Reishi mushrooms have been used for over 2000 years, medicinally, and are considered to be one of the only mushrooms to have been used for as long. This is because the mushroom has various properties – anti-fungal, analgesic, anti-parasitic and anti-viral – which offer valuable health benefits. Reishi mushroom contains two phytochemicals, triterpenes and polysaccharides which are powerful compounds with antioxidant properties. Also, as the mushroom has very limited side effects, it makes it an ideal medicine. Owing to its properties of improving health, the reishi mushroom is also associated with increasing longevity, and is often dubbed as the ‘elixir of life’. Here are the various health benefits that the mushroom offers:
Reishi mushrooms offer various other health benefits of which one is – slowing the process of aging. This means that if you consume a certain amount of the mushroom (as recommended by a doctor), it can help you stay young. The mushroom contains Superoxide Dismutase enzyme (SOD), which neutralized free radicals. This in turn prevents the body’s cells from being attacked by the free radicals, which causes aging.
Another key use of reishi mushroom is as a stimulant for the immune system. This is an extremely important function, especially for someone suffering from cancer. The compounds in the reishi mushroom have anti-neoplastic effect which can help prevent metastasis of the cancer cells. Research indicates that reishi mushrooms target the various developmental stages of cancer, thereby preventing it from spreading. In addition, it prevents the formation of new blood vessels that supply nourishment to the tumors. Owing to these benefits, the mushroom extract is used in commercial drugs for suppressing the growth and migration of cancer cells.
According to practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the mushroom can promote and enhance cardiovascular health. The practitioners have even used the medicine to treat diseases of the coronary arteries. With its ability to inhibit the angiotensin-converting enzyme, the reishi mushroom reduces blood pressure and cholesterol. The mushroom is also capable of improving the flow of blood to the heart. Reishi mushroom can also prevent a coronary issue called platelet aggregation, a condition in which the blood clots the arteries. The mushroom prevents this by making the blood thin.
Stress Reduction and Management
Another effect of the reishi mushroom is that of reducing and managing stress, both physical and emotional. The mushroom is capable of doing this as it contains adaptogens, which rejuvenate the adrenal glands. This can contribute to helping you handle stress better than you would without it. The mushrooms also have the ability to treat sleep disorders like insomnia too. When this happens and you get the required number of hours of sleep, your body’s ability to cope with stress will be enhanced.
Preventing Liver Injury
Liver injury cased by toxins and viruses can be prevented by consuming reishi mushroom as it strengthens the organ. This may enable the mushroom to prevent the incidence of liver diseases. Its effects in relation to this aspect have not yet been fully studied.