One of the most intriguing fungi, Reishi is best taken as an extract as it is very tough and difficult to digest. But, it is so worth it as it has over 200 active ingredients that make it a high-valued longevity herb and is actually called ‘the life long herb’ or ‘the mushroom of immortality’! Active compounds in reishi include β-glucans, sterols, which act as precursors to hormones and have substances called triterpenes that have unique benefits themselves.
- Manage stress & anxiety: Reshi is one of many compounds known as an adaptogen; that helps to restore and maintain homeostasis in the body. Put simply, an adaptogen increases our ability to manage stress and to resist its negative consequences, from adrenal damage to other hormone imbalances, that are vital for our overall stress management. Any diseases like cancer, diabetes or heart disease are clear signs that the body is out of balance, so reishi is used to pull us back into balance. Triterpenes are thought to be responsible for this benefit.
- Immune system stimulant: The β-glucans in reishi help immune cells attack tumor cells more effectively and help to treat bacterial and viral infections.
- Anti-cancer & anti-tumor effects: The polysaccharides and triterpenes in reishi are likely responsible for these benefits. Studies show reishi to inhibit angiogenesis (the growth of blood vessels that supply tumors with nutrients to grow) and increase apoptosis of tumor cells.
- Other benefits include: Improved sleep and blood sugar control.
Find more about this and other mushrooms on my article The Wonderful World of Mushrooms.