In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Reishi mushroom is special.
It belonged to a special class of medicines known as ‘tonic herbs’. They are considered very important to overall health, vitality, and quality of life.
Dubbed as the “Mushroom of Immortality” and “Mushroom of Spiritual Potency”, it’s no wonder it’s been revered as one of the most sought-after.
Known as the Queen of Mushrooms, it has already been used to support well-being for over 2,000 years in China and Japan.
So if you don’t know where to start with your mushroom research, you will never go wrong with Reishi mushrooms.
Here are 12 reasons why:
1. Reishi helps increase immunity
Reishi mushroom is known for its ability to strengthen the body to fight disease and weakness.
Ancient cultures in China and Japan have been using Reishi mushroom to naturally boost the immune system.
They have used a brew of the tough mushroom thinking it helps fight illnesses like the cold and flu. Today, it has been backed by studies showing this is indeed very possible.
But, they also found that Reishi mushroom can fight other immune-related conditions—even autoimmunity.
2. Reishi has antioxidant properties
Reishi’s antioxidant properties are the important foundation of its immune-boosting benefits.
This study shows that extracts of reishi mushroom can protect against oxidative stress, even in severe cases. In fact, with the help of reishi, you can better handle any unwanted infection or disease.
Oxidative stress is caused by free radicals. These “free radicals” are rogue cells that cause chronic inflammation. This type of inflammation needs to be stopped or it can lead to a wide range of diseases and health problems.
When you take reishi extract, it is more effective than (or a complement to) eating foods known to be high in antioxidants. Other foods rich in antioxidants include dark leafy greens, dark berries, or other foods.
3. Reishi can help stimulate better cellular health
Reishi’s is amazing because it acts as an antioxidant and immune-booster.
These incredible health benefits are associated with how its compounds interact with human cells at the microscopic level.
Powerful antioxidants, such as reishi, stimulate an incredibly healthy and natural process called autophagy in the body.
Autophagy or “self-eating” is a detox process your body undergoes to clean out damaged cells and regenerate new ones. It is much like jump-starting the body’s natural self-cleaning process.
With autophagy, reishi helps support mitochondria, protect cellular integrity, and get rid of dead and harmful cells that cause chronic inflammation.
This study even shows that reishi stimulates autophagy to such an extent that it can reduce cancer risk.
4. Reishi can cut down cancer risk
Because reishi has immune-boosting benefits, antioxidant potential, and mitochondrial health enhancement, it is possible that it can help protect us from cancer.
A 2016 review on reishi states that it has great potential in terms of cancer prevention.
Furthermore, there are many studies showing that this mushroom can help in fighting against cancer in cancer patients or support current cancer treatment.
However, studies suggest that reishi needs more studies to confirm its cancer-fighting benefits. It is still far from being called a treatment, support, or even a remedy, although the data so far is quite encouraging.
5. Reishi can help reduce chronic inflammation
Beyond its possible helpfulness for major diseases like cancer, this fungus of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) also has other benefits.
This include healing and protection against more subtle conditions and health issues like inflammation.
Because this antioxidant has an immune-boosting property, it can help with certain types of inflammation and inflammatory-related diseases.
A 2014 study shows that it can help with inflammatory pain issues, skin inflammation, and even allergies and asthma. Although it is not a replacement for NSAID’s, if used as a long-term supplement, it can help boost your health.
It may just provide more natural benefits without any known harmful side effects.
6. Reishi can help with graceful aging
Do you want to age beautifully? Then reishi can help you with that.
Aging has become a very important topic today, especially because it cannot be stopped. But Reishi can help us age better with its adaptogen content.
Adaptogens can help can slow down tissue degeneration, aging, and weakness. Again, this all comes down to its antioxidant and free radical-protective abilities.
Chinese medicine has used reishi to help live a longer life. Long-term use of this mushroom is believed to reduce wrinkles and older appearance due to its antioxidant activity, for example.
7. Reishi can help attain more focus and better memory
Reishi has a lot more in it than just being an anti-aging fungus.
As we age, many of our organ systems decline—most notably, brain function. It becomes harder to remember things.
But, brain function can be improved through proper diet and nutritional efforts. With a little help from antioxidants, which reishi is chock full of, we can slow down brain degeneration.
Studies show that reishi mushroom has very specific anti-inflammatory actions that can help protect nerves and neurons from inflammation. This mushroom is so potent that it can help stop memory problems, for example.
It is not only applicable to the elderly people, but it can also help those who struggle with brain fog.
8. Reishi can reduce the risk of neurological disorders
Reishi’s neuroprotective abilities to boost brain function is tied with its potency to reduce the risk of neurological disorders.
In short, reishi could also help to protect the brain and nervous system against Alzheimer’s disease.
One study showed that reishi can not only be helpful to reduce the cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s, but it can also be used to fight against other neurological disorders such as ADHD or autism.
9. Reishi can help improve mental health and mood disorders
Because Reishi helps protect the nervous system, it is no wonder it can also do great things for mental health and mood disorders.
It means it can help lessen stress and helps ease depression, anxiety, and mood disorders.
This is because antioxidant protection against inflammation in nerves can also improve mood. According to research, Reishi extract has both anti-depressant and anti-anxiety effects.
Although more studies will be needed before calling reishi a possible supplement to or replacement for medications, the results are encouraging.
10. Reishi can help boost heart health
As we age, we need to take care of our heart health. Reishi can help with this aspect of health too.
Studies show that this traditional medicinal fungus could help naturally lower our blood pressure.
Combined with exercise and proper diet, the long-term use of reishi could give heart health the extra boost it needs to stay in tip-top shape.
11. Reishi helps protect the liver and kidneys
Reishi not only helps protect our brain, nerves, and heart. It also has hepato-protective or liver-protective benefits, according to a study.
According to the study, Reishi is powerful enough to combat fatty liver disease. Aside from that, it can also provide benefits as simple as improving liver health and helping with the body’s natural processes of detoxification.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, reishi is considered a detoxifying herb especially because the studies show it may also naturally help protect the kidneys, which is the second-most important detoxifying and cleaning organs after the liver.
12. Reishi can help boost gut health
Last but not least, reishi can help one of the most important systems of all, the digestive system.
A study reveals that reishi may function like a prebiotic for the gut, which can help feed and sustain beneficial gut bacteria.
Additionally, when gut microbiota is modulated, it can be a promising tool to tackle obesity. Research shows that Reishi can help alter the gut in such a way that it can improve one’s ability to lose weight.
In addition to its antioxidant benefits, this could help further soothe any chronic inflammation in the digestive system, thus improving overall gut health.
The healthier the gut is, the healthier the overall body will be.
Some words to say…
Reishi mushroom is not known as the Mushroom of Immortality for nothing.
Because of its long history in Traditional Chinese medicine, it’s believed that Reishi ‘nourishes the spirit’ and thus, nourishes the body, too.
We can say that Reishi mushroom has truly stood the test of time and the scrutiny of high-level scientific research.
How to get started with medicinal mushrooms
To get started on your journey of exploring medicinal mushrooms, I highly recommend checking out Mason Taylor’s website, SuperFeast. He’s offering Hack Spirit readers a 10% discount if they use the coupon code “IDEAPOD” at the check-out.
Please note that we may receive a small commission on anything you purchase. However, also please note that we only recommend products we love.
A quick message from Lachlan Brown, the founder of Hack Spirit
In 2018, the third year of Hack Spirit, I poured thousands of hours and considerable resources into creating these articles. It's a labor of love and remains free thanks to your patronage. If you found any value in these articles, please consider supporting what I do with a donation. Your support is what helps me to continue creating more Hack Spirit articles. To make a donation, select the amount and click the "donate" button below.