Reishi has been one of the most celebrated functional mushrooms in Chinese medical literature for centuries, and is often called the “Elixir of Life” and the “Mushroom of Immortality.” The Chinese name, Ling Zhi, means “herb of spiritual potency” which refers to the adaptogenic effects of this highly revered tonic. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Reishi is known as a “three treasure” herb that harmonizes jing (life force), qi (energy) and shen (spirit). In fact, the mushroom is regarded as a symbol of success, well-being, divine power and longevity. Reishi has been well researched for its diverse array of polysaccharides and triterpene compounds, Zhou et al (2002) isolated more than 100 polysaccharides and 119 triterpene compounds from Reishi. The polysaccharides have been shown to both potentiate and modulate the immune system — acting to support and balance. Research related to triterpene activity has demonstrated adaptogenic effects to support blood pressure management, anti-allergenic properties and mood. Reishi has also been reported to balance endocrine function and hormonal balance.
Overview of Reishi
Reishi has been a staple in some Eastern cultures for almost 2,000 years. Known for its kidney-shaped caps and shiny red-brown hue, Reishi’s formal taxonomic name, Ganoderma lucidum, derives from the Greek roots of “brightness and sheen” and “derma” or skin. The mushroom typically grows on trees in the temperate forest areas of Asia, Europe, South America, and the United States, and can reach lengths of up to eight inches in diameter. Wild Reishi, however, is incredibly rare, and mycologists have been able to cultivate natural, potent and bioavailable forms of Reishi on nutritious substrates such as organic oats. Available in a variety of forms such as certified organic Reishi powders or convenient capsules, Reishi has a mild, pleasant taste that mixes well with hot and cold drinks or foods alike. It can be consumed any time of the day.
Benefits of Reishi
Reishi’s benefits are wide-ranging and powerful, in large part thanks to its naturally occurring active compounds, such as beta glucan polysaccharides and triterpenes. Here are some of the important benefits of Reishi:
Supports the Immune System
Whether you’re already sick and have the sniffles or simply want to take preventative measures against the latest office cold, Reishi can be the perfect supplement to help support your immune system. Studies have shown that complex polysaccharide compounds from the Reishi mushroom can help stimulate the immune system by activating immune cells such as macrophages and helper-T cells, as well as increasing immunoglobin levels to produce a heightened response to defend against foreign cells such as pathogens and microbes. Its antioxidant compounds can also help support the body against the age-accelerating and cell-damaging effects of oxidative stress - a critical benefit in today’s high-stress and fast-moving world.
Has Adaptogenic Effects
Reishi is revered in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as the premier adaptogen in the Chinese pharmacopeia. Adaptogens are natural substances that help your body to overcome and adapt to physical, chemical and biological stress factors. Reishi mushrooms contain polyphenol antioxidants, polysaccharides, polypeptides, triterpenes and other compounds that through actions known as mediation, down-regulation and up-regulation, work together to provide adaptogenic responses to stress. Reishi is highly regarded for its support of the endocrine system, especially the adrenal cortex, helping to balance levels of stress hormones cortisol and adrenalin. Studies have suggested that taking Reishi regularly can help you experience reduced anxiety, find more stable, long-lasting focus, and restore balance and tranquility in a natural way. It can be taken before sleep, in the morning or throughout the day.
Has Cardiovascular Properties
Reishi is highly regarded for its cardiotonic properties (Boh 2007). Researchers have reported that active compounds in Reishi, especially triterpenes, can support blood pressure and cholesterol management. Reishi has also been reported to support blood flow and oxygen consumption in the cardiac muscle.
Works With Other Mushrooms and Herbs
When taken with other superfood mushrooms and herbs, such as the Lion’s Mane and Rhodiola in Om Mushroom’s Brain Fuel, Reishi can work effectively and efficiently with them to produce wonderful effects. Lion’s Mane, which is rich in bioactive compounds such as ericinones and hericenones that support cognitive and neurological health, is regularly used as a supplement to help individuals stay focused, experience greater cognitive clarity and feel less distracted or clouded. Rhodiola is an adaptogenic herb that helps with stress management and fatigue, and promotes mental acuity and performance. If you’ve always thought of yourself as someone who is prone to “brain farts” or “mental slips,” Om’s Brain Fuel can easily be added to water when you’re busy and on-the-go, or taken in convenient vegetarian capsules.
It’s important to remember that not all Reishi products are made with care and integrity. Om Superfood Mushrooms is proud to offer certified 100-percent organic functional Reishi mushroom powder, as well as single species and blends of Reishi powders, capsules and drink mixes. Grown by mycology experts at its certified GMP, state-of-the-art indoor farm in California, the nutritional value of every stage of the mushroom’s life cycle is captured in the whole food Reishi powder. Om’s products are convenient, nutritious and the perfect and most convenient way for busy people to incorporate the powerful benefits of superfood mushrooms like Reishi, into their daily health and wellness regimen.