Many people wonder how genies can live for so long. Most assume it’s magic, but I’m here to tell you that it has more to do with adaptogens than with abracadabra. One of the best herbs for slowing down the aging process is reishi mushrooms.
Reishi mushrooms may be relatively new to Western cultures, but this fabulous fungus has been revered in Asian societies for thousands of years and is one of the oldest symbols of well-being and longevity. Revered as the “herb of immortality” reishi mushrooms are classified as an adaptogen. They can be found growing wild on plum trees and for centuries they were reserved for use only by royals.
There are many varieties of reishi, the most common of which has a soft, cork-like texture and an ear-shaped cap that ranges in color from red-orange to black. The reishi mushroom has a rather bitter, woody taste, which is why it is traditionally prepared in a tea or as an extract. It wasn’t until the second half of the 20th century that researchers began to rigorously study the medicinal properties of the reishi mushroom, which is known to the scientific community as ganoderma lucidum.
Due to its increased notoriety, the reishi mushroom is now cultivated commercially throughout the world.
Here are five scientifically studied health benefits of the reishi mushroom:
- Life Span Extension – In 2009, Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry published a study conducted in Taiwan that displayed the life span-extending properties of the polysaccharides found in the reishi mushroom. These unique molecules promote longevity by boosting immune system function and preventing abnormal blood vessel formations that could lead to life-threatening cancerous growths.
- Defends Against Tumor Growth – The reishi mushroom has not only been shown to prevent the development of cancers, but research has indicated that the reishi mushroom may also eliminate existing cancer cells in the body. In 2010, Pharmacological Reports published a study that highlighted the role of ganoderic acid, a triterpinoid found in the reishi mushroom, in the inhibition of the development and metastasis of tumors.
- Improves Liver Function and Detoxification – A 2013 study in Food and Chemical Toxicology used the reishi mushroom to reverse chemical-driven liver damage in mice. The same triterpenes that displayed anti-cancer properties in other studies appear to aid the release of free radicals and promote liver cell regeneration.
- Promotes Heart Health and Balances Blood Pressure – In a study reported by Burton Goldberg in “Heart Disease,” 54 people with hypertension unresponsive to medication, taking reishi extract three times a day for four weeks was enough to significantly lower blood pressure.
- Fights Allergies and Asthma – Laboratory studies suggest that reishi mushroom may have antihistamine effects. This has not been tested in humans.
So, if you desire to live longer or just live better, I highly recommend you make ‘shroom for Reishi. The secret to longevity isn’t magic, it’s adaptogens like reishi mushrooms.