Mushrooms are a food that is now getting the attention that it deserves as a superfood. With all of the different non-toxic varieties out there, each one has their own benefits to those who consume these items. One of the great choices that you have available to you is the reishi mushroom. Read on to learn more about this incredible mushroom and how it can benefit you.
What is it?
Also known as the lingzhi mushroom or the “spirit/soul mushroom”, the reishi mushroom is a type of mushroom that has been very popular in ancient Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years. It is a polypore mushroom that can be soft when fresh, flat, and corky. There are numerous varieties of this type of the reishi mushroom but the one most commonly used for Chinese medicine comes from Asia.
Where does it come from?
This mushroom is primarily found in the East Asia area, which is why it can also go by various names in other countries like Korea, Vietnam, and Japan as well as being popular in China. There are some varieties that can be found growing on the Amazon, but the more common varieties can be found in the Eastern Hemlock forests. It is important to know that finding it in its wild form is exceedingly rare, as only a few trees out of 10,000 will have it growing on them. It is primarily collected from sawdust, woodchips, or hardwood logs today.
How does it grow?
It grows as a saprotroph or a parasite on various trees, especially maple trees. Reishi mushrooms most commonly can be found on the base or stumps of the various deciduous trees.
The reishi mushroom is one of the oldest mushrooms that have been used medicinally. It has been frequently noted in ancient Chinese text about its benefits to patients. Reishi mushrooms are symbolic in China. If you see reishi mushrooms in Chinese art, this is a symbol of longevity and great health. It is depicted as such in the Summer Palace and the imperial Forbidden City. It is also a talisman for luck in Chinese tradition. You can even find images of Guanyin, the goddess of healing, holding the reishi mushroom.
Nutritional value, taste, texture, colour
There are numerous vitamins and nutrients in reishi mushrooms, which is why they are so beneficial. It has a naturally bitter taste to it.
Uses and health benefits
Reishi mushrooms can often be found in capsule, liquid, or powder form.
Here are just some of the benefits of reishi mushrooms:
- Protects against Tumor Growth
- Helps in Fight against Cancer
- Improves Liver Function
- Helps Detox Your Body
- Supports Heart Health
- Balances Hormones
- Supports Immune System
Cautions and/or Side effects
If you are pregnant or nursing, you should avoid using this without talking to your doctor as there isn’t enough evidence to see how this can affect you. It can also increase the risk of bleeding. Other symptoms to watch for include:
- Dry or Itchy Throat
- Dry Mouth
Be sure to discuss taking this with your doctor before you begin adding it to your regimen.