Reishi: The Mushroom of Immortality
BySarah Axtell, ND •January 5, 2023
Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) is a medicinal mushroom that is often referred to the “mushroom of immortality” as it has traditionally been used to promote longevity and support overall health and vitality. Here are some benefits Reishi:
- Immune support: This study shows Reishi can increase the activity of immune cells, including natural killer cells.
- Stress and brain support: Reishi has adaptogenic effects, meaning it can strengthen the body’s resilience to stress. Everyday stress can compromise mental clarity, leading to brain fog. A study of reishi administered to mice exposed to mild stress found that reishi upregulated brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression, which is critical for memory and mood.
- Improved Energy: Reishi is rich in antioxidants, which combat free radicals and may enhance energy metabolism in the mitochondria.
- Hormone balance: Reishi can reduce levels of 5-alpha reductase, the enzyme that converts testosterone to its active form, dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Elevated DHT in women can result in acne, facial hair, and irregular periods. The antagonizing effect of the Reishi mushroom on androgens can help manage the symptoms of PCOS. Reishi can also be helpful in men with BPH (benign prostatic hypertrophy) and prostate cancer.
How to take:
Reishi mushrooms can be eaten fresh, but they taste quite bitter. Heating the mushroom allows for more of the active ingredients to be extracted. We carry a quality, well-absorbed hot-water extracted Reishi mushroom. Talk with your naturopathic doctor regarding dose.
Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health practitioners with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.