Reishi. Known as Lingzhi, or the mushroom of immortality in Chinese medicine, has been prescribed for centuries as an immune enhancer and the number one herb for increasing longevity.
While their are many species of this fascinating mushroom occurring all over the world, Ganoderma Tsugae, or the Eastern Hemlock Reishi is native to North America and grows once a year throughout late May and Early June. Acting as both a saprophyte and endophyte, Reishi can either help regulate the forest by killing hemlock trees that can no longer be supported nutritionally or help struggling trees get the nutrition they need.
In either case, as the Reishi mushroom fruiting bodies begin to form on hemlock trees, they start consuming nutrients from their hosts tree bark which will be transformed into bioavailable medicinal compounds that our bodies can use for a variety of lasting health benefits. Here are the top ways Reishi mushroom can help increase your health and longevity.
1. Reishi Modulates Your Immune System
There are many reasons why our body's immune system can suddenly become compromised, but many doctors and scientists would agree that stress is by far, the number one reason.
Stress accumulates in the body from all angles, including mental, emotional, physical, and work related stress. Over time, chronic stress can lead to weakened immune systems where viruses and bacterial infections can take hold. Chronic stress can also cause autoimmune disorders where the body's immune system suddenly becomes triggered into a hyperactive state as is the case in Hashimoto's and Grave's disease.
Perhaps the most fascinating thing about Reishi is that its immune modulating polysaccharides have the ability to not only help your body adapt to stress (referred to as an adaptogen) but can also trigger the immune system to become more or less productive. Another way to explain this is when we become sick from a viral or bacterial infection, our immune systems fall below their desired baseline of optimal performance. When the immune system becomes autoimmune, it is operating above the desired baseline as well. In both cases, Reishi mushroom's polysaccharides have the ability to modulate the immune system back into balance, much like the fine tuning of a radio dial.
2. Reishi Acts As An Antimicrobial Agent
Some of the biggest threats to our immune systems are viruses and bacteria. While bacteria themselves can pose serious threats to our health, they often times are carrying viruses that can further complicate our health and slow our recovery dramatically. Luckily, Reishi's immune modulating polysaccharides once again offer a unique line of defense against thee two pathogens.
As part of the immune modulating process, Reishi's polysaccharides are able to detect bacteria cells and signal an immune response that increases the production of macrophages and white blood cells that target and eliminate pathogenic bacteria. Furthermore, if a virus has broken through this line of defense and begins replicating in healthy cells, there are another set of medicinal compounds found in Reishi called Triterpenoids which have an inhibiting effect on viruses which prevents them from replicating and ultimately causes them to die off.
3. Reishi Inhibits The Synthesis of Bad Cholesterol
When your doctor tells you your cholesterol is too high, what they are referring to is your bad cholesterol or your LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol count. While diet and nutrition does play a huge role in your LDL count, it's not the cholesterol rich food like grass-fed red meat and cheeses that will increase your LDL to the danger zone, but inflammatory foods rich in omega-6 fatty acids like poor quality plant based oils and grains, i.e. soybean oil, vegetable oil, conventional wheat and corn, corn and soy fed animal products.
These poor quality oils and grains are more often than not found in fast food cuisine and are super rich in inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids and super deficient in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. This imbalance leads to the production of free radicals in the body which is nothing more than inflammation of the soft tissues, arteries, and veins. All this inflammation triggers and immune response which your body that starts producing excess cholesterol to patch up inflamed areas. When left untreated, the over accumulation of cholesterol and inflamed tissues can lead to heart disease.
Reishi mushroom is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory terpenes that help undo free radical damage to the body. These compounds literally hunt down free radicals and turn them back into healthy functioning cells which eventually eases and soothes inflammation. As this process unfolds, the body ceases cholesterol production thanks to the root cause being addressed.
In summary, avoiding inflammatory foods and taking Reishi mushroom is the best way for success in lowering your LDL cholesterol.
4. Reishi Improves Your Respiratory & Cardiovascular Health
Another bodily system that may suffer from chronic stress is our respiratory system. Poor oxygen uptake due to shallow breathing and inflamed alveoli can lead to increased blood pressure, fatigue, and heart disease. The triterpenoids found in Reishi have been shown to enhance the oxygen absorbing capacity of alveoli and increase oxygen levels in the blood.
Chinese scientists have found that this oxygen increasing effect of Reishi mushroom can also help treat Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and increase athletic stamina.
Studies have also shown that polysaccharides are able to increase coronary flow (blood flow to the heart) by enhancing vasodilatation (the relaxing of muscles found inside arteries and veins that decrease blood pressure).
5. Reishi Acts As a Natural Antihistamine
When we think of chronic allergies, we often think of an excess of pollen in the air during the spring and summer months that causes allergic reactions within the body and stuffs up our nose and airways.
Truth be told, allergic responses start in the gut caused by imbalances and build up of bad bacteria caused by poor diet and chronic stress. These imbalances can cause inflammatory states within the body and create a build of of histamine which can wreak havoc on our airways.
Reishi mushroom two fold, has immune modulating polysaccharides and anti-inflammatory triterpenoids which lower inflammation have naturally suppress histamine response leading to a better gut and open airways.
Increase Your Longevity—and Plant Trees—with Reishi Mushroom Extract
The stressors of the modern world take a toll on our bodies. If we feel fatigued, vulnerable, or blue, it’s easy to see why we might lose connection with the people and projects that matter to us. Luckily, our wild bodies know how to get the most out of superfoods like Reishi mushroom.
And by purchasing our products, you heal your connection with the earth by helping to reforest our planet. Every sale from our store donates to One Tree Planted, an organization that shares our mission for sustainability by planting trees worldwide.