A native to the warm climates of Asia, Reishi mushrooms (Ganoderma Lucidum), also known as Lingzhi, has been a staple of Eastern Medicine for centuries. It contains three main compounds that contribute greatly to its health benefits; triterpenoids, polysaccharides and peptidoglycans. You can enjoy Reishi mushrooms raw or in dried or powdered form, oftentimes being made into tea.
Reishi, like Chaga, is not only an immunity booster, but it has several other prominent health benefits. It can help fight off cancer cells, combat fatigue and depression, and improve heart health and blood sugar control. Reishi does all this while also being a powerful antioxidant.
Boosting immunity and fighting cancer cells
One of Reishi’s primary uses is for boosting the immune system. However, some studies show that it can alter inflammation pathways in white blood cells. In addition, Reishi may increase the activity of natural killer cells, a form of white blood cell. These natural killer cells fight infections like cancer. Another study showed that Reishi could increase white blood cells in patients who have colorectal cancer. A similar study found that it may help to reverse prostate cancer growth. Finally, studies have also found it to decrease tumour sizes in the large intestine.
Fighting fatigue and depression
Several studies have been conducted using Reishi supplements to help not only boost immunity but reduce fatigue and depression as well. For example, one study tested its effects on 132 patients with neurasthenia, a condition associated with aches, dizziness, headaches, irritability and pains. After the 8 week term of the study, Reishi was found to reduce fatigue while improving overall mood. A similar study of 48 Breast Cancer survivors found that Reishi has reduced fatigue after only a 4-week span.
Lowering blood sugar and improving heart health
Several studies show a positive connection between Reishi supplements and decreasing triglycerides and blood sugar levels. Though more trials re required, many but not all of the subjects in both studies experienced positive results.
Side effects and safe use of Reishi Mushrooms
For the most part, you can take Reishi regularly without any side effects. Usually, an upset stomach or digestive distress are the most severe side effects. In 2 reported cases, liver complications arose when patients switched supplements from dried to powdered form, which leaves room to question if it was the Reishi or the supplement. Still, it is always better to be cautious. For example, Reishi contains a protein that can prevent blood clotting, which can be extremely dangerous to people on blood-thinning medication, bleeding disorders, or those preparing for surgery. Above all, you should always consult a health care professional before taking any new natural health products if you are already on medication.
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The shop wherw I used to get my Reishi from shut during covid, stoked to be able to get it here with my orders, and not have to buy a whole pound at a time.