The lingzhi mushroom is a highly medicinal form of reishi mushroom—you may have heard it called red reishi mushroom, the “mushroom of immortality,” or even “medicine of kings.” With over two centuries of application in Traditional Chinese Medicine and over 400 active enzymes, lingzhi mushroom has a reputation as a:
- Blood pressure reducer
- Anti-cancer aid
- Longevity enhancer
- Liver regenerator
- Neuroprotective nutrient
High Blood Pressure: According to the “Bible” of alternative medicine, Alternative Medicine: The Definitive Guide, studies have shown that supplementing with lingzhi mushroom extract 3-4 times a day dramatically lowered blood pressure in hypertensive people who had previously not responded to conventional blood pressure treatments.
Rheumatoid Arthritis: A 2007 study conducted by the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Hong Kong and published in Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry posits lingzhi mushroom as a possible treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. Research indicates that a polysaccharide peptide in the mushroom can suppress the growth and spread of rheumatoid arthritis synovial fibroblasts that collect around the joint and release free radicals that then damage the surrounding area.
Cancer: Sarcoma is a type of cancer that develops from a malformation in body tissues, such as bone, fat, or blood vessels. A study conducted by Pharmanex BJ Clinical Pharmacology Center in Beijing showed that when the bioactive compounds in red reishi were coupled with the bioactive compounds in green tea, tumor growth slowed, as did time of death associated with tumors. However, these positive effects weren’t demonstrated by lingzhi alone.
A 2010 study in Pharmacological Reports suggests that ganoderic acid, a triterpinoid in lingzhi, suppressed the proliferation and metastasis of tumors, and a 2011 study showed that active compounds in lingzhi may go so far as to find and obliterate existing cancer cells.
Longevity: A 2009 study from the journal Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry showed that polysaccharides in red reishi fuel the immune system and help to prevent abnormal blood vessel formations that can lead to cancerous growths, such as sarcomas.
Liver Regeneration: The same triterpenes in lingzhi that possibly help prevent cancer, also show a liver-protective benefit. A 2013 study published in Food and Chemical Toxicology showed that lingzhi reversed chemical-induced liver damage in mice by promoting liver cell regeneration.
Neuroprotection: A 2012 study published in Neuropharmacology demonstrated the neuro-therapeutic effects of lingzhi on neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. It appears that red reishi enhances the production of nerve growth factor, a protein critical for optimal neurological function.
Less than 5 Minutes to Supplement
Lingzhi mushroom is extremely bitter, which is why most people get the health benefits in tincture or capsule form. Lingzhi mushroom is also dried into a powder and drank as a tea, and it makes up many protein super powders. Check those labels to see if red reishi is part of your protein powder blend!