Reishi’s Chinese name translates as “Spirit Plant”, or “Herb of Spiritual Potency”. It is a remarkable, adaptogenic mushroom that has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years.
Like all adaptogens, Reishi has a normalizing effect on our overall physiology, and it can help restore us to health from a truly incredible range of illnesses. As we weather the winter months, Reishi shines as a steadfast, “building” herb to help us thrive in all conditions.
Here are just a few of Reishi’s medicinal benefits:
Perhaps one of Reishi’s most remarkable gifts is as an immunomodulator. Reishi up-regulates or down-regulates the immune system depending on the need. Many inflammatory and digestive conditions are due to a confused immune system– Reishi is one of several amazing fungi that have the ability to “reset” our immune system so that it responds intelligently, swiftly, and effectively to pathogens, allergens, and irregular and cancerous cell growth.
Reishi’s immune-balancing capability has a direct effect on inflammatory conditions such as allergic asthma and muscular/joint inflammation. Many herbalists include Reishi as part of their herbal arsenal for seasonal allergies and pain, myself included.
Last but not least, Reishi is generally anti-bacterial and anti-viral. Regular use is excellent prevention against colds, flu, and infections of any kind.
As an adaptogen, Reishi nourishes and replenishes our adrenal reserves, allowing us to recover from fatigue and naturally experience a balanced, vibrant attitude toward life. Hand-in-hand with stamina and energy come better sleep, increased cognitive ability, and relief from mild depression. For people suffering from Chronic Fatigue Immuno-Deficiency Syndrome and related illnesses, Reishi can make an enormous, long-lasting difference on the road to recovery.
Reishi is also becoming known in the medical community for its ability to balance blood sugar. Reishi can be an effective part of a sustainable, holistic approach to treatment for Type II diabetes.
Reishi supports and strengthens the heart, and it has a normalizing effect on blood pressure. It lowers LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels while encouraging healthy circulation. It has been shown to reduce cardiac pain and prevent arteriosclerosis.
How to Take Reishi
Reishi mushrooms are woody and difficult to eat, but they can be made into tea. It may be more palatable to incorporate Reishi powder into your daily diet, and this is easy to do. Add a teaspoon to yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies, etc., or make a tea sweetened with honey. I also love Immuno-Build mushroom capsules, for ease of use. For a tasty, nourishing, and warming winter drink, try this recipe:
Reishi Hot Cocoa
1 cup boiling water
2-3 teaspoons hot cocoa mix
1 teaspoon Reishi powder
Organic whole milk or cream to taste
^ You can customize your own nourishing powder blends by combing Reishi with other adaptogens, nutritives, and spices such as Ashwagandha, Shatavari, Cinnamon, Cardamom, and other powdered mushrooms.
Once the weather warms up, come meet this mushroom in person at the shop! We are excited to have some logs inoculated with Reishi in the back garden.
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Brilliant article! I definitely need some of that!
I love all your articles and all your recipes for using the herbs!You and Susan do a beautiful job of presenting the healing benefits.
All my love,