Let’s have a little chat about the “OG” medicinal mushroom Reishi, shall we?
That’s right! Reishi has been referred to as the “10,000-year old mushroom” and has been used in Asia since prehistoric times! It’s still one of the most potent and well-studied medicinal mushrooms around and rightfully so; its benefits are both impressive and wide-ranging. And here’s a fun fact – the name Reishi translates to "supernatural fungus." That pretty much says it all, doesn’t it?
As a Health Coach, I am fascinated with healthy living and personal growth and Reishi has earned its place as one of my all-time favorite supplements. This beautiful looking mushroom just makes me feel terrific but don’t take my word for it - there is powerful scientific research that backs up the long list of health-promoting effects.
Perhaps most impressive? Reishi is an adaptogen — meaning it has the unique ability to “adapt” its function according to the specific needs of your body, whether physical, chemical, or biological. It is such a great idea to bring adaptogens into our body, especially Reishi, so that you can better cope with stress and slowly bring balance back into your life.
Adding to this mysteriousness of this mushroom, there is not just one active component in Reishi, but many! In fact, scientists are continuing to discover new bioactive compounds in Reishi and uncovering new potential uses for those already discovered. Wild, right? While digging into the research to prepare for this post I was pretty surprised to find that researchers often don’t exactly know the precise mechanism behind all of Reishi’s multiple medicinal effects. What they do know is that the effects themselves are stark and powerful! What I am trying to say is - there is a bit of “mystique” surrounding this unique-looking fungus.
One thing is for sure though, Reishi is totally safe! That’s one of the fantastic advantages of using it. Unlike most pharmaceutical drugs on the market, Reishi is natural and tolerated by almost everyone. In fact, I regularly encourage my health coaching clients to drink Reishi tea as part of their health plan, especially when they want to feel an increase in focus and clarity, and an overall sense of calmness. Reishi tea acts as a sort of "powerful brain tonic” - it energizes and enhances your mood, plus it supports concentration.
Since I’m on the topic of benefits, let’s take a look at what else this magical shroom can do for us:
When it comes to boosting your immune system, what better ingredient than one that is nicknamed “the mushroom of immortality”? Now, I can’t guarantee you that Reishi mushrooms will have you living to infinity and beyond but if you’re looking to increase your longevity, Reishi is right on the money! In traditional Chinese medicine, Reishi is known as an immune modulator, helping to bring the immune system back into a state of balance. This is attributed to a high concentration of beta-glucans, a polysaccharide with immunomodulating properties. They work by stimulating or suppressing the immune response as needed. This makes Reishi a great choice for immune support. Brilliant!
Support Heart Health
With coronary heart disease, hypertension, and high blood pressure on the rise, taking care of our heart is so important. Modern research on Reishi has found it to support the cardiovascular system in many ways. The pairing of the mushroom’s sterols with naturally occurring triterpenes helps to regulate blood pressure and support a healthy heart.
In addition to sterols and triterpenes helping with blood pressure, Reishi also has anti-allergy effects, as studies suggest. Since the mushroom inhibits histamine reaction, it can give a lot of support to those of us who suffer from seasonal allergies. Yes, please!
A number of studies I came across have shown that Reishi mushroom can affect the genes in white blood cells, which may help lower inflammation levels. We all know that when inflammation levels are lowered, our body is better able to fight off infection.
I think we can all agree that sleep is a bodily process that keeps us healthy and most of us would like more of it. Reishi works to support healthy endocrine functions in the body, which affect important sleep hormones like melatonin. At night, our melatonin is triggered by darkness which then encourages us to sleep. Reishi is also known to calm and tone the nervous system, promoting more relaxation. As you can see, Reishi can help us move towards a more natural sleep cycle.
If anti-aging is your goal, Reishi should be your new BFF! The high levels of beta-glucans and triterpenes work to support the skin’s natural ability to retain moisture, helping to soothe and plump dry skin. Struggling with sunburn, rashes or other skin issues? Once again, Reishi will come to the rescue. These mushrooms have anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-allergenic, and antihistamine qualities. This powerful combo kick starts the immune system, supports circulation, and aids the skin in healing. Hooray!
From a well-supported immune system to a longer lifespan to skin-soothing abilities, Reishi mushroom has a lot to offer your health and with very few drawbacks. Oh, I should also mention one more important thing – it is not recommended to cook or eat Reishi mushroom. The easiest and most delicious way is to consume it as an extract or supplement!
So, now that you have discovered so many positive things about Reishi mushroom, don’t waste any more time! Try it for yourself. Your body might just thank you for the rest of your life.
Board-Certified Integrative Health Coach