6 Benefits of Reishi Mushrooms (Ganoderma Lucidum)Dr. Miranda Wiley, ND
November 7, 2018
Of all the medicinal mushrooms in the world, one of the shining stars has to reishi (Ganoderma lucidum). It is indicated for so many health conditions that it could blithely be said that “When in doubt, use reishi”!
Benefits of Reishi Mushrooms
- Stress management for greater resilience
- Nerve tonic for enhanced calm, reduced anxiety, and better sleep
Diving right into the benefits of reishi with a two-in-one: adrenal support and nerve health!In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) reishi is known as Ling zhi, or “the herb of spiritual potency” 1. Uses in TCM include nourishing the heart and quieting the spirit. In TCM, the “Shen” represents the thinking mind or the spirit of the body, in housed in the heart2. Agitation, anxiety, insomnia are all indications of a disrupted Shen indicating a need to support and heal the heart.
For this reason, reishi is a good herb to consider for times of stress when body and mind need to work together for the health and benefit of both. In Western Medicine reishi is considered an adaptogenic herb, meaning that it helps to adapt to stressful situations with greater benefits from regular use than intermittent use. Reishi may be taken preventatively for stress, such as when heading into exams, planning a wedding, or taking on a new exercise routine (clear it with your physician first!), or it can be taken reactively when symptoms of stress are present and the goal is a renewed sense of calm and better sleep. But remember the old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! Get ahead of stress as much as you can to help with the flow of life.
- Cardiovascular health support and disease prevention through blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol regulation
Stress can wreak havoc on blood sugar levels and reishi can help to modulate blood sugar. Stress can upset blood pressure and reishi helps to regular blood pressure. Erratic blood sugar, high blood pressure, and elevated cholesterol are all implicated in the development of cardiovascular disease and reishi addresses all three elements making it a good herb for prevention of chronic illness later in life as well.
Most people can resonate with those times when stress has been high and relentless and you FINALLY get a break, maybe even go on holiday, only to immediately dive head first into a rotten cold that knocks you down for way too long! If reishi wasn’t around to help prevent this scenario by managing your stress response then it is certainly indicated once the illness hits.
- Antimicrobial properties
Reishi is antimicrobial against viruses, bacteria, and fungi (including Candida yeast), and it also helps to regulate the immune response to boost our body’s ability to fight infection while also helping to moderate the inflammation that accompanies the infection3. Really, is there anything this herb cannot do?
- Immune balance for everything from pesky colds to allergies to autoimmune disease management
Under the umbrella of “immunomodulation” effects from the consumption of reishi is support for autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease, as well as an anti-allergenic effect that may prove helpful for those with seasonal or environmental allergies4.
- Liver protection against the myriad of toxins in today’s environment
Reishi also has documented benefits on liver health by protecting the liver from toxins. Elevated liver enzymes on a blood test indicate damage to liver cells, and treatment with Reishi has been shown to lower liver enzyme levels5.
Bring on the reishi for body, mind, and spirit!
- Stamets P. MycoMedicinals: An informational treatise on mushrooms. MycoMedia productions 2002.
- Reishi Hot Chocolate Image