A mushroom with immune boosting and restorative abilities? It’s not a video game item — it’s Reishi, a fungus hailed by naturopaths and practitioners of traditional medicine the world over.
According to these proponents, Reishi can handle everything from stomach ulcers to non-cancerous tumors.
Some hyperbolic clickbait headlines even hype it as: “Reishi Mushroom: The Key To Immortality.” It’s obvious the mushroom is held in high regard, but what’s fact and what’s legend? Let’s explore.
What is the Reishi Mushroom?
The Reishi mushroom is a fungus common in East Asia. Here, it has been used as a medicinal mushroom for thousands of years, with the first documented use going back as far as 25 A.D.
Traditional healers would use it as a way to support immune system function, preparing it as a bitter tea or extract. Nowadays, it is more readily available in powder, capsule, and liquid extract form.
The mushroom itself is soft, with a red cap. Instead of the gills that many other mushrooms have, the Reishi has fine pores that run along its underside.
In more recent times, there has been a lot of talk about Reishi’s supposed antioxidant properties, potential use as part of a holistic cancer treatment plant, and possible combatant of Hepatitis B.
The current medical understanding of Reishi suggests that it produces compounds that are similar to steroid hormones. There is also some preliminary research data suggesting that at least some of the alternative treatment claims, such as the talk about immune health support, might be at least partly true.
It is legal to obtain Reishi. As mentioned, you can use the raw mushroom to create a Reishi concoction, though the capsules, liquid extracts, and powders are more convenient.
The powders, in particular, are concentrated in such a way as to ensure a higher level of digestibility and potency beyond what one might be able to achieve using the raw Reishi on their own.
Other Names for Reishi
Reishi goes by a plethora of alternate names, including: Basidiomycetes Mushroom, Champignon Basidiomycète, Champignon d’Immortalité, Champignon Reishi, Champignons Reishi, Ganoderma, Ganoderma lucidum, Hongo Reishi, Ling Chih, Ling Zhi, Mannentake, Mushroom, Mushroom of Immorta