The fungus known as reishi has been used in Traditional Eastern Herbalism for hundreds of years and is believed by many to imbue positive health benefits upon those who consume it. While relatively new to Western health ideologies, several institutional studies have been conducted to confirm the validity and relevance of these health impacts, with mixed results. Here we have compiled a list of these experimental findings and the potential benefits of reishi mushrooms.
Immune System Strengthening
It is popularly believed that reishi is an immune system booster. It may accomplish this by affecting white blood cells; one study in particular found that reishi alters the inflammation pathways taken by white blood cells, while another discovered that white blood cell count was raised in cancer patients consuming the mushroom.
More research will be needed to reach a consensus on the hypotheses, as other studies have found no reishi effect on immune system functionalities.
Reduction of Fatigue and Depression
Many studies have shown that reishi strongly impacts those suffering from fatigue and depression, especially when associated with breast cancer or neurasthenia. However, because these studies are older and none have been conducted on otherwise healthy individuals, it is unclear whether or not reishi can improve mental functionality from a baseline level.
Improvement of Heart Health and Blood Sugar
In several studies (1, 2) examining people with both healthy and unhealthy blood sugar levels, reishi was found to increase good cholesterol (HDL), decrease triglycerides, and decrease blood sugar. Because of this possible outcome, people with lower blood sugar need to assess reishi’s effect. On the other hand, some studies have found that reishi does not affect blood sugar levels, therefore further research will be needed.
Some believe that consuming reishi mushrooms will prevent cancer, and various test tube studies (1, 2, 3) have shown that it can kill off cancer cells. Other studies (4, 5 ) have questioned if reishi impacts specific signaling pathways for the development of prostate and colorectal cancer, and whether or not reishi improves a cancer patient’s quality of life due to its impact on white blood cell count. Of course, a cure for cancer has been sought out for millennia, therefore more research is still needed.
The Essential Takeaways
Reishi may have strong correlations with positive health impacts depending on who takes it. However, whether a person in good health would benefit from consuming reishi mushrooms is unclear. More research is needed to verify proper dosages and recommendations for dried reishi or reishi extracts. It may be best to consult a professional dietician or physician before beginning a regimented reishi routine. When ready, shop Bravo Tea’s Mushroom Wonders line for your daily cup of reishi tea.