The fungus from the East.
Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) is a mushroom that predominantly grows in the humid climates of eastern Asia. Like many varieties of mushrooms they have been used for thousands of years in traditional eastern medicine.
Reishi contain a wide variety of beneficial bioactive compounds and nutrients such as polysaccharides, fiber, oligosaccharides, triterpenoids, peptides, phenols, minerals, vitamins, and amino acids. This rich source of compounds has made reishi known to help support the immune system.
Some of the bioactive compounds in reishi such as polysaccharides have been shown in some studies to support stimulation of the cellular immune system. Increases in lymphocyte function and an increase in a type of white blood cell called natural killer cells have also been seen. These actions could have a positive benefit on the immune system and help support resistance to stress placed on the on the body.
Resistance to stress could have other positive benefits as well. Reishi might also show improvements in perceived quality of life. Studies have shown some individuals feelings of fatigue, anxiety, depression and overall well-being after supplementing with reishi. Some consider reishi an adaptogen because of these possible effects.
Animal studies have shown potent anti-oxidant and anti-aging benefits when administered reishi. Gene expression and key markers of oxidative stress were noticed suggesting reishi could be regulating biophysiological processes related to stress and aging.
With its many years of use in traditional medicine and more recent benefits seen in modern clinical studies, reishi just might have earned its nickname "The mushroom of immortality".
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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.