In the East, different types of fungi and plants are used to make medicine. Among all the plants and herbs, reishi mushrooms are among the most popular. The reason is that it offers a lot of health benefits, such as fighting cancer and boosting immunity.
Introduction to the Reishi Mushroom
The Reishi mushroom is also called lingzhi and Ganoderma lucidum. In Asia, it’s a type of fungus that can be found growing in tropical locations in Asia. In Eastern medicine, this type of fungus is a staple. The mushroom contains different types of molecules, such as peptidoglycans, polysaccharides, and triterpenoids. These compounds are the reasons the fungi offers so many benefits.
Although it’s common to eat the mushrooms fresh, some people also use the extracts and powdered form of the fungi. According to many studies, all of these forms passed quality tests. Let’s check out the principal benefits of the Reishi mushroom.
1. Boosting the Immune System
First of all, reishi mushrooms can help you boost your immunity. Although some details still require more research, test-tube studies have concluded that reishi may have an impact on the genes in your white blood cells. These cells play an important role as far as your immunity is concerned.
Also, some forms of this mushroom may make changes to the inflammation pathways in your blood cells. For instance, according to research studies, some molecules in this mushroom may boost the natural killer cells. These cells are responsible for fighting infections in your body.
Besides, this mushroom extract may boost the production of white blood cells in people who are fighting colorectal cancer. While most of these benefits have been noticed in sick people, some studies show that the extract may be beneficial for healthy people as well.
In another study, it was found that the fungus may boost the lymphocyte function that helps fight cancer and infections. Other studies found that it may not improve the immune function in healthy grown-ups, however.
2. Anti-Cancer Properties
Since reishi mushrooms have cancer-fighting properties, many people use them for cancer treatment as well. As a matter of fact, a study found that more than 4,000 survivors of cancer had consumed this fungus. In addition, many test-tube studies have found that the consumption of these fungi may cause cancer cells to die.
However, these studies are not enough to say that animals and humans may benefit from it. Some research studies found that reishi may benefit people with prostate cancer. According to one case study, researchers found that the molecules in this fungus may help reverse the symptoms of prostate cancer in men.
3. Fighting Fatigue and Depression
Apart from the cancer-fighting properties of reishi mushrooms, the plant may also help fight fatigue and depression. According to a study involving 132 people with neurasthenia, the mushroom helped fight fatigue and depression after 8 weeks of use. In another study, the patients experienced a reduction in the symptoms of their fatigue and depression after regularly using the mushroom for 4 weeks.
By Arthur Huang