Abeta can cause. This is achieved through triterpenes and polysaccharides, which research has shown are among the most powerful ingredients Reishi mushrooms have. They’re also capable of combating tumor growth, strengthening the immune system and reducing blood pressure.
Obesity and diabetes
These two conditions are so often comorbid that many researchers have begun to refer to them as a single disease, called “diabesity.” This problem has become so severe in this modern age that it’s been categorized as an epidemic. Luckily, Reishi can help the body combat both!
The triterpenes and polysaccharides in the mushrooms can stop the body from producing new fat cells and in turn can reduce the amount of fat being stored. They can also reduce cholesterol and trygliceride levels which lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease.
The list of diseases that Reishi can possibly combat is quite long and contains insomnia, viral infections such as influenza, stomach ulcers, hepatitis B, asthma, and even HIV/AIDS.
Does Reishi have any side effects?
As Reishi begins to detoxify the body, people that have very sensitive bodies might experience one or more symptoms like upset stomach, dizziness or rashes, but these typically don’t last more than a few days. However, these are not true side effects, and as a superior herb Reishi is completely non-toxic. If these symptoms do arise, you can take a vitamin C supplement to reduce the discomfort.
On the other hand, Reishi can hinder the effects of immunosuppressive drugs, and there could be complications for people who have undergone organ transplants. If you’re unsure whether Reishi is safe for you to consume or not, talk with your doctor for more information.
Where can I find Reishi?
You can get it from us, right on this website! Click here to take a look at our Reishi mycelium powder in the shop.
“Mycelium” is the most potent part of the mushroom, and these filaments have been removed and ground into very fine powder. Each bag has 100 grams worth, or 50 servings, and you can add it to tea, food, or even add it to nut or grain milk to make a healthy smoothie!