Reishi mushrooms are rare mushrooms that grow at the base of deciduous trees. Some people claim that reishi mushrooms can boost the immune system, fight cancer, and relieve symptoms of many other health conditions.
Despite the popularity of reishi mushrooms in Eastern medicine, there are limited human studies on the effects of this fungus. There is also growing evidence to suggest that reishi mushrooms may be toxic and cause health issues. REISHI MUSHROOM EXTRACT (GANODERMA LUCIDUM)
Keep reading for more information on the possible benefits of reishi mushrooms, as well as the side effects and risks.
What are reishi mushrooms?
Reishi mushrooms (Ganoderma lucidum) have been a part of some traditional medicine practices for more than 2,000 yearsTrusted Source.
According to one review articleTrusted Source, reishi mushrooms contain polysaccharides, peptides, and triterpenoids, which may provide some of their health benefits. They also contain dietary fiber and various minerals, vitamins, and amino acids.
People grind them into powder or use extracts to make supplements and other products. While their use is widespread, the evidence supporting any benefits is still lacking.
Most researchers have done studies either on animals or in labs. The few human studies to date have not reproduced the same results, indicating that the mushrooms may not be as beneficial for humans. REISHI MUSHROOM EXTRACT (GANODERMA LUCIDUM)
Reishi mushrooms are best-known for their purported effects in boosting the immune system and helping fight off cancer. However, studies do not support the alleged benefits of reishi mushrooms.
The Susan G. Komen foundation, a cancer charity, has found insufficient or no evidence that reishi mushrooms are effective in:
- reducing symptoms of an enlarged prostate
- treating memory loss due to Alzheimer’s disease
- reducing noncancerous tumors in the rectum or colon
- treating clogged arteries
- alleviating stress
- reducing fatigue from cancer
- treating poisoning
- improving blood sugar levels in those with diabetes
- getting rid of stomach ulcers
- healing cold sores and genital herpes
- reducing human papillomavirus in the mouth
- treating lung cancer
- reducing fatigue
- treating altitude sickness
- treating hepatitis B
- alleviating asthma and bronchitis symptoms
- curing liver disease
- alleviating pain from shingles
- treating kidney disorders
- boosting the immune system
- treating viral infections
- curing HIV
- treating chronic fatigue syndrome
- treating prostate cancer
- helping people sleep
The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center also state that there is little or no evidence to suggest that reishi mushrooms treat:
- high cholesterol
- high blood pressure
- a weak immune system
- urinary tract infections
However, research is ongoing on the potential benefits of reishi mushrooms. Laboratory test-tube studiesTrusted Source have found that they could be effective in fighting cancer and shrinking tumors.
There is also evidenceTrusted Source from in vitro and animal studies that reishi mushrooms may support the immune system, but high quality studies in humans are necessary before researchers draw any conclusions.