Reishi mushrooms have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years, and they've been touted as a cure-all by many cultures around the world.
Studies suggest that reishi may help to treat cancer and leukaemia, lower cholesterol, improve heart health and boost the immune system. However, there is no scientific evidence to suggest it can be used as an antidepressant as of yet.
The reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) is an ancient fungus that some people believe has a variety of health benefits.
The mushroom itself looks like a mass of dark reddish-brown spongy felt with a small cap on top, and it can grow up to 6 inches tall. The cap is often shaped like an umbrella, with white spots scattered across its surface.
Reishi mushrooms grow on dead trees and logs, often in clusters under deciduous trees such as oak or birch during the summer months. They are native to China and Japan but can be found growing in temperate climates worldwide, including in Europe and North America, where they've been commonly cultivated for medicinal use since ancient times when people used them as food and medicine', especially in Asian countries where they're still popular today!
1. Some studies suggest that reishi may help to treat cancer and leukaemia.
While reishi mushrooms have been used in traditional Chinese medicine since the third century, it wasn't until the 1980s that they were studied as a potential treatment for cancer. That's when Dr William Lijun Wang of Ohio State University began researching the effects of reishi and other medicinal mushrooms on leukaemia cells. His initial findings showed that reishi was effective at killing leukaemia cells both alone and when combined with chemotherapy drugs. Since then, there's been mounting evidence that reishi may be useful in fighting cancer and leukaemia—including studies showing it has anti-tumour properties and anti-leukaemia properties.
2. It may help to lower cholesterol and improve heart health.
Reishi is high in antioxidants, which can help reduce the risk of heart disease by reducing inflammation and preventing blood clots. A study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that reishi mushroom extract reduced cholesterol and triglyceride levels after four weeks of taking 6 grams daily. Another study found that reishi lowered LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels in mouse models by more than 50 per cent after taking 10 milligrams daily for five months. The same research showed that HDL ("good") cholesterol was also raised by about 25 per cent.
3. There is no scientific evidence to suggest that it can be used as an antidepressant. (Yet)
There is no scientific evidence to suggest that it can be used as an antidepressant. It may have an effect on the brain, but no studies have been done on humans.
In the future, reishi mushrooms may be used to treat depression. But as of yet, the research is pending.
4. Reishi helps to boost the immune system.
Reishi is a powerful fungus that has been used for thousands of years to treat a variety of ailments. It's often used as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and adaptogen, but it can also be taken to help lower cholesterol levels and improve heart health.
Reishi mushrooms may even have benefits when it comes to treating cancer or leukaemia. Although there is no scientific evidence that reishi can be used as an antidepressant by itself, some studies suggest that it may work as part of a herbal formula for depression treatment.
- Tags: Mushrooms