Reishi mushroom, also known as Lingzhi or Ganoderma, is a fungus with a red kidney shape structure, with broad medicinal use in Asian countries. For many years, herbalists and doctors have used this fungus to cure diseases. Additionally, In Japan, many doctors use them as an adjunct to cure cancer. In this article, we are going to talk about Reishi mushroom’s benefits for health. Moreover, we will discuss the possible side effects in different conditions.
Reishi Mushroom Benefits:
Reishi Mushrooms have a broad medicinal use due to their various benefits for the body. Researchers in the labs have proven most of these benefits. However, some still come into question. We have listed the most known benefits of reishi mushroom as the following:
1. Reishi Mushroom and Immune System Booster
According to the herbalists’ experience in many Asian countries, reishi mushrooms can boost the body’s immune system. For many years, herbalists in China have used this mushroom powder to boost the body’s immune system. Recently, various research on these mushrooms has proved that reishi fungus can have a notable effect on the white blood cells responsible for your immune system. Although herbalists mostly have used it to cure ill people, some experiments have shown that it can also boost healthy people’s immune systems.
2. An adjunct in fighting cancer
There is much evidence that shows that reishi mushrooms can be useful in fighting cancer. As mentioned earlier, they have a notable impact on boosting the immune system, which is essential in fighting cancer. Moreover, this mushroom may have potent anti-cancer properties according to some studies. For example, in a study of 4000 people with breast cancer, about 60% of whom fought cancer successfully had used reishi mushrooms. Many scientists believe that the molecules inside this mushroom can kill the cells, causing cancer. Therefore, consuming reishi mushrooms can help stop the development of cancer.
3. Anti Depression properties
If you google the benefits of mushroom supplements, you will probably see some results such as lowering anxiety, anti-depression, fighting fatigue, and boosting energy. The good news is that all these benefits are real. This fungus can be useful in increasing energy and lowering depression. Several preliminary pieces of research have found out that reishi fungus can be effective in reducing stress and anxiety, which, on the other hand, causes a boost in well-being and energy.
4. Reishi Mushroom and Enhancement of cardiovascular system health
According to some studies, scientists claim that reishi mushrooms can improve heart health by increasing the good cholesterol levels in the blood and decreasing the number of triglycerides. However, the number of studies are not adequate to prove anything yet.
5. Helping to control diabetes
Controlling blood sugar is another potential effect of reishi mushroom. According to some preliminary studies, some scientists claim that reishi mushrooms can lower blood sugar and help people with diabetes. On the other hand, some scientists believe that it may not only have effects on lowering blood sugar but it can make it worse. Researchers are conducting more lab studies to determine how reishi affects blood sugar.
6. Antioxidant Properties
This property is also another potential benefit of reishi mushroom that is under study. Some studies show that reishi mushrooms contain the antioxidants that your body needs to protect your cells. However, some other studies show that reishi lacks two necessary enzymes to be a good antioxidant for the body.
Why should I use a supplement capsule? Can’t I get it easily by eating food?
Many people wonder whether they can get all these benefits by using the mushroom as food. Indeed, there is not an absolute NO answer to this question, but the reishi mushroom is tough and bitter. Therefore it isn’t pleasant to use it as food like a regular white mushroom. In Japan and China, most herbalists use its powder for medicinal use. Nowadays, capsule forms of reishi mushrooms are available next to the powder for more comfortable use. Moreover, there are different mushroom supplements available in the market, including reishi mushroom extract as one of the main ingredients.
Are there any side effects?
I believe that everything we consume has side effects. However, the quality and quantity of these side effects are uniquely related to our individual bodies. Like anything else, some people may show some allergic reactions to reishi mushrooms. These reactions may include dryness in the throat, mouth, and nasal path. Headaches, dizziness, and itching may also happen in some people, though it is improbable.
Overall, I recommend you consulting your doctor before using any supplements. Moreover, it is safer to not use mushroom supplements if you have low blood pressure, as if you are pregnant, or breastfeeding. There have been no adequate studies about the side effects of these circumstances; therefore, I suggest not using reishi supplements until there is enough information.