Many plants and fungi are used in traditional Chinese medicine. The reishi mushroom, interestingly, is quite popular. It has the ability to increase the immune system and combat cancer. Its safety, on the other hand, has recently come into question. This post will answer all of your questions about reishi mushrooms' health benefits and dangers.
What Is the Reishi Mushroom?
Ganoderma lucidum, also known as reishi fungus and lingzhi, is a fungus that grows in Asia's hot and humid regions.
This fungus has long been used in Eastern medicine. Within the mushroom, there are numerous chemicals, including triterpenoids, polysaccharides, and peptidoglycans, that may be responsible for its health benefits.
Powdered forms of the mushroom or extracts that contain these specific molecules are also used to prepare mushrooms. These various formulations have been studied in cell, animal, and human trials.
The reishi mushroom has been researched extensively and has a wealth of health benefits. The following are eight of these advantages.
1. Reishi Mushroom boosts the immune system
Reishi mushrooms' one of the most significant qualities is that they can improve your immune system. While certain details remain murky, test-tube research have revealed that reishi may alter white blood cell genes, which are crucial to your immune system.
Furthermore, research suggests that some varieties of reishi change inflammation pathways in white blood cells. Natural killer cells are a type of white blood cell that is more active when treated with the mushroom's components.
Killer cells attack infections and cancer in the body. Reishi has also been shown to boost the number of other white blood cells (lymphocytes) in people with colorectal cancer, according to one research.
Although reishi mushrooms' immune system perks have been demonstrated in those who are sick, it has also been shown to help healthy people. In athletes subjected to stressful situations, the fungus increased lymphocyte activity, which aids in the fight against infections and cancer.
However, other studies in healthy adults revealed no change in immune function or inflammation after 4 weeks of taking reishi extract. Overall, it appears that reishi has an effect on white blood cells and immunity. More study is needed to determine how much the benefits extend to the healthy and ill.
2. Reishi mushroom can help fight cancer cells
Many people consume reishi mushroom for its supposed anti-cancer effects. In fact, one research of over 4,000 breast cancer survivors discovered that 59% consumed reishi mushrooms.
It has also been shown to cause cancer cell death in test tubes. However, these studies' conclusions do not always apply to animals or people.
Because of its effects on hormone testosterone, reishi may help prostate cancer. While one case study suggested that compounds present in this mushroom can treat prostate cancer in humans, a larger follow-up research did not back up these claims.
The National Cancer Institute reports that the reishi mushroom "has been studied for its role in preventing and treating colorectal cancer." Some study revealed that one year of reishi therapy reduced the number and size of tumors in the large intestine.
Furthermore, a comprehensive report of several research revealed that the fungus may help cancer patients. These advantages included an increase in white blood cell activity and a boost in the quality of life for cancer patients.
However, according to researchers, reishi should be used in conjunction with traditional therapy rather than supplanting it. Furthermore, there has been a lack of high-quality research on reishi mushroom and cancer. As a result, further study is necessary.
3. Reishi mushroom can help lower blood pressure
According to an 12-week study of 26 people, reishi mushroom may raise "good" HDL cholesterol and reduce triglycerides.
However, a study in healthy individuals revealed no change in these heart disease risk factors.
Furthermore, a comprehensive research discovered that reishi mushroom did not provide any heart health advantages after analyzing five diverse studies involving around 400 individuals. The researchers discovered that consuming reishi mushroom for 16 weeks or more had no impact on cholesterol.
Overall, reishi mushrooms and heart health require further study.
4. Reishi can help blood sugar control
In studies, molecules found in reishi mushrooms have been shown to lower blood sugar in animals. Some early research conducted on humans also revealed similar findings.
However, the majority of research has failed to demonstrate this advantage. Researchers discovered no advantages for fasting blood sugar after looking at hundreds of participants. After eating, blood sugar levels were lower in some individuals while being higher in others than a placebo.
More research is needed.
5. Reishi could improve liver function
Reishi spore extracts were discovered to stimulate liver cell regeneration, enhancing the organ's capacity to transport poisons out of the body. A healthy liver can also help support other health advantages, including blood sugar and allergy management.
6. Reishi can improve cognitive function
Reishi mushrooms may help with neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's disease and can prevent brain seizures, according to animal studies. However, more study is needed to verify this.
7. Reishi is rich in antioxidants
Despite the fact that their alternative name is "the mushroom of immortality," reishi mushrooms do not, in fact, make you live for ever. However, they do have antioxidant qualities that can help prevent disease and aging early.
8. Reishi has have allergy-fighting potential
Reishi mushrooms have been shown in studies to counteract histamine and increase oxygen delivery to the body, which is important for individuals suffering from chronic or allergic asthma.
Is there anything hazardous or detrimental about reishi mushrooms?
Consult your physician before taking reishi if you have any allergies or side effects including dry mouth, itchy mouth and throat, stomach upset, or bloody stools. If any of these symptoms occur, you should avoid reishi mushrooms in the future. Consult with your doctor before ingesting reishi because it's best to be safe.
Reishi fungus is a well-known fungus used in Eastern medicine. It may improve the immune system by affecting white blood cells, particularly in individuals who are ill, such as persons with cancer.
It may be able to reduce the size and number of tumors in specific kinds of cancer, as well as improve the quality of life for some cancer patients. Most human research has found that it does not raise cholesterol, blood sugar, or antioxidants, but it may help with tiredness or sadness in select individuals.