The Reishi Mushroom is one of the most talked about “new” products to make it’s way onto the health scene, mainly because of the recent studies regarding its amazing cancer prevention and anti-aging and healing properties.
Although Reishi isn’t new by any means, it’s been around and used successfully in Traditional Chinese Medicine for over 5,000 years, but us Westerners are just getting around to finding out about its amazing and healing properties now. But what makes it so important?
Reishi has been one of the most revered medicinal mushrooms since ancient times. It has been called “The Great Protector”, the “Herb of Spiritual Potency” and the “Mushroom of Immortality”. The traditional medicine practitioners believe that Reishi mushrooms can help a person live a happier, more spiritual life.
Reishi is also known for its ability to help one live a longer and healthier life. Traditionally, Reishi is used for calming, centering and uplifting and for supporting a spiritual evolution and insight, but recently it’s being more used for its anti-cancer and anti-aging properties.
Casey and I love Reishi because it will benefit just about anyone. It’s our go-to herb when working with clients in regards to longevity, stress, immunity, heart, liver, the c word, and so much more.
But what about the facts? Where is the proof?
Immunomodulation in Cancer: In a recent “gold standard” review by Cochrane Systematic Review of trials, those individuals who took a standardized form of Reishi mushroom along with chemotherapy were 1 ½ times more likely to positively respond to the chemotherapy than those that did not take the Reishi. Those taking the Reishi had increased numbers of diverse types of immune cells including Natural Killer (NK) cells, known to attack cancer cells. Other studies have also indicated that Reishi has positive effects on immune cells. This may be especially important in those with cancer, particularly those with leukemia, where the adjutant or accessory use of Reishi has become common.(1-5)
Liver protection: A number of studies have shown that the Reishi mushroom can protect the liver against a variety of environmental, chemical and drug toxins. (4, 6-8)
Anti-viral properties:Reishi mushroom has been shown to be effective in treating HIV-AIDs, herpes viruses and hepatitis viruses.(4, 9-12)
Anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties: Reishi components have shown significant anti-inflammatory properties in cell cultures and in animal models of inflammatory diseases. Many of the same, but also some unique components of the mushroom have also shown significant anti-oxidant activity, thought to be important in minimizing cell damage and the effects of aging.(13-16)
Anti-microbial activity: The reishi mushroom has been shown to be active against a number of types of bacteria and fungi, in addition to its anti-viral properties.(4, 12, 17)
Anti-osteoporotic effects: Reishi showed bone-protective effects in animal models of osteoporosis.(4)
Cholesterol and blood lipid lowering effects: In animal models of high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease, Reishi mushroom lowered cholesterol levels by nearly 20%. In addition, animals fed Reishi had significantly lower blood pressure.(18, 19)
Benefits of the Reishi Superherb:
Protect cellular DNA from oxidant damage that contributes to aging and cancer (20)
Boosts total antioxidant capacity
Anti-stress, eases tension, calms the mind, strengthens the nerves
Sharpens concentration, improves focus, great for students
Builds willpower and wisdom
Calms the spirit
Strengthens the immune system, immune modulator
Protects the cardiovascular system, and supports and protects the liver
Used for autoimmune diseases and to calm hypersensitivity.
Can be used to activate NK cells, T-lymphocytes, and more
Reishi extract powder is simple to use, simply add hot water and your favorite sweetener for an instant tea. Or add it to your smoothies, juice, soups, or recipes.
Having a hard time giving up coffee because you love the taste, but know that you’re ready to move on from it? If so check out this superherb recipe. Now you can kick your habit and stock up on nutrients all in one go.
1. Yuen JW, Gohel MD. 2005. Anticancer effects of Ganoderma lucidum: a review of scientific evidence. Nutrition And Cancer 53: 11-7
2. Weng CJ, Yen GC. 2010. The in vitro and in vivo experimental evidences disclose the chemopreventive effects of Ganoderma lucidum on cancer invasion and metastasis. Clinical & Experimental Metastasis 27: 361-9
3. Ulbricht C, Abrams TR, Bent S, Boon H, Costa D, Dacey C, Guilford J, Giese N, Grimes, Hackman DA, Scully L, Rusie E, Shaffer M, Varghese M, Vijarian N, Weissner W, Welch S, Wong D, Woods J. 2010. Reishi Mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum): Systematic Review by the Natural Standard Research Collaboration. Journal of the Society for Integrative Oncology 8: 148-59
4. Sanodiya BS, Thakur GS, Baghel RK, Prasad GB, Bisen PS. 2009. Ganoderma lucidum: a potent pharmacological macrofungus. Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology 10: 717-42
5. Jin X. 2012. Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi mushroom) for cancer treatment. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
6. Yarnell E. 1997. Reishi Mushroom for Liver Fibrosis. Quarterly Review of Natural Medicine: 215
7. Gao Y, Lin ZB, Huang M, Zhou S. 2003. Hepatoprotective activity and the mechanisms of action of Ganoderma lucidum (Curt.:Fr.) P. Karst. (Ling Zhi, Reishi Mushroom) (Aphyllophoromycetideae) (review). INT J MEDICINAL MUSHROOMS 5: 111
8. 1995. Reishi Mushroom: Hepatoprotective Properties. Quarterly Review of Natural Medicine: 297
9. Hijikata Y, Yamada S, Yasuhara A. 2007. Herbal mixtures containing the mushroom Ganoderma lucidum improve recovery time in patients with herpes genitalis and labialis. Journal Of Alternative And Complementary Medicine (New York, N.Y.) 13: 985-7
10. Gao Y, Zhou S, Chen G, Dai X, Ye J, Gao H. 2002. A phase I/II study of a ganoderma lucidum (curt.:fr.) P. Karst. (ling zhi, reishi mushroom) extract in patients with chronic hepatitis. International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms 4: 321-7
11. Gao Y, Zhou S, Chen G, Dai X, Ye J, Gao H. 2002. A Phase 1/11 Study of a Ganoderma lucidum (Curt.:Fr.) P. Karst. (Ling Zhi, Reishi Mushroom) extract in patients with chronic hepatitis. INT J MEDICINAL MUSHROOMS 4: 321
12. Bradley BJ. 2006. Scientifically documented health effects of Reishi mushroom. Nutritional Perspectives: Journal of the Council on Nutrition 29: 19
13. Xu JW, Zhao W, Zhong JJ. 2010. Biotechnological production and application of ganoderic acids. Applied Microbiology And Biotechnology 87: 457-66
14. McCaleb R. 1991. Anti-inflammatory Reishi. HerbalGram: 17
15. Hong KJ, Dunn DM, Shen CL, Pence BC. 2004. Effects of Ganoderma lucidum on apoptotic and anti-inflammatory function in HT-29 human colonic carcinoma cells. Phytotherapy Research: PTR 18: 768-70
16. Akihisa T, Nakamura Y, Tagata M, Tokuda H, Yasukawa K, Uchiyama E, Suzuki T, Kimura Y. 2007. Anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor-promoting effects of triterpene acids and sterols from the fungus Ganoderma lucidum. Chemistry & Biodiversity 4: 224-31
17. Gao Y, Zhou S, Huang M, Xu A. 2003. Antibacterial and antiviral value of the genus Ganoderma P. Karst. species (Aphyllophoromycetideae): a review. INT J MEDICINAL MUSHROOMS 5: 235
18. Teng BS, Wang CD, Zhang D, Wu JS, Pan D, Pan LF, Yang HJ, Zhou P. 2012. Hypoglycemic effect and mechanism of a proteoglycan from ganoderma lucidum on streptozotocin-induced type 2 diabetic rats. European Review For Medical And Pharmacological Sciences 16: 166-75
19. Sliva D. 2004. Cellular and physiological effects of Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi). Mini Reviews In Medicinal Chemistry 4: 873-9
20. Steiner E, How Reishi Combats Aging. Life Extension Magazine Mar/Apr 2013