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16 Benefits of Reishi Mushrooms for Health | Side Effects, Dosage and Usage

Reishi Mushroom Health Benefits

Clinical studies prove Reishi mushrooms benefits effectiveness in fighting cancer, boosting immunity, neuron health, improving mood and much more.

While the Reishi (ganoderma lucidum) has a very long history in Chinese medicine, you can check out another article where we go into the benefits from past to present to include it’s anti-aging benefits here:

the mushroom of immortality

First we will talk about all the health benefits of reishi.  Then we will discuss the how to prepare it, consume it, the proper dosage and any potential side effects.

Now we will move straight into the top 16 health benefits of the Reishi mushroom.  We will start with my favorite 6 and then move into 10 additional benefits proven through clinical studies that is formatted in more of a list structure.

Top 6 Benefits of Reishi Mushrooms

We will discuss 16 total reishi mushroom benefits but first we will look at the top 6 and then move into 10 more to follow:

1)  Anti-Cancer Properties

anticancerDid you know that new cancer cells pop-up in the body daily but your bodies immune system is constantly on surveillance and will kill them on site by deploying cancer killer cells to take them out before they turn into deadly tumors?

As we age our immune system begins to not be as alert and can end up missing these cells and that’s when they turn into tumors.

In 2012, an evaluation on all the major cancer related clinical studies conducted using the Reishi mushroom was released.  While this study showed that more research needs to be conducted on using the Reishi by itself for treatment, when it was used in conjunction with Chemo therapy it showed an increase in the number of immune cells to help fight of the cancerous tumors [13-14].

It has been shown that the success of cancer depends on its ability to be able to hide it’s abnormal surface markers to prevent the immune system from detecting it and killing it off.  The Reishi extract fights back by forcing the cancer cells to reveal their surface markers so the immune system can kill it.

Basically, the Reishi helps cancer in a ‘double whammy’ type of effect by helping to boosting the immune systems cancer fighting ability and help to identify the surface markers of cancer cells improving the overall effect of Chemotherapy and preventing relapses.

According to some studies, scientists now suggest that bioactive compounds contained within Reishi mushroom extracts show signs that they can seek out and destroy cancerous cells in the body.

2)  Immune System Boosting

immune systemIn order to stay healthy and disease-free, your immune system needs to be at its optimum. Your immune system not only wards off potentially harmful pathogens but also performs a regular surveillance for any disease-causing agents that find their way into your body.

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Certain factors may affect your immunity, including some that are mostly inevitable such as age or other health conditions. Preliminary studies show that Reishi mushroom extracts have properties that can modulate immune functions to include it’s powerful beta glucans found in the cell wall of the mushroom.

Their cellular and molecular mechanisms show that they can help promote cellular immunity, humoral immunity, and antigen-presenting cells.

While many of these benefits have been experienced by people who are ill, Reishi mushroom can be just as good for healthy people.

Additionally, it is just as important to regulate the immune system to prevent it from overreacting and fighting itself such as with allergies and other autoimmune diseases.  The Reishi has proven to be a good immune system regulator and helps to prevent conditions like allergies, asthma, rhinitis (watery, itchy nose) and itchy mosquito bites [15].

3)  Reishi as a Neuron Enhancer

boost brainIt has been found to simulate the production of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) which has the following benefits:

1)  Prevents Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases: through reducing oxidative stress and inflammation, eliminates destructive proteins such as Abeta and protects brain cells from inflammation damage [16-22].

2)  Protects the brain from brain stroke by reducing the size of the area in the brain that gets damaged by the stroke and protects the brain from excess oxidative damage and oxygen starvation brought on by brain stroke [19].

Here is an article that talks about the top 3 mushrooms to boost your brain.

4)  Reishi Fights Depression and Fatigue

depressionReishi mushroom has been used to calm the mind, body and spirit due to its herbal adaptogen properties. It’s loaded with flavonoids, polysaccharides, and triterpenes which not only provide anti-toxic and anti-inflammatory properties, but also stress-protective effects.

Adaptogens are basically substances that help you respond positively to stressful conditions. They balance your endocrine system (hormones) and provide homeostasis and resistance to the stressful factors.

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According to Chinese medicine, the reishi is a medicinal mushroom that provides balance of the critical energies of spiritual and mental health, constitutional vitality, and life force energy.

By providing this systemic equilibrium, it can act as a healing tonic that helps us handle the stress. A study of 48 breast cancer survivors found that consumption of Reishi mushroom extracts for 4 weeks improved their quality of life.

There was a significant improvement in their physical well-being as well as a reduction in fatigue levels. Breast cancer survivors generally tend to suffer from fatigue during their endocrine therapy.

Of course, this mushroom of immortality won’t cure anxiety, fatigue and depression, not entirely on its own. But more and more studies indicate that it could go a long way in helping to ease the symptoms.

One Study even found that consumption of Reishi mushroom extracts for a period of 8 weeks might help reduce the aches, pains, dizziness, and irritability, and also act as a mood booster.

5)  Reishi Boosts Liver Function

liverThe liver is responsible for filtering out all the toxins that enter our body on a daily basis.  This ‘day-in-age’ it is even more important due to all the toxins that are found in food, air and water that we come in contact with on a daily basis.

Eventually the oxidation and inflammation take its toll on the liver bringing about different types of liver diseases, reduced function, buildup of toxic injury, cancer, and fibrosis.

The Reishi has shown to help protect the liver by removing toxins from the body, stop inflammation in liver cells, limits oxidative stress and protects the liver from certain harmful bacteria.

Did you know that liver fibrosis is the final state of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and it affects 20% to 30% of the population?

That is also one of the main causes of obesity that people don’t even know they have.  Well, Reishi has been proven to actually reverse liver fibrosis which is amazing because previously it was thought to be irreversible [23-27].

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6)  Reishi Fights Diabetes

diabetesThe Reishi fights diabetes by [28-33]:

1)  Lowering blood sugar and glycation

2)  Preventing the production of new fact cells

3)  Helps to limit excessive amount of fat stored in obese people

4)  Prevents the damage caused by advanced glycation end products (AGEs) which is responsible for bad inflammation and aging.

5)  Speeds up the healing of wounds in people with diabetes.

10 Additional Reishi Mushroom Benefits List

Below is a list of additional clinical studies that have been done on this highly researched mushroom to prove more reishi mushroom health benefits  [34].  This list does not list every study ever conduced by encompasses the vast majority of the major ones.

1)  Cosmetic

It can be used as a cosmetic and put topically onto the skin to help to lighten skin, protect against ultraviolet radiation and remove “age spots”.

2)  Anti-Bacterial Support

Mice that were fed Reishi extract for 2 days and then injected with E. coli had a 60% to 85% survival rate.

3)  Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Treatment

Inhibits Human Papillomavirus (HPV) activity, improves sperm count and reduces inflammation (Lai et al. 2010).

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4)  Prostate Cancer Prevention

Possible prostate cancer treatment by inhibiting modulating MAPK and Akt signaling (Stanley et al. 2005).

5)  Urinary Tract Infection Treatment

Helps with urinary tract infections in 88% of males in a double-blind clinical study (Noguchi et al. 2008).

6)  Hepatitis B Treatment

92.4% of 355 patients with Hepatitis B showed positive results (Yan et al. 1987).

7)  Ulcer Treatment

Polysaccharides help with prevention and treatment of indomethacin-induced gastric ulcers and peptic ulcers (Gao, Y. et al. 2004c).

8)  Chronic Bronchitis Treatment

60% to 90% of patients with chronic bronchitis and bronchial asthma that were given reishi syrup tablets showed great improvement (Chang, H.-M. and P. P.-H. But 1986).

9)  Herpes Treatment

The acidic protein-bound polysaccharides in Reishi help to inhibit herpes virus type 1 and 2 (Kim, Y.S. et al. 2000).

10)  Cholesterol and High Blood Pressure Treatment

Patients given 240 milligrams of reishi extract 6x a day had reduced cholesterol and lowered hypertension (Kanmatsuse et al. 1985).

Like This Article?  Pin It on Pinterest!

reishi mushroom pinterest

Reishi Mushroom Recipe & Dosage

Below are a list of recommended dosages and a recipe to creating a basic Reishi tea [34]:

1)     Reishi Tincture

5 to 10 milliliters of reishi tincture three times a day.

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2)     Reishi Tablets

1 one-gram tablet, 2 to 3 times per day with meals.

3)     Reishi Capsules

300 milligram reishi capsules of 50:1 extract 1 to 3 times per day

4)     Reishi Tea

Cut up 3 to 5 grams of Reishi mushroom into chunks (or get some pre-dried chunks) and boil for 2 hours in boiling water followed by a half hour of steeping.  Drink 1 to 2 cups per day

5)     Reishi Powder

It can come in powder form and then you infuse reishi powder with hot water and drink 1 to 2 cups per day.

* If you decide you want to take more than the recommended dosage you may experience diarrhea, but it can be remedied with up to 12 grams of vitamin C per day taken at the same time at taking the Resihi.

Reishi Mushroom Side Effects

It’s generally safe to consume Reishi Mushroom and there are hardly any solid, hard and fast reports of its side effects. However, certain groups of individuals may face risks by consuming Reishi mushroom extracts.

In high doses some people have experienced the following side effects:

  • Sleepiness
  • Thirst
  • Rashes
  • Bloating
  • Frequent urination
  • Abnormal sweating
  • Loose stools (Counteracted with large doses of Vitamin C)

Breastfeeding and pregnant women may want to talk to their doctor before using Reishi just to be safe.  The general rule of thumb is to talk to your doctor about all the supplements you are currently taking.


Now you have gained knowledge about the most powerful health benefits that are backed with proven studies, the proper dosage that you should take, how to prepare it and potential side effect you could encounter.

You can consume reishi mushroom to get these benefits in the following ways:

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1)  Buying a grow kit to grow your own.

reishi mushroom grow kit

2)  Buying dried reishi online to make your own tinctures or teas.

dried reishi mushroom

3)  Buying reishi supplements in powder or capsule form.

reishi capsules

reishi powder

4)  Hunting it in the wild by looking for it growing on dead or dying hardwoods like hemlock, maple, oak, birch and beech trees.  However, different species of the ganoderma genus made be found grow on other types of hardwoods.

Which ever option you choose to consume to get your reishi mushroom health benefits is your personal preference but I would love to hear in your comments below which one one you prefer.


Part 1

[13] Sun LX, Lin ZB, Duan XS, et al. Enhanced MHC class I and costimulatory molecules on B16F10 cells by Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides. J Drug Target. 2012 Aug;20(7):582-92.

[14] Wu QP, Xie YZ, Deng Z, et al. Ergosterol peroxide isolated from Ganoderma lucidum abolishes microRNA miR-378-mediated tumor cells on chemoresistance. PLoS One. 2012;7(8):e44579.

[15] Kohda H, Tokumoto W, Sakamoto K, et al. The biologically active constituents of Ganoderma lucidum (Fr.) Karst. Histamine release-inhibitory triterpenes. Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo). 1985 Apr;33(4):1367-74.

[16] Lai CS, Yu MS, Yuen WH, So KF, Zee SY, Chang RC. Antagonizing beta-amyloid peptide neurotoxicity of the anti-aging fungus Ganoderma lucidum. Brain Res. 2008 Jan 23;1190:215-24.

[17] Ding H, Zhou M, Zhang RP, Xu SL. Ganoderma lucidum extract protects dopaminergic neurons through inhibiting the production of inflammatory mediators by activated microglia. Sheng Li Xue Bao. 2010 Dec 25;62(6):547-54.

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[18] Patocka J. Anti-inflammatory triterpenoids from mysterious mushroom Ganoderma lucidum and their potential possibility in modern medicine. Acta Medica (Hradec Kralove). 1999;42(4):123-5.

[19] Zhao HB, Lin SQ, Liu JH, Lin ZB. Polysaccharide extract isolated from ganoderma lucidum protects rat cerebral cortical neurons from hypoxia/reoxygenation injury. J [20] Pharmacol Sci. 2004 Jun;95(2):294-8.

[21] Lee I, Ahn B, Choi J, Hattori M, Min B, Bae K. Selective cholinesterase inhibition by lanostane triterpenes from fruiting bodies of Ganoderma lucidum. Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2011 Nov 1;21(21):6603-7.

[22] Zhang R, Xu S, Cai Y, Zhou M, Zuo X, Chan P. Ganoderma lucidum protects dopaminergic neuron degeneration through inhibition of microglial activation. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011;2011:156810.

[23] Basinska A, Florianczyk B. Beta-glucuronidase in physiology and disease. Ann Univ Mariae Curie Sklodowska Med. 2003;58(2):386-9.

Part 2

[24] Beaton MD. Current treatment options for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. Can J Gastroenterol. 2012 Jun;26(6):353-7.

[25] Milic S, Stimac D. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease/steatohepatitis: epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical presentation and treatment. Dig Dis. 2012;30(2):158-62.

[26] Paredes AH, Torres DM, Harrison SA. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Clin Liver Dis. 2012 May;16(2):397-419.

[27] Wu YW, Fang HL, Lin WC. Post-treatment of Ganoderma lucidum reduced liver fibrosis induced by thioacetamide in mice. Phytother Res. 2010 Apr;24(4):494-9.

[28] Thyagarajan-Sahu A, Lane B, Sliva D. ReishiMax, mushroom based dietary supplement, inhibits adipocyte differentiation, stimulates glucose uptake and activates AMPK. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2011;11:74.

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[29] Seto SW, Lam TY, Tam HL, et al. Novel hypoglycemic effects of Ganoderma lucidum water-extract in obese/diabetic (+db/+db) mice. Phytomedicine. 2009 May;16(5):426-36.

[30] Kino K, Mizumoto K, Sone T, et al. An immunomodulating protein, Ling Zhi-8 (LZ-8) prevents insulitis in non-obese diabetic mice. Diabetologia. 1990 Dec;33(12):713-8.

[31] Li F, Zhang Y, Zhong Z. Antihyperglycemic effect of Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides on streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice. Int J Mol Sci. 2011;12(9):6135-45.

[32] Teng BS, Wang CD, Yang HJ, et al. A protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B activity inhibitor from the fruiting bodies of Ganoderma lucidum (Fr.) Karst and its hypoglycemic potency on streptozotocin-induced type 2 diabetic mice. J Agric Food Chem. 2011 Jun 22;59(12):6492-500.

[33] Teng BS, Wang CD, Zhang D, et al. Hypoglycemic effect and mechanism of a proteoglycan from Ganoderma lucidum on streptozotocin-induced type 2 diabetic rats. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2012 Feb;16(2):166-75.

[34] Robert Rogers.  The Fungal Pharmacy. 2011.

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Curative Mushrooms has to post the standard FDA Disclaimer…The statements made regarding medicinal mushrooms have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. Curative Mushrooms is not making claims intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from healthcare practitioners. Please consult your healthcare professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before consuming the medicinal mushrooms. The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act requires this notice.


This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Curative Mushrooms nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.


Always looking for ways to improve the health of myself and my family led me to the discovery of medicinal mushrooms and the numerous health benefits they have on the body. My mission is to spread this knowledge and help as many people as possible.

This Post Has 8 Comments

    1. Hi, Ashok. I’m sorry about that. According to WebMD, “Reishi mushroom has most often been used by adults in doses of 1400-5400 mg by mouth daily, usually in divided doses.” But still, it’s best to speak with a healthcare provider to determine the best dose for your condition.

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