Reishi mushrooms (Ganoderma Lucidum, Lingzhi) are some of the most beneficial foods known to man. Their ability to enhancing the immune system is evident in its ability to fight disease.
In particular, the Red Reishi is most potent in these characteristics, including the Germanium which is a trace element having the ability to promote oxygenation of the body’s cells, enhancing the immune system against germs, viruses, bacteria, yeast and parasites.
But some say that the most important active ingredients in Reishi are the polysaccharides due to their cancer fighting ability, and blood sugar regulation.
Why is Cellular Oxygenation Important?
To be sure, Oxygen is the most important element for our survival. Our bodies are made up of about 75% water, of which 90% is oxygen.
Most of the oxygen we breathe is utilized by the brain and the heart. Oxygen destroys germs, viruses, amoebas, parasites, fungi and yeasts, and resolves pathogenic moisture (dampness) in the form of edema, mucus, tumors, cysts, and arterial plaque.
Generally, more oxygen is needed by those who are overweight, sluggish, or who have candidiasis, edema, heart disease, or viral/tumorous/ infectious conditions (e.g. cancer, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigues, and AIDS).
Oxygen enrichment comes from activity, living outside of metropolitan areas (where our normal 20% of oxygen in the air is reduced to 10%), fasting or undereating and eating few animal products, eating fresh, raw, or lightly cooked sprouts, vegetables, and fruit, and adding foods which contain significant amounts of the trace element Germanium.
Germanium foods and supplements are commonly used as cancer remedies and for immune restoration in general. Among the more concentrated food and and herb sources is the Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum), garlic, and ginseng.
The traditional applications of mushrooms are now being scrutinized by researchers, who find that the polysaccharides of mushrooms exhibit anti-tumor potential.
Polysaccharides are any one of a class of carbohydrates whose molecules contain linked monosaccharide units: includes starch, inulin, and cellulose. They comprise the carbohydrate storage units for plants and animals and are common sources of energy.
Reishi is one of the most potent sources of these polysaccharides, and is officially listed as a substance for treating cancer by the Japanese government. In western medicine, animal studies also show that Reishi polysaccharides could induce apoptosis (programmed cell death) of cancer cells.
In 1979, researchers in Poland found that Reishi polysaccharides were instrumental in the disruption of viral diseases by inducing the production of interferon.
These polysachharides are found in the fruit body of Reishi and in higher levels in the mycelium, which is the branching or forking thread-like structures of the mushroom, responsible for absorbing nutrients rom the environment.
Other studies have revealed that the Reishi mushroom extract can reduce high blood pressure to a significant degree (systolic and diastolic), even in patients who had previously failed to respond to established anti-hypertensive medications.
Because of its concentration of polysaccharides, Reishi may also provide hepatoprotective action, antiviral activity, and beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, and diabetes.
Reishi Side Effects
Adverse reactions are mild and may include dizziness, GI upset, and skin irritation. Most common reishi mushroom side effects are referred to as detox symptoms, abating after a few days or a few weeks.
Starting with small doses of about 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of Reishi per day either in capsule, dried herb, or tea form are recommended, and can be increased to amounts up to 10 tsp (50 ml) per day, depending on the person. With excessive dosing (5-7g per day) cases of diarrhea were reported but mitigated with intake of Vitamin C.
There are few reports of toxicity with the use of reishi mushroom, as most benefits outweigh the short term side effects.