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Reishi Mushroom: 6 Benefits & Uses

Native to Asia, reishi mushrooms are on the list of the top cancer-fighting foods around the world. They can be consumed in the form of a tea, powder, or extract to help reduce inflammation, improve energy levels, balance hormones, and more.

Reishi mushroom benefits also include the ability to improve liver health, boost heart health, reduce the risk of infection, and even protect the body from tumor growth. Like the other medicinal mushrooms, it truly is a knockout superfood!

Reishi Mushroom Tea

Drinking reishi mushroom tea can improve your overall health and well-being. While it may sound strange to drink a tea made from reishi mushrooms, or any mushroom, for that matter, it's actually a common practice, one you should consider adopting. After all, you drink tea made from herbs--why not try reishi mushroom tea, as well?

Once you get used to the idea it isn't so strange. And as the health benefits of these mushrooms are outstanding, it's hard to find an argument against eating them or drinking them as a tea.

Here's how to make reishi mushroom tea:

  1. Add 1-2 large reishi slices to a quart of water.
  2. Bring the water and reishi mushrooms to a boil. (Tip: try adding licorice root or ginger. This will help add a sweet note.)
  3. Let boil for 15 minutes.
  4. If water evaporates, add more.
  5. Strain and drink your reishi mushroom tea when it's cool.
  6. Alternatively, add a tea spoon of reishi mushroom powder to one mug of hot water and stir.

Reishi Mushroom Benefits

1. Helps Protect the Body From Cancer

Reishi mushroom benefits include the ability to protect the body from cancer and prevent tumor growth. They contain plenty of anti-cancer nutrients that work to strengthen the immune system and fight inflammation, including antioxidants, amino acids, beta-glucans and polysaccharides.

Specifically, polysaccharides are known for their anti-tumor abilities. They help stop cell mutations and to protect DNA from damage. Studies have shown that reishi mushroom benefits include the ability to help fight breast, prostate, liver and lung cancer. (1)

2. Improves Liver Function and Supports Detoxification

Along with healthy diet, exercise and stress-relief techniques like medication, adaptogen foods like reishi can help your body maintain a proper balance. This includes items such as helping you manage stress, but it also includes helping your liver do a proper job of of detoxifying. While your liver does indeed detox on its own, it can only do as good of a job as the quality of food you feed it. That's where adaptogens like reishi come into play.

Indeed, reishi mushroom benefits include the ability to improve liver function and support the body's detox process. Reishi mushrooms help strengthen the digestive system and reduce the risk of liver disease, by promoting the detoxification of waste and other toxins from the body. Furthermore, a 2013 study found that reishi mushrooms have hepatoprotective effects on acute liver injury, thanks to their powerful antioxidant properties and their ability to fight harmful immune responses. (2)

3. Promotes Heart Health

Reishi mushroom benefits include the ability to promote heart health by reducing blood pressure levels. The mushrooms contain triterpenes, which help prevent blood clotting, lower blood pressure, and reduce inflammation in the blood vessels and arteries.

Reishi mushroom benefits also include the ability to balance hormones. This is important for many reasons, but one of them is to improve the health of your heart. High blood pressure issues can sometimes be linked to an hormonal imbalance. So then, by improving circulation, restoring hormonal balance and naturally reducing blood pressure levels, reishi mushrooms help improve overall heart health. (3)

Some research indicates that taking a supplement of reishi can help unclog arteries. Furthermore, these studies suggest that reishi may reduce chest pains as well as shortness of breath. Reishi Mushroom Benefits

4. Helps Balance Hormones and Fight Diabetes

If you're looking for a way to balance your hormones, you may want to consider trying reishi. This is because research has shown that reishi mushroom benefits include the ability to naturally balance hormone levels. The antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds they contain work to improve the endocrine system and the central nervous system.

Reishi mushroom benefits also include increased energy levels, improved concentration, and better sleep quality. These mushrooms reduce toxins and heavy metals in your body. These toxins often cause sluggishness, hence why reishi is often used to boost energy levels.

Reishi Mushrooms May Reduce Symptoms of Diabetes

Furthermore, studies have shown that supplementing with reishi mushrooms can help reduce fatigue, fight hormonal imbalance, improve reproductive health and reduce symptoms of diabetes. Specifically regarding diabetes, some research indicates taking reishi supplements for 12 weeks may reduce severity and complications of type 2 diabetes. This is because it can raise hemoglobin levels but not blood sugar levels.

5. Fights Allergies and Asthma

If you don't have asthma, imagine what it must be like to take your breaths through a coffee straw. If you have asthma, however, you know firsthand the hardship it can be. Even seeing a loved one struggle to breath from asthma complications can be torture. And those who suffer from asthma may also be victims of allergies, seasonal or otherwise.

Did you know that reishi can help with both of these respiratory-related conditions? Thanks to the triterpenes they contain, reishi mushroom benefits include the ability to fight both allergies and asthma. Triterpenes are linked to a reduction in allergies and histamine reactions associated with asthma. By strengthening the immune system and lowering inflammation levels, reishi mushrooms work as an asthma natural remedy. (4)

6. Reduces the Risk of Infections

Reishi has a bitter taste, which, in nature, indicates it can ward off predators. This bitter taste comes from a substance called triterpenes. Studies have shown that triterpenes are able to fight off harmful bacteria, help replenish good bacteria and protect the cells from mutation. As such, reishi mushroom benefits include a reduced risk of infections and viruses. The mushrooms have natural antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties. Because they lower inflammation levels, these mushrooms may also help protect the body from infection and improve the immune system response.

Furthermore, they can improve blood circulation. These benefits lend themselves to reducing pain as well as enabling your body to heal at more quickly of a pace. Additionally, reishi has been used to treat symptoms as well as underlying causes of several conditions involving infections. For example, they've been used to treat urinary tract infections, respiratory and sinus infections, hepatitis and bronchitis. Furthermore, these mushrooms have shown to be helpful in treating the HIV and AIDS viruses.

To learn more about reishi mushrooms, watch these videos!

David Wolfe - Reishi Is Your Guru:

Hunting for Reishi Mushrooms:

Reishi Mushroom Side Effects

Typically speaking, these mushrooms will not produce any negative side effects at all. However, as may often be the case, there can be too much of a good thing. For example, while the cases have been few, powdered reishi mushroom has actually been linked with toxicity in the liver. Furthermore, reishi mushrooms can cause dryness of the mouth, throat and nasal area. It can also cause itchiness, upset stomach, nosebleed and bloody stools. Speak with your healthcare practitioner before using reishi if you are on medication for low blood pressue. (5)

When using reishi or taking reishi supplements, don't overdo it and proceed with caution. If you notice any adverse reactions, please consult a qualified healthcare professional, as you may be experiencing an allergic reaction to reishi.

Medicinal Mushrooms aren't the only ones that benefit your health. Learn more about mushroom health benefits here!