Reishi Extract: Where Legend and Science Meet
Reishi is well known as an immuno-modulator, antioxidant, tonic, reproductive aid, aphrodisiac, liver protector, digestive aid and more, but here we will focus on its beneficial actions on the heart. Reishi extract shines as an effective supplement for the heart and cardiovascular system.
Reishi Mushroom is known by many names, like Ganoderma, the “mushroom of immortality,” and “10,000 year old mushroom.” In China, it is called Lingzhi, which translates to “spirit plant.” No matter what it’s called, it is praised loudly for its many beneficial properties. This revered mushroom has over 2,000 years of recorded use in China and Japan. Reishi is a bright, shiny red or burgundy colored, kidney-shaped bracket mushroom. It often has a white outside edge that thins out as it matures. Its striking fruiting body is often found growing on dead trees in dense woodlands throughout the world, including China, North America, and even in the Amazon Rainforest. They favor chestnut, hemlock, oak, and other broad-leaf trees.
Reishi is traditionally prepared as a tea. It is not typically eaten as is, because of its hard, woody texture – which better lends itself for hardy teas, broths, and reishi extract. In Ancient China, Reishi was reserved for royalty and could often be found carved on the doors and archways throughout the emperor’s residences, as a symbol and talisman of good health and long life. We are fortunate to have easy access to this beloved mushroom today!
Ancient Tradition and Modern Science Converge
In the Pen T’sao Kang Mu (The Great Pharmacopoeia), a 16th-century text compiled by Le Shih-chen, it is written that Reishi “positively affects the life-energy, or Qi of the heart, repairing the chest area and benefiting those with a knotted or tight chest. Taken over a long period of time, the agility of the body will not cease, and the years are lengthened to those of the immortal fairies.” (1)
Today Reishi extract is commonly used by herbalists, Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners, naturopaths and holistic doctors for a range of conditions, including chronic fatigue syndrome and diabetes. (1) Studies suggest that it can lower cholesterol, prevent blood clots, and support blood vessel health.
Some of the constituents found in Reishi by the Chinese University in Hong Kong include ganodermic acids A, B, C, and D, lucidenic acid B and ganodermanontriol. These powerful antioxidants counteract the damaging effect of free radicals on tissues in the body. These constituents are part of the reason for reishi’s ability to bring the body into balance and promote anti-aging. Antioxidants protect the blood vessels and capillaries, and are vital for cardiovascular health. By reigning in free radicals, they prevent damage done to the tissues on a cellular level.
The Science Points to the Heart
Modern research on reishi has found it to support the cardiovascular system and prevent conditions such as coronary heart disease, hypertension, and high blood pressure. In one study, it demonstrated an ability to normalize blood pressure in a number of patients after four weeks. Research on Reishi isolated two beta-glucans within Reishi, ganodelan A and B, which help release insulin by facilitating the influx of calcium in pancreas beta cells, helping to lower elevated blood sugar. (1) Many natural practitioners see this as a promising natural supplement for managing diabetes. It’s triterpenes, especially genoderic acid F and S have been shown to protect the blood vessels in the heart from stiffening and hardening, and from blood cell clotting.
In one study where extracts isolated from Ganoderma lucidum was given to patients with coronary heart disease for 12 weeks, those taking the Reishi extract showed to have a significantly improved percentage of symptoms of chest pain, palpitations, and shortness of breath. It also resulted in a decrease of blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and abnormal ECG tests relative to the control group! (2)
In another study, Gandoderma extract was shown to prevent cardio-toxicity in rats. Showing that it is effective in promoting health and preventing damage to cardiac tissue, even in the event of chemical damage. (3)
Mushroom Revival’s Reishi Extract is made with 100% fruiting body. Our certified organic tincture is packed with only the highest quality organic ingredients. We don’t use any mycelium on grain, no fluff, so you’re getting only the good stuff. People tell us they rely on our Reishi extract tincture for their health and maintaining healthy stress levels.
The Heart of the Matter
Reishi is known to be supportive for the emotional and energetic heart as well. It’s bright red color and heart/kidney shape alerts us to the possibility that it may be beneficial for the heart.
Reishi has a very grounding and centering energetic quality. It is known to support the body even through stress and anxiety, which can often manifest in rapid heart beating or circular thought patterns. Reishi calms these worrisome patterns both physically and energetically. Ganoderma feels like a soothing balm for the energetic heart.
Reishi is often called the Queen of Mushrooms – and she reigns with benevolent love. Maybe we’re all drinking the Reishi Tincture here at Mushroom Revival, but its effects are delightful and grounding and we’re not gonna stop any time soon!
Reishi extract is a key player in our Mush Zen formula, a blend to promote relaxation and sleep. Reishi is known to calm the nerves, nourish the heart and help bring on sleep. Mush Zen is a deliciously floral tonic for relaxation. We plant a tree for each purchase, so we can promote the health of the Earth as well as our own.
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1. Healing Mushrooms by Georges M. Halpern, MD