There is a new (ancient) superfood on the scene. Reishi mushrooms have been used medicinally for centuries and are a powerful health building food.
Before getting to that, check out our Mental Mushrooms if you are looking for an affordable way to add clean reishi mushrooms to your life. Our Mental Mushrooms actually include concentrated Reishi extract and is the best way to get a concentrated mushroom boost in your daily coffee or tea.
First things first...
What are Reishi Mushrooms?
Reishi mushrooms are a type of woody fungus that grows on hardwood trees like elm, maple, and oak. They can be found growing in the mountain forests of Asia but are now often commercially cultivated. They have a shiny, lacquered appearance and range in color from brick red to purple to almost black. Reishi mushrooms can vary in size from two to twelve inches in diameter.
Reishi mushrooms have been in use in Asian medicine for centuries and are now becoming more widely known in the West. They have been dubbed “the mushroom of immortality” and it's no surprise why. Just take a look at the immense health benefits Reishi mushrooms can bestow.
Without further ado...
These are the top 5 benefits of Reishi mushrooms.
Top 5 Benefits of Reishi Mushrooms
Many varieties of mushrooms have beneficial health properties but Reishi mushrooms stand out among them all as the most health giving, particularly for cognition.
- Improve Cognitive Function
Reishi mushroom extracts have been found to stimulate the production of nerve growth factor and this supports the development of healthy neurons and enhances their mitochondrial function.
Triterpenes and polysaccharides, two of the beneficial compounds in Reishi mushrooms, decrease the oxidative damage of harmful proteins like Abeta, one of the main triggers for Alzheimer's. These compounds also protect against inflammation, one of the causes of Parkinson's disease.
Alzheimer's is sometimes referred to as Type 3 Diabetes because new research has shown insulin resistance to be one of the major factors in the development of the disease.
Reishi mushroom spores help to alleviate the diabetes induced oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction in the brain's main memory processing area, the hippocampus.
Even those who have already suffered a stroke can benefit from Reishi mushrooms. They can limit the size of the stroke-effected area of the brain which can lessen the behavioral and functional damage strokes cause.
Reishi mushrooms also protect the brain from the effects of oxygen starvation and oxidation that are the causes of most of the damage in a stroke victim's brain.
- Combat Allergies
Reishi mushrooms can be a powerful ally when it comes to fighting allergies. They contain ganoderic acid, (this is the compound responsible for the Reishi mushrooms’ bitter taste) which tamps down the over production of histamines. Histamines are what cause allergy symptoms.
The lanostina found in Reishi mushrooms decreases the severity of allergy symptoms and their duration.
Triterpenoids are anti-inflammatory and reduce the inflammation that aggravates respiratory problems. The overall powerful antioxidant property of Reishi mushrooms can boost the immune system which helps to reduce the symptoms that are common with allergies including the sneezing, congestion, and watery eyes.
- Improve Liver Function
The liver plays an important role in detoxifying the body because it removes toxins from your blood; it's like the body's filter. The toxins come both from our environment and from within our bodies. Oxidation and inflammation can take their toll on the liver over time and cause a decrease in the organ's ability to function optimally.
Reishi mushrooms can help support liver function and protect it from oxidative damage. Polysaccharides inhibit inflammation in liver cells and restore the liver's own natural antioxidant system to normal function after an infection and can also inhibit liver enzymes that produce an excess of oxidative stress.
Liver fibrosis is the final stage of non-alcohol fatty liver disease, now the most common form of liver disease. Animal studies have shown that Reishi extract can reverse even this stage of liver disease which had previously been thought to be irreversible.
- Improve Heart Health
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for Americans. Reishi mushrooms can help protect us from heart disease and stroke because it helps to prevent many of the risk factors for both.
Ganoderic acids can lower levels of triglycerides, help remove LDL, the bad cholesterol, from the blood, reduce blood pressure, and correct arrhythmia, which is an irregular heartbeat. It also improves the heart’s pumping ability, even in an already damaged organ.
Reishi mushrooms also contain adenosine which is a platelet inhibitor, this prevents the formation of blood clots, regulates blood flow in blood vessels which helps to prevent heart attacks.
- May Protect Against Cancer
Reishi mushrooms contain polysaccharides, a water soluble nutrient shown to have anti-tumor abilities. Polysaccharides can play a role in cancer prevention due to their ability to prevent the formation of abnormal blood vessels which limits the ability of tumors to grow.
They are also thought to increase immune function.
Glucan, another beneficial substance present in Reishi mushrooms not only helps bind immune cells to tumor cells but may reduce the number of cancerous cells which means less work for the body's T-cells. Canthaxathin, also found in Reishi mushrooms, has been shown to slow down tumor growth.
Reishi mushrooms also contain triterpenoids which have the ability to stop cells from mutating while at the same time, protecting healthy cells. Reishi mushrooms can also help reduce some of the side effects of chemotherapy. As you can see, Rieishi mushrooms are a very powerful weapon in the fight against cancer.
Using Reishi Mushrooms
Reishi mushrooms are typically not eaten as you would eat a shiitake or button mushroom because of their woody texture and bitter flavor. Commonly Reishi mushrooms are found in capsule, powder, or extract forms.
Reishi mushroom capsules or tablets are made from the ground up body of the mushrooms. Reishi mushroom powder is made from the dried mushrooms and can be made into a soup or a tea. It's too bitter for most people so you can add other ingredients to make it more palatable.
Reishi mushroom extract is a concentrated liquid and can be added to a drink or dripped onto the tongue via a dropper. Adding the extract to a smoothie is a great way to reap the benefits of Reishi mushrooms while masking the bitter taste.
You need to take Reishi mushrooms consistently as the effects are cumulative. You may not notice any beneficial effects for a few weeks or months but like exercise, you are improving your health even if it does take a little time to see results.
Reishi should always be taken with Vitamin C because it helps to increase the absorption of the polysaccharides present. It’s ideal to take Reishi mushrooms first thing in the morning and on an empty stomach.
Try Reishi and See For Yourself
Reishi mushrooms have been used for centuries to help prevent disease and foster wellness based on anecdotal evidence. Now we have serious scientific research backing up the health giving properties of Reishis mushrooms.
It's easy to incorporate this ancient superfood into your wellness routine so you can reap all of the benefits Reishi mushrooms have to offer.
Our Mental Mushrooms have concentrated Reishi extract. If you'd like to try reishi, check our product out at the link below. We put a lot of care and attention into our Mental Mushrooms, I'm confident you'll love it.
- Ryan, Founder of Maju Superfoods