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Are you looking for a natural remedy to boost your defenses? Do you have fibromyalgia, high blood pressure, or diabetes? Are you looking for a supplement to alleviate your allergies? In that case, the Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) may be the ideal addition to your diet. Originating from Japan and China, this fungus has been used for medicinal purposes since time immemorial.
Reishi can be found in the form of powder extract, capsules, and tablets. The Ganoderma lucidum mushroom is known for its immunostimulant, antiviral, adaptogenic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. Throughout our guide, you will learn about the benefits, recommendations of use, and consumption modes of Reishi mushrooms.
- 1 Summary
- 2 The best Reishi Mushroom: Our Picks
- 3 Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Reishi Mushrooms
- 3.1 What is the Reishi mushroom exactly?
- 3.2 What are the primary active compounds of Reishi mushrooms?
- 3.3 What are the health benefits of Reishi mushrooms?
- 3.4 What types of Reishi supplements are there?
- 3.5 When are Reishi supplements helpful?
- 3.6 Are Reishi mushrooms used to treat cancer?
- 3.7 What can Ganoderma lucidum offer to fight fibromyalgia?
- 3.8 What are the side effects of Reishi?
- 3.9 Do Reishi mushrooms have contraindications?
- 3.10 How can I consume Reishi responsibly?
- 4 Buyer’s Guide
- 5 Summary
- Reishi or Ganoderma lucidum is a fungus from Asia, whose primary active compounds are triterpenoids and polysaccharides.
- It offers numerous pharmacological properties, such as antioxidant, immunostimulant, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, cholesterol-lowering, and antihistaminic effects.
- In order to purchase the quality Reishi supplement you deserve, you will have to consider various critical factors. These include the dosage form of the product, as well as the presence of additional ingredients and potential allergens, among others.
The best Reishi Mushroom: Our Picks
As we mentioned earlier, Reishi supplements are available in powder, capsule, and tablet form. Contamination with another type of fungus can lead to poisoning, which is why it is fundamental that you purchase a product from a reliable manufacturer. To help you in your search, we have selected the best Reishi supplements currently available:
Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Reishi Mushrooms
Reishi is an age-old mushroom used for its therapeutic properties. Responsible consumption is the key to obtaining positive results. What part of the fungus is used to produce the supplements? What are its benefits and contraindications? We have answered the most frequently asked questions regarding Reishi in the following section.
What is the Reishi mushroom exactly?
Called the fruiting body, the above-ground part of the fungus is the most commonly used to make supplements. However, the mycelium – the part beneath the ground – also has medicinal properties. Reishi supplements are marketed in the form of powdered extract and capsules. In China, this mushroom is known as Ling Zhi (1).
What are the primary active compounds of Reishi mushrooms?
|Properties of triterpenoids||Properties of polysaccharides|
What are the health benefits of Reishi mushrooms?
- They strengthen your immunity (immunostimulant): Reishi polysaccharides promote the proliferation of macrophages, natural killer cells, and B and T lymphocytes, among other immune cells. This helps your body defend itself against various pathogens (1, 4).
- They inhibit tumor development (anti-tumor): Both triterpenoids and polysaccharides contribute to preventing tumor development by inducing apoptosis (death) of mutated cells and by preventing the growth of new blood vessels that feed tumors (1, 3, 5).
- They can be used to complement cancer treatment: In addition to boosting immunity, Reishi supplements may prevent the migration of cancer cells and angiogenesis (new blood vessels that allow a tumor to grow). As a result, the growth and invasiveness of a tumor could be reduced (6).
- They are rich in antioxidants: Polysaccharides and triterpenoids exhibit antioxidant activity and help block free radicals, oxidant molecules that cause diseases (cardiac, metabolic, neurodegenerative, cancer) and aging (1, 7, 8).
- They have anti-inflammatory properties: Decreasing inflammation is beneficial for inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis), gout, and arthritis. Their anti-inflammatory properties also contribute to preventing other pathologies, such as type II diabetes and atherosclerosis (9, 10).
- They mitigate allergy symptoms (antihistamine): Reishi triterpenoids help relieve histamine-mediated allergic reactions. You can also use these supplements to combat allergic asthma (11, 12).
- They act as hepatoprotectors: Ganoderma lucidum extract protects the liver from toxins such as carbon tetrachloride and ethanol (alcohol). In traditional Oriental medicine, Reishi is used to treat hepatitis and cirrhosis (1, 13).
- They are natural prebiotics: Reishi’s beta-glucans are prebiotics that stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria in the colon. Thanks to these prebiotic properties, Ganoderma lucidum helps regulate intestinal function and improves immunity (14).
- They help limit viral activity: Reishi is a natural supplement that can inhibit the replication of certain viruses – including the herpes simplex virus (1 and 2), hepatitis B virus, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Triterpenoids are responsible for the antiviral properties of this fungus (1, 15).
- Reishi mushrooms reduce blood cholesterol (hypocholesterolemic): The Ganoderma lucidum extract decreases total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol in the blood (14, 16).
- They contribute to maintaining blood pressure within the standard range (antihypertensive): Reishi mushrooms can lower blood pressure thanks to the triterpenoids and peptides they contain (17).
- They prevent the formation of blood clots (antithrombotic): A blood clot can lead to a heart attack, deep vein thrombosis, or stroke. Reishi prevents platelets from clumping together and forming these thrombi (18).
- They decrease blood glucose levels (hypoglycemic): The polysaccharides in the Reishi fruiting body reduce blood glucose and may benefit individuals with diabetes (1).
What types of Reishi supplements are there?
- Powder: Triterpenoids, polysaccharides, and peptides of the fungus are concentrated to obtain a powdered extract. Sometimes, the Reishi mushroom is dried and ground to a very fine powder. It has a bitter taste and must be mixed with a liquid before consumption.
- Capsules: Made of animal gelatin or hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (plant cellulose), they contain powdered Reishi extract. Each capsule can provide between 300 and 500 milligrams of Ganoderma lucidum. Their taste is neutral.
|Reishi powder||Reishi capsules|
|Consumption form||You can mix it with a cold or hot beverage (water, juice, coffee, soup).||You should swallow them with water.|
|Recommended length of use||1 month||3 months|
|Recommended daily dosage||1 to 5 grams||1 to 3 units|
When are Reishi supplements helpful?
- Weakened immune system as a result of prolonged severe stress or illness;
- Allergic asthma;
- Metabolic syndrome – the co-occurrence of type II diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and dyslipidemias (high cholesterol, high triglycerides);
- Herpes simplex virus, type 1 and 2;
- Epstein-Barr virus (mononucleosis);
- Inflammatory diseases: ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, gout;
- Chronic hepatitis caused by the hepatitis B virus.
Are Reishi mushrooms used to treat cancer?
What can Ganoderma lucidum offer to fight fibromyalgia?
What are the side effects of Reishi?
Do Reishi mushrooms have contraindications?
- Consumption of immunosuppressant drugs. Reishi compounds may decrease the effectiveness of these treatments.
- Intake of blood-thinning medication, such as warfarin. Ganoderma lucidum could increase the risk of bleeding.
- Individuals who are about to undergo surgery, as Reishi can increase bleeding.
- Consumption of antihypertensive drugs. The combination of Ganoderma lucidum with antihypertensive drugs could lower blood pressure below normal values.
- Diabetic individuals who take oral glucose-lowering medication or insulin. The effect of the drug added to the hypoglycemic activity of Reishi mushrooms could lead to hypoglycemia (blood glucose levels below normal).
How can I consume Reishi responsibly?
Ground Reishi and the powdered extract should not be taken for more than one month consecutively, while the capsules can be taken for up to three months. Reishi mushrooms are a short-term supplement used to improve a specific aspect of health or to help treat a condition.
You now have all the information you need to consume Ganoderma lucidum supplements responsibly. In the final section of our article, we want to delve deeper into the key shopping criteria to take into account when you’re looking for the right Reishi product. They are your best tools to make a successful purchase.
Form of Presentation
Most people should opt for Reishi capsules rather than powder supplements for three main reasons. First of all, the capsules are generally safer for your health; in addition, their taste is almost neutral, and they are easy to ingest. The mushroom powder has a peculiar and bitter taste, is associated with more side effects, and must be mixed with a liquid before being consumed.
You may have noticed that many Reishi supplements are enriched with vitamin C and zinc, both of which are vital micronutrients for immune function. You can also find products with Ganoderma lucidum and acerola, the latter being an excellent natural source of vitamin C. In addition, Reishi mushrooms are often combined with shiitake and maitake mushrooms, creating a powerful prebiotic blend.
While Reishi is recommended for treating allergies, this doesn’t mean that its supplements are always allergen-free. Any allergy-prone individual should make sure that the product is suitable for them by reading the ingredient list. Although Ganoderma lucidum is gluten-free, celiac individuals should look for the seal of approval that guarantees that the supplement doesn’t contain this allergen.
It is essential that you purchase organic Reishi mushrooms to avoid jeopardizing your health. Ganoderma lucidum must be grown under strict conditions that guarantee that it is free of agrochemicals and, most importantly, that it isn’t contaminated with other fungi that can grow on its surface and be harmful to human health.
Suitability for Vegan Diets
Vegan individuals can consume Reishi powder without any problem. However, the capsules are sometimes made from animal gelatin, in which case they are not suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (plant cellulose) is the material used to produce capsules suitable for vegans. Make sure the packaging clearly states that the product is vegan-friendly.
Reishi, or Ling Zhi, is a fungus that has been used for millennia in traditional Oriental medicine. Its taste is bitter and intense, which is why it is rarely used as a food. However, you can still take advantage of its medicinal properties thanks to the Reishi supplements available.
The most important active elements of Reishi – triterpenoids and polysaccharides – are mostly found in the fruiting body (mushroom) of the fungus. Ganoderma lucidum helps to boost immunity, prevent cancer, reduce inflammation, mitigate allergic symptoms, lower blood pressure, and attenuate certain viral infections.
We hope that you found our shopping guide on Reishi mushrooms helpful and informative. We’d love to hear about the supplements you have chosen, so feel free to leave us a comment in the section below. You can also share this article with your friends and family on your social media!
(Featured Image Source: Photodee: 39454875/ 123rf.com)
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