Native to Asia, the reishi mushroom has long been called “the mushroom of immortality”. It has been used as a supreme medicinal mushroom in Chinese medicine for over 2000 years, and even Western medicine has emphasized its interest because of its health benefits. Moreover, several scientific studies have discovered its incredible health benefits, making it a great healthy food!
Reishi mushrooms can be consumed in the form of tea, powder or extract.
Reishi mushroom tea
Drinking reishi mushroom tea can improve your health and well-being. While it may seem strange to drink a tea made from mushrooms, it is actually a common practice that you should consider adopting. After all, you drink herbal tea, why not try Reishi mushroom tea? Its health benefits will surely convince you to take some.
Add 1-2 large slices of reishi to one quart of water.
Bring water and reishi mushrooms to a boil. (Tip: try adding licorice root, which will help add a sweet note.)
Let it boil for 15 minutes.
Filter and drink your reishi mushroom tea after cooling.
Alternatively, add a teaspoon of reishi mushroom powder to a cup of hot water and stir.
Health benefits of the Reishi mushroom
- Helps protect the body from cancer
The reishi mushroom contains many anti-cancer nutrients that strengthen the immune system and fight inflammation, including antioxidants, amino acids, beta-glucans and polysaccharides. Polysaccharides are known for their anti-tumor abilities. They help stop cell mutations and protect DNA from damage. According to a 2003 study by the Methodist Research Institute in Indianapolis, USA, reishi mushrooms have the ability to fight breast, prostate, liver and lung cancer.
- Improves liver function and promotes detoxification
Reishi mushrooms have the ability to improve liver function and support the body’s detoxification process. They help strengthen the digestive system and reduce the risk of liver disease.
A study in China in 2013 showed that reishi mushrooms have hepatoprotective effects on acute liver injury, thanks to their powerful antioxidant properties and ability to fight off harmful immune responses.
- Promotes heart health
Reishi mushrooms have the ability to promote heart health by reducing blood pressure levels. Fungi contain triterpenes, which help prevent blood clotting, lower blood pressure and reduce inflammation in the blood vessels and arteries.
Some research indicates that taking a reishi supplement can help unclog arteries. These studies also suggest that reishi can reduce chest pain as well as shortness of breath.
- Helps to balance hormones and fight diabetes
If you are looking for a way to balance your hormones, you might consider trying the reishi. Research has shown that reishi mushrooms have the ability to naturally balance hormonal levels. Antioxidants and the anti-inflammatory compounds they contain improve the endocrine system and the central nervous system.
A study from Zhejiang University, China, showed that reishi mushroom supplementation can help reduce fatigue, counteract hormonal imbalances, improve reproductive health, and reduce diabetes symptoms. With respect to diabetes specifically, some research indicates that taking reishi supplements for 12 weeks can reduce the severity and complications of type 2 diabetes.
- Fights allergies and asthma
According to a 2014 study in India, thanks to the triterpenes they contain, reishi mushrooms have the ability to fight allergies and asthma. Triterpenes are linked to a reduction in allergies and histamine reactions associated with asthma. By strengthening the immune system and reducing inflammation levels, reishi mushrooms work as a natural cure for asthma.
- Reduces the risk of infections
Studies have shown that triterpenes are able to fight harmful bacteria, replenish good bacteria and protect cells against mutations.
As such, fungi have natural antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties. They help protect the body from infection by reducing inflammation levels and improving the immune system’s response.
Since the reishi mushroom lowers blood pressure, it is not recommended for people who suffer from low blood pressure, as well as after childbirth or surgery, because of its anticoagulant potential.