It is amazing that reishi mushrooms have started coming into the limelight only recently, even though they have been around since the last 2000 years in eastern medicine. The health benefits of this mushroom are so astounding that it is a shame we didn’t come to know about them sooner. Vegetarians, vegans, and even non-vegetarians can make this mushroom a steady part of their diets to ensure great immunity and good health, both inside and out.
Reishi mushrooms were believed to have the power of immortality and were only allowed to be consumed by the elite in ancient times. But you don’t have to be an elite to consume this mushroom anymore. And if you are still wondering why you should give this mushroom a try, read on to know all about its incredible health benefits.
1. It Can Boost Your Sex Drive
Libido in women is increasingly plummeting, especially in postmenopausal women. The reasons for low desire can be due to many reasons like stress, poor nutrition, age, etc. The prevalence rate of hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) has been reported to be close to 10% in women whereas low sexual desire prevalence rate has risen up to 43%.1 Unfortunately, men aren’t doing much better either in this matter. Doctors are yet to find pharmacological solutions for this problem. But thankfully, reishi mushrooms can help.2
According to the Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the sexual desire of an individual is directly related to the kidneys and blood circulation. And this mushroom is known for improving blood circulation, purifying blood and increasing libido in traditional Chinese medicine. That is why eastern medical practitioners prescribe this to people struggling with sexual dysfunction. Thus, you can also give this mushroom a try to spice up things in your bedroom.
2. It Can Protect Your Brain From Oxidative Damage
This medicinally potent mushroom can also protect the brain from various neurodegenerative effects. Eastern medicine practitioners use this mushroom for treating various ailments because of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. And researchers now even found evidence to support this claim. The extracts of the spores of this mushroom can protect hippocampal neurons from the effects of oxidative proteins that can cause damage.3 This mushroom can also produce anti-depressant like effects.4 But more research needs to be conducted to prove its efficacy.
3. It Can Safeguard Your Respiratory System
Reishi mushrooms are known for their strong anti-inflammatory properties. Hence, they can help in alleviating the symptoms of many respiratory diseases like asthma, congestion, and bronchitis that can happen due various infections or pollution. The constituents of this mushroom can increase the capacity of the lungs to inhale oxygen by reducing inflammation and increasing blood flow to the lungs.5
4. It Can Maintain Healthy Blood Pressure
High blood pressure has become increasingly common today. Dietary changes, lifestyle changes, and stress can all contribute to this condition in a big way. Among other the things, the easiest thing to fix is diet. You can cut down on certain foods like salt and add certain foods to your diet like reishi mushroom to improve your blood pressure.
Scientists believe that reishi mushrooms have some active compounds that are responsible for reducing blood pressure and blood cholesterol.6 If you want to control your blood pressure without making any significant lifestyle changes, then you could consider giving reishi a try. But make sure to consult your doctor first.
5. It Can Improve Your Gastrointestinal Health
The inside of your body is built to protect you from everything bad. The natural defense system of your body can filter most of the toxins that enter your body through the foods and drinks. The helpful fauna of your gut plays a very important role in maintaining your defense system and in eliminating all the bad bacteria.
But sometimes, your body can falter and develop conditions that can take a heavy toll on your gut health. Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) can be one such thing. This is an umbrella term used for many diseases like Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis etc. These conditions are known for causing inflammation. Reishi mushrooms are known for their ability to reduce inflammation by allowing re-absorption of water.7 Thus, you can improve your overall digestive health by adding some reishi mushrooms to your diet.
6. It Can Protect You From Cancer
Look around you. You are surrounded by carcinogens. From the shampoo to the dishwasher, everything that you use contains at least one chemical that has been found to be carcinogenic. We could discard everything and live au naturel. But that is not practical now, is it? So, one way to deal with this is to make sure that you eat foods that have anti-cancer properties.
Reishi mushrooms are capable of fighting cancer-causing agents and their tumor-causing effects. This mushroom contains two groups of bioactive compounds, polysaccharides and triterpenes which are known for producing chain reactions that can kill cancer cells and prohibit them from proliferation.8 Hence, you can add reishi to your diet to safeguard yourself from the effects of carcinogens that are all around you.
Traditional Chinese medicine has been using reishi mushrooms for treating a plethora of diseases for over 2000 years. Western medicine is discovering the miraculous abilities of reishi only now. But better late than never. If you are prone to allergies or have a preexisting medical condition, talk to your doctor before you start having reishi mushrooms.
|↑1||Kingsberg, Sheryl A., and Roya L. Rezaee. “Hypoactive sexual desire in women.” Menopause20, no. 12 (2013): 1284-1300.|
|↑2||Willard, Terry. Reishi mushroom: herb of spiritual potency and medical wonder. Lubrecht & Cramer Limited, 1990.|
|↑3||Zhou, Yan, Ze-qiang Qu, Yuan-shan Zeng, Yu-kun Lin, Yan Li, Peter Chung, Ricky Wong, and Urban Hägg. “Neuroprotective effect of preadministration with Ganoderma lucidum spore on rat hippocampus.” Experimental and toxicologic pathology 64, no. 7 (2012): 673-680.|
|↑4||Akihisa, Toshihiro, Yuji Nakamura, Masaaki Tagata, Harukuni Tokuda, Ken Yasukawa, Emiko Uchiyama, Takashi Suzuki, and Yumiko Kimura. “Anti‐Inflammatory and Anti‐Tumor‐Promoting Effects of Triterpene Acids and Sterols from the Fungus Ganoderma lucidum.” Chemistry & biodiversity 4, no. 2 (2007): 224-231.|
|↑5, ↑7||Akihisa, Toshihiro, Yuji Nakamura, Masaaki Tagata, Harukuni Tokuda, Ken Yasukawa, Emiko Uchiyama, Takashi Suzuki, and Yumiko Kimura. “Anti‐Inflammatory and Anti‐Tumor‐Promoting Effects of Triterpene Acids and Sterols from the Fungus Ganoderma lucidum.” Chemistry & biodiversity 4, no. 2 (2007): 224-231.|
|↑6||Kabir, Yearul, Shuichi Kimura, and Tsutomu Tamura. “Dietary effect of Ganoderma lucidum mushroom on blood pressure and lipid levels in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR).” Journal of nutritional science and vitaminology 34, no. 4 (1988): 433-438.|
|↑8||Jin, Xingzhong, J. Ruiz Beguerie, Daniel Man-yeun Sze, and G. C. Chan. “Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi mushroom) for cancer treatment.” Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2 (2009).|