Reishi Mushroom

What other names is Reishi Mushroom known by?

Basidiomycetes Mushroom, Champignon Basidiomycète, Champignon d'Immortalité, Champignon Reishi, Champignons Reishi, Ganoderma, Ganoderma lucidum, Hongo Reishi, Ling Chih, Ling Zhi, Mannentake, Mushroom, Mushroom of Immortality, Mushroom of Spiritual Potency, Red Reishi, Reishi, Reishi Antler Mushroom, Reishi Rouge, Rei-Shi, Spirit Plant.

What is Reishi Mushroom?

Reishi mushroom is a fungus that some people describe as "tough" and "woody" with a bitter taste. The fruiting body (above-ground part) and mycelium (filaments connecting a group of mushrooms) are used as medicine.

Reishi mushroom is used for boosting the immune system; viral infections such as the flu (influenza), swine flu, and avian flu; lung conditions including asthma and bronchitis; heart disease and contributing conditions such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol; kidney disease; cancer; and liver disease. It is also used for HIV/AIDS, altitude sickness, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), trouble sleeping (insomnia), stomach ulcers, poisoning, and herpes pain. Other uses include reducing stress and preventing fatigue.

In combination with other herbs, reishi mushroom is used to treat prostate cancer.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Noncancerous tumors in the colon and rectum (colorectal adenomas). Early research suggests that taking reishi mushroom extract daily for 12 months reduces the number of tumors in people with colorectal adenomas.
  • Clogged arteries. Early research suggests that taking a specific reishi mushroom product (Ganopoly) reduces symptoms of clogged arteries, including chest pain and shortness of breath.
  • Diabetes. Early research suggests that taking a specific reishi mushroom product (Ganopoly) daily for 12 weeks reduces hemoglobin but not blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
  • Hepatitis B. Early research suggests that taking a specific reishi mushroom product (Ganopoly) for 12 weeks reduces how much of the hepatitis B virus is circulating in the body. This product also seems to improve liver function in people with this condition.
  • High cholesterol. Early research suggests that taking reishi mushroom extract daily for 12 weeks does not affect cholesterol levels in people with high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol.
  • High blood pressure. There is inconsistent evidence about the effects of reishi mushroom on high blood pressure. Early research suggests that taking reishi mushroom extract daily for 12 weeks does not lower blood pressure in people with slightly high blood pressure. However, other research suggests that taking reishi mushroom lowers blood pressure in people with more severe high blood pressure.
  • Lung cancer. Early research suggests that taking reishi mushroom does not shrink lung tumors. However, it does appear to improve immune function and quality of life in people with lung cancer.
  • Shingles-related pain. Some people report that hot water extracts of reishi mushroom decreases pain when conventional treatment does not work.
  • Boosting the immune system.
  • Viral infections.
  • Prostate cancer.
  • Asthma and bronchitis.
  • Stress.
  • Kidney disorders.
  • Liver disease.
  • HIV disease.
  • Altitude sickness.
  • Fatigue.
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
  • Trouble sleeping (insomnia).
  • Stomach ulcers.
  • Poisoning.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of reishi mushroom for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).


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