Source – naturalblaze.com
– “…Reishi is one of the many types of medicinal mushrooms that have been used for thousands of years in cultures around the world, particularly in Asian countries…known as the “longevity mushroom,” the “mushroom of immortality,” and the “queen of mushrooms,” because of its powerful bioactive compounds (polysaccharides including triterpene and beta-glucans) that are anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer”
The Healing Power of Reishi Mushrooms
Reishi is one of the many types of medicinal mushrooms that have been used for thousands of years in cultures around the world, particularly in Asian countries, and are now gaining popularity in the West. Word is getting out about their amazing health benefits, evidenced by all the supplements and types of mushroom teas and coffees on the market. Medicinal mushrooms are not the same as “magic mushrooms”–they have no hallucinogenic effects; they act as adaptogens, helping us deal with the negative effects of stress, like increased inflammation, low energy levels, and hormonal imbalances.
What is the Reishi Mushroom?
Reishi is often used for its calming effect. If you’re new to the world of medicinal mushrooms, reishi is a good mushroom to start with as it’s the most widely studied medicinal mushroom and has been used for at least two thousand years by Asian people. It’s also known as Ganoderma lucidum and lingzhi. It’s shiny and reddish brown in color and grows on dead and decaying trees in Asia in mountain forests. It is known as the “longevity mushroom,” the “mushroom of immortality,” and the “queen of mushrooms,” because of its powerful bioactive compounds (polysaccharides including triterpene and beta-glucans) that are anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer. But you won’t find reishi mushrooms at your local grocery store as it’s not a culinary mushroom. It’s woody and bitter, so it’s best taken as a supplement; processing reishi involves a lengthy extraction process.
10 Health Benefits of Reishi Mushrooms:
These are just a few of the potential health benefits of reishi. More research needs to be done, though, as most of the studies so far have been animal studies.
Boosts immune function: Reishi has beta glucans that help stabilize the immune system. Studies show it impacts white blood cells and natural killer cells (1)(2).
Improves sleep: Studies show that reishi can improve sleep quality and may help you fall asleep and sleep longer (3)(4).
Helps liver function: One study found that the antioxidants in resihi have protective effects on acute liver injury (5).
Defends against tumor growth and cancer: Reishi contains polysaccharides and triterpenes that have anticancer properties (6). Reishi is also beneficial to cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy (7). In a 2006 study, reishi was found to enhance the immune system to protect against colorectal cancer (8).
May protect the brain: A couple of studies show that reishi may have neutroptroective properties that have promise for Alzheimer’s and seizures (9)(10).
May help diabetes: A small study found reishi improved glucose levels (11).
Rich in antioxidants: Reishi has lots of antioxidants that help prevent disease and slow aging (12).
Calms the central nervous system: One study found decrease in fatigue, anxiety and depression in people suffering from neurasthenia (13).
May fight allergies. Reishi has anti-histimine effects and may help inflammatory and allergic responses (14).
Fights candida: Reishi’s antifungal properties inhibit candida biofilms (15).
Reishi Mushrooms Proven for Fibromyalgia Pain Relief in Human Study
Fibromyalgia is a condition that affects nearly 10 million people in the United States and nearly 3-6% of the world population.
A promising double-blind, randomized human clinical study of ganoderma lucidum, also known as reishi mushroom, has been shown to be effective in treating fibromyalgia chronic pain.
To begin, science knows that the reishi mushroom is the most studied nutraceutical and that it has been used safely and effectively for thousands of years. It is often called the mushroom of longevity and immortality.
Reishi has several biologically-active compounds in it, including triterpenes, which have been shown to increase the production of Nerve Growth Factor. NGF is a protein that helps to create new neurons and repair damaged neurons. This also enhances the communication between cells and reduces inflammation.
Reishi has also been shown to be beneficial for many other things, including reducing blood pressure and boosting the “good” HDL cholesterol.
In the fibromyalgia chronic pain study, one group consumed 6 grams of reishi mushroom powder per day and another group consumed 6 grams of carob powder per day. Each group participated for 6 weeks and continued to self-report their experiences for 72 days after the treatment. The reishi mushroom group experienced pain reduction by up to 30%, which is significant.
They also reported getting better sleep, were happier and gained aerobic endurance and body flexibility.
Further studies with reishi on fibromyalgia would be wonderful, especially those including nutrients like D-ribose, fulvic and humic acid, and iodine. All of those nutrients have been reported by many to help ease the fibromyalgia-related pain and it would be fascinating to see the potential effects from different combinations of them. Scientists could also further study the role of reishi mushrooms in conditions like neuropathy (tingling of the nerves) and arthritic pain.
For more information, check out the 3-minute video describing this study: