Medicinal Mushrooms Day 4: Reishi

So far in our┬áseries on medicinal mushrooms, you’ve seen some pretty impressive fungi, from those that protect your heart to those that can increase your performance in the bedroom – but nothing quite like this…

Today, we’re going to tell you all about the “mushroom of immortality,” or the reishi mushroom. It has been used for thousands of years to boost health. There’s evidence of its power dating as far back as 100 B.C.

Here are five reasons to tap into the ancient health-supportive properties of reishi…

Improves your mood. Researchers in China looked at 132 patients with brain fog. People who used reishi extract for eight weeks saw improvements in mood and irritability. They found it had a calming mental effect. They also reported fewer aches and pains. Another study followed breast cancer survivors for four weeks. Participants reported less anxiety and depression at the end of the study.

Detoxes your liver. Reishi mushrooms may help your body flush out toxins. A study in the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms found that reishi protects against liver damage. Researchers believe it’s thanks to reishi’s antioxidant content. These antioxidants also fight inflammation, which can slow down or otherwise disrupt liver function over time.

Balances your hormones. Your body works better when your hormones are in check. They determine everything from your stress response to how long it takes you to recover from exercise (not to mention all the bedroom stuff). Reishi can support and protect endocrine system function. This system controls the glands in your body that make hormones. When it’s working correctly, this can mean good things for your mood, sexual function, sleep and metabolism.

Eases allergies. Remember those triterpenes we mentioned when we told you about chaga mushrooms? They’re a major reason why reishi can reduce your body’s allergic and histamine reactions. They may help drive reishi’s immune-boosting effects. And when it comes to allergies, it all boils down to immune response. When one type of immune cell is too dominant, you get an allergic reaction. But reishi helps to restore balance.

Fights cancer. Research shows triterpenes help block tumors from forming. They may also stop cancer from spreading to different parts of the body. These chemical may fight and prevent colorectal cancer. They may also decrease the size and number of intestinal tumors. Some studies have even found they can reverse prostate cancer. Plus, reishi’s immune-boosting properties may help people already going through cancer treatment.

Reishi has a bitter taste that makes it tough to cook with. But you may enjoy it as a tea. You can find it in health stores and some Asian markets. There’s also a wide variety of reishi supplements. But beware. One recent study found that only 25% of them contained any genuine reishi. That’s why we recommend using a product that guarantees it uses certified organic reishi mushrooms.

Next time, we’ll wrap up our series with a strange mushroom that can grow to more than 100 pounds and help lower your blood pressure.

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