What Can Fungus Do For You: A Deep Dive on Reishi Mushroom

Adaptogens and more specifically, mushrooms are becoming increasingly popular in western science. While the reishi mushroom is a growing focus of scientific research here in the western part of the world, it has been used in Asia for close to 3,000 years.  

Like all medicinal mushrooms, reishi is high in protein and fiber and full of nutritious compounds like Vitamin D. Some of it's unique benefits are: 

  • Improving memory
  • Helping with fatigue
  • Lowering blood sugar levels
  • Natural antibiotic
  • Managing discomfort
  • Adaptor to stress
  • Helps regulates healthy sleep habits

Below, we’ll detail some of the most studied, well-documented benefits of reishi mushrooms for immunity.

Combatting Fatigue, Improving Mood

Since reishi mushrooms have shown to have a robust effect on the immune system, it’s no surprise that they also help with regulating sleep and affecting your mood

Inflammation and chronic stress are at the root of most ailments. This in turn affects mood, which may make it difficult to sleep. Physical and emotional stress have a combined effect on immune function.

A 2011 study tested the effects of reishi extract on people experiencing stress and other mood-related issues. After weeks of treatment, more than 60 percent of people who received reishi reported a significantly improved sense of well-being.  Those who were tested and took reishi reported the following benefits:

  • Having more energy
  • Feeling less stress
  • Feeling improved mood overall

Because reishi mushrooms can improve mood and energy, many people take them to increase their focus, remove brain fog, and help with maintaining a healthy sleep schedule.


Immune-Boosting Benefits

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, reishi is linked to longevity and great quality of life. The western world is just now beginning to prove that reishi mushroom can support and improve the immune system. 

The main active compound in reishi mushrooms are chains of carbohydrate molecules found inside proteins, known as polysaccharides. They play an important role in our immune function. The reishi mushroom’s Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides (GLPS) have a significant impact on our immune system, directly influencing white blood cells as well as cell signalling.

A 2003 study tested the effect of reishi on inflammation markers in patients with compromised immune systems. 

This study found increased NK cell and cytokine activity, showing that patients were responding to the mushroom. 

  • Cytokines – These proteins are a key part of immune system signalling and regulation, causing white blood cells to rush to the site of a threat.
  • T Cells – These cells are a kind of lymphocyte (white blood cell) that helps the immune system identify foreign cells and respond to them.
  • Natural Killer (NK) Cells – NK cells attack and kill invading pathogens.

Better Digestion & Gut Health

Gut health plays a central role in regulating our physiology. Over 70% of our immune system sits inside of our gut.

The gut is made up of fungi, bacteria (good & bad), that helps our bodies to digest food, absorb nutrients and regulate our blood sugar levels

Poor gut health is linked to a multitude of negative health ailments. Research shows that reishi mushrooms help to support healthy gut bacteria by serving as a prebiotic, helping healthy bacteria to thrive and. This can be linked to a wide array of resulting health benefits.

Reishi mushroom is also included inside our Southside

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