Reishi is by far the most prominently used medicinal mushroom in the world these days. Its fame as a herb of medical wonder has been a driving force in growing a global awareness around the benefits of medicinal mushrooms over the last 30 years. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Reishi has been considered one of the most important herbs for over 2000 years, and as such has been studied heavily with 100’s of millions of dollars in investment going towards its research. Because of this, Reishi’s benefits not only are backed by much scientific literature, it has also been shown to be safe for use by immuno-compromised individuals and for extended periods of time.
The Chinese name for Reishi is, Linghzi, translating to “herb of spiritual potency” and it’s said to nourish the heart, which in TCM is considered to be the home of the “Shen,” or “spirit.” Due to this, Reishi has shown to have a grounding and re-centering effect on the whole body, supporting coherence and balance within internal systems and the body’s micro-organism ecology.
Research shows that Reishi can be used therapeutically for cancer, immune system issues, cardiovascular system, and respiratory problems, as well as urinary tract symptoms. Reishi is considered antibacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-pathogenic in general. It is an ACE inhibitor, inhibiting blood platelet aggregation, and protective to the liver and the body from radiation exposure. Reishi lowers blood cholesterol and other blood lipids, reduces allergies and asthma, while also having an anti-inflammatory effect throughout the body. It is antioxidant, antifibrotic, blood sugar-regulating, and beneficial for a variety of autoimmune issues. Reishi helps calm the mind and body, reduces circular arguments, insomnia, and a variety of internal communication issues.
All of this is an impressive list of benefits, but the biggest benefit that has given rise to this mushroom’s fame in China and now the world is its ability to support overall longevity while increasing vitality and quality of life.
When it comes to considering Reishi for its health benefits, the important thing to consider is what type of Reishi do you want to work with. Both fruiting body and mycelium products are available on the market, though much of the science and traditional use has been focused on the fruiting body, where the widest variety of active chemistry is found.
Ideally, the mushrooms are extracted in both hot water and alcohol to pull out the active polysaccharides (hot water) and triterpenes/polyphenols (alcohol). This can then be used as a dual extracted tincture or evaporated into a concentrated mushroom powder, such as those available from Harmonic Arts.
Typically Reishi’s initial effects are felt within the first few days, but the real benefits on deeper body systems come after working with this mushroom over some time (2-6 months).
As for dosage, 1-2ml of well-extracted tincture 2 times daily or 1-2g of a concentrated mushroom powder once daily is recommended.
Since there is a large amount of information available on this mushroom, it is recommended that you take some time to browse some of the many abstracts from scientific papers and anecdotal evidence that has become easy to find online these days.
Written By Yarrow Willard