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Is Reishi Mushroom Powder Safe?

Reishi mushrooms have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years as a tonic, anti-inflammatory, and immune booster.

is reishi mushroom powder safe?

They are also considered to be a potent adaptogen (a substance that helps the body cope with stress) and may help reduce anxiety and depression.

But one of the key questions you need to ask before taking any supplement or medicine is - is it safe? Let’s dive in:

Does Reishi Cause Diarrhea?

Scientific research has shown us that the Reishi mushroom may have many positive effects on our health, but is it really safe, and can consistent use cause diarrhea?

These medicinal mushrooms have been used to treat pulmonary diseases, infections, and even cancer for thousands of years.

While it's generally considered a safe supplement to ingest, there are a few things you should be aware of.

Although reactions to the Reishi mushroom are rare, some users may experience adverse reactions, including diarrhea, nausea, insomnia, rashes, dryness in the mouth, itching, and dizziness.

Although reishi can cause diarrhea and stomach upset in some patients, it appears to be very rare, however, one study noted that a patient with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma presented with chronic diarrhea after long-term use of the Reishi mushroom.

Once the patient stopped ingesting Reishi, these symptoms improved. Despite this, there are few reports of serious reactions to reishi.

When taken in small doses, this mushroom appears safe for most people, except those with a sensitivity to mushrooms. If you've ever had an allergic reaction to mushrooms, you should avoid this supplement.

It's likely that you'll experience some discomfort or even a significant allergic reaction, depending on your sensitivity level.

Although many people take Reishi mushroom powder globally and have done for millennia, the current clinical evidence isn't clear on whether this supplement is actually safe.

Some research is conflicting, and not enough studies have been performed to examine both the short and long-term effects of consumption in humans.

Research is limited, so it's best to think carefully and consult medical advice before taking Reishi mushroom powder.

Australia's Top Reishi Products

Does Reishi Mushroom Interact with Medications?

Reishi mushroom powder may also interact with other medications and reduce their efficacy.

There is some concern that Reishi supplements may lower blood pressure and interact with antiplatelets or anticoagulants.

If taken in high doses, Reishi may increase the risk of bleeding in some patients, although this is not confirmed.

There is also some concern that Reishi may interact with antidiabetic drugs.

Reishi lowers blood sugar levels in the body, so consuming reishi supplements with these medications may cause the blood sugar to drop to dangerously low levels.

However, this has not been confirmed. You should always consult a GP before taking reishi mushrooms, especially if you are taking any other medications.

Is Reishi Bad for the Liver?

Unfortunately, the long-term effects of reishi consumption are not well understood due to limited human trials and research.

However, in the medical community, the general consensus is that reishi mushroom is safe for consumption and produces minimal side effects, especially when taken at low doses.

is reishi bad for the liver

However, it is worth noting that there have been associations between reishi ingestion and liver toxicity uncovered in a very small number of people. In 2004-2005, a patient from Hong Kong experienced fulminant hepatitis.

Fulminant Hepatitis, also called fulminant hepatic failure, is when the liver begins to fail suddenly and quickly. Symptoms of fulminant hepatitis can include sleepiness, jaundice, confusion, stomach swelling, and changes in personality or changes in behavior.

Although they could consume boiled Reishi without experiencing any negative effects, a hepatotoxic episode occurred when the patients switched to powdered form. Little is reported about any other contaminants in the specific reishi powder they were taking, or how high the dose was.

More research is needed to understand exactly why some patients develop liver toxicity from reishi and why - as it is actually a hepato-protective substance for most people that can improve liver health.

Unfortunately, little is clinically known about how reishi interacts with liver function in the long term. If you have any concerns about the side effects of reishi, consult a medical professional before starting treatment.

What Is Red Reishi?

There are over 2,000 species of Reishi mushroom, and red reishi is probably the most popular reishi fungi from a medicinal point of view.

Red reishi, or Ganoderma lingzhi, is believed to be the most superior reishi mushroom, and many people take this mushroom to support the function of internal organs such as the heart, liver, and lungs.

Red reishi has a high polysaccharide content which may also improve its antioxidant content and offer greater support for the body's inflammatory responses and cell growth.

This mushroom is also one of the most common reishi mushrooms, and as a result, it has a much higher global demand than other types.

Nations such as China and Japan focus their commercial agriculture on this mushroom due to its demand, health benefits, and nutritional profile.

Visually, Ganoderma lingzhi or Red reishi is quite striking - showing a distinctive red-brown cap with bands and a stem with a fan-like appearance.

This particular reishi has found itself at the centre of many studies, including those exploring the effects of medicinal treatments in cancer patients.

You may also hear the red reishi being referred to as the ‘mushroom of immortality,’ as it’s believed to be one of the most vitality-enhancing herbs in the world.

Many people take this herb purely for its reported anti-aging benefits, and it has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years.

Australia's Top Reishi Products

The Bottom Line

Although Reishi mushrooms have been used for centuries in alternative medicine, modern science can’t yet claim that is entirely safe for long-term use.

While countless anecdotal accounts and mounting scientific evidence indicate that Reishi mushroom powder has some incredible health benefits, it's still necessary to approach its use with caution and moderation (as you would any medicine!)

If you think Reishi mushroom powder is the right supplement for you, choose your producer carefully to make sure you are getting high-quality and uncontaminated extracts and start out with small doses.

Want to learn a little more? Hit play below:

Darcy Ogdon-Nolan

Holding a Bachelor Of Science (Hons.) combined with close to a decade now in the health food and wellness industry, I believe I'm uniquely positioned to provide a depth of knowledge and first-hand experience on emerging health products, trends and ideas! From greens powders and medicinal mushrooms through to protein powders and workout nutrition - I'm particularly interested in what modern science can uncover about what human cultures have been using to treat ailments for millennia!

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