Getting a lot of attention lately and showing up in everything from coffee to anti aging face cream, the reishi mushroom has some great benefits, but let’s set the record straight.
The reishi mushroom has been around literally thousands of years – at least 4,000 years in the Chinese, Japanese and Korean cultures. It is also known as Ganoderma lucidum – Lingzhi – or Ling Zhi.
Used traditionally as an herbal tea, it is now available as a supplement, although for bio-availability and concentration, using hot water to extract mushrooms is preferred. Not all supplements use the hot water extraction.
Reishi Mushrooms Benefits
The benefits touted are many – some backed by clinical trials – others done with Japanese and other studies done over a period of time. Here is a list of some of them:
- Migraine headaches
- Blood pressure – can lower blood pressure, so be careful if you are already taking a BP medication
- Anti inflammatory
- Improve kidney function
- Regulates immune system
- Many cancer related benefits – also used to help chemotherapy patients
- Cardiovascular problems
- Menstrual problems, constipation, hemorrhoids,
- Improves energy level – general feeling of well being
As you can see, that’s quite a list.
Reishi Mushroom Side Effects
Some of the sites selling the reishi mushroom coffee claim that there are no side effects. Not true – although for the most part, they are mild and include dry mouth,itchiness, stomach upset, nosebleed, and bloody stools. Occasionally, these side effects may go away once you are used to it. If you are taking blood pressure medication or have low blood pressure, be aware that taking reishi mushroom supplements can lower your BP. Also, it is not recommended that pregnant women take it.
Most of the reviews I have read from users state that they although they take it to improve their immune system, they have enjoyed an overall energy boost, mental clarity and a great mood as an extra benefit.
Anti Aging Skin Care?
Jumping on the reishi mushroom bandwagon, Yves Saint Laurent has come out with a day moisturizer Temps Majeur Creme that has ganoderma lucidum in it. What I found most interesting was in the description of the product they state: “The true hero behind this treatment is the miraculous “mushroom of eternal youth” (Ganoderma Lucidum)—Chinese medicine’s most exceptional ingredient, which helps rejuvenate skin from the inside out.”
Red reishi is supposed to be the most potent kind to use.
You can opt to make your own tea by boiling the whole mushrooms.