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Ingredient Spotlight: Your Quick Guide to Reishi Mushroom

It’s time to supercharge your health and wellness with the “King of Mushrooms”— also known as reishi, lingzhi, or the “mushroom of immortality”— found in our brand-new 310 “All-In-One” Shake blend! (1)

While this “mushroom of immortality” might not be the elixir of life that it’s known for in ancient Chinese and Japanese texts, it certainly does have a lot of potential to offer. This powerful adaptogen is best known for its immune-supporting benefits and its use across thousands of years of traditional medicine

But it also packs plenty of other potential health effects for both your brain and body. What are those potential benefits? Read on to find out! 

And head to our blog on adaptogens to learn more about all the other powerfully-beneficial superfoods, including herbs and mushrooms you can find in our new 310 Shake.

Reishi Quick Benefits

  • Incredibly nutrient-rich, with therapeutic antioxidant potential 
  • May boost immunity & build your body’s defenses 
  • Supports stress reduction and hormonal balance 
  • Promotes greater energy levels & helps fight fatigue and exhaustion

What is Reishi?

Reishi, also known as the "King of Mushrooms" for the large surface area it covers in the wild, is one of the oldest functional (or medicinal) mushrooms in history. The kingdom of this ancient “Mushroom King” includes parts of Asia such as China and Japan. It’s a tough, woody, and bitter mushroom with many different colors, mainly bright orange and red (2, 3). It grows on the decaying wood of plum and oak trees (2)

Reishi contains powerful antioxidants as well as beneficial molecules, including polysaccharides, peptidoglycans, and triterpenoids—known for their potential positive effect on health and wellness, both in the body and mind (4)

And although we’re only starting to dig up this mushroom’s potential benefits in the western world, it has a long history in parts of Asia. It’s been used in traditional folk medicine in China, Japan, and other Asian countries to “extend life and promote health” for more than 4,000 years (1, 5)

Reishi is difficult to cultivate so for a long time it was incredibly hard to come by, making it accessible only to royalty or nobility (1, 2). Its rarity along with its potential for health-boosting properties gave this mushroom a holy status as a symbol of spiritual and divine power, health, and longevity (1, 6)

In Japanese, “reishi” translates to “spiritual mushroom”5. And in China, reishi (otherwise known as Lingzhi) is an “herb of spiritual potency,” signifying success, well-being, divine power, and longevity (7). It’s even featured in works of art like paintings and carvings as early as the 1400s (1, 7)

Starting in the 1970s, however, easier methods of cultivation were discovered, allowing for more people to get their hands on this powerful mushroom’s potential health benefits (1). Today, reishi is growing in popularity and you can most commonly find it in powder form in supplements, teas, and creams (1).

In-Depth: Reishi Potential Health Benefits

There is very little human research on the benefits and effects of the reishi mushroom (4). However, traditional medicinal use and early research are indicating just how powerful of an adaptogen this mushroom could be thanks to active components like triterpenoids, polysaccharides, lipids, and proteins (6).

Reishi also contains dietary fiber and is rich in vitamins, minerals, and amino acids(4). These include phosphorus, silica, sulfur, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, sodium, zinc, copper, manganese, and strontium (7)

Reishi is known to help boost the immune system through cellular and molecular mechanisms and reduce stress and fatigue, among many other potential benefits (8)

Let’s learn more:

Promotes a healthier immune system

One of the most common uses of reishi is for its immune-promoting benefit. That’s what gives this mushroom its nickname as an “herb of longevity” in traditional Chinese medicine, not only for its possible role in immune function but for supporting overall health (5)

This immune-supporting benefit is primarily because it contains polysaccharides, peptidoglycans, and triterpenoids (1, 8, 9). There is research on these three molecules for their impact on immune health—especially in those that are suffering from illness.

Some studies have found that these compounds could help increase the number of white blood cells, supporting your body’s protection from unwanted viruses, bacteria, and toxins (9, 10). In China today, doctors give reishi to sick patients to help boost their natural immunity as their body fights off illness (6)

May reduce stress levels

Reishi, like many other adaptogens, may also impact your body’s response to stress, helping to create more balance in your hormones. This balance makes it easier for your brain and nervous system to react to your stress as opposed to feeling overwhelmed. 

Stress is part of your body’s fight or flight response. While it’s useful for increasing adrenaline in your body and getting out of a potentially dangerous scenario, it’s not always helpful in everyday life. When your nervous system experiences a stressful event, it sends a signal to your brain. Your brain then generates the release of adrenaline or stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine. These give you the energy you need to quickly respond to the stress (11).

But you don’t always need adrenaline flowing through your veins! Reishi could potentially help relax your adrenal glands that are responsible for releasing adrenaline (11). This could create a potentially relaxing sensation that calms your body and mind so you can better approach whatever was causing the stress in the first place (11)

Helps fight the effects of fatigue

Some adaptogens are useful for their energy-boosting properties that help fight the effects of fatigue, and the reishi mushroom is especially known for this (6, 7). Reishi has a powerful antioxidant effect, which could help fight fatigue as a natural energy booster (1, 7)

In one animal study on diabetic rats, researchers found that reishi mushrooms had high antioxidant levels, which could support numerous potential health benefits (7). This could be why reishi has such a long history in traditional Chinese medicine as a natural energy enhancer (1).

And because adaptogens like reishi help create a state of homeostasis or balance in your body, this has the added benefit of potentially helping boost your energy levels. So the potential for reduced stress and increased energy go hand-in-hand with this mushroom. Because when your body is better prepared to manage stress, this also helps it maintain higher levels of energy.

Shop Our Brand-New 310 Shake

This ancient mushroom has a long history to back up its potential health benefits for both the brain and body! And we’re only just getting started in uncovering its full potential. 

Take advantage of this power-packed adaptogen and many others with our brand-new 310 “All-In-One” Shake blend. Our new shake features the best ingredients that plant nutrition has to offer. This includes adaptogens (like this King of Mushrooms!), a triple protein blend, fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, probiotics, digestive enzymes, and superfoods. 

Shop our exciting new 310 Shake flavors and add some adaptogens like reishi to your diet today!  

And in case you missed it, check out this article Explaining All About Different Adaptogens and how they might benefit you — including every adaptogen you’ll find in brand-new 310 meal replacement shakes! 

Sources:

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27685898/
  2. https://www.drugs.com/npc/reishi-mushroom.html
  3. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-905/reishi-mushroom
  4. https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/reishi-mushroom
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6777855/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK401261/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92757/
  8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16230843/
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6837746/
  10. https://www.forbes.com/health/body/what-are-adaptogens/
  11. https://botanicahealth.com/blog/reishi-mushrooms-for-stress-anxiety/
Written by:

Megan Elizabeth Clark

310 Nutrition Content Writer 

Megan Elizabeth Clark is a freelance copywriter and content marketing specialist in the health, wellness, and fitness industry. As a NASM certified personal trainer and RYT-200 certified yoga instructor Megan is passionate about using her fitness background and writing skills to provide authentic, actionable, and accurate information to the world [...]

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