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The 4000 year old medicine.

The last time I Googled “Reishi,” I get more than 621,000 hits. It will be too time consuming going through
all of them so let me save you the trouble by summarizing what most of these sites are talking about.

Reishi belongs to the Basidomycetes family of mushroom, which is a branch of the Mycetes Kingdom.
Many medicinal mushrooms come from the Basidomycetes family.

Reishi is the Japanese word meaning “ancient goddess of health, life and eternal youth,” a rare
mushroom with amazing healing qualities. It has to be amazing to be noticed. Lingzhi, in Chinese which
mean “divine herb that energizes the chi or life force,” or Ganoderma Lucidum, its scientific name, is also
known as the “King of Herbs” or “Gods Herb”. This mushroom practically takes care of the entire body
which beats multi-vitamins thus the “Miracle Herb” title is so fitting.

Paul Stamets, the American mycologist and author of “Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms,”
describes that fungi is more directly related to us than any other in the animal kingdom. He says that we
share the same pathogens, which is why fungi are great source for antibiotics. Its biological makeup is
more compatible to humans and probably why we see great health benefits from a number of them such
as Cordyceps, Maitake and especially, Reishi.

What is interesting about Reishi is its history. It has been in use in China for over 4,000 years. Because it
is such a rare herb – for every 10,000 trees, one or three maybe found. Chinese history indicates that only
Emperors were able to use them for their health and well being. There are stories where common folks
could lose their lives if they were found to consume it for themselves. Commoners are encouraged to
offer this rare mushroom to their Emperor whenever they discovered one, or lose their lives because of it.
The rarity is so extreme that when someone was to find one, he will keep it a secret even to his own
family.

Shen Nong, the founding father of Chinese Medicine who lived during the Han Dynasty (206 BC ~ 8 AD)
documented 365 plant species. In his meticulous study, he found that Reishi came out on top even
superior to Ginseng.

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Benefits of Reishi – Ganoderma Lucidium

Reishi mushroom is revered in the Oriental traditional medicine as a fungus that could make a person immortal. This mushroom is used largely as a medicinal herb. The bitter taste and wood like texture of reishi mushroom will not be fit for preparing soaps and salads.

Nonetheless, people, who are aware of the large number of health benefits of this mushroom, have no qualms of having reishi mushroom in their soaps. However, largely, reishi is consumed in the form of tea.

For best results, one should eat reishi mushroom in the morning in empty stomach. Taking enough water along with this mushroom helps to increase the efficacy of reishi mushroom.

Strengthens immunity

Reishi mushroom is one of the best immunity stimulating foods. Intake of reishi mushroom helps to enhance production of T cells. T cells kill the invading bacteria and virus, protecting our bodies from the onslaught of these disease-causing germs. This immunity stimulating power of reishi mushroom could be utilized for fighting several infectious diseases. This medicinal mushroom could also be effective in fighting HIV. To extract the maximum immunity strengthening benefit from reishi mushroom, consume reishi mushroom along with vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables.

Cures respiratory problems

In traditional Chinese medicine, reishi mushroom is recommended to fight coughs and colds. It could significantly reduce the symptoms of chronic bronchitis and asthma.

Improves liver function

The bitterness of reishi mushroom, derived from triterpenes, a type of plant compound found in this mushroom, promotes liver function. Reishi mushroom can also be used for treating hepatitis B.

Anti-allergic

Reishi mushroom can prevent common allergies. Ganoderic acids present in this fungus check histamine secretion, reducing the symptoms of allergies.

Fights cancer

According to studies, reishi mushroom could prevent as well as arrest growth of cancerous cells. This mushroom could be effective in preventing as well as slowing down the development of prostate, breast and bladder cancers.

Antioxidant

Reishi mushroom is also a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. It can prevent heart diseases and Alzheimer’s disease. It can reduce inflammation and Arthritis pain could be treated with this mushroom.

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Candida and Reishi

Reishi Mushroom Extract and other Medicinal Mushrooms Benefit Candida Sufferers!

Reishi Mushroom Extract is a Beneficial Candida Treatment!

There seems to be a constant babble about whether people with candida overgrowth should avoid mushrooms for the sake of their health. Most people, including “experts” will tell you not to consume mushrooms of any kind.

Let’s set the record straight.

Although they fall under the same general category of fungi: Mushrooms are not mold. Mushrooms are not yeast.

Not all mushrooms need be avoided.

The ones you do want to enjoy include shiitake, maitake (both culinary delights) and reishi mushrooms (not so delicious, usually taken as reishi mushroom extract). In fact, reishi mushrooms can help your immune system to regain balance over the invasive form of candida. Remember, candida is a natural element in the human body, it only becomes invasive and detrimental when it is given an opportunity to grow out of control, which happens when the immune system is weakened.

“Candida and Mushrooms? I’ve heard to avoid mushrooms if my health is suffering due to candida overgrowth.”

I know, me too! But for many years I’ve known about the healing effects of shiitake and reishi mushrooms. I ate shiitakes while I was doing my cleanse diet, and never felt any ill effects.

Finally I’ve been taking the time to research it more for myself and my results are really pleasing! Here is some of the encouraging information I’ve been gathering about reishi mushroom extract, maitake and shiitake mushrooms:

Did you know that some fungi are more closely related to animals than plants are to those same animals? And that some diseases which affect fungi can affect humans as well? I didn’t until recently. Weird, but true.

For instance, three pathenogenic microorganisms which cause diseases common to fungi and humans (these are ones I know of, I’m sure there are more):

Escherichia coli (E Coli)
Staphylococcus aureus (the most common cause of staph infections)
Pseudomonas aeruginosa (a bacteria which causes the common “hot tub rash, or “hot tub folliculitis”)

One of medicinal mushrooms’ natural defenses is to produce antibiotics to fight infection from microorganisms. In fact, antibiotics commonly prescribed at the doctor’s office are often derived from fungi.

There is an increasingly accepted hypothesis in modern medicine that polypore mushrooms like reishi mushroom extract and maitake mushrooms can help provide a immune “shield” against a number of infectious diseases, including candida. Shiitake mushrooms, while not polypores, are also known for their immune enhancing properties.

One of the beneficial elements in these medicinal mushrooms are certain polysaccharides, which are a form of complex carbohydrates. Cellulose (plant fiber) and pectin (found in fruits such as citrus, apples and pears) are two other well known forms of polysaccharides.

Okay, once again, let me reiterate that I’m no scientist, but I am an avid reader and always poking around for new and interesting information. Here’s some more information I’ve dug up on reishi mushrooms and other healing mushrooms – some of which even I wouldn’t attempt to explain scientifically, but nonetheless I find it compelling because there is an abundance of scientific and medicinal research coming back with positive results.

Reishi Mushrom Extract and other Medicinal Mushrooms Are Beneficial For Numerous Reasons
Reishi mushrooms and the other healing mushrooms contain an abundance of not only “polysaccharides” but also “protein-bound polysaccharides”, including the much touted beta-D-glucans, which is one reason they all possess such potent immune-strengthening properties (beta-D-glucans is primarily used for immune enhancing properties as well as its ability to help lower cholesterol).

Other medicinal herbs and plants including Aloe Vera, Echinacea and Astragalus contain polysaccharides, which are believed to be a major part of their immune-enhancing actions. Protein-bound polysaccharides found in the medicinal mushrooms have been shown to be even more effective for immune responses than individual polysaccharides.

Thus, it’s hypothesized that the protein-bound polysaccharides found in mushrooms such as reishi mushroom extract, maitake mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms are extra-beneficial for people whose health is compromised by candida overgrowth.

Animal and human trials demonstrate that mushrooms like reishi, maitake and shiitake enhance the production of T-cells, helper T-cells, natural killer cells and macrophages.

They also contain sterols and triterpenes which have been demonstrated to help lower blood pressure and serum cholesterol levels as well as reduce inflammatory responses.

They’ve also been shown to protect and enhance liver function, which is great news for candida sufferers, since the liver is working overtime to process the toxins produced by the candida yeasts.

All mushrooms are surprisingly rich in protein and B vitamins (which help to relieve stress, depression and fatigue commonly associated with candida and poor health in general).

They’re also the only non-animal source of vitamin D that I know of. The USDA’s recommended daily intake of Vitamin D is 200 IU (international units), which is considered a very low estimate by numerous health experts. All mushrooms synthesize vitamin D from natural sunlight (or even artificial light), but look at the comparison between regular button mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms:

100 grams of white button mushrooms contain an average of 18 IU of vitamin D.

100 grams of shiitake mushrooms contain an average of 96 IU of vitamin D!!

Vitamin D deficiency is being linked to many health problems, so make sure you’re getting enough every day. Remember, vitamin D is synthesized by the body from sunlight, or obtained from food sources like cod liver oil, salmon, eggs, milk.

Or… from the shiitakes in your stir fry… Yum!!

I could go on, but I hope instead that these notes will encourage more readers to consider the benefits of Reishi mushroom, as well as cooking with maitake and shiitake mushrooms for candida, health and overall wellness.