The Mushroom Of Immortality
You’ve probably heard about Reishi Mushroom. However, I wanted to discuss Reishi in a little more detail because you’re probably not aware of just how many medicinal uses Reishi really has!
Reishi can be found growing in the forests of Asia, Europe, and North and South America. The latin name for this Mushroom is Ganoderma Lucidum, but in Japan or China it’s known as Reishi or Lingzhi. Reishi has been used for over 2000 years for longevity and a wide range of health conditions. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it’s known as the “Three Treasures Tonic” because it helps to nourish the Jing (Essence), Qi (Vitality), and Shen (Mind or Spirit).
There are more than 2000 classes of Reishi, but the only types of Reishi with health benefits are red, black, blue, white, yellow, and purple Reishi. The red Reishi has been shown to have the most health benefits overall. There are now so many different forms of Reishi products – powders, supplements, tinctures, and teas.
Ganoderma lucidum contains a wide variety of bioactive molecules:
– Fatty Acids
The medicinal actions of Reishi are mainly attributed to its Triterpenoids and Polysaccharide compounds. Reishi Mushroom contains more than 150 triterpenes and more than 100 types of polysaccharide compounds. These bioactive compounds found in Reishi can have the following medicinal properties:
Reishi has multiple anti-cancer properties, to combat the development and spread of multiple types of cancer. Reishi can increase production of NK cells, which seek out and destroy early cancer cells. Reishi can also inhibit angiogenesis, which is the development of new blood vessels that supply tumours. Reishi also interferes with cell signalling that stimulates tumour formation and metastasis (spread of cancer to distant sites in the body). Ganoderic Acid is a compound found in Reishi that can stimulate cancer cells to undergo apoptosis (programmed cell death). Reishi is also chemoprotective and radioprotective, meaning it can help to protect healthy cells from the toxic effects of chemotherapy and radiation.
Reishi has long been known to have immune-stimulating properties. Studies have shown Reishi can enhance our immune cells (macrophages, NK cells, and lymphocytes). Reishi increases production of B and T-lymphocytes, which are involved in immune regulation and antibody production. Reishi also increases the production of cytokines (cell signalling molecules) to strengthen our innate and adaptive immunity. Reishi can also directly attack viruses in the body. More specifically, Reishi contains molecules that bind to viruses and interfere with their ability to attach and enter our healthy cells.
There’s also research to suggest that Reishi has medicinal properties that can be used for:
Reishi is great for liver health and has been shown in studies to be protective for the liver. One of the reasons for Reishi’s liver-protective properties is it’s antioxidant actions. These antioxidants can improve liver function, protect liver cells, and assist in liver detoxification.
Reishi has been shown to lower blood sugar levels and raise insulin levels in experiments done on animals. In one human study, where Reishi was taken for 3 months, it was able to significantly reduce blood sugar (HbA1c & Fasting glucose) readings.
Reishi has anti-inflammatory properties, which may help to slow atherosclerosis development. Polysaccharides found in Reishi have also been shown to increase HDL (good cholesterol), while also lowering LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides.
As you can see, there’s so many medicinal uses for Reishi – it’s no wonder it’s known as the “mushroom of immortality”!
If you would like to discuss a natural treatment plan for any of your health concerns, contact our Naturopathic Clinic to book your appointment today!
Yours in health,
Dr. Michael Morsillo, H.B.Sc., N.D.
Newmarket Naturopathic Doctor
16655 Yonge St., Newmarket, ON
905-898-1844 ext. 135