Friday, April 11, 2014

FungiFacts Friday: Reishi Mushrooms, the Ancient Health Secret of Asia

       Reishi, the Japanese name for mushrooms of the Ganoderma genus (also known as Ling Zhi in Chinese), have a wide array of medicinal benefits. These beautiful mushrooms range in color from black to bright red and have a glossy appearance. They have long been revered in Asia for improving ones health and longevity of life; now Western science is finally catching up on the value of this mushroom. Research has been done on its use for everything from "Hypertension, cardiovascular disease, asthenia-type syndromes, allergies, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, antioxidant, stress, memory and concentration, muscle aches, arthritis, cancer etc" Studies show reishi mushrooms benefit people stricken with a variety of ailments, from high blood pressure to AIDS

       This mushroom is an antimicrobial, as well as fights cancer through stimulating the production of macrophages that increases the body's natural killer T cells. It also has great anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Reishi mushrooms improve respiration because of their ability to enhance oxygen absorption, and some studies show it may even reduce the effects of aging from its role with reducing oxidative stress from free radicals. For more on this information and particular studies check out pages 231-238 of Mycelium Running by Paul Stamets. 

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