Reishi Mushroom Tincture Health Benefits, Mycoremediation, and Harvesting Hints
Much adoration for reishi comes as no surprise. Since ancient times, reishi has been a staple of natural healing remedies far and wide. Its name comes from Japanese, translated as “divine or spiritual mushroom.” Depicted in ancient texts across the Asian continent, reishi also finds itself depicted in more traditional and royal art than any other herb or mushroom. It is precisely because of its healing properties that its use has been passed down by every generation. In this article, we’ll highlight some reishi mushroom tincture health benefits, ways to use reishi to heal the environment, and even a few tips when looking for reishi near you.
Reishi Mushroom Tincture Health Benefits
If you are looking for a mushroom that is second to none in terms of its healing reputation, look no further than reishi! Shown to be directly active against bacteria as an antimicrobial, reishi acts as a biological response modifier in humans, stimulating white blood cell response. Specifically, reishi mushroom tincture health benefits include increased production of macrophages, natural killer cells, and T cells (2). The immunomodulatory properties of the mushroom have been identified to be more than 100 polysaccharides and over 100 triterpenoids, which come from both the fruiting body and mycelia, with more of the active compounds being found in the fruiting body.
There is also a well documented anti-inflammatory effect — one of the most sought-after reishi mushroom tincture health benefits. This effect is linked to the stimulation of interleikin-2, -6, and -8 production. Interestingly enough, reishi is not a one-way modulator. Reishi is said to be bidirectional, depending on the dosage, thus resulting on a spectrum of anti-inflammatory and immunostimulating effects (2). The overall takeaway, as described by Stamets in Mycelium Running, is that reishi is “an anti-inflammatory agent and yet an immunity enhancer” (2005). To activate these effects, polysaccharides and triterpenoids both should be present, which is exactly what a double-extraction tincture process results in: both water and alcohol-soluble constituents present in the final extract. This is the process we use for our reishi simple formula, so that you can access maximum reishi mushroom tincture health benefits!
Beyond Reishi Mushroom Tincture Health Benefits: Mycoremediation with Reishi
In addition to the many reishi mushroom tincture health benefits available to the humans who consume it, there are some compelling uses for the mushroom in the context of healing the environment.
Tradd Cotter, avid mushroom farmer and myco-advocate, envisions reishi mycelium as a potential source of mycofiltration of water due to its extremely high tensile strength (1). Reishi also has the ability to inhibit and to kill bacterial cells, adding to its desirability for use in water remediation projects. Furthermore, reishi has the ability to bind to substrates with an impressive persistence that it can result in an almost rubber-like material! Reishi can be dried and cut into any shape, making it pliable enough to be considered in terms of manufacturing a filter model for water remediation.
Harvesting Hints when Looking for Reishi
Reishi are slow growing mushrooms. You don’t have to wait for a fully fruited mushroom body, however, as reishi can be harvested at any stage in its development. Mature specimens that are collected before they release spores, but still have their growing edge, dry and preserve well, and have the benefit of retaining the energy that would otherwise be expended after having gone through spore production (1). According to Stamets, reishi’s life cycle is over once the cap margin has thinned and not reemerged for several weeks. Lastly, in the wild, the diameter of the log or tree on which the mushrooms grow will influence the size of the mature conks (2).
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Sources for “Reishi Mushroom Tincture Health Benefits”
- Cotter, Tradd. (2014). Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation: simple to advanced and experimental techniques for indoor and outdoor cultivation. Chelsea Green Press: White River Junction, VT.
- Stamets, P. (2005). Mycelium Running. Ten Speed Press: Berkeley, CA.