Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) is by far the most famous and highly revered superfood medicinal mushroom in the world. Sought after by Emperors, the Royalty of China, Korea, Japan, sages, Buddhist monks, Taoists, and as the number one tonic herb in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Reishi has been at the top of its class for thousands of years.
Reishi is the “supreme protector.” Its ancient wisdom works to protect us on every level– physically, mentally, immunologically, and spiritually.
This superb longevity tonic offers many extraordinary health-promoting benefits including potent immune-enhancing properties, stress relief, emotional equilibrium, elevates mood and happiness, and supports the major organ systems that life depends on– the heart, kidneys, liver, and lungs.
Long-term consumption of Reishi is said to lighten the body and lengthen the years.
Reishi mushroom is among only a handful of herbs that nourish all three of the foundational concepts of TCM, the three treasures: Jing, Chi, and Shen. This reveals much of Reishi’s immense power in its propensity to operate in both the physical and spiritual domains.
As a Shen tonic, Reishi is considered the most supreme. Shen is our spirit, and/or our “higher consciousness”, which represents the divinity within all of us and the source of who we truly are. If we want to lead a long and peaceful life we must nourish and maintain Shen.
Reishi’s popularity in Asia, and more recently in the West, as the ultimate anti-stress herb is used regularly to calm the mind, ease tension, improve memory and focus, sharpen concentration. Reishi promotes sleep, increases adaptability, builds willpower, and ultimately develops wisdom, and cultivates intuition.
If Teelixir had the power to introduce one herb into every person’s life, it would be Reishi mushroom. Its broad benefits of nourishing body, mind, and spirit provide the power to truly transform a person’s life by supporting inner wellbeing and personal growth.
Everyone can benefit from its incredible powers, from the transformative experiences it facilitates to the dreams and possibilities it can manifest.
If you’re unsure where to begin your tonic herb journey, Reishi mushroom is the best place to start.
Table of Contents
- 1. Who is Reishi Mushroom For?
- 2. History of Reishi Mushroom
- 3. The Yellow Emperor’s “Mushroom of Immortality"
- 4. Nutrition and Biochemistry of Reishi Mushroom
5. Top 17 Longevity Super Powers of Reishi Mushroom
- • Reishi Supports the Immune System
- • Reishi in Cancer Therapy
- • Reishi is a Top Adaptogen
- • Reishi Reduces Stress and Improves Anxiety and Depression
- • Reishi Increases Energy and Reduces Fatigue
- • Reishi Boosts Antioxidants and Lowers Inflammation
- • Reishi Supports the Heart
- • Reishi Supports the Liver
- • Reishi Supports the Kidneys
- • Reishi Supports the Lungs
- • Reishi Boosts Brain Power and is Neuro-Protective
- • Reishi Soothes Allergies
- • Reishi Promotes Better Sleep
- • Reishi Supports Gut Health
- • Reishi Nourishes the Skin
- • Reishi Calms the Central Nervous System
- • Reishi May Act as a Radiation Shield
- 6. Best Quality Reishi Mushroom Extracts
- 7. How to use Reishi Mushroom
- 8. Dosage and Side Effects
- 9. Buy Reishi Mushroom
- 10. References and Studies
Who is Reishi Mushroom For?
Reishi mushroom is considered a very safe and gentle tonic herb that can be tolerated by almost anyone.
Traditionally known as the “Mushroom of Immortality” for its extensive range of longevity promoting benefits, Reishi is suitable for anyone who wants to:
- Reduce their stress levels.
- Enhance adaptability and manage life’s stressors with more ease and grace.
- Restore and maintain emotional equilibrium.
- Calm the mind and boost cognitive functions.
- Enhance the immune system.
- Support the Heart, Lungs, Liver, and Kidneys.
- Fan the flames of inflammation in the body.
- Boost antioxidants.
- Promote a better night’s sleep.
- Nourish and protect the skin.
- Elevate mood and happiness.
- Enhance their yoga and meditation practice.
- Protect against wifi and cell phone frequencies that may harm our cells.
- Extend their lifespan, and possibly, attain immortality (disclaimer: we can’t promise anything.).
History of Reishi Mushroom
Reishi mushroom is truly an “original superfood.” Some claim it's been used for over 5000 years but more verifiable sources state the longest history and folklore is from China beginning at least 2000 years ago.
Reishi was first described in Shénnóng Běncǎo Jīng's classic book on herbal medicine, the “Divine Farmer’s Classic of Pharmaceutics” (100-200 A.D). In the book, Shénnóng Běncǎo Jīng considers Reishi mushroom to be “The Most Superior Of All Herbs”, even surpassing the highly esteemed Chinese Ginseng.
“Reishi”, its most common name in the West, is a Japanese interpretation of the oldest Chinese name; Ruizhi which means “auspicious mushroom”. Other Japanese names for Reishi include “Mannentake” (10,000-year mushroom), “Hijiridake" (sage mushroom), and "Sawei-take" (good fortune mushroom).
In China, Reishi mushroom is called “Lingzhi”. Ling loosely means “spirit, spiritual, soul, miraculous, sacred or divine”, and Zhi means “animal, plant, fungus, or minerals used to concoct elixirs of long life”. Since Ling and Zhi have multiple meanings in Chinese, English translations include “Herb of Spiritual Potency”, or “Mushroom of Immortality”, and the “Divine Mushroom.”
Ling Zhi’s botanical name Ganoderma lucidum derives from Greek and Latin roots. Gano in Greek means “brightness” and derma means “skin”, while lucidum in Latin means “shining”. Together, it quite literally means “bright shining skin” which also speaks to Reishi’s skin-nourishing benefits.
Reishi is a polypore mushroom– it doesn’t have gills on its underside, instead, it releases its spores via fine pores and grows on both dead and living trees. It usually grows on the base or stumps of specific hardwood trees, in particular, maple and oak trees.
Unlike culinary mushrooms, a mature Reishi fruiting body attains a tough woody structure not fit for consumption. In order to release its diverse array of nutrients, the fruiting body must be boiled in water and/or steeped in alcohol to extract the compounds from its tough, woody cellulose.
There are six different varieties of Ganoderma lucidum found in nature– red, black, purple, white, green, and yellow. Red Reishi is the most common and considered the most superior variety. It’s also the most widely studied.
The ancient Chinese considered Reishi mushroom to be a miracle herb.
To this day, the presence of Reishi mushroom's esteem throughout China is prevalent. This mushroom has been immortalised in Chinese culture through 5,000 years of civilisation. As a symbol of good health and fortune, Reishi is represented broadly in the literature and arts, in paintings of Gods, immortals, and Emperors holding sceptres shaped as Ling Zhi. It's depicted in painted murals, sculptured into pillars, doors, archways, and other aspects of architecture, woven into silk robes, and featured in museums as “world treasures”.
Wild Reishi is so rare in nature that throughout the history of China, like many other medicinal mushrooms, its use was restricted only to the Emperor or Empress, the rich, and upper classes of society. It’s also known as the “phantom mushroom” due to its scarcity in the wild. The husks of Reishi’s spores are very hard, therefore they cannot germinate as readily as the spores of other mushrooms.
The Yellow Emperor's “Mushroom of Immortality”
The Taoists believed in immortality and for many of them, it was their goal to flow with the Tao (the way) and become one of the immortals. Many died trying in their pursuit. They practised strange arts, one of which was the search for the elixir of life. Many believed Reishi was a key ingredient in this elixir of life, if not the elixir of immortality itself.
China’s self-proclaimed first emperor, Shih Huang Ti (BC 259-210), the Yellow Emperor, was a true believer of the immortals and spent his entire life searching for the elixir of immortality. During his time he erected many temples in honour of the immortals and in an effort to lure them to share their knowledge of manufacturing elixirs.
At some time, Shih Huang Ti received news that in a far away land across the sea lived many immortals and nearby, the "herb of deathlessness”, a divine mushroom that if eaten, was said to grant one immediate long life and immortality. There are even folklore tales proclaiming that Reishi could restore life to dead men!
In B.C 219, the Yellow Emperor summoned Admiral Hsu Fu along with 500 youths to sail across the sea to the faraway land and he instructed them not to come back until they found the mushroom or herb of deathlessness. One account tells that upon reaching their destination, Hsu Fu proclaimed himself king and never returned. Many believe that their destination was Japan.
The Yellow Emperor's long pursuit and obsession with immortality would eventually become his downfall.
After burning all the books in the empire in an attempt to rewrite them and start the procurement of knowledge with himself, Shih Huang Ti in the process burned the most secret books that contained the formula for the elixir of life. The formula called for the use of large amounts of mercury to increase the power of Sheng Qi (the spirit energy), but even without knowing the exact formula, the Emperor still decreed that it must be concocted. It was believed that Ling Zhi could stop the rage of mercury poisoning and bring about the state of longevity.
Unfortunately for Shih Huang Ti, he ultimately died from the mercury poisoning in his pursuit of an elixir for its cure.
As the admiration for Ling Zhi increased over the centuries, during their searches, Taoists would often carry various items and talismans, including a white chicken and white dog, as an offering to the spirits of the mountain. The mountains were the holders of this divine mushroom and it was believed the talismans showed a deep reverence and respect for the mushroom which gave hunters an advantage in finding these rare fungi on the mountain.
Can Reishi make you immortal?
Probably not (we don't want to get your hopes up), but the ancient Taoists certainly believed so. They consumed Reishi every day to improve their chances. Regardless, this powerful superfood mushroom, with all its scientifically proven longevity and anti-ageing benefits, may be the best chance of extending your lifespan and attaining a long peaceful life.
Nutrition and Biochemistry of Reishi Mushroom
Reishi mushroom is one of the most widely studied herbs in the world. With over four decades of scientific research behind it and hundreds of studies (mostly from Japan), Reishi has shown to be an incredible bioactive nutrient powerhouse!
Studies have shown Reishi to contain over 400 different compounds including polysaccharides, triterpenoids, nucleotides, sterols, steroids, fatty acids, proteins/peptides, mannitol, and trace elements. This massive diversity of constituents has been reported to have a number of pharmacological effects including "immunomodulation, anti-atherosclerotic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, chemo-preventive, antitumor, chemo and radioprotective, sleep-promoting, antibacterial, antiviral, hypolipidemic, anti-fibrotic, hepatoprotective, anti-diabetic, anti-androgenic, anti-angiogenic, anti-herpetic, antioxidative and radical-scavenging, anti-aging, hypoglycemic, estrogenic activity and anti-ulcer properties.” (1,2)
This study concludes that “Ganoderma lucidum has now become recognized as an alternative adjuvant in the treatment of leukaemia, carcinoma, hepatitis and diabetes.”
The primary constituents responsible for Reishi’s broad range of health benefits are the polysaccharides and triterpenes.
All medicinal mushrooms (but not all mushrooms) contain varying amounts of polysaccharide compounds. Polysaccharides are complex long-chain sugar molecules (healthy sugars) that have shown to significantly enhance and activate the immune system. These complex natural sugars are among some of the most potent immune forces ever discovered.
Reishi contains over 200 different polysaccharide compounds.
Polysaccharides essentially lock on to specific receptor sites in the immune system, activate their healing power, and work to increase the immune response. There are many different kinds of polysaccharides, most are water-soluble, and the most common and well-studied is the beta-glucans, and Reishi is loaded with them!
Reishi contains some of the most notable and highly biologically active triterpene compounds. The various oil-soluble compounds, ganoderic and lucidenic acids from Reishi mushroom are responsible for many of its therapeutic benefits. Studies have shown that Reishi’s triterpenes may have anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-histaminic, antioxidant, hypotensive and sedative actions. (3-5)
Triterpenes are only present in dual-extracted Reishi products. They are non-water soluble and therefore require alcohol to extract these oily substances from the fruiting body.
The triterpenes are also responsible for Reishi's extremely bitter taste.
Top 17 Longevity Super Powers of Reishi Mushroom
Reishi Supports the Immune System
With over 200 different polysaccharides, Reishi is one of the greatest tonics for supporting and enhancing the immune system.
Reishi helps to fortify the body’s defence system, maintaining optimal balance in the body to prevent threats of any serious illness or disease pervading. Reishi is a great flu-fighting herb. It can also be taken to reduce the chances of passing on a cold from you, a loved one, or someone else. However, Reishi does not work as an immune stimulant or suppressant. It effectively balances out the immune system, whether in a weakened state (susceptible to colds, flu, viruses etc.) or excessive state (auto-immunity).
Reishi contains beta-1,3-D-glucan, a type of polysaccharide that strongly stimulates immune cells. Research has shown that the polysaccharide content in Reishi mushroom helps boosts the immune system by up-regulating the production of various lymphocytes, T-helper cells, T-killer cells, and macrophages, while also suppressing tumour necrosis factor (TNF-α). (6-12)
Reishi in Cancer Therapy
Reishi has a long history of traditional use in the treatment of cancer with plenty of scientific evidence to back up its claims. (13)
Reishi has shown to be beneficial for multiple cancers including prostate and breast. It's immune-supporting polysaccharides, specifically Beta-D-glucans, and triterpenes have shown potent anti-inflammatory and cytotoxic activity against cancer cell lines, and may also help prevent tumour growth. (14-17)
Clinical studies confirmed Reishi’s immune power by activating immune cells– macrophages, helper T-cells, enhancing NK cell activity, increases in Th1 cytokine levels, and decreases in Th2 cytokine levels in advanced stage lung cancer patients. Reishi has also shown to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. (11,18,19)
The results of Reishi on the fight against cancer has been so positive that it’s been officially recognised by the Japanese government as a proper treatment for some cancers.
Reishi is a Top Adaptogen
Reishi is considered to be one of the best adaptogenic herbs.
Adaptogens are remarkable substances that have shown over centuries of use to help the human body adapt to stress, support normal metabolic processes, and restore balance. They increase the body’s resistance to physical, biological, emotional, and environmental stressors and promote normal physiologic function.
Reishi shows dual-directional activity with its ability to effectively “regulate” the body’s immune system. It is neither an immune stimulant nor an immune suppressant, hence why it is called an immune modulator.
In the case of a weak immune system, Reishi will help boost immune cells and fight any invading pathogens or other nasties in the body. If the immune system is excessive such as is the case with autoimmune conditions and allergies, Reishi can effectively reduce the excess.
It has a kind of intelligence in the body that can identify imbalances in the immune system and work to restore balance. (20)
Reishi is traditionally used in Fu Zheng therapy, a form of Traditional Chinese herbalism. Fu Zheng does not treat any specific disease or condition but rather, works to build the body’s own resistance and innate healing capacities, much like an adaptogen, so that the body may be stronger and more capable of dealing with all manifestations of a disease. Fu Zheng can be compared to contemporary ‘immuno-therapy' in the West.
Reishi Reduces Stress and Improves Anxiety and Depression
Reishi’s most exciting and perhaps its most significant health benefit is its calming and stress-reducing ability. It is known as the ultimate anti-stress herb. This makes Reishi an important ally in today's fast-paced and over-stressed world to keep our mental health strong.
Stress is one of the biggest underlying factors in disease. In one example, this study shows how stress can affect our physiology and create disease. It demonstrates the growing evidence that exposure to trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and associated stress responses may lead to increased autoimmune conditions. (21)
In TCM, Reishi mushroom is regarded as the best "spirit elevating" (Shen) tonic that positively promotes mental well-being, calmness, and helps cultivate more peace, love, and happiness in one's life. Reishi has a long history of use in ancient China by Taoist monks and sages for cultivating spiritual energy, reducing stress, calming the mind, and transforming negative energy in the body.
For some people, the very idea of sickness and disease is enough to debilitate them whether they are facing illness or not. Reishi’s calming action puts people in a relaxed state which may help alleviate many of the psychological problems associated with patients dealing with a disease.
Reishi Increases Energy and Reduces Fatigue
Reishi mushroom is also a powerful energy tonic. In TCM, Reishi is used to boost Chi, or Qi, our life force energy, and increase our physiological energy production. However, Chi tonics are not stimulants. Like adaptogens, they help the body function optimally and stay balanced, which results in a natural increase of vitality.
Reishi is reported to be beneficial for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) due to its wide-ranging benefits of supporting and balancing the body’s major systems– the immune system, heart, liver, kidneys, lungs, lowers inflammation, improves mental capacity, increases oxygen utilisation, and supports detoxification.
The prevalence of fatigue in breast cancer survivors is high during the endocrine treatment. In a study of 48 breast cancer patients, the results of the group taking Reishi showed "statistically significant improvements in the domains of physical well-being and fatigue subscale after intervention.” The study suggests that Reishi may have "beneficial effects on cancer-related fatigue and quality of life in breast cancer patients undergoing endocrine therapy without any significant adverse effect.” (12,22)
Reishi Boosts Antioxidants and Reduces Inflammation
Inflammation is a complex biological response in the human body to protect itself from infections from foreign invading organisms, such as bacteria and viruses. It is an essential part of the body’s immune response and healing processes. Chronic or long-term inflammation can manifest into a whole host of symptoms, such as redness, swelling, joint pain, or more serious auto-immune conditions, like asthma and arthritis.
Reishi contains many compounds that show anti-inflammatory activity including the immune-modulating polysaccharides, triterpenes, phenolic compounds, and more.
The combination of Reishi’s immune-modulatory and anti-inflammatory action shows the potential therapeutic effect of autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.
This study showed that a polysaccharide peptide from Reishi “significantly inhibited the proliferation of rheumatoid arthritis synovial fibroblasts… at least in part, by inhibiting the nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kappaB) transcription pathway.” (23)
Scientists have found that many of Reishi’s terpene compounds including ganodermic A, B, C, and D, lucidenic acid B, and ganodermanontriol are all very potent antioxidants. These powerful substances have shown to fortify the body by improving oxygen regulation and counteracting the damaging effects of free radical scavengers.
This 14-day study on mice showed many antioxidant boosting effects including an increase in superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione. The results also suggest that the antioxidants protect the blood from oxidative damage. (24)
Multiple extracts were shown to have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This study concluded that Reishi could be "considered a useful therapeutic and preventive approach to various inflammation-related diseases.” (1,25)
Reishi Supports the Heart
Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death in the developing world today. Scientific research has proven Reishi to be a valuable food source for supporting heart health.
Reishi is high in antioxidants, sterols, ganoderic acids (triterpenes), coumarin, mannitol and polysaccharides that all show great benefit for cardiovascular health. These compounds have many protective qualities against many of the risk factors associated with heart disease and stroke.
This study concluded that “the polysaccharides and triterpenes isolated from Ganoderma lucidum have shown hypolipidemic, hypotensive, and antithrombotic effects.” It also reported a reduction in chest pain, palpitations and shortness of breath. (26)
Chitin is a particular protein found in Reishi (any other medicinal mushrooms) that helps break down cholesterol, thereby cleaning the arteries and improving heart health. Reishi has shown to help lower elevated levels of cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides, normalise blood pressure and blood sugar levels, increase the flexibility and health of blood vessels, and may help remove atherosclerotic plaque. (27)
The research also indicates that Reishi may have anti-diabetic effects. It helped reduce both LDL cholesterol and insulin resistance and showed an increase in good HDL cholesterol. (28)
Reishi Supports Liver Health
The liver is the second largest organ in the body and is largely responsible for many detoxifications and digestion processes. The toxicity from the environment, overeating junk processed foods, emotional stress, and excessive lifestyle habits all affect the liver. By reducing the toxic load on our liver, our bodies can better detox, methylate, regenerate, produce energy more efficiently, and operate at peak performance.
Reishi mushroom is one of the best liver tonics. In China, it’s been traditionally used for thousands of years to support the liver and protect against liver disease.
Reishi has broad hepatoprotective properties which can be attributed to its antioxidant action and the triterpenes ability to inhibit the activation and proliferation of hepatic stellate cells, a key process in advancing hepatic fibrosis (liver disease). (29-31)
Reishi has also been traditionally used in the treatment of hepatitis. The results from studies appear to suggest that once again, the triterpenes are the key compounds responsible for the positive effects. (34,35)
Reishi has even shown to protect the liver against the damaging effects of daily moderate alcohol consumption in rats. (36)
Reishi Supports Kidneys Health
Reishi mushroom is one of the great Jing tonic herbs. In TCM, Jing represents the body’s foundational energy reserves and resides in the kidneys. Reishi’s power helps support kidney health and boost Jing energy. Learn more about Jing here and ways you can stop leaking Jing energy here.
A 2004 study testing the treatment of fourteen patients with persistent proteinuria (a sign of kidney disease), using Reishi mushroom showed that it restored the immune system back into balance and successfully suppressed proteinuria in all fourteen patients. (37)
Reishi Supports the Lungs
In Taoist philosophy, it is said that the lungs control Chi (energy).
As an energy tonic, Reishi helps strengthen and nurture the lungs and improves the extraction of energy from the air we breathe into our lungs. Strong lungs and the development of respiratory power is fundamental for health and longevity.
Reishi contains active triterpenes such as ganoderic acids that help reduce allergies and histamine reactions associated with asthma. Studies have also shown that Reishi can benefit chronic bronchitis. (38)
Reishi’s ability to support stress may also be connected with the lungs.
The Taoists believe there is a close connection between breathing and one’s emotional state. In order to master the emotions, one must have strong lungs to support the breath. When we’re dealing with any kind of emotional stress, our breathing can either exacerbate a stressor by becoming fast and shallow or quickly reduce a stressor when breathing is kept calm and long.
Therefore, controlling our emotions during stress requires strong lungs and the practice of controlled deep breathing.
Reishi also supports the defensive Chi energy, "Wei Qi”. This subtle energy is produced by the lungs and plays an important role in regulating the defensive mechanisms of the body.
Wei Qi circulates just below the surface of the skin and is likened to a force field that provides protection against any kind of foreign pathogen or environmental toxin entering the body and causing harm. If our Wei Qi is working effectively, any harmful pathogenic organisms that are airborne will simply be repelled, and bounce off of us.
Reishi Boosts Brain Power and is Neuro-Protective
Reishi has long been known to boost brain power, improve memory, and sharpen concentration and focus.
Shénnóng Běncǎo Jīng from his ancient text states that Reishi is “useful for enhancing vital energy, increasing thinking faculty and preventing forgetfulness.” It can “refresh the body and mind, delay ageing, and enable one to live long.”
Taoists put a lot of emphasis on memory retention moving into old age. They believed sickness was caused by past transgressions, so older patients were required to remember and record their past transgressions, then destroy the records in order to maintain good health and longevity.
The polysaccharides and triterpene compounds in Reishi both exhibit significant neuroprotective effects.
The active triterpenes in Reishi were found to stimulate the production of nerve growth factor (NGF).
NGF is required by the brain and important sensory neurons to keep the entire nervous system strong and healthy. However, NGF does not freely cross the blood-brain barrier that easily, but it was found that Reishi acts as an astrocytic NGF inducer. The active constituents showed potent effects on the induction of NGF in primary astrocytes. They further found that Reishi enhanced mitochondrial biogenesis in the brain. (42)
Reishi Soothes Allergies
Reishi mushrooms are commonly used to soothe allergy symptoms including hay fever. Japanese researchers discovered that Reishi acts as a natural antihistamine, and lanostan, one compound in Reishi helps inhibit the release of histamine and controls the body’s reaction to an allergen.
Studies show that Reishi may also benefit chronic bronchitis. The active constituent, cyclooctasulfur, effectively inhibits the release of histamine from mast cells and also stabilised mast cells simultaneously. (38,45,46)
The triterpene compounds in Reishi such as ganoderic acids also help reduce allergies and histamine reactions associated with asthma.
Reishi Promotes Better Sleep
Clinical investigations show that Reishi mushroom promotes sleep and helps calm the nervous system. Reishi mushroom was used in folk medicine of China and Japan to treat insomnia, improve the quality of sleep and help reduce anxiety.
It’s still traditionally used by Chinese and Japanese herbalists for insomnia cases due to its "sleep-promoting factor.” (47)
It's believed the terpenoid compounds in Reishi help soothe the nerves and promote a sedative action that can positively effect neurasthenia and insomnia. Long-term use of Reishi was also shown to increase slow wave sleep (deep sleep). (48-50)
Reishi Supports Gut Health
Reishi mushroom acts as a prebiotic in the gut to help establish good flora in the body.
Research studies have shown that mushroom polysaccharides, the long-chain essential sugars in mushroom cell-walls, have a prebiotic effect on the gut microbiome. Prebiotics are substances that feed the probiotics which in turn help stimulate and grow the beneficial bacteria in the gut. This is very important to support healthy gut flora.
Reishi may also be beneficial in supporting candida overgrowth. Despite being a fungus and contrary to popular belief, Reishi shows terrific anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties. This study showed that Reishi significantly suppressed plant fungal pathogens. (51)
Research also shows that Reishi contains compounds that prevent the formation of ulcers. (1)
Reishi Nourishes the Skin
The high content of polysaccharide compounds in Reishi help promote cell regeneration and enhance the body’s natural ability to retain water and keep the skin hydrated.
Reishi mushroom boosts skin-protective antioxidants, promotes blood circulation which improves the tone and elasticity of the skin, and helps clear up any skin problems.
Studies suggest that Reishi is “radioprotective,” meaning it can protect against the harmful effects of UV radiation and damaging DNA. This suggests the ability to support slow-ageing of the skin and protect against other skin issues. (52)
The lungs also play an important role in maintaining the health of the skin.
Since Reishi is a great lung tonic, any skin disorders including blemishes or dry skin can be improved by supporting the Lung function and by improving breathing. When there is an abundance of Chi flowing in the body, the pores in the skin can be more effective in opening and closing and be adapting to changes in the environment.
Reishi Calms the Central Nervous System
Reishi has the extraordinary ability to manage stress by nourishing and calming the central nervous system and promoting relaxation.
During Reishi mushroom's long history, the people of Asia regularly used it for its calmative effects and ability to strengthen the nerves.
Everyone notices the calming effects Reishi’s provides and its benefits seem to be cumulative, building stronger nerves over the long term and actually changing the outlook on a person's life.
When taken, Reishi puts one in a relaxed state which some people have described the experience as almost meditative. For this reason, monks and spiritual sages have been using Reishi as part of their regimen of deepening their meditative practice for centuries.
Reishi May Act as a Radiation Shield
We all love the conveniences of modern technology and how cells phones, wifi, and wireless devices all make our lives easier. We honour these privileges. So can you imagine how you would run your life without these devices? This idea may be unthinkable for many of us.
Unfortunately, these convenient devices may come at a cost to our health. And the full extent of biological harm of radio frequencies emitted by X-rays, cell phones, Wifi, and other wireless devices and appliances, may not be known for decades to come.
This study concluded that there "should be a major concern regarding the time-dependent exposure of whole-body to the higher frequencies of Wi-Fi networks existing in the vicinity of our living places.” And this study suggests "Wi-Fi users avoid long-term exposure of RF emissions from Wi-Fi equipment.” Most people living in cities are exposed to these frequencies 24/7 year round. (53-55)
It’s very unlikely that our society will commit to any compromises when it comes to these conveniences so therefore, it’s important that we take preventative measures with proper nutrition to ensure the protection of our cellular biology to sustain a healthy life.
Reishi mushroom has shown to act as a radioprotective shield against unwanted cellular distortions and changes from exposures of X-rays and other damaging radiation frequencies, such as wifi and cell phones. (56)
Best Quality Reishi Mushroom Extracts
Not all Reishi mushroom products are created equal.
It’s a common misconception that wild Reishi, being so rare, must somehow be of better quality and more nutritionally potent than the cultivated varieties of Reishi. The truth is, wild Reishi can be easily damaged due to its vulnerability to contamination from insects, mould, and environmental pollution. It’s also been proven that the overall amount of bioactive compounds present in wild Reishi is considerably lower than wild-cultivated varieties.
It’s estimated that only 1 tree out of every 10,000 in a specified area will produce a mature Reishi fruiting body in suitable condition for extraction.
Obviously, this makes wild Reishi impossible for mass production and as a result, almost all Reishi mushroom products on the market are either wild-cultivated or produced by inferior methods such as mycelium grown on grain.
Wildcrafted Reishi mushroom products are usually very expensive and produced in smaller batches, usually in a liquid tincture form.
Wild-Cultivated Reishi Mushroom.
The most effective method for growing high quality, nutritionally dense Reishi mushroom is with the wild-cultivation method.
Wild-cultivated Reishi is grown by inoculating wood logs with Reishi spawn which are then buried in nutrient-rich soil in a pristine environment (a mountainside) where it is allowed to grow naturally, without human interference. The wood logs are called “duanwood” which means “original wood”, and these logs are the same indigenous wood (food source) Reishi grows on in the wild.
The ingenious method of wild cultivation is designed to simulate the growing conditions of the wild Reishi where it can accumulate food and energy naturally.
Wild-cultivation of Reishi on a mountainside at high altitudes provides the most desired nutrition and bioactive constituents with a chemical profile closely similar to wild Reishi. This method also provides the maximum level of control over contamination producing the purest and cleanest fruiting bodies possible.
Chemicals ruin Reishi mushroom, so the Chinese government forbids the use of pesticides and chemicals of any sort during the growing process.
Teelixir Reishi mushroom is extracted at a 10:1 potency. This means ten kilograms of the fruiting bodies are used to produce one kilogram of Reishi extract. Teelixir Reishi is dual-extracted using water and organic alcohol. Organic ethanol is used to extract the adaptogenic terpenes (the bitter-tasting compounds) while the hot water extracts the immune-modulating beta-glucans (polysaccharides). This ensures that we extract the full spectrum of nutritive compounds, both water soluble and oil soluble constituents. This extraction method also helps increase the bio-availability of the medicine.
Note: Less than 100 ppm (parts per million) of the organic alcohol remains in the final Reishi extract making it safe for children to consume. Please consult with your paediatrician if you have any concerns about giving your children Reishi dual-extract powder.
Reishi mycelium grown on grain.
Another popular method for producing Reishi products is growing the mycelium on a grain substrate like oats, barley, or brown rice in a closed laboratory. This method is cheap to produce and considered nutritionally inferior as it lacks many of the bioactive constituents including, significantly lower amounts of polysaccharides and nominal triterpenes.
The best way to know if your Reishi product is grown on grain is if the taste isn't bitter. This shows the lack of triterpenes in the product, which give Reishi its naturally bitter taste. They can also taste sweet and have a grain or sawdust-like consistency.
When purchasing Reishi mushroom, always read the label and confirm that you’re buying Reishi mushroom fruiting body. A dual-extract product is best.
How to use Reishi Mushroom
The flavour profile of a concentrated dual-extract of Reishi mushroom is very bitter. It’s important to note that one of the markers of high-quality Reishi extract is how bitter it is. If your Reishi does not taste bitter, it is most likely mycelium grown on grain.
Bitter is better!
Bitter foods are generally lacking in our food culture today, mostly because the majority of us find the taste of bitter unpalatable. It's very important to cultivate our bitter palate for better health. Reishi pairs well with other bitters herbs such as coffee and cacao. Now you can upgrade your latté and favourite chocolate treat with this divine mushroom!
Make Reishi Mushroom tea
You can make Reishi mushroom tea by simply adding 1/2 tsp to a mug and mixing it with hot water. It's the perfect evening nightcap! You can also add Reishi to other tonic herbs, adaptogens, and superfood mushrooms to create a potent life-promoting elixir.
Concentrated dual-extracts (hot water and alcohol) are not heat sensitive. They can be added to hot drinks without damaging the nutritional profile.
Let us know how you like to enjoy your Reishi mushroom! Try adding Reishi mushroom to these recipes:
Dosage and side effects
Teelixir suggests starting with 1/2 tsp (1.5g) of Reishi mushroom dual-extract per day. This is generally considered a good starting dose for beginners.
Reishi is considered very safe and gentle for everyone, even at high doses, however, if you know you are sensitive to herbs, you may want to start with less. When your body feels ready, you can increase your dosage according to your daily needs.
Reishi mushroom is non-toxic and has no known side effects.
Buy Reishi Mushroom
References and Studies
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