What are reishi mushrooms? Like other disease-fighting mushrooms, reishi mushrooms are a type of fungus that grow outdoors. They’re native to parts of Asia, including China, Korea and Japan. While they’re edible (some people describe them as tasting bitter and having a tough texture), you’re much more likely to find them in supplement, tincture or powder form.
Reish mushrooms grow above ground and produce “a fruiting body” along with connective strands (called mycelium), which are turned into an herbal medicine, tincture, tea, powder or extract.
For most of history, in Traditional Chinese Medicine fully grown reishi mushroom was dried, cut into slices, boiled in hot water and then steeped to make a healing tea/soup. Today, manufacturers of reishi products use a processing technique where reishi is boiled multiple times at a high pressure, allowing the active ingredients to be extracted to form a tincture.
Over the past several decades, dozens of different studies conducted in Japan, China, the U.S. and the U.K. have demonstrated that reishi mushrooms are capable of offering protection against numerous diseases or illnesses, including:
fatigue (including chronic fatigue syndrome)
frequent infections (urinary tract, bronchitis, respiratory infections, etc.)
food allergies and asthma
digestive problems, stomach ulcers and leaky gut syndrome
tumor growth and cancer
viruses, including the flu, HIV/AIDS or hepatitis
heart disease, hypertension, high blood pressure and high cholesterol
sleep disorders and insomnia
anxiety and depression
Because they work as an “immune modulator,” reishi mushrooms can help restore hormonal balance, bring the body back to homeostasis and regulate activity of the immune system, including fighting tumors and cancerous cells.† Research shows that reishi mushrooms act like a normalizing substance, regulating various cellular functions and systems, including the endocrine (hormonal), immune, cardiovascular, central nervous and digestive systems.
One of the best things about using reishi mushrooms is that they’re capable of doing so much, yet compared to medications they’re non-toxic and produce hardly any side effects of all. In fact, most people notice a quick improvement in their energy levels, mental capabilities and moods while also experiencing a reduction in aches, pains, allergies, digestive issues and infections.
The secret behind their healing potential? It’s the various active ingredients the reishi mushroom contains, which include: complex sugars known as beta-glucans, plant sterols that can act as precursors to hormones in the body, polysaccharides that fight cancer cell development and acidic substances called triterpenes that turn off the body’s response to allergies.
Recent findings suggest that reishi mushrooms can lower inflammation and increase the release of natural killer cells (or cytotoxicity), which work to remove various types of mutated cells from the body. This makes the reishi mushroom ideal as a natural cancer treatment and for prevention or heart disease.
For hundreds of years, shiitake mushrooms have been a popular food source in Asia. They’re the second most popular and the third most widely cultivated edible mushroom in the world.
Today, shiitakes can be found in most grocery stores because of their meaty and versatile flavor, but did you know that they’re packed with B vitamins and have the power to fight cancer cells, cardiovascular disease and infections? That’s just a few of shiitake mushroom nutrition benefits.
Why are these small fungi so powerful? It’s because shiitake mushrooms have antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties. They also help to control blood sugar levels and reduce inflammation within the body. That’s right — all of these health benefits come from eating a mushroom. And there are a ton of easy ways to incorporate shiitake mushrooms into your diet