Everything You Need to Know About the Red Reishi Mushroom
Red Reishi mushrooms have been used as medicine since long. The red reishi mushroom is also known as Ling Zhi mushroom. The fungi grow on the sides of trees. And in the wild, the red reishi grows at the base of hemlock or maple trees.
These reishi mushrooms are basically a group of species in the Ganoderma genus. Two of the most common species are:
- Ganoderma tsugae
- Ganoderma lucidum
While different Ganoderma genus species can be found around the world, most of them are used in traditional Chinese medicine. The red reishi mushroom is quite bitter and isn’t used for cooking. Instead, it’s strictly a medicinal mushroom.
Let’s take a look at the history and possible health benefits of this powerful medicinal mushroom. Then, we’ll explain the traditional use of red reishi with some final thoughts.
Reishi Mushrooms – A Brief History
Many legends surrounding reishi give a historical record that spans two thousand years. The red reishi mushroom was traditionally used by Taoist monks in China to improve meditative practices, promote a centered calmness, and achieve long and healthy life.
Chinese royalty held the reishi mushroom in high esteem to seek longevity. Over the years, it became immortalized throughout Chinese culture in statues, silk tapestries, paintings, and on the robes of emperors. It was also revered in Japanese culture where it’s considered to be the most important of all Japanese medicinal poly-pores. Traditionally, Japanese and Chinese herbalists referred to six different colors of Reishi: red, green, black, white, purple, and yellow.
Reishi has commonly been referred to as the 10-thousand-year mushroom. Other popular labels include the mushroom of immortality, spirit plant, and mushroom of spiritual potency. It was listed among the 120 superior tonics in the most popular of all Chinese material medicas, the Shen Nung Ben Cap Jing. Superior herbs were known to be the most highly regarded of all medicines as they were considered to prevent aging, prolong life, make the body light and limber, boost IQ, etc.
The cultivation of 38 different types of reishi was recorded on a stone tablet in the year 1124. Interestingly though, reishi mushrooms were not often added in many of the common material medicas throughout history. This could either be due to its rarity or perhaps due to the fact that it was being reserved only for royalty use.
Modern Chinese physicians have been employing reishi mushrooms to support immune resistance in patients that undergo conventional chemotherapy and radiation treatment for different forms of cancer. Additionally, it has positive effects on mental well-being and is used as antihepatotoxin, hypoglycemic agent, and cholesterol-lowering.
With all that said, let’s check out the health benefits of this medicinal mushroom.
Health Benefits of the Red Reishi Mushroom
As mentioned above in the article, one of the main purposes behind using reishi mushroom in the past was its ability to fight disease and weakness. A brew of the tough mushroom could help fight sickness like colds and flu among many others. According to today’s research, with the help of this mushroom, any unwanted disease or infection can be handled better owing to its antioxidant properties.
A 2016 review on the red reishi mushroom shows that it could be promising for not only preventing cancer but also fighting it in cancer patients and helping support current cancer treatment.
A recent study has proven that the extract of reishi can help protect against oxidative stress, even in severe cases.
Reishi mushroom can stimulate an extremely healthy and natural process in the body called autophagy, which jump-starts the human body’s self-cleaning process. This can protect cellular integrity, get rid of dead and/or harmful cells that cause chronic inflammation, and support mitochondria.
It all comes down to reishi’s antioxidant and free radical-protective abilities. This can put a stop to aging, tissue degeneration, and weakness.
Studies have proven that red reishi has specific anti-inflammatory actions which can protect neurons and nerves from inflammation. Therefore, preventing it from causing memory problems, especially in the elderly.
Another study showed that red reishi mushrooms could help in reducing the cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s as well as neurological disorders of all sorts with similar symptoms and problems.
Studies have proven that the traditional medicinal fungus could help lower the blood pressure naturally. In fact, long term use of the mushroom as a supplement could help stay in perfect shape.
Liver and Kidneys
Reishi also contains liver-protective or heparo-protective benefits. Such benefits could be powerful enough to fight fatty liver diseases. Since reishi is considered a detoxifying herb, it can also help protect the kidneys naturally.
Reishi may work as a prebiotic for the gut which could help feed and sustain beneficial gut bacteria. By improving gut health, reishi can help boost metabolism, control weight, and reduce the danger of obesity. The supplementation of red reishi has great antioxidant benefits which can also help improve athletic performance.
It’s a disorder of the nerves that cause people to feel pain even when there isn’t any. Reishi could someday be possibly considered as one of the most effective botanical solutions for fibromyalgia.
The Traditional Use of Reishi
Now that you’re all caught up with the numerous health benefits of reishi, it’s time to start supplementing with the mushroom!
Different Ways to Take Reishi
- Pills or Tablets: Made by grinding up the fruitbody or mycelium of the mushroom. Studies show that fruitbodies are very effective in combating diseases.
- Standard Dose: For bronchial diseases and general health maintenance, a dose of 1-6 grams is considered standard. In most serious cases, 9-15 grams would be ideal. However, we recommend starting with a smaller dose, then working up to a larger one, so the body gets enough time to adjust.
- Extracts: The active components are concentrated into a fluid using either hot water or alcohol. The label tells how many drops is equal to a gram of the reishi mushroom. The extract is usually added to a drink or smoothie. It could also be placed directly on the tongue.
- Dried Mushrooms: Dried reishi can be purchased in powder form or as a whole. Although they’re quite tough to eat, the effectiveness is great as a soup or tea.
- To make the reishi mushroom tea, either grind the whole mushroom or slice it into long strips.
- Next, measure the amount of tea you want and boil in water for several minutes.
- Now, reduce the heat and simmer the tea for 2-3 hours.
- And finally, filter the water using a coffee filter or cheesecloth.
Note: The tea might taste bitter. Add in some fruit juice to make it taste better. Reishi can also be used as a soup base or as your water to make rice and coffee.
Reishi mushroom is very safe to take as a supplement. There are no known side effects of it. However, like most herbal medications, it’s important to avoid taking it before having surgery.
Nature provides us with an amazing diversity of health-enhancing goods that aren’t found anywhere else out there, and all these benefits are stored in just one single mushroom. The red reishi mushroom is truly a miracle of nature.
Ingredients: Wild harvested Red Reishi Mushroom
Parts Used: Whole mushroom
Forms: Two ounces of powder or 60 vegetable capsules (550-600 mg).
How to use:
Powder: Take one tsp of dried powder in 8 oz. of favorite juice or smoothie, two times a day.
Capsules: Take 2-4 capsules twice a day with water or a favorite beverage.
The gel caps we use are Vegicaps (vegetable) and are all natural. No Animal By-Products, Starch Free, Wheat Free, Dairy Free, Preservative Free, Ethylene Oxide and Sulfite FREE!
Legal Information: The Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated these statements. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.