Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) is a mushroom that has been used for about 4,000 years in the Far East to treat a variety of conditions. It was actually known as a longevity herb as many people took it to live longer lives. One of things we know about longevity, is that those who live a long time have much higher natural killer cell levels. Natural killer cells are immune cells that fight infections and destroy cancer cells. Reishi increases natural killer cell counts and this may be the reason why it is used to increase lifespan. Every time I study herbal medicine it always amazes me how advanced the wisdom was of early holistic medicine practitioners and many of their ideas have come to be proven by modern science.
Reishi can help with the following conditions:
- Viral Infections including Epstein-Barr Virus
- Autoimmune Diseases
- Kidney & Liver disorders
- Altitude sickness
- Cancer prevention
- Heart disease
- H. Pylori infection
- Chemical sensitivities
- Immune System Deficiency
- Urinary Tract Issues in Men
- HIV & AIDS
Reishi contains a compound called beta-glucan which has been shown to enhance immune system function. Reishi is an anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory which makes it’s usefulness very broad. Reishi has been shown to have anti-tumor effects and it can decrease side effects of radiation and chemotherapy agents. Many report that Reishi helps with allergies as it is a natural anti-histamine. Reishi can lower high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
If you consume foods that contain caffeine such as chocolate, coffee, black tea etc., Reishi can help your body metabolize them and reduce the side effects of too much stimulation. If you are taking blood-thinners, Reishi is contraindicated because it can also thin your blood.
Reishi can be taken as a liquid tincture or as a capsule. Make sure the encapsulated form is the whole herb and not standardized for the best results. Take Reishi throughout the cold and flu seasons to stay healthy. Restore your immune system, your health and maybe even add a few magical years with this mighty mushroom!