Benefits of Reishi

Functional mushrooms have been used in Eastern medicine for thousands of years but have experienced a rise in popularity in the West over the last several years. One fungus garnering a lot of attention is reishi. Also known by its scientific name Ganoderma lucidum, reishi earned the nickname “the mushroom of immortality” thanks to its bevy of health benefits. Typically found on the base of deciduous trees, these mushrooms have a distinctive woodsy color and a glossy exterior.

From boosting immune system function to fighting depression, this adaptogen is a superfood in every sense of the word thanks to its rich mix of antioxidants. Read on to discover more about the multitude of benefits reishi has to offer.


Reishi and Immunity

One of the reishi mushroom’s most compelling attributes is its ability to improve immune system performance. One 2010 study found that reishi may have a positive effect on the way white blood cells perform in the body, enhancing their capacity to fight infections. Another study found that Ganoderma lucidum improved lymphocyte (another type of white blood cell) function in athletes exposed to stress. The mushroom is widely used in Asian cultures as an adjunct treatment for people battling cancer thanks to its immune-boosting capabilities as well as its potential as an anti-tumor tool.


Reishi and the Brain

Ganoderma lucidum is often touted for its positive effects for those suffering from fatigue and/or depression. In one trial involving 48 breast cancer survivors, the mushroom was found to be effective at reducing fatigue and anxiety while also improving volunteers’ overall quality of life. Another study focused on patients with neurasthenia, a nervous system condition, found that reishi helped ease anxiety and increased participants’ sense of wellbeing.

Reishi has also been shown to act as a neuroprotectant; helping to keep the mind functioning at peak performance. The compounds found in this fungus may protect against Alzheimer’s disease by reducing the risk of oxidative stress in the brain. 

Scientists have also found that reishi reduced seizure activity in mice, a promising result that may impact future treatment.


Reishi and the Heart

In addition to their immune and mood-boosting powers, reishi mushrooms have demonstrated potential in keeping your heart healthy. For example, one study suggested the fungus may increase the amount of “good” cholesterol in the body while simultaneously reducing “bad” triglycerides. Researchers in Japan also concluded that reishi could help keep high blood pressure in check.


The Mushroom of Immortality — A Gift From Mother Earth

Reishi is quickly becoming one of the most popular functional mushrooms on the market — and for good reason. Between its abilities as an immune system booster, a mood enhancer, and its positive impacts on the heart and brain, it’s no wonder the “mushroom of immortality” is in high demand. As more research is conducted on this functional mushroom, it is all but certain that even more benefits will soon be unearthed.

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