Reishi mushroom Benefits list
Reishi mushrooms have been used for hundreds of years in Asian medicine for the following benefits:
- Antioxidant (slows down aging)
- Boosts the immune system
- Builds strength and stamina
- Treats depression
- Adaptogen (reduces stress)
- Reduces anxiety
- Improves the body’s healing process
- Promotes gut health
- Prevents dehydration when taken as a tea
Reishi mushroom also has benefits for health conditions such as:
- Anti-viral (HIV/AIDS, HPV, genital herpes, cold sores, flu, influenza, swine flu, avian flu)
- Anti-bacterial (Bacillus pneumonia, staphylococci, streptococci bacteria, some mushroom poisonings)
- Respiratory problems (chronic bronchitis, bronchial asthmatics, sinus problems)
- anti-cancer (breast, prostate, colon or rectum and cancer support during chemotherapy)
- Heart disease (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, blood clots, myocardial infarction, and angina)
- Stomach ulcers & chronic hepatitis
- Addictions (smoking, alcohol dependence)
- Liver or kidney disease
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome
- Altitude sickness
- Symptoms in the urinary tract in men
- Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)
- Pain during and after a shingles outbreak
In the video below, Dr. Gus explains the medicinal properties, benefits, and uses of Reishi and how you can use it to treat your specific health condition.
This is our recommended supplement (Amazon’s Choice):
Also, if you’re looking for immune system support, we recommend the following reishi product:
Can you use Reishi (Ganoderma Lucidum) in Cancer Treatment?
You can use Reishi in Cancer treatment because it contains beta-glucans polysaccharides that boost the immune system, which helps with the following effects:
- Reduced fatigue
- Improved quality of life
- Decreased number and size of tumors
- Prevents cancer development
- Kills cancer cells
Can you use Reishi mushrooms for Breast Cancer?
Reishi mushrooms can be used for breast cancer because they have anti-tumor effects from compounds that target various signaling pathways simultaneously. Patients that received Reishi along with cancer treatment reported:
- Reduced anxiety
- Reduced depression
- Increased quality of life
- Title: Ginseng and Ganoderma lucidum use after breast cancer diagnosis and quality of life: a report from the Shanghai Breast Cancer Survival Study
- Length: 36 months
- Number of subjects: 4149
- Health condition: breast cancer
- Ginseng use was assessed at 6-, 18-, and 36-month post-diagnosis surveys
- G. lucidum use was assessed at the 6- and 36-month surveys.
- QOL was evaluated at the 6- and 36-month surveys.
- At 6 months post-diagnosis, 14.2% of participants reported regular use of ginseng and 58.8% reported use of G. lucidum.
- We found no significant associations between ginseng use at 6, 18, and 36 months post-diagnosis and participants’ total QOL score or individual scores for psychological, physical, or social well-being.
- Post-diagnosis G. lucidum use was positively associated with social well-being, but was inversely associated with physical well-being with a dose-response pattern observed for cumulative number of times of use
We found no evidence that post-diagnosis ginseng use improved the QOL of breast cancer survivors. Post-diagnosis G. lucidum use was associated with better social well-being scores, but poorer physical well-being scores.
Can you use Reishi mushrooms for Lung Cancer?
Studies show that Reishi may help strengthen the immune system for lung cancer. Patients that received Reishi along with cancer treatment reported:
- Increased lymphocyte count (cancer-fighting immune cells)
- Increased natural killer cell activity
- Maintains quality of life
- Title: Preliminary Efficacy and Safety of Reishi & Privet Formula on Quality of Life Among Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Patients Undergoing Chemotherapy: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial
- Length: 6 weeks
- Age group: 59
- Number of subjects: 82
- Health condition: non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)
- Adults with NSCLC scheduled to receive chemotherapy were randomly assigned (3:1 ratio) to receive oral RPF (3.36 g/day) or placebo daily for 6 weeks.
- The main outcome was the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Lung (FACT-L).
- We evaluated RPF’s safety profile using the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events and assessed changes in outcome measures from baseline to weeks 3 and 6 using a linear mixed effects model.
- Compared with the placebo group, the RPF group had nonstatistically significant higher quality of life over 2 cycles of chemotherapy.
- The RPF group was associated with a nonsignificant better general health and emotional well-being than the placebo group.
- Adverse events rates did not differ between groups.
- This study demonstrated preliminary safety and suggests a promising trend in RPF’s effect on maintaining quality of life and emotional well-being among NSCLC patients undergoing chemotherapy.
- Future adequately powered randomized-controlled trials are needed to verify the efficacy and safety of RPF in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
Can you use Reishi mushrooms for Pancreatic Cancer?
A study found that a submerged fermentation broth cultivated on malt extract, and alcohol/water extracts of the fruiting body of Reishi mushrooms can inhibit pancreatic cancer cells.
- Title: Comparative Study on Bioactivities from Lingzhi or Reishi Medicinal Mushroom, Ganoderma lucidum (Agaricomycetes), Gives an Insight into the Fermentation Broth Showing Greater Antioxidative Activities
- The present study was to perform submerged fermentation of G. lucidum and compare the bioactivities of G. lucidum submerged fermentation broth and fruiting body extract.
- After the extraction and submerged fermentation methods were optimized, the optimum conditions for extraction were determined as ethanol extraction at 80°C with a solid-to-liquid ratio of 1:30, and those for submerged fermentation were cultivation on malt extract medium for 6 days at 30°C.
- Under the optimum conditions, the antioxidative activity and tyrosinase inhibition rate of the fermentation broth were 1.2-4.1 fold higher than those of the ethanol extract.
- Cytotoxicity analysis showed that the ethanol and water extracts and the fermentation broth effectively inhibited pancreatic cancer cells and prostate cancer cells, with much smaller effect on nontumor human embryonic kidney (HEK293T).
These results demonstrate that the submerged fermentation could improve the utilization value of G. lucidum and the fermentation broth can be used as an antioxidant additive applied in food, drugs, and cosmetics
Can you use Reishi mushrooms for Liver Cancer?
Submerged fermentation of Reishi mushrooms can be used for liver cancer because its polysaccharides show antitumor activity that can inhibit human liver cancer cells.
- Title: The polysaccharides from Ganoderma lucidum: Are they always inhibitors on human hepatocarcinoma cells?
The antitumor activity of intracellular polysaccharides from submerged fermentation of Ganoderma lucidum was investigated focusing on the inhibition on human liver cancer cells.
- The polysaccharides inhibited human hepatocarcinoma cell HepG2 during earlier phase with lower dosage but obviously became less functional in later phase regardless of the dosage applied.
- However, apoptosis of the drugged HepG2 cells appeared in later incubation phase with high dosage, and the apoptosis could be enhanced by supplemental dose of the intracellular polysaccharides.
- Nevertheless, the intracellular polysaccharides inhibited other human hepatocarcinoma cells such as BEL-7402 and Huh-7 but luckily stimulated human normal liver cell L02 only in a positive dose- and time-dependent manner; so did the sulfated extracellular polysaccharides when it inhibited HepG2 and L02 cells.
- However, the toxicity of sulfated extracellular polysaccharides to L02 cells can be eliminated by the intracellular polysaccharides.
Can you use Reishi mushrooms for Prostate Cancer?
Reishi mushrooms can reduce DHT levels in the prostate, this helps stop prostate growth and lowers the risk of prostate cancer in older men.
Do Reishi mushrooms have benefits for the Skin?
Reishi mushrooms have the following benefits for the Skin:
- Antioxidant (slows down aging, prevents UV damage)
- Anti-Inflammatory (reduces redness, puffiness, and irritation)
- Hydration (moisturizer, reduces lines, repairs and renews skin)
- Adaptogen (reduces stress on the skin)
- Skin lightening (fades scars, reduces discoloration and dark spots)
- Skin support (increases elasticity, firmness, health, and appearance)
- Anti-bacterial (detoxification (reduce bacteria on the skin)
Do Reishi mushrooms have benefits for Hair?
Reishi mushrooms have the following benefits for Hair:
- Antioxidant (prevents damage from free radicals to hair)
- Adaptogen (reduces hair loss due to stress)
- Anti-inflammatory (protects fragile hair)
- Improves blood circulation in the scalp (promotes hair growth and strength)
- Inhibits testosterone (reduces 5-alpha reductase and prevents male pattern baldness)
- Anti-bacterial (prevents hair follicles from becoming blocked or clogged)
- Boosts the immune system (prevents baldness caused by the autoimmune disease Alopecia Areata)
- Title: Anti-androgenic activities of Ganoderma lucidum
The inhibitory effects of methanol extracts of 19 edible and medicinal mushrooms on 5alpha-reductase activity were examined.
- The extract of Ganoderma lucidum Fr. Krast (Ganodermataceae) showed the strongest 5alpha-reductase inhibitory activity.
Can you use Reishi mushrooms for Weight loss?
Reishi mushrooms can help with weight loss due to their prebiotic properties. A study on mice found the following benefits:
- Contains fiber (feeds good bacteria and suppresses bad bacteria in the intestine)
- Tightening of leaky guts (reduces inflammation and insulin resistance)
- Decreases fat deposits in the body
- Can reduce overeating caused by anxiety or stress
While these effects have been tested only in mice, Reishi mushrooms show potential for weight loss in humans.
- Title: Ganoderma lucidum reduces obesity in mice by modulating the composition of the gut microbiota
Here, we show that a water extract of Ganoderma lucidum mycelium (WEGL) reduces:
- Insulin resistance
in mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD).
Our data indicate that WEGL:
- reverses HFD-induced gut dysbiosis
- maintains intestinal barrier integrity
- reduces metabolic endotoxemia
The anti-obesity and microbiota-modulating effects are transmissible from WEGL-treated mice to HFD-fed mice. We further show that high molecular weight polysaccharides isolated from the WEGL extract produce similar anti-obesity and microbiota-modulating effects.
Our results indicate that G. lucidum and its high molecular weight polysaccharides may be used as prebiotic agents to prevent gut dysbiosis and obesity-related metabolic disorders in obese individuals.
How to use Reishi mushroom powder?
For Reishi mushroom dried extract or powder, the dose is approximately 10 times less than whole mushrooms.
- The Pharmacopoeia of the People’s Republic of China recommends 6 to 12 g daily.
- Traditional practitioners recommend 0.5 to 1 g daily, 2 to 5 g daily for chronic illness, and
- up to 15 g extract daily for serious illness.
- Ganopoly (a Reishi extract): up to 5.4 g daily (equivalent to 81 g of the fruiting body) for 12 weeks.
- For regular health maintenance: 1 to 6 grams daily.
- For cancer treatment: 9 to 15 grams daily.
How long does it take for Reishi mushrooms to work?
Since it’s not an active medication, it may take Reishi between 10 to 14 days to work, but you may feel its effects in a shorter time. The amount of time it takes for Reishi mushrooms to work also depends on their intended use:
- Energy, reduced anxiety, better sleep: 2 weeks
- Reduced fatigue and improved well-being: 4 to 8 weeks
- Boost the immune system: 6 weeks
- Men with lower urinary tract symptoms: 12 weeks
- Increase of good cholesterol (HDL) and decrease of triglycerides: 12 weeks
- Cancer support: 12 weeks
When to take Reishi mushrooms?
When to take Reishi Mushrooms will depend on your goal:
- For sleep: in the evening before bed time (after dinner, around 8 pm)
- For immunity: in the morning on an empty stomach (before traveling to a populated area, or during cold weather)
What are the Side Effects of Reishi mushroom powder?
Reported side effects from Reishi mushrooms are minimal and include:
- Dry or itchy mouth, throat, and nose
- Skin irritation or rash (from Reishi wine)
- Allergies (from Reishi spores)
- Upset stomach
- Bone pain
- Bloody stools
- Liver toxicity
Reishi mushrooms can cause side effects in the following groups of people:
- Pregnant or breastfeeding
- People with blood disorders
- People undergoing surgery
- People with low blood pressure
However, some Reishi mushroom side effects are still unknown due to the limited number of studies in humans.
Can Reishi mushrooms cause Liver toxicity?
- Reishi mushrooms can cause liver toxicity in powdered form if taken for more than 1 month.
- In whole or dried extract form, Reishi mushrooms may be safe for the liver for up to 1 year (according to the Susan G. Komen Foundation).
One study shows 2 patients who consumed boiled Reishi mushroom tea without any liver damage. 2 months after switching to powdered form, they suffered from liver toxicity. However, it is not known for certain if Reishi mushrooms were responsible for the liver damage or if there were other problems with the powdered extract.
Where do Reishi mushrooms grow?
Reishi mushrooms grow on the sides of dead or dying hardwood trees (with the exception of the species Ganoderma Tsugae which grows on eastern Hemlock or other conifers).
Reishi mushrooms grow closer to the ground on:
- Fallen logs
- At the base of living trees
- Shallow underground tree roots
Reishi mushrooms grow in forests of:
- Tropical regions of Asia (China)
- Southern Europe
- North America (Southwest United States)
- South America
Does Reishi have look-alikes?
The most common Reishi look-alike is the Red belted conk (Fomitopsis pinicola). It has concentric rings with a red center that fades into white edges. You can confirm you have a real Reishi if:
- You scratch the pore side underneath and it bruises (a red belted conk will not bruise).
- The spore print is dark brown (a red belted conk has a white spore print)
There are no poisonous Reishi look-alikes.
This article makes use of information from the U.S. National Library of Medicine under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
- Zhang Y, Lin Z, Hu Y, Wang F. Effect of Ganoderma lucidum capsules on T lymphocyte subsets in football players on “living high-training low”. Br J Sports Med. 2008 Oct;42(10):819-22. doi: 10.1136/bjsm.2007.038620. Epub 2007 Nov 29. Erratum in: Br J Sports Med. 2009 Apr;43(4):310-1. PMID: 18048435.
- Chen X, Hu ZP, Yang XX, Huang M, Gao Y, Tang W, Chan SY, Dai X, Ye J, Ho PC, Duan W, Yang HY, Zhu YZ, Zhou SF. Monitoring of immune responses to a herbal immuno-modulator in patients with advanced colorectal cancer. Int Immunopharmacol. 2006 Mar;6(3):499-508. doi: 10.1016/j.intimp.2005.08.026. Epub 2005 Sep 15. PMID: 16428086.
- Gao Y, Zhou S, Jiang W, Huang M, Dai X. Effects of ganopoly (a Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharide extract) on the immune functions in advanced-stage cancer patients. Immunol Invest. 2003 Aug;32(3):201-15. doi: 10.1081/imm-120022979. PMID: 12916709.
- Bao PP, Lu W, Cui Y, Zheng Y, Gu K, Chen Z, Zheng W, Shu XO. Ginseng and Ganoderma lucidum use after breast cancer diagnosis and quality of life: a report from the Shanghai Breast Cancer Survival Study. PLoS One. 2012;7(6):e39343. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0039343. Epub 2012 Jun 20. PMID: 22745737; PMCID: PMC3379976.
- Ghafar MA, Golliday E, Bingham J, Mansukhani MM, Anastasiadis AG, Katz AE. Regression of prostate cancer following administration of Genistein Combined Polysaccharide (GCP), a nutritional supplement: a case report. J Altern Complement Med. 2002 Aug;8(4):493-7. doi: 10.1089/107555302760253694. PMID: 12230910.
- Jin X, Ruiz Beguerie J, Sze DM, Chan GC. Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi mushroom) for cancer treatment. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016 Apr 5;4(4):CD007731. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD007731.pub3. PMID: 27045603; PMCID: PMC6353236.
- Tang W, Gao Y, Chen G, Gao H, Dai X, Ye J, Chan E, Huang M, Zhou S. A randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled study of a Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharide extract in neurasthenia. J Med Food. 2005 Spring;8(1):53-8. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2005.8.53. PMID: 15857210.
- Chu TT, Benzie IF, Lam CW, Fok BS, Lee KK, Tomlinson B. Study of potential cardioprotective effects of Ganoderma lucidum (Lingzhi): results of a controlled human intervention trial. Br J Nutr. 2012 Apr;107(7):1017-27. doi: 10.1017/S0007114511003795. Epub 2011 Aug 1. PMID: 21801467.
- Lee JM, Kwon H, Jeong H, Lee JW, Lee SY, Baek SJ, Surh YJ. Inhibition of lipid peroxidation and oxidative DNA damage by Ganoderma lucidum. Phytother Res. 2001 May;15(3):245-9. doi: 10.1002/ptr.830. PMID: 11351361.
- Wachtel-Galor S, Yuen J, Buswell JA, et al. Ganoderma lucidum (Lingzhi or Reishi): A Medicinal Mushroom. In: Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor S, editors. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2011. Chapter 9.
- Fujita R, Liu J, Shimizu K, Konishi F, Noda K, Kumamoto S, Ueda C, Tajiri H, Kaneko S, Suimi Y, Kondo R. Anti-androgenic activities of Ganoderma lucidum. J Ethnopharmacol. 2005 Oct 31;102(1):107-12. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2005.05.041. PMID: 16029938.
- Chang CJ, Lin CS, Lu CC, Martel J, Ko YF, Ojcius DM, Tseng SF, Wu TR, Chen YY, Young JD, Lai HC. Ganoderma lucidum reduces obesity in mice by modulating the composition of the gut microbiota. Nat Commun. 2015 Jun 23;6:7489. doi: 10.1038/ncomms8489. Erratum in: Nat Commun. 2017 Jul 11;8:16130. PMID: 26102296; PMCID: PMC4557287.
- Lee HA, Cho JH, Afinanisa Q, An GH, Han JG, Kang HJ, Choi SH, Seong HA. Ganoderma lucidum Extract Reduces Insulin Resistance by Enhancing AMPK Activation in High-Fat Diet-Induced Obese Mice. Nutrients. 2020 Oct 30;12(11):3338. doi: 10.3390/nu12113338. PMID: 33142995; PMCID: PMC7693844.
- Noguchi M, Kakuma T, Tomiyasu K, Kurita Y, Kukihara H, Konishi F, Kumamoto S, Shimizu K, Kondo R, Matsuoka K. Effect of an extract of Ganoderma lucidum in men with lower urinary tract symptoms: a double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized and dose-ranging study. Asian J Androl. 2008 Jul;10(4):651-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-7262.2008.00336.x. Epub 2007 Dec 20. PMID: 18097503.
- Oka S, Tanaka S, Yoshida S, Hiyama T, Ueno Y, Ito M, Kitadai Y, Yoshihara M, Chayama K. A water-soluble extract from culture medium of Ganoderma lucidum mycelia suppresses the development of colorectal adenomas. Hiroshima J Med Sci. 2010 Mar;59(1):1-6. PMID: 20518254.
- Chung WT, Lee SH, Kim JD, Park YS, Hwang B, Lee SY, Lee HY. Effect of mycelial culture broth of Ganoderma lucidum on the growth characteristics of human cell lines. J Biosci Bioeng. 2001;92(6):550-5. doi: 10.1263/jbb.92.550. PMID: 16233144.
- Zhao H, Zhang Q, Zhao L, Huang X, Wang J, Kang X. Spore Powder of Ganoderma lucidum Improves Cancer-Related Fatigue in Breast Cancer Patients Undergoing Endocrine Therapy: A Pilot Clinical Trial. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:809614. doi: 10.1155/2012/809614. Epub 2011 Dec 10. PMID: 22203880; PMCID: PMC3236089.
- Liu YJ, Shen J, Xia YM, Zhang J, Park HS. The polysaccharides from Ganoderma lucidum: Are they always inhibitors on human hepatocarcinoma cells? Carbohydr Polym. 2012 Oct 15;90(3):1210-5. doi: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2012.06.043. Epub 2012 Jun 23. PMID: 22939333.
- Xie C, Tang P, Yan S, Yang Q, Zhang Z, Gong W, Zhu Z, Zhou Y, Yan L, Hu Z, Wang X, Peng Y. Comparative Study on Bioactivities from Lingzhi or Reishi Medicinal Mushroom, Ganoderma lucidum (Agaricomycetes), Gives an Insight into the Fermentation Broth Showing Greater Antioxidative Activities. Int J Med Mushrooms. 2020;22(7):627-639. doi: 10.1615/IntJMedMushrooms.2020035042. PMID: 32865920.
- Suarez-Arroyo IJ, Rosario-Acevedo R, Aguilar-Perez A, et al. Anti-tumor effects of Ganoderma lucidum (reishi) in inflammatory breast cancer in in vivo and in vitro models. PLoS One. 2013;8(2):e57431. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0057431
- Nahata A, Dixit VK. Ganoderma lucidum is an inhibitor of testosterone-induced prostatic hyperplasia in rats. Andrologia. 2012 May;44 Suppl 1:160-74. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0272.2010.1155.x. Epub 2011 Jun 8. PMID: 21651601.
- Wu K, Na K, Chen D, Wang Y, Pan H, Wang X. Effects of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug-activated gene-1 on Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides-induced apoptosis of human prostate cancer PC-3 cells. Int J Oncol. 2018 Dec;53(6):2356-2368. doi: 10.3892/ijo.2018.4578. Epub 2018 Sep 28. PMID: 30272272; PMCID: PMC6203158.
- Sun LX, Li WD, Lin ZB, Duan XS, Li XF, Yang N, Lan TF, Li M, Sun Y, Yu M, Lu J. Protection against lung cancer patient plasma-induced lymphocyte suppression by Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides. Cell Physiol Biochem. 2014;33(2):289-99. doi: 10.1159/000356669. Epub 2014 Jan 31. PMID: 24525691.
- Liu J, Mao JJ, Li SQ, Lin H. Preliminary Efficacy and Safety of Reishi & Privet Formula on Quality of Life Among Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Patients Undergoing Chemotherapy: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial. Integr Cancer Ther. 2020 Jan-Dec;19:1534735420944491. doi: 10.1177/1534735420944491. PMID: 32840126; PMCID: PMC7450289.
- Wanmuang H, Leopairut J, Kositchaiwat C, Wananukul W, Bunyaratvej S. Fatal fulminant hepatitis associated with Ganoderma lucidum (Lingzhi) mushroom powder. J Med Assoc Thai. 2007 Jan;90(1):179-81. PMID: 17621752.