Reishi mushrooms belong to a category of adaptogenic herbs. It is one of my favorite types of herbal medicine because it shows how intuitively the human body is connected to nature. Adaptogens support the body’s ability to adapt to various physical and emotional stresses. They are rather preventative than treating specific ailments. If anything, they are tonics, keeping your body in tone. Different adaptogens align with respective organs such as the heart, nervous system, immune system, endocrine system, and so on.
They regulate and support the stress response system and metabolism.
The following mushrooms are also adaptogens, and you might even recognize some of them.
- Ginseng – a tonic to support stress response and energy production.
- Eleuthero is a tonic similar to Ginseng and used to support athletic performance.
- Borage – helps to restore the adrenal cortex.
- Wild Yam – is used in many preparations supporting the endocrine system, and it contains a precursor to progesterone.
It is possible to eat Reishi fresh, but it doesn’t taste good, so it is used mostly in powdered form or extracts.
The cool thing about Reishi is that many scientific studies support the health benefits of this amazing adaptogen.
They are immunostimulants. One of the essential effects of reishi is boosting your immune system by working inside the cell on a genetic level. Some genes are responsible for many immune functions, such as inflammation and activation of natural killer cells that fight cancer and other infections. Studies show that reishi can activate these abilities within white blood cells and boost white blood cells’ production in people with specific cancer types.
It brings us to the anti-cancer properties of reishi mushrooms. The benefits include increasing the activity of white blood cells, so they can be used in conjunction with traditional treatment to improve cancer patients’ quality of life.
The other benefits of Reishi mushrooms include:
- Giving you more energy
- Controlling blood sugar
- Helping with anxiety and depression
- Helping to reduce stress
- The might increase HDL (good cholesterol) and decrease triglycerides.
- Could lower blood pressure
- Super high in antioxidants – prevent cellular damage
As always, you have to be very careful with the dosage and consult with your medical practitioner if you decide to try it, especially if you are taking any medication, pregnant, breastfeeding, or have an underlying medical condition. It can interact with certain medications. Reishi is a potent tonic herb, so the dosage is very important. Its effect on various body systems can change quite drastically depending on the preparation and dosage.
If you decide to try it make sure you are not buying it off the internet but going to your practitioner who is knowledgable about adaptogenic herbs and mushrooms, specifically.
These supplements are some of my favorite compounds that include Reishi along with other tonics and immune boosters. “The One” is a liquid energy tonic – for the mind and body and I absolutely love it as I feel its effect practically immediately. The “Immunitone Plus” is packed with other immune boosters and I have been rotating it in my own supplementation schedule.
Dr. Maya Sarkisyan
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