February 27, 2021 4 min read
The reishi mushroom has been used in Eastern medicine for centuries, and is commonly known in Asia (where it’s grown in warm, moist areas), for its powerful, medicinal porperties. Reishi contains certain molecules, named ‘polysaccharides’ and ‘peptidoglycans’ which are uncommon, and considered to be the source of its antioxidant, health-benefiting effects.
Reishi’s positive effects on the immune system, and overall cell functioning are often the most commonly highlighted benefits. However, reishi can also be a powerful antidote for other areas such as gut health, digestion, liver detoxification, skin protection and heart disease. Reishi mushroom powder is the dried extract form of the reishi mushroom. It is roughly 10 times less potent than to consume the mushroom itself, which means dosage can be easily controlled, and there are few side effects. This nutrient-rich superfood can help your body adapt to stress, fuel your digestive system with vitamins and minerals, and soothe a restless mind before you go to sleep. All proven to be holistic energy boosters.
This article will take a deeper dive into some key, but lesser known reishi mushroom health benefits - including improved heart health, gut health, skin appearance and weight loss.
Heart disease is associated with a decreased level of functioning in cardiac muscle cells. Heart cells are especially vulnerable to oxidative stress and damage. It is thought reishi mushrooms can contribute to a healthy heart, due to its stress reducing properties, linked to improving the dysfunction in cardiotoxicity.
In a study of 26 people, over the course of 12 weeks, it was demonstrated that reishi mushrooms could increase a good kind of HDL cholesterol and decrease something known as ‘triglycerides’ - which is a type of fat found in the blood.
Certain properties of reishi may also have blood pressure-lowering abilities, which prohibits blood-clotting and therefore improves cholesterol. This is due to their ability to soothe inflammation in the blood vessels and arteries. High blood pressure is sometimes associated with hormonal imbalances, which reishi also works to keep in balance.
More research needs to be conducted in this area to scientifically confirm whether reishi mushroom can dependably contribute to heart health - however, the anecdotal studies and animal studies so far have been promising.
Reishi mushroom has also been known to contain active ingredients which can change the bacteria in your stomach into good bacteria. This has shown to actually reverse signs of weight gain or obesity in mice, by altering levels of insulin resistance.
One study, conducted by David Ojcius, a microbiologist based in San Francisco, tested reishi mushroom health benefits on mice who were fed a high-fat diet. The mice which consumed reishi mushroom alongside their diet developed less fatty tissue, gut inflammation and bad bacteria. The mice who were not fed reishi mushroom gained up to 25% more weight than the mice who were.
Though more research needs to be conducted in this area, these results show promising and potentially exciting results. Medicinal mushrooms in general, chaga, reishi, lion’s mane and turkey tail (to name a few) all contribute to a healthy functioning digestive system. We recommend trying it for yourself to see if it works for you.
Reishi mushroom dosage for weight loss: If you’re interested in experimenting with Reishi Mushroom Powder to see what it could do for you and your balanced weight loss programme (alongside a healthy diet and exercise) - we recommend adding one scoop of either the powdered mix or an Elixir Stick into your morning tea or coffee over a two-week period. See if you notice the difference.
Reishi contains a special type of antioxidant which is able to extract water from the environment and attract it to skin. These special kinds of glucose molecules are known as ‘beta-glucans’, and they help to keep skin hydrated and detoxified.
Reishi is known as a calming agent for the mind and body, however few are aware it works in a similar way with skin - working to balance the skin’s natural levels of ceramide. Ceramide is used to maintain a protective outer layer of the skin which keeps the stress out, and the moisture in. Over time, due to natural stresses of life, sun damage and aging, the levels of ceramide in your skin eventually begin to deplete. Reishi helps to restore your body’s natural supply of ceramide, enabling your skin to become less reactive to stressful environments, more deeply hydrated and supple.
By now, it’s clear to see the wide variation of reishi mushroom health benefits. To keep things bite-sized, and digestible, we’ve put together this easy-to-read list:
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