Immune system, natural killer cells, liver protection, sleep, anxiety, depression*
For centuries Reishi has been one of the most widely used mushrooms in natural and traditional medicine.
Reishi grows in different parts of Asia and contains over 400 bioactive compounds. Research suggests that especially the content of certain proteins, polysaccharides, peptidoglycans and so called triterpenes (particularly ganodermic acids) is what gives reishi its immune boosting and liver protecting benefits.
Ganodermic acids are demonstrated in clinical studies to have an inhibitory action on the release of histamine in mast cells (meaning ganodermic acids reduce inflammatory response).
Several studies and test-tube experiments have shown that reishi may have an effect on the white blood cells. White blood cells are critical for the immune system, and certain types of white blood cells called natural killer cells are especially important in fighting cancer and infections in the body. Tests within cancer patients have shown that reishi increased the activity in these natural killer cells.
These studies came to the conclusion that this reishi seems to alter inflammation pathways in white blood cells.
But the benefits of reishi don’t stop there, a series of studies focusing on various aspects of mental wellbeing points that reishi could benefit with:
Science and Research
Below are scientifically studied benefits of the reishi mushroom.
One of the most important effects of the reishi mushroom is that it can boost your immune system
What’s more, these studies have found that some forms of reishi may alter inflammation pathways in white blood cells
Research in cancer patients has shown that some of the molecules found in the mushroom can increase the activity of a type of white blood cell called natural killer cells
Natural killer cells fight infections and cancer in the body
Another study found that reishi can increase the number of other white blood cells (lymphocytes) in those with colorectal cancer https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16428086/
Many people consume this fungus due to its potential cancer-fighting properties
Some research has investigated if reishi could be beneficial for prostate cancer due to its effects on the hormone testosterone
While one case study showed that molecules found in this mushroom may reverse prostate cancer in humans, a larger follow-up study did not support these findings
Some research showed that one year of treatment with reishi decreased the number and size of tumors in the large intestine
What’s more, a detailed report of multiple studies indicated that the mushroom can beneficially affect cancer patient
Reishi’s effects on the immune system are often most emphasized, but it has other potential advantages as well.
These include reduced fatigue and depression, as well as improved quality of life.
Antioxidants are molecules that can help prevent damage to your cells