The reishi mushroom is an herbal adaptogen, meaning it demonstrates a non-specific effect on the body’s ability to resist environmental stressors. Adaptogens are a group of natural medicines that help our bodies adapt to a wide variety of stressors including environmental, chemical, physical, or emotional. Too much long term stress on the body can wreak havoc on our health and immune system and may lead to a variety of illnesses or health conditions including a weakened immune system, which opens the possibility for a whole wealth of health issues, cardiovascular disease, and fatigue and stamina problems.
Reishi mushrooms have been used for millennia in Asian cultures and was considered a mythical “mushroom of immortality” because of its rumored properties of longevity transferred to those who consumed it. Traditional Chinese Medical (TCM) practitioners believed that it enhanced a person’s vital energy, increased cognitive ability and memory, and delayed aging by removing harmful toxins. Essentially, this is because of the many benefits reishi has as a whole for the body. Reishi, and other medicinal medicines are especially helpful in balancing and restoring the natural levels of a person’s immune system. They are effective in balancing and regulating both deficient and overactive immune systems both for infections and colds (underactive immune systems) and autoimmune diseases (overactive immune systems).
Reishi, specifically, has been studied by Western medicine for its anti-cancer potential and is being used in Western medicine as an immunostimulant for patients with HIV and cancer, however they have been well researched for a variety of conditions in China and Japan. Other conditions that reishi may be helpful in treating are:
- Coronary heart disease & hyperlipidemia
- Regulates blood pressure & blood sugar
- Hepatitis B
- Normalizes hormones and supports the endocrine system
- Chronic bronchitis & asthma
- Cancer & tumors
- Liver problems
Reishi mushrooms are categorized by TCM practitioners as Fu Zheng, part of a group of super herbs that are especially effective for all-around strength, health, and longevity.