Reishi: Mushroom Of Immortality?
Written by: Joanne Beccarelli
Mushrooms are brown, funky and sometimes even slimy! These are not the sort of images you have of a healthful superfood, right?
Most of us think of superfoods as vegetables and fruits that are always brightly colored like a fresh rainbow, overflowing with a variety of micronutrients.
While this is true, there is a whole group of superfoods out there that is technically not made up of plants – they are fungi and are not brightly colored either; but they can do more for your health and longevity than you can imagine.
Reishi, The ‘Medicine Of Kings’
Among these fungi, a handful are considered medicinal mushrooms and are researched and often provide promising results.
One of the most prominent is the reishi mushroom, which is considered the ‘medicine of kings’ and the ‘mushroom of immortality’ in Eastern medicine. Its list of benefits is so long, that it appears to address almost any ailment.
The reason for this is that the reishi mushroom helps the body regulate equilibrium to achieve balance and therefore, moves the body towards a more healthful state.
Reishi, formally known as ganoderma lucidum, is a tough, almost woody and bitter mushroom that is kidney shaped. Once only found growing on deciduous trees in the deep forests of China and Japan, reishi mushrooms are now grown commercially. While there are 6 types of reishi distinguished by different colors, it is the red-brown variety that is most potent and used for healing.
Reishi Delivers A Wide Range Of Benefits
From simplistic to serious, uses for reishi mushrooms range from treatments for allergies and weight management all the way to more severe ailments such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. Here is a brief look at how reishi can support your health and wellness.
- Reishi stimulates the immune system, assisting it in preventing secondary infections.
- Antiviral properties are beneficial against cold sores, shingles, colds, flus, etc.
- An antioxidant that fights free radicals.
- Anti inflammatory properties can help with autoimmune diseases.
- A natural antihistamine that helps with allergies.
- Improves energy, stamina and vigor.
- Supports better memory and focus.
- Improves nerve function.
- Reduces anxiety and panic attacks and helps with adrenal issues.
Diabetes And Weight Management:
- Reduces edema and bloating.
- Stabilizes and lowers blood sugar levels.
- Helps to cleanse a fatty liver.
- Supports liver regeneration.
- Reduces high blood pressure by dilating the coronary artery and increasing blood flow.
- Lowers cholesterol and triglycerides.
- Compounds contribute to the regulation and slowing of cell growth and apoptosis (cell death).
- Protects against radiative damage from cancer treatments.
- Helps to manage symptoms of chemotherapy.
Ways To Add Reishi Mushrooms To Your Diet
Since reishi is a hard, course mushroom, it is not a simple ingredient to toss into salads or add to a stew in its whole form. Therefore, reishi is typically used in a powdered (ground) form that can be added to foods, juices and smoothies. It is also readily available in capsules as a supplement, as tea or even in syrup (extract) form.
To learn about other medicinal mushrooms, check out “6 Super Mushrooms To Rock Your World.”
Note: As with any serious health condition, check with your doctor before taking reishi in any form along with other medications, for conditions that you are under medical care for and for long term use.
Have you used reishi mushroom before? Share your experiences with us in the comments below, we would love to hear about them!
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Joanne Beccarelli is a holistic health coach, juicing junkie, writer, soon to be cookbook author and recovered emotional eater. Inspired by many great voices in the health-thru-food revolution, Joanne found her way out of hiding in shame (losing almost 100 lbs in the process) and stepped away from the corporate world. She now dedicates every day to helping others who are overwhelmed, overworked, and overstressed, find awareness, fulfilment and better health.
Joanne has a Certificate in Plant Based Nutrition from eCornell/T. Colin Campbell Foundation, and became a Certified Health Coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. She is also a member of American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP), and the International Association of Health Coaches (IAHC).
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