The reishi mushroom, also known as Lingzhi in Chinese, is the collective name for a group of fungi of the Ganoderma family, particularly the Ganoderma lucidum specie.
For more than 2000 years, it has been used in traditional Eastern healing doctrines as ”the mushroom of immortality” for their astounding therapeutic action.
In China, Japan and South Asia, Ganoderma (more commonly known as Lingzhi) is treasured like gold for its amazing healing properties for almost any health problems. Today, reishi mushroom is used as adjuncts to cancer treatments in Japan and China with great success.
Throughout the centuries, scientists have discovered over 400 active compounds in the reishi mushroom, and confirmed its numerous health benefits.
7 TOP HEALTH BENEFITS OF REISHI MUSHROOM (LINGZHI)
The benefits of reishi mushroom, or Lingzhi are wide and impressive. Taking it in therapeutic dosage helps your body to “reset” your health to where or what it should be.
The beauty of natural medicine is that it works in harmony with our human body—destroying the harmful, and preserving the healthy.
If you’re looking for scientific back-ups for the efficacy of reishi mushroom, there are many studies done on the miraculous healing properties of the mushroom, enough to drown any doctor! Read on …
1. Protects The Liver And Improves Its Functions
The triterpenoids present in Ganoderma lucidum show great hepatoprotective properties, which means they support the liver and significantly improve its functions. This is thanks to the anti-inflammatory and immune-supporting properties of these compounds in reishi mushroom.
In most chronic diseases, there are high chances of an impaired liver. When liver health is improved, most of these chronic conditions will correct themselves.
By the way, this is true even in such tricky conditions such as malaria-related liver damage!
2. Soothes Inflammation
Several bioactive compounds of the reishi mushroom show strong anti-inflammatory properties which are extremely beneficial for all sorts of health conditions.
For example, studies have confirmed that the triterpene known as ganoderic acid is able to decrease inflammation in individuals suffering from Crohn’s disease.
A similar effect was found for GLPss58, a polysaccharide from the reishi mushroom. This compound was able to fine-tune immune response and alleviate inflammatory symptoms in animal models.
Reishi’s anti-inflammatory polysaccharides could also be of great help for the treatment of asthma, as they help to reduce the responsiveness of the airways by calming down local inflammation.
3. Protects The Nervous System, Prevents Seizures, Promotes Brain Regeneration
Another great feature of the reishi mushroom compounds is that a lot of them show neuroprotective effects, meaning that they protect the nervous system—primarily the brain and the spinal cord.
For example, an animal model from 2013 confirmed that reishi oligosaccharides reduce inflammation in the brain and prevent seizures.
A similar effect was found for this mushroom’s polysaccharides, which reduced oxidative damage and decreased brain cell death. In some other studies, these compounds were found to enhance cognitive function and promote the brain’s regeneration, meaning that reishi mushroom could be recommended as part of the treatment of such shattering conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
Studies reveal that supplementing with reishi mushroom has beneficial effects for stroke victims. It can limit the size of the stroke-damaged area in the brain, which helps limit behavioral and functional damage caused by the stroke. And secondly, reishi mushroom protects brain tissue oxygen starvation that occurs during a stroke that produces most of the damage in the brains of stroke victims.
4. Helps To Control Blood Cholesterol
Studies on small lab and animal trials indicated that some of the reishi mushroom’s compounds (mainly oxygenosterols) have cholesterol-lowering properties . Eventually, this effect could help to fight the development of atherosclerosis, which is a major component of all cardiovascular diseases.
5. Helps In Managing Diabetes
Throughout the last five years, a lot of studies have been conducted on reishi mushroom’s anti-diabetic properties. For instance, some of them indicated that it helps in lowering after-meal blood glucose and improving insulin resistance.
The anti-diabetic properties of reishi mushroom also work great in combination with its cholesterol-lowering action, since these two conditions (diabetes and arterial plaque due to high cholesterol) are known to somewhat potentialize and worsen each other.
Reishi mushroom also accelerate wound healing in diabetic individuals, due to the enhanced antioxidant function.
6. Combats Allergies And Alleviates Autoimmune Diseases
Every allergy has an inflammatory component to it, but it turns out that the reishi mushroom’s help with that goes so much farther than just soothing inflammation.
For instance, an animal study from 2016 has spotlighted that reishi mushroom can improve immune response in animal models of Lupus, decreasing inflammation and supporting the immune system.
The polysaccharides of reishi mushrooms have been found to modulate the immune system so that it reacts more effectively to the attack of foreign invaders such as pathogens, while calming down an overactive immune system that’s attacking its own healthy cells.
Furthermore, the ganoderic acids in this miracle mushroom have been shown to fight hyperactive immune system diseases, including allergies, by slowing down histamine release, improving the flow of oxygen, and boosting the functions of the liver.
So, whether your immune system is underperforming or overperforming, reishi mushroom has been shown to help fine-tune immune functioning, bringing it back into balance. Talk to your qualified health professional about adding reishi mushroom to your treatment plan if you have an autoimmune disease.
7. Alleviates Fatigue, Anxiety And Depression
One of the primary purposes for which the reishi mushroom has been used in traditional Chinese medicine was to improve one’s ability to adapt to stress and combat it. In other words, it is a powerful natural adaptogen.
Modern studies confirm that it can help to fight fatigue, reduce anxiety and depression, and even boost one’s sense of well-being.
REISHI MUSHROOM AGAINST CANCER: ENOUGH SCIENCE TO CLEAR YOUR SKEPTICISM
Throughout the last decade, the fabulous reishi mushroom has been gaining huge popularity as a natural cancer-killer.
Several studies have shown that Lingzhi is one of the most powerful mushrooms with regard to antioxidant characteristics that boost total antioxidant capacity to fight oxidative damages.
Below are some other ways why reishi mushroom have substantially deeper and more advanced mechanisms in fighting chronic diseases and attacking cancer:
- Polysaccharides have anticancer effects due to their ability to prevent abnormal blood vessel formation, and to boost immune system function.
- Some of the compounds found in reishi mushrooms are directly toxic to cancer cells, while sparing healthy cells.
- Lingzhi compounds, particularly the triterpenes and polysaccharides, limit tumors’ growth rate by blocking the abnormal reproductive cycles of cancer cells.
- Protects cellular DNA from oxidative damage that causes aging and cancer
So, what kinds of cancer is it effective against? Let’s take a look at some of the available scientific data!
Breast cancer: Reishi mushroom suppresses the growth of breast cancer cells and reduces their activity.
Prostate cancer: Reishi mushroom inhibits the proliferation of prostate cancer cells and kills existing ones.
Lung cancer: Several mushrooms of the Ganoderma family were proven to be toxic for certain types of lung cancer cells (and safe for normal ones) even when conventional drugs weren’t of much help. Some patients also show significantly improved immune response to existing lung cancer after treatment with reishi polysaccharides.
Colon & colorectal cancer: Recent studies indicate that reishi triterpenes inhibit colon cancer growth and reduce colorectal cancer migration.
Last but not least, there are many minor studies indicating the potential of reishi compounds in the treatment of liver, cervix, ovary, and bladder cancer.
Of course, the matter of cancer treatment is incredibly complex, with a lot of details that should be taken into account. And while more systematic reviews and large-scale controlled studies are needed to establish the perfect way of treating tumors with the help of reishi mushroom, the current evidence is incredibly encouraging, nevertheless.
So, how do you take this wonder of nature to reap all of its benefits?
HOW TO TAKE REISHI MUSHROOM
For the time being, there are no universal recommendations on how much of the reishi mushroom you should take to maximize its benefits. It is dependent on your health condition.
Most Eastern specialists state that the effective dose ranges from 1.5 to 9 g of Ganoderma lucidum extract daily, which is the rough equivalent of 15 to 90 g of fresh reishi mushroom.
However, don’t forget that the recommended dose may vary depending on the specific type of product you choose (fresh mushrooms, powder, tincture, tea, extract). Start with a small amount, and gradually increase it. In any case, there is no known side effects from taking Ganoderma lucidum as a long-term supplement.
One important thing to remember though, if you are taking Ganoderma lucidum extracts, most users report experiencing healing reactions. You may feel worse from taking the mushroom before you start feeling better again. This is completely normal and should not be considered as “not suitable” for you.
If you are unsure about using Lingzhi therapeutically for a chronic disease, do work with a qualified health professional or herbalist who has experience with reishi mushroom and who is able to help you with the right dosage for your condition.