Health Benefits of Reishi
Reishi has many Medicinal Benefits, including anti-cancer properties, improving liver function, promoting heart health, balancing hormonal levels, stabilizing blood sugar, fighting allergies and asthma, protection against infections and viruses, improved nerve function, and aiding with fibromyalgia. Read more below.
1. Powerful Anti-Cancer Properties
Reishi mushrooms are packed with many important nutrients that contribute to their anti-inflammatory properties, which include beta-glucans and amino acids. They contain Polysaccharids, which are some of their most beneficial components and these are water-soluble nutrients found in carbohydrate foods, which have been shown to have anti-tumor properties. One could also find polysaccharides in foods like beets and sweet potatoes, both immune-modulating foods. These compounds all help in reishi’s capacity to protect DNA, blocking cellular mutation, and preserving healthy cells. Medicinal mushrooms aid in the fight against cancer as they are loaded with polysaccharides. Polysaccharides known benefits include antioxidant capacity, neuro-protectiveness, radio-protection, anti-fatigue, anti-diabetes, and anti-osteoporosis. Lastly, triterpenes are found in reishi and these also have anti-cancer properties by inhibiting tumor formation and metastases by limited the attachment of cancerous cells to endothelial cells. All this makes the reishi mushroom one of the most powerful cancer-fighting foods available. (Yuen, 2005)
2. Improving Liver Function
The liver is responsible for detoxification, helping to clean, process, store and circulate healthy blood and nutrients. It is considered one of the most vital organs for proper body function. Reishi works as an adaptogen, helping to improve liver function and prevent liver disease. Reishi aids the liver by helping to flush toxins and bacteria more efficiently and improving immunity against diseases over time. Reishi has hepatoprotective effects on acute liver injury due to its antioxidant properties by fighting immune responses that slow the function of the liver. (Zhang, 2002)
3. Promotes Heart Health
Reishi helps to lower inflammation within blood vessels and arteries due to its triterpene profile. Reishi restores optimal hormonal profiles by strengthening the cardiovascular system. By lowering blood pressure, reishi extract is able to improve overall circulation, lowering inflammation that worsens health issues and it helps to prevent clogged arteries by keeping cholesterol within healthy levels. (Klupp, 2016)
4. Balances Hormone Levels
Reishi mushrooms are in a class of substances known as adaptogens. This means they help your body cope with stress more efficiently and help to regulate hormonal levels, optimizing health. Reishi mushroom extract can help normalize certain receptor hormones, which are known to be helpful in treating cancer. This is helpful in the endocrine system, which encompasses all the glands in the body which are responsible for hormonal production. The endocrine system is responsible for growth, sleep, mood, sexual function and more giving reishi far-reaching positive effects. (Lu, 2011)
5. Stabilizes Blood Sugar
Having high levels of blood sugar over long periods of time can have serious negative effects on health. This can cause symptoms including fatigue, weight loss, and frequent urination. There is evidence to show reishi having anti-diabetic properties by maintaining blood sugar levels. Reishi can help to modify various enzymes involved in blood sugar control and it improves the pathway in which the body uses insulin. (Vitak, 2017)
6. Fights Allergies and Asthma
Reishi is loaded with triterpenes, which are a type of ganoderic acid correlated to reducing allergies and histamine reactions connected with asthma. Triterpenes are capable of reducing allergic reactions by way of having an effect on the immune system, enhancing strength within digestive organs, repairing gut biome, decreasing inflammation, inhibiting histamine release, and increasing oxygen utilization liver functions. (Bhardwaj, 2014)
7. Protects Against Infections & Viruses
Reishi are known to have naturally occurring antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties due to their potent medicinal constituents. By improving blood circulation lowering inflammation infections are resolved expediently. Reishi have been used to fight UTI’s, hepatitis and HIV/AIDS. (Wachtel-Galor, 2011)
8. Improved Nerve Function
Reishi mushrooms have been traditionally recommended by Chinese and Japanese herbalists for insomnia due to their "sleep-promoting factor". Reishi mushrooms are prescribed in China for a number of psychiatric and neurological afflictions, including diseases involving the muscles, anorexia and debility following lengthy illnesses. The dried "mycelium" of Reishi the root-like body that produces mushrooms has been found to be highly effective in the treatment of neuroses caused by "environmental stress”. In addition, in an eight-month study of Alzheimer's disease, patients taking a Reishi mycelium product demonstrated significant improvement. (Yoon, 1994)
Reishi is particularly effective for fibromyalgia due to the fact that it helps reduce spasticity in muscles, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, ulcers, bronchial spasms, and it helps the liver detoxify waste (Herbal Musings, 2018; Fungi Health, 2011). Among all botanicals for fibromyalgia, reishi is of the best holistic support, addressing a complex web of detrimental symptoms with few potential negative effects. Reishi can help suppress inflammation. Improving physical performance and abilities can bring confidence and also help manage weight, curtailing the the worst symptoms of fibromyalgia to a state of dormancy to help avoid flare-ups altogether over the long term. Furthermore, reishi has beneficial effects on mood disorders, low energy and “fibro fog” (Primal Herb, 2019).
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John W. M. Yuen & Mayur Danny I. Gohel (2005) Anticancer Effects of Ganoderma lucidum: A Review of Scientific Evidence, Nutrition and Cancer, 53:1, 11-17, DOI: 10.1207/s15327914nc5301_2
Zhang, G. L., Wang, Y. H., Ni, W., Teng, H. L., & Lin, Z. B. (2002). Hepatoprotective role of Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharide against BCG-induced immune liver injury in mice. World journal of gastroenterology, 8(4), 728–733. doi:10.3748/wjg.v8.i4.728
Klupp, N. L. et al. A double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial of Ganoderma lucidum for the treatment of cardiovascular risk factors of metabolic syndrome. Sci. Rep. 6, 29540; doi: 10.1038/srep29540 (2016)
Lu, Y., Wu, X., Chen, S., Yuan, J., Lai, C., Bao, L., . . . Lu, W. (2011, June). Effectiveness of Ganoderma lucidum preparation in treating simian acquired immune deficiency syndrome. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21718617
Vitak, T., Yurkiv, B., Wasser, S., Nevo, E., & Sybirna, N. (2017). Effect of medicinal mushrooms on blood cells under conditions of diabetes mellitus. World journal of diabetes, 8(5), 187–201. doi:10.4239/wjd.v8.i5.187
Bhardwaj, N., Katyal, P., & Sharma, A. K. (2014). Suppression of inflammatory and allergic responses by pharmacologically potent fungus Ganoderma lucidum. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24948193
Wachtel-Galor S, Yuen J, Buswell JA, et al. Ganoderma lucidum (Lingzhi or Reishi): A Medicinal Mushroom. In: Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor S, editors. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2011. Chapter 9. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92757/
Yoon, S.Y., S.K. Eo and Y.S. Kim, 1994. Antimicrobial activity of Ganoderma lucidum extract alone and in combination with some antibiotics. Arch. Pharm. Res., 17(6): 438-442.
Herbal Musings. (2018). Herbs and Mushrooms for Fibromyalgia. Medium. Retrieved from https://medium.com/@LodgeMarybeth/herbs-and-mushrooms-for-fibromyalgia-a062f32489fe
Primal Herb. (2019). How to Combat Fibromyalgia with the Help of Reishi. Retrieved from https://primalherb.com/how-to-combat-fibromyalgia-with-the-help-of-reishi/