Reishi mushrooms, formally known as Ganoderma lucidum, have been amployed by Chinese herbalists for thousands of years as an effective herbal remedy believed to assist in deep, nourishing sleep and a general feeling of health and well-being.
Some very well respected Chinese doctors call Reishi mushrooms the ‘medicine of kings’.
Have it for peaceful sleep
The millennia old claim that Reishi mushrooms promote improved sleep is supported by modern science.
Tests have confirmed that Reishi mushrooms contain chemicals that stimulate slow wave sleep, which is the most essential and beneficial phase of sleep.
Reishi mushrooms are often prescribed as a healthy natural treatment for insomnia and sleep deprivation, as well as other sleep-related illnesses.
There is also evidence that Reishi mushrooms may be effective in treating a number of other medical conditions including fatigue and anorexia, and in helping the body to recover more swiftly following an illness.
Medical applications and uses of Reishi mushrooms
The root of the Reishi mushroom also has medical application, as it has been found to be able to treat certain psychological and neurological disorders such as stress, depression and Alzheimer’s disease.
Studies found that over a prolonged period of time, patients experienced a substantial reduction in their symptoms as a result of taking dried Reishi root as a regular dietary supplement.
Reishi mushrooms are also known for their painkilling action.
Investigations into this particular use for Reishi found that the mushrooms had a potent analgesic effect, reducing levels of pain in the majority of patients largely due, it is thought, to muscle-relaxant effects caused by certain active ingredients of the mushroom.
Might be helpful for heart patients
The herbalists of China have believed for many years that Reishi mushrooms could be used to treat cardiovascular illness, and they are now being proved right by modern medical science.
Studies have proved that Reishi can help improve blood flow by lowering levels of bad LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream, and also prevent the clumping of blood platelets which can cause clotting, as well as providing an overall reduction in blood pressure.
This, the scientists found, was probably due in no small part to the presence of high levels of ganoderic acid in Reishi musrooms.
Genoderic acid is a type of triterpene, chemicals which are known to have the beneficial blood pressure lowering qualities described here.
Indeed, the relative quality of Reishi and Reishi extract is often measured by how much of these triterpene chemicals it contains.
Reishi is often employed as a complimentary treatment for angina and other conditions caused by high blood pressure, especially those that lead to tightness of the chest.
Reishi is promoted as a completely natural, safe way to reduce blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health.
A claim which is supported by a body of evidence which includes one study showing that over two-thirds of patients who added Reishi to their diets over a period of a few months experienced a significant lowering of their blood pressure.
Studies involved with Chinese Mushrooms (Reishi)
Ongoing studies into the cardiovascular benefits of Reishi mushrooms show early indications that they may also contain active ingredients that help to prevent the build-up of plaque in the arteries.
This plaque is caused by cholesterol and oxidized white blood cells, initially due to calcium molecules becoming trapped against the walls of the arteries.
Plaque restricts blood flow significantly and can cause sudden obstruction of the artery, leading to heart attack and death.
The prevention and removal of this plaque then by Reishi mushrooms may go a long way to reducing a person’s risk of suffering severe heart problems.
Might be used against cancer
Perhaps most exciting of all, Reishi may have a bright future as a treatment for cancer.
Studies in Japan have found strong preliminary evidence that Reishi contains potent polysaccharides that stimulate the immune system, particularly levels of immunoglobins which fight harmful foreign cells, including cancer cells.
In one study, a woman who received no other treatment for her malignant lung cancer was observed to have been completely cured, seemingly miraculously.
When questioned by doctors, she mentioned that she had drunk Reishi tea regularly the whole time, and when a curious scientist investigated further, he discovered these potentially miraculous properties of the Reishi mushroom.
Studies are still underway into how this aspect of Reishi may be harnessed as an anti-cancer treatment.
Reishi has also been found to have potent anti-inflammatory effects, reducing symptoms of conditions such as arthritis and lower back pain.
It is thought to be due in part to its ability to stimulate the chemicals in the human bloodstream that attack and destroy potential harmful free radical chemicals that can otherwise cause damage to healthy tissue.
The recommended dose of Reishi varies from person to person and depending on the situation.
If you are taking Reishi to treat a medical condition such as high blood pressure, your doctor will be able to advise you on an appropriate dose.
It should be remembered though that Reishi mushrooms are a food and not a drug, so small quantities are unlikely to be effective.
This is fine though, since there are no known side-effects to ‘Reishi overside’ (if such a thing is possible.)
As the Chinese doctors and herbalists from centuries gone by would have told use, just about anybody may benefit from consuming Reishi mushrooms regularly as part of their daily diet.
It can help to improve general health as well as addressing specific medical problems, and can also be taken in place of traditional painkillers to reduce symptoms of pain and inflammation.
If you do experience any adverse reaction as a result of eating Reishi mushroom, you should seek medical advice as soon as possible.