The Best Ways to Take Reishi Mushrooms

The Reishi Mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) also known as Ling Zhi in China, is best known for its many medicinal uses.  This astonishing fungus is used to boost the immune system against a wide variety of ailments, including viral infections, kidney disease, lung disease and cancer.  In this article I will explore the Reishi Mushroom’s ability to promote better health, with a focus on the 7 best ways to take Reishi Mushrooms.

What Are Reishi Mushrooms?

The Reishi Mushroom is a fungus that grows on the sides of trees, both dying (Chen, 1999) and dead.  For over 4,000 years far east countries such as China and Japan have used Reishi Mushrooms for medicinal purposes.  The mushroom is known as “The Mushroom of Immortality” and “10,000 Year Mushroom” in these Eastern cultures, because of its wide spectrum of uses.

According to The International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, “interest was triggered in the United States primarily by the immune-enhancing property of the mushroom in integrated therapies for immune deficiency syndrome and cancer.”  Reishi Mushrooms protect against a wide variety of ailments, but of high interest currently are its effects on boosting the immune system to fight HIV and Aids.  These mushrooms continue to be used in preventative measures against influenza, bronchitis, heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.  Amazingly, Reishi Mushrooms also helps fight cancer by inhibiting the growth of tumors, killing cancerous cells and increasing bodily resistance.  It is no wonder that these mushrooms continue to be so highly revered in Asian cultures.  Read this article for more in-depth information concerning Reishi Mushrooms. 

Reishi Mushroom Side Effects On the Body

According to WebMD, there are a few side effects that may be experienced when taking Reishi Mushrooms.  There may be an allergic reaction accompanied by dryness of the mouth, throat or nasal passages.  There could also be some itchiness, stomach upset, possible nosebleed or bloody stool.  Reishi Mushrooms are a blood thinner and when taken orally, in powdered form, for more than a month there may be toxic effects of the liver.

6 Best Ways to Take Reishi Mushrooms

1. Reishi Mushroom Capsules

Capsules enclose a dose of medicine, in this case ground up Reishi Mushrooms.  A capsule can a have time release property for uneasy stomachs or can quickly release medicine, which allows the medicinal mushroom to have a quicker effect.  It also absorbs more effectively, which allows the use of lower dosages.

Capsules are extremely easy to take, just pop them in your mouth.  Reishi Mushrooms have a very bitter taste that is avoided when taking capsules.  Reishi Mushroom Capsules are used primarily as nutritional supplements to boost the immune system, help with trouble sleeping and prevent against high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Reishi Mushroom Capsules are usually taken in doses of 500 mg per capsule.  Most often the user is instructed to take one rapid release capsule two times daily with food.  You can find Reishi Mushroom capsules in most grocery stores, vitamin shops and herbal remedy stores.  Capsules have a lower potency than other forms of Reishi Mushroom products.  They are also relatively inexpensive when compared to other products.

PROS
CONS
  • Small Capsules
  • Quick Absorption
  • Avoid Unpleasant Taste
  • Easy to Carry
  • Fast Use
  • Lower Potency

2. Reishi Mushroom Powders

Reishi Mushroom Powder is used as a supplement to promote balance and decrease stress. Traditionally, the Chinese culture used it in teas to improve meditative practices.  It comes in both a powder extract and in a whole-body ground up powder.  The entire mushroom both fruiting body (above ground) and mycelium (filaments connecting a group of mushrooms) are ground up.  Click here to read our review of a particular Reishi Mushroom Powder. 

Reishi Mushroom Powder is easy to mix in to soups, use in recipes to make smoothies, or mix with other beverages, making it easier overall to swallow than pills.  This powder adds a nutrient boost to your diet and mixing it with other foods or drinks will mask the mushroom’s bitter taste.  Your body absorbs powder quickly and therefore, the effects and benefits of the Reishi Mushroom will occur faster than a pill. Using the Reishi Mushroom  Powder also offers flexibility with dosing.  You can make your personal adjustments (take more or less) when taking a powder or using it to make a meal or dessert. 

PROS
CONS
  • Fast Acting
  • Easy to Swallow
  • Easy to Mask Taste
  • Flexibility with Dosage
  • Difficult to Travel With

3. Reishi Mushroom Elixirs

An Elixir is a sweetened liquid usually containing alcohol that is used in medication either for its medicinal ingredients or as a flavoring.  Reishi Mushroom Elixirs best help promote healthy sleep cycles.   They also help in reducing stress.

Using an Elixir is a pleasant way to gain all the benefits of Reishi Mushrooms.  The liquid that accompanies the Reishi Mushroom is sweetened and may contain alcohol, so it allows you to avoid the unpleasant taste of the mushrooms.  The Elixir is easy to take in one dose, often before sleep.

PROS
CONS
  • Sweet Taste
  • Easy to Swallow
  • Promotes Good Sleep
  • Added Sugars and Alcohol

4. Reishi Mushroom Produce

Best Time To Take Reishi

Currently, Reishi Mushrooms are produced on the side of dead and dying tree trunks.  Lost Empire Herbs explains, “Reishi needs to grow on wood to produce triterpenes which provide its bitter flavor, not to mention many benefits.”  These mushrooms can also be cultivated in bags of sawdust and with different bottle procedures, but without the wood triterpenes are not produced and many benefits are lost.

 Once the mushrooms are fully grown, they are dried before use.  According to Freshcap Mushrooms, “The mushroom is extremely woody and bitter, not good for culinary use.”  Freshcap does inform us that Reishi Mushrooms can be used to make teas to extract the medicinal compounds.

Reishi is consumed for its antioxidants and immune boosting benefits.  Consuming these mushrooms also helps with balancing blood sugar and reducing stress.

PROS
CONS
  • Contains Many Oxidants
  • Multiple Ways to Grow
  • Balances Blood Sugar and Reduces Stress
  • Too Bitter to Eat

5. Reishi Mushroom Beverages

COFFEE

For over 2,000 years Ganoderma coffee, also known as Reishi Mushroom coffee, has exhibited several therapeutic properties.  These properties range from better sleep and increased energy to liver and heart support.  The health benefits of this coffee are due directly to the Reishi Mushroom.  This main ingredient combined with roasted coffee beans has a positive influence on the body’s overall health.  In addition to the Reishi mushroom extract and coffee beans, there is a combination of other natural ingredients that may be added in the mix. For example, stevia or peppermint.  

Compared to other coffee, Reishi coffee has lower caffeine and is higher in nutrients.  Reishi coffee has all the benefits of regular coffee plus the therapeutic assets of the mushrooms.  The low amount of caffeine content is unlikely to cause insomnia and has been shown to improve sleep through relieving anxiety.  It is also less acidic than regular coffee, making it easier on the digestive system.

Additional benefits include a great source of vitamin C, calcium, iron, phosphorus and potassium.  Because of the high levels of antioxidants in the Reishi mushroom, it helps fight aging. It also detoxifies the liver and kidneys and helps your body to flush our toxins.  Click here to read our review of a particular Reishi Coffee we enjoy. 

TEA

Originating from China, tea is made from pouring boiling water over dried leaves.  Tea is second to water as one of the most popular beverages.  Drinking Reishi Mushroom With its simplicity in making the drink, tea is one of the best ways to profit from the benefits of the Reishi.

KOMBUCHA

Kombucha is a mixture of yeast and bacteria that has been fermented and mixed with another beverage.  The yeast and bacteria are fermented with black tea, sugar or other ingredients.   Some fruit flavored kombucha beverages include adaptogen Reishi herbs to make for a more agreeable drink. 

PROS
CONS
  • An Abundance of Therapeutic Properties
  • Great Source of Vitamins
  • Contains Very Little Caffeine
  • Longer to Consume Compared to Taking a Capsule

6. Reishi Mushroom Tinctures

Reishi Mushroom Tinctures are liquid extracts taken from the Reishi Mushroom.  It is made through a combination of alcohol tincturing and water decocting.  During the alcohol tincturing small pieces of the mushroom are placed in a jar with 100-proof vodka.  The jar is then stored in a cool dark place for eight weeks.  Afterward, the mushrooms are strained and set aside for water decocting, while the strained mixture is set aside.  The water decoction process is next.

The strained mushrooms from the alcohol tincturing are simmered in a pot for a minimum of two hours.  The mushrooms are strained again, and the decoction is set aside to cool.  Finally, both mixtures are combined to create the final Reishi Mushroom Tincture.

The consumer takes the tincture orally.  Dosages will depend on the individual.  Drops of the liquid mushroom extract are placed under the tongue.  This allows the extract to enter the bloodstream quickly and the body feels the effects faster than by other means.  Read about our favorite Reishi Mushroom tincture in this review

According to Nootriment, a website focused on overall health, “Reishi mushroom tinctures contain high concentrations of beneficial phytochemicals and are generally more convenient than dried powders.” Reishi extract tinctures have many health benefits.  They have a positive effect on fighting against cancer, diabetes, viral and bacterial infections as well as being used as anticoagulants.

PROS
CONS
  • Easy to Use
  • Fast Acting
  • Easy to Store
  • Alcoholic Medium

Conclusion

The best ways to take Reishi Mushrooms depend on the person’s individual preferences, but there is no question that its medicinal uses are beneficial.  Reishi Mushrooms have been used for thousands of years in the Far East for their medicinal purposes, but their potential has not yet been fully recognized in the United States.  Reishi Mushrooms are not approved by the Federal Drug Administration and much more research needs to be done.  Have you benefited from Reishi Mushrooms?  Contact us and let us know what you think are the best ways to take Reishi Mushrooms.