Native to the continent of Asia, Ganoderma lucidum, often referred to as Reishi, is a fungus that thrives in hot, humid conditions. Popular in Eastern medicine, this mushroom has some of the most beneficial triterpenoids, peptidoglycans, and polysaccharides. Reishi mushrooms don’t taste particularly good, but the Chinese have developed ways of cooking them that bring out their best as a culinary mushroom. Generally, Reishi is preferred as a medicinal mushroom, and with good reason, as there has been ample research on some of the health benefits of Reishi.
Below are 5 scientifically studied benefits of the Reishi mushroom. The research done on medicinal mushrooms is relatively new, demanding further investigation and the development of more rigorous dosing protocols in the future. As always, be sure to check with your doctor as to whether or not using Reishi supplements are appropriate for you.
- Enhances the immune system by altering and improving the pathways for white blood cells to do their thing. This is primarily for people who are experiencing ill-health, as evidence does not emphasize the effectiveness of Reishi for preventative care because research has provided mixed results on its effectiveness as a general immune system modulator
- Fights cancer by improving natural killer cell behaviors and is used as a preventative supplement for certain kinds of cancers
- Aids with depression and fatigue associated with neurasthenia and breast cancer
- Improves cardiovascular health in some patients, but not universally
- Aids in blood sugar management for some patients
DOSING & ADMINISTRATION
Doses may differ due to age, the condition you are using Reishi for, the method of administration and your overall health. A general rule of thumb for dosing Reishi is to try to take a standard amount of the beneficial polysaccharides found inside. In general, most medicinal users take Reishi via an extract in the form of tincture, capsule, or powder. Typical doses include 1.5 to 1.9 grams of crude dried mushroom material, 1 to 1.5 grams of Reishi powder, or 1 milliliter of concentrated reishi tea or tincture. Reishi can be cultivated and sold as a food, but its leathery texture is off-putting to many. In general, most medicinal users take Reishi via an extract in the form of tincture, capsule or powder.
CAUTIONS & SIDE EFFECTS
Reishi mushrooms impacts human blood and may increase the risk of bleeding and interfere with high blood pressure medications. Discuss possible side effects with your doctor before taking Reishi supplements, especially if you are using anticoagulant or antiplatelet drugs such as:
Mushrooms are a safe and effective health supplement, but just as with any other non-pharmaceutical supplement, they may have previously unstudied impacts on bodily systems and/or medications a patient is taking to assist with a medical problem. Culinary mushrooms rarely have impacts on health systems because humans rarely consume enough fresh mushrooms to create such side effects. However, extracts and concentrates such as Reishi are more intense and need to be managed with medical advice and consultation.