Another of the major league medicinal mushrooms, reishi or ‘Ganoderma lucidum’, is native to several regions across Asia, such as Korea, China and Japan and can currently be found growing on hardwood trees worldwide in tropical and subtropical climates. “Reishi” is the Japanese word for this fungus, however, it is also known as lingzhi (or Ling Zhi) in Chinese and has been used for over 2,000 years. Read on to discover our Top 5 Health Benefits of Reishi ‘the mushroom of immortality’!
1. Full-body physician
Reishi has the ability to enhance all of your bodily functions, thanks to its high content of powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-cancer compounds. These include beta-glucans, plant sterols that function as precursors to various hormones, polysaccharides that have valuable anti-ulcer, antitumorigenic (counteractive in the formation of tumors) hypoglycemic and immunostimulating effects in addition to triterpenes (chemical compounds) that have anti-allergenic and hypolipidemic (cholesterol regulating) properties. Reishi is officially listed as a recognised cancer treatment by the Japanese government.
2. Promotes gut health
Hippocrates, hailed as the father of modern medicine, stated that “all disease begins in the gut.” Therefore any substance that works to improve gut health is of great benefit to the entire bodily system. Reishi helps to inhibit the development of gastric ulcers and improves the digestion and absorption of nutrients alongside the elimination of toxins. It also aids in the prevention of metabolic syndromes, decreases the storage of excess fat and regulates blood sugar. Additionally, reishi optimises gut flora by promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria as well as allowing for the development of a more diverse range of species of bacteria in your digestive tract.
3. Heart healthy
Reishi’s high triterpene content helps to regulate your blood pressure, cholesterol and insulin resistance. Reishi reduces inflammation, prevents arteriosclerosis (the constriction of your arteries), improves circulation and slows down platelet aggregation (the clotting of blood cells) which are often leading factors in heart problems, such as heart attacks and strokes. Compounds found in reishi enhance blood flow and increase the amount of oxygen available to your heart.
4. Improves liver and kidney function
This fungus protects you against kidney disease, liver damage and boosts immunity. Its antioxidant properties protect the liver from negative immune responses and improve its ability to eliminate toxins, as well as promote liver cell regeneration. Reishi also works in preventing liver cirrhosis brought on by excessive alcohol consumption.
5. Cognitive enhancer
Not only does reishi improve athletic performance and reduce fatigue, it also has the powerful ability to induce mental clarity and concentration. Whenever my fullest attention is required, I’m able to use it to support my focus. Studies have shown it to improve brain function after excessive alcohol consumption, in addition to reducing the amount of seizure-inducing compounds within the body. Its adaptogenic properties help to restore hormonal balance, helping you to better deal with stress, reduce anxiety and improve sleep.
All of this is ultimately suggesting that if you’d like to wake up feeling more energised, improve your digestion, avoid the cold and flu this winter, sleep better and become more confident and relaxed, then seek to incorporate this magnificent mushroom into your diet. Reishi can be bought online or in health food stores and brewed into tea, added to smoothies in powder form, or consumed as a tincture or in capsule form. Tried Reishi? What effects did you notice, let us know below or @KeepfitKingdom ! Click for more medicinal fungi articles: chaga and cordyceps.