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6 Amazing Health Benefits of Reishi

Medicinal mushrooms have an impressive array of health benefits & one of my favourites is reishi! Learn everything you need to know about reishi including what it is & it’s amazing health benefits.
Aug 25, 2023 | Joy McCarthy

One class of healing supplements that are creating a movement in the wellness world are medicinal mushrooms. Today I want to share everything about reishi mushroom–something I've been using for years to support my nervous system and overall health.

Below I'll outline everything you need to know about reishi including what it is, it’s amazing health benefits, and how to properly extract them for best results. Plus I’ll give you the scoop on my all-time favourite brand!


What is Reishi?

Reishi is a fungi that goes by the latin name Ganoderma lucidum or Lingzhi in China that has been used for thousands of years to support everything from sleep to immune function. It tends to grow in the humid and hot areas of Asia and has a glossy appearance. It is a large, woody mushroom that grows on trees or logs and has a distinctive reddish orange hue with a rounded edge.

How do you Extract the Benefits from Reishi?

Extraction process for reishi mushroom benefits

One of the things about medicinal mushrooms is that you can’t really eat them raw or unprepared to get the benefits. That’s because they contain a compound called chitin that is difficult for our bodies to digest.

This chitin compound means that in order to separate the beneficial compounds from the mushrooms they must be properly prepared. When it comes to mushroom supplements you want to look for extractions from both hot water and alcohol. Certain compounds are only going to be able to be extracted via hot water extraction and others are only going to be available via alcohol extraction.

This dual extraction process is important because some companies merely grind up the mycelium and put them into capsules or powders.

However, these formulations are difficult for the body to digest, which means you might be paying good money for a supplement with minimal benefits.

You will also want to look for companies that focus on the fruiting bodies of the mushroom as opposed to the mycelium. The fruiting body is the part of the mushroom that you would see growing on the tree or forest floor if you were out foraging. This part of the mushroom contains a higher proportion of the compounds responsible for the health benefits. The mycelium is an important part of the mushroom, akin to a root system, but it doesn’t contain nearly as many of the healing compounds as the fruiting body.

Many companies create their supplements out of the mycelium because they are cheaper to produce and process.

However, they aren’t going to be as potent so you will need to take more to receive the same benefits as you would from a supplement made from the fruiting body. While supplements made from the fruiting body may be more expensive up front, you likely won’t need to take as much to get the benefit, which saves you money in the long run!

My favourite company is for high quality medicinal mushrooms is Eversio Wellness. They create their products from the fruiting body of various mushrooms, such as reishi, via the dual extraction process. You can save 15% off their products by using code JOYOUS at checkout.

Top 6 Health Benefits of Reishi

Now that you understand how to get the most benefits from your reishi supplement, let's take a closer look at the specifics!

1. Supports skin health

Thanks to the amazing anti-inflammatory and immune supporting benefits of reishi, it’s likely unsurprising that it can also support skin health. This comprehensive chapter outlines some of the ways that reishi can support faster wound healing, specifically by increasing the viability and migration ability of human skin fibroblasts. These cells are part of the process of collagen synthesis, which means when they’re working at their best you’ll experience better wound healing and healthier skin!


2. Potent anti-inflammatory

Reishi contains loads of antioxidants that can help soothe inflammation throughout the body. Oxidative damage can lead to premature aging and other chronic health issues, so incorporating a powerful anti-inflammatory compound into your routine can help soothe the inflammatory process and decrease inflammation.

3. Supports the immune system

Some of the most well-studied benefits of reishi include its impact on the immune system. There are two compounds that have been discovered that are responsible for many of their benefits: b-D-glucans (polysaccharides) modulate the immune system and the triterpenoids have strong anti-viral properties. Taken together, these compounds support innate, cellular, and humoral immunity, which can help protect from colds, flus, and viruses. There is also promising research on its antitumour effects and benefits for supporting heart health.

4. Helps alleviate stress & anxiety

Health Benefits of Reishi Mushrooms

Stress is a common culprit at the root of plenty of imbalances in the body since it can wreak havoc on everything from hormones to sleep quality to inflammation and gut health. While there are many different activities you can incorporate into your routine to help alleviate stress and anxiety, such as this simple breathing technique, if you struggle with them reishi mushrooms could be a great addition too. It functions as an adaptogen [learn more here], which supports the nervous system via its effects on the HPA axis.

The anti-anxiety benefits of reishi may be due to the various phenols and flavonoids found in the mushroom. I know whenever I add reishi to my morning Matcha Latte I immediately feel calmer as it helps to counteract the jittery effects of caffeine.

5. Improves sleep quality

One area of my health that I’m fiercely protective of is my sleep schedule! If I don’t get adequate sleep I definitely feel it the next day and sleep deprivation has been linked to many chronic conditions ranging from cardiovascular disease to diabetes. If you struggle with falling asleep, staying asleep, or just achieving deep rest, then reishi might be perfect for you.

This study found that reishi mushroom improved sleep quality, sleep time, and sleep latency without the negative side effects often associated with sleep aids such as benzodiazepines. Reishi has a natural calming and tranquilizing effect and can also boost the neurotransmitters associated with sleep for deep and healing rest. Learn some more of my sleep-promoting tips here!

6. Supports hormone balance

Menopause is marked by a sharp decrease in estrogen, which can lead to a variety of symptoms including mood imbalances. Reishi mushroom has exhibited estrogen-like effects in the body and may help improve symptoms of hormonal imbalance for menopause.

It has also shown promise in the treatment of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) where there is an abundance of androgens and relative low levels of estrogen. Reishi has demonstrated strong testosterone-inhibiting effects, preventing it from converting into the stronger DHT form. Since these hormones are responsible for many of the symptoms associated with PCOS including acne, hirsutism, hair loss, anovulation, and irregular menstrual cycles, it could be a helpful addition to a healing plan for those with this condition.

Another great way to balance hormones is by supporting liver detoxification. I regularly drink a cuppa my gentle Everyday Detox to help my liver detoxify excess hormones. 

Hello Joyous Organic Daily Detox Tea

My Favourite Reishi Supplement

When I started taking reishi a couple of years ago the first thing I noticed was feeling more calm after drinking a caffeinated beverage. I was taking a different brand, but now that I know all the benefits of Eversio's reishi, I'm so glad I made the switch because of its potency and quality is so much better than what I was taking before and I notice the difference.

They take such care in creating their extracts that you know you are getting the maximum benefits in every single scoop or capsule. If you want to try out Eversio’s reishi or any of their other potent extracts, you can save 15% off with code JOYOUS at checkout.


Megan   •   January 19, 2024

Hi Joy! Is this supplement safe for children to consume?

Joy McCarthy   •   January 31, 2024

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