Reishi Mushroom - Uses, Side Effects, and More

Soniya
Reishi mushrooms helps in reducing depression and boosts your heart health. (Image via Unsplash / James Wainscoat)
Reishi mushrooms help reduce depression and boost heart health. (Image via Unsplash/James Wainscoat)

Reishi mushrooms are a type of medicinal mushroom used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years.

They’re also known as Ling Zhi or Ling Chi mushrooms and can be found growing on trees and stumps throughout the forests of China. In addition to being used as food for centuries, reishi mushrooms have also been used for their medicinal properties.


What is a Reishi Mushroom?

The Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) is a type of fungus that grows on trees and is native to the forests of China and Japan. It has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years, where it’s known as ling zhi.

In the West, reishi mushrooms are gaining popularity as an immune-boosting supplement and a way to support overall wellness.


Benefits of Reishi Mushroom

The health benefits of reishi mushrooms include:

1) Boosts immune system

Improves immune system activity (Image via Unsplash/Thanh Soledas)
Improves immune system activity (Image via Unsplash/Thanh Soledas)

Reishi mushroom has been found to increase immune system activity. Reishi may affect the genes in white blood cells, which help the immune system fight off infections.

Some forms of reishi may alter inflammation pathways in white blood cells, while other forms may increase the activity of a type of white blood cell called natural killer cells.

2) May prevent cancer

Reishi has been studied for its potential to fight cancer, but results are inconclusive. Some human studies have suggested that these mushrooms may be beneficial for prostate cancer, but a larger follow-up study did not support these findings.

3) Reduces depression

Can help prevent fatigue (Image via Unsplash/Chris Andrews)
Can help prevent fatigue (Image via Unsplash/Chris Andrews)

Reishi has a wide range of effects that can perk you up and improve your life. It can help prevent fatigue, reduce depression, and increase your overall sense of satisfaction with life. It does all that without any negative side effects.

4) Has antioxidant and anti-aging properties

Although reishi mushrooms are said to boost antioxidant levels, researchers have found no evidence of that in blood in subject who consumed them for 4-12 weeks.


Reishi Mushroom Side Effects

Reishi mushrooms are generally considered a safe food, with no known toxic effects or adverse interactions. However, it should be avoided by people who're allergic to mushrooms or other fungus in the polyporaceae family.

It’s also important to note that reishi may interact with some medications, including drugs used to treat high blood pressure and diabetes. If you're taking any medication, consult your doctor before using reishi as a herbal supplement.


Reishi Mushroom Tea

Reishi mushroom tea can be prepared by steeping it in hot water for a few minutes. (Image via Unsplash/Darovi Elizondo)
Reishi mushroom tea can be prepared by steeping it in hot water for a few minutes. (Image via Unsplash/Darovi Elizondo)

Reishi mushroom tea is a popular beverage in China, Japan, and Korea. It's made by steeping the dried mushrooms in hot water. That makes it a great option for those looking to consume reishi mushrooms without having to eat them directly.

The process is simple: Reishi mushrooms are typically sold in flake or powder form and can be steeped directly into boiling water for consumption. The tea can also be prepared with cold water too if you prefer something more refreshing on hot summer days.


Reishi mushroom is most commonly available in liquid extract form and comes in powdered extract capsules.

Capsules seem to be the preferred way of taking this supplement, as they're lower in cost than liquid extracts. There're several hundred milligrams of fungal polysaccharides in each capsule. However, if you want to take this mushroom extract, consult with a doctor or healthcare provider.

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Edited by Bhargav