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Reishi Mushroom

Mar 08, 2022

Understanding the Health Benefits of Reishi Mushrooms (Ganoderma Lingzhi)

Reishi mushroom is a powerful oriental bracket fungus with a long medicinal use history. While many know it as Reishi, it is also called Ling Zhi, Lin Zi, and Mushroom of Mortality [1]. Ling Zhi has a few meanings like "spirit plant" or "ten thousand year plant." Reishi is also called "king of all herbal medicine" and "phantom mushroom." [2] It's called Lingzhi in China, while in Japan, it's either called Reishi or Mannentake [3].

Ganoderma Lingzhi is the scientific name given to Reishi mushrooms. The Latin name is Ganoderma Lucidum. According to Dr. Deborah Hoffman, the Latin name breaks down as follows: Gan means 'shiny". Derm means "skin." Lucidum means "brilliant" [4]. 

The Clear Story About Reishi or Lingzhi

Over 2000 years ago, Chinese healers discovered what we now call Reishi in the Changbai Mountains of the Jilin province. It is frigid there, but the elusive Reishi mushroom grows throughout the mountain range's hardwood forest. Chinese healers kept the location secret to protect the scarce fungus. Ancient Chinese healers believed Reishi to have powerful anti-aging abilities, and it could bring luck to those who ingested it [5]. 

You won't find Reishi mushrooms on your dinner table because of their strong bitter taste, but you may spot them wherever Eastern Hemlock grows. Mushroom foragers say that Reishi mushrooms are easily identifiable by their red to orange coloring and kidney shape. Their unique shininess gives them the appearance of being lacquered. This bracket fungus has a woodsy, natural scent and grows horizontally out of dead or dying trees, much like a step [6]. 

Benefits of Reishi Mushrooms

Being dubbed the "king of herbal medicine" means the Reishi mushroom has a long list of wellness benefits. It possesses antioxidant properties that help allergies, cholesterol, cancer, and gut health. It can also boost immunity, increase energy levels, support cardiovascular health, reduce urinary tract issues and treat HIV/AIDS. Reishi has also been used to treat viral infections, high blood pressure, and inflammation throughout the body. [7]

It's not surprising that the Reishi mushroom has continued to provide health benefits since its discovery thousands of years ago. Lingzhi is highly valued as a medicinal and nutritional supplement for reasons below that were found in the following quote:

Mushrooms are significant as a medicinal food. In fact, many mushrooms have long been used throughout Asia for medicinal purposes. Mushrooms possess antioxidant activity, anti-hypertensive activity, hypocholesterolemic activity, liver protection, as well as anti-inflammatory activity, anti-diabetic activity, anti-viral activity, and anti-microbial activity. (Int J Mol Sci. 2017 Sep; 18(9): 1934) [8]

Reishi mushrooms act as a prebiotic once it reaches the digestive tract and may protect it from damage during antibiotic use. Studies have shown that this medicinal mushroom encourages the growth of good bacteria in the GI tract, which strengthens the body's immune response. It also helps the body fight off harmful pathogens and ward off obesity, diabetes, and cancer. A Reishi mushroom supplement supports healthy gut flora and reduces inflammation in the digestive system, liver, and brain. [9]

How is Ganoderma Lingzhi (Reishi Mushrooms) Used?

As Reishi mushrooms grow in popularity in modern cultures, various ingestible forms are available. Ancient Chinese healers encouraged patients to eat the mushroom either fresh or dried. Due to its woody texture and bitterness, it is far more palatable to take in a prepared form made from dried Reishi or its extract:

  • Capsules
  • Teas
  • Reishi tincture (liquid solution)
  • Dried mushrooms
  • Powdered Reishi
  • Tablets
  • Energy bars
  • Broths & soups
  • Beauty products
  • Dietary supplements

Clear Gut & Immunity from Clear Probiotics is the easiest and most efficient way to get your daily dose of Reishi Mushrooms. Mushrooms, like Reishi, help improve the balance of good versus harmful bacteria in the digestive tract. Improving gut flora has been shown to boost immunity and energy levels, enhancing your lifestyle.

Why Clear Probiotics Utilizes Reishi Mushrooms

We chose to include Reishi mushrooms in Clear Gut & Immunity because they are adaptogens (counteract the effects of stress) that have a strengthening and therapeutic effect on the body. This characteristic helps maintain your health and wellness while protecting you from illness or disease. Medicinal mushrooms like Reishi act as a prebiotic in the GI tract, making them the perfect companion for the probiotics found in Clear Gut & Immunity.

The Science of Reishi Mushrooms

Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. Chapter 9 Ganoderma lucidum (Lingzhi or Reishi)

Learn more about the long history of Reishi mushrooms in Asian cultures and their medicinal value.  Modern medicine is studying the health benefits of this versatile mushroom.

Mushroom Polysaccharides: Promising Prebiotics For Healthy Gut Microbiota

Dr. Jian-Yong Wu discusses his research group and the digestive health benefits of medicinal mushrooms, including Reishi. He also mentions their recent jump in global popularity.

This mushroom might alter gut bacteria for the better, study finds

Learn more about how Reishi mushrooms can positively affect gut flora. Studies on mice have shown promising results for more than just digestion.

Everything You Need to Know About Reishi Mushrooms

This easy-to-read article discusses the many medicinal uses of Reishi mushrooms as well as tips about how to take them and who should take them.

Resources:

  1. Reishi Mushroom. Integrative Medicine - About Herbs, Botanicals & Other Products. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. [Internet] February 2021. Accessed January 11, 2022: https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/reishi-mushroom
  2. Kelly Miller, DC NMD FASA FBAARM CFDMP. Reishi Mushrooms: King of Herbal Medicine. Hoffman Chiropractic Centre. [Internet]. Accessed January 11, 2022: https://drdebrahoffman.com/nutrition/reishi-mushrooms-king-of-herbal-medicine/
  3. Wachtel-Galor S, Yuen J, Buswell JA, et al. Ganoderma lucidum (Lingzhi or Reishi): A Medicinal Mushroom. In: Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor S, editors. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2011. Chapter 9. Accessed January 11, 2022: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92757/
  4. Kelly Miller, DC NMD FASA FBAARM CFDMP. Reishi Mushrooms: King of Herbal Medicine. Hoffman Chiropractic Centre. [Internet]. Accessed January 11, 2022: https://drdebrahoffman.com/nutrition/reishi-mushrooms-king-of-herbal-medicine/
  5. The Republic of Tea Staff. Reishi: The “Mushroom of Immortality”. TeaMind Today. [Internet] September 2017. Accessed January 11, 2022: https://the.republicoftea.com/tea-culture/reishi-the-mushroom-of-immortality/
  6. Ashley Adamant. Foraging Reishi Mushrooms. Practical Self Reliance. [Internet] June 2018. Accessed January 11, 2022: https://practicalselfreliance.com/foraging-reishi-mushrooms/
  7. MSKCC Staff. Reishi Mushroom. Integrative Medicine - About Herbs, Botanicals & Other Products. [Internet] February 2021. Accessed January 11, 2022: https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/reishi-mushroom
  8. Jayachandran, M., Xiao, J., & Xu, B. (2017). A Critical Review on Health Promoting Benefits of Edible Mushrooms through Gut Microbiota. International journal of molecular sciences, 18(9), 1934. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18091934Accessed January 11, 2022: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5618583/
  9. Jayachandran, M., Xiao, J., & Xu, B. (2017). A Critical Review on Health Promoting Benefits of Edible Mushrooms through Gut Microbiota. International journal of molecular sciences, 18(9), 1934. Accessed January 11, 2022: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5618583/

* These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Clear products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This website does not offer medical advice.