REISHI may be the single most influential medicinal mushroom in Asian history. Used for thousands of years, this fungus known as The Mushroom of Immortality, was once exclusively consumed by royalty. Highly regarded in Traditional Chinese Medicine, this woody mushroom is believed to promote health and longevity, lower the risk of cancer (1,2,3) and heart disease (4), as well as boost the immune system. (5,6,7,8). This ancient remedy may hold great promise in fighting modern diseases. (1)
Reish is known as a powerful Chinese herb for strengthening the cardiovascular system (4). Currently, Reishi is used in Asia to reduce hardening of the arteries, angina and shortness of breath associated with coronary heart disease as well as helping lower bad cholesterol (9). In a Tokyo University Hospital clinical study, 92 patients with myocardial infarction and chest pain were treated with Reishi extract with 72% of them claiming relief. (10). In an Advanced Food Healing seminar, Jeff Primack informed us that his grandfather’s heart palpitations stopped within a few days after ingesting 6 droppers-full (not drops!) of Reishi tincture a day.
Triterpenoids and polysaccharides are thought to be the most pharmacologically active constituents of Reishi. Triterpenoids have been reported to possess hepato-protective, anti-hypertensive, hypo-cholesterolemic effects. (11) Polysaccharides, especially beta-d-glucans, have been known to possess anti-tumor effects (12,7,13,27,15,16) and have a protective effect against free radicals. (33) It is surmised that the liver and kidney protective mechanism of Reishi, might be due in part to its noticeable superoxide scavenging effect which could protect the liver and kidneys from superoxide induced hepatic and renal damages (17,18,19).
The ganoderic acids in Reishi are shown to improve utilization of oxygen so it may be beneficial for those who suffer from asthma and other breathing-related illnesses. (9,20) and according to Paul Stamets, Reishi mushrooms like to consume yeast and their anti-yeast defenses are something that can be conferred to us, hence their ability to fight candida infections. (21)
Scientific literature is reporting that Reishi may be an effective nutraceutical and have a potential inhibitory effect on cancer metasis (22,23,24) and studies suggest the potential therapeutic use of Reishi during chemotherapy. (25)
And if all these benefits weren’t enough to make you include this in your diet; this prized mushroom has been sought after by spiritual seekers to help calm the overactive mind, sharpen concentration and build will power.
Shen Non, an ancient sage of Chinese agriculture and herbology said, “Long-term consumption of Reishi will lighten your body, you will never become old, it has spiritual power, and it develops Shen (consciousness and energy of the head) so you become a ‘spirit-being’ like the immortals.” Wow. What’s not to love about Reishi?
Possible Medicinal Benefits of Reishi:
- blood pressure
- blood sugar moderator
- cholesterol reducer
- immune enhancer
- kidney tonic
- liver tonic
- nerve tonic
- stress reducer
This medicinal mushroom is contra-indicated for those taking anti-coagulants/anti-platelets, or immuno-suppressants* (*Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center website)
Today, reishi stands out as one of the most valuable polypore mushrooms in nature for the benefit of our health.– Paul Stamets
© Mushroom Mama, 2015. All rights reserved.