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Reishi Mushroom: Health Benefits, How To Use & Where To Buy | 2020

Are you on the ultimate search for improved health and longevity? If so, reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) should be on your radar.

Reishi mushroom is one of the most revered medicinal mushrooms, and goes by many names (such as lingzhi mushroom, the mushroom of immortality, herb of spiritual potency, god's herb or the queen of mushrooms to name a few).

It has been highly sought after by ancient emperors and royalty from China, Japan & Korea since it's discovery over 2000 years ago.

Reishi mushrooms have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to boost the immune system, improve overall health and treat a number of different ailments. One of TCM's founding fathers, Shénnóng Běncǎo Jīng, called it 'the most superior of all herbs' and put as the number one beneficial mushroom on his esteemed list.

In this ultimate guide to reishi, we will cover all of its powerful (and scientifically-researched) health benefits, the best ways to take it, where you should buy it, and how to identify it in the wild if you’re lucky enough to find one!

Let's get to it! ( and if you'd like to jump ahead to a specific section, just use the contents menu below.)  

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  1. What Is Reishi Mushroom? (Ganoderma lucidum)
  2. Reishi Mushroom Benefits
  3. Reishi & Your Immune System
  4. Reishi Mushroom & Cancer
  5. How To Make Reishi Tea
  6. Where to Buy Reishi Mushroom?
  7. Can You Eat Reishi Mushroom?
  8. How to Identify Reishi?
  9. Does Reishi Have Any Side Effects?
dried reishi or lingzhi mushroom
Dried Reishi or Lingzhi mushrooms

What Is Reishi Mushroom? (Ganoderma lucidum):

Reishi Mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) is a medicinal mushroom better known in Chinese herbal medicine as ‘Lingzhi’ or the spirit plant. It grows on coniferous trees in hot, humid regions and is particularly famous for its effect on the immune system & anti-aging properties. The benefits of reishi are wide-ranging, with many scientific studies illustrating its potential in cancer treatment, alleviating depression, lowering blood pressure and even may help cholesterol that leads to heart disease. There are six colour variations found in nature, but only the red is used for consumption and medicinal tonics.

For the mushroom fanatics out there, reishi is a polypore fungus or ‘bracket fungi,’ which means it forms fruiting bodies from pores on its underside. It doesn’t grow very tall and has a wide cap or 'fan shape' with a reddish to brownish-orange varnish.

Reishi typically grows at the base of deciduous trees, especially maple. It’s very rare to encounter Reishi in the wild, as it only grows on 2 or 3 out of 1,000 trees. It thrives in hot and humid areas and grows in a variety of places in the world, most commonly throughout Asia.

It's packed to the brim with polysaccharides and other health-promoting molecules are thought to be what makes reishi such a powerful curative. Those who are familiar with the chemistry of these molecules need no further explanation, but for those who are thinking “poly-what-a-rides?”, you can click here for a bit of mushroom science!

The benefits of reishi have been extensively documented and analysed through eastern herbal medicine, with western science now quickly catching on and undertaking numerous human studies to determine their medical application.

red reishi mushroom caps
The beautiful and distinctive waxy red cap of the ling zhi

Reishi Mushroom Benefits:

The health benefits of reishi are vast and mighty impressive - the list below is some of the most well-recognized uses and most supported by modern research.

1.    Increased immune response - studies indicate that reishi may support the immune system through improved white blood cell function

2.    Anti-cancer properties by activating ‘natural killer’ white blood cells - reishi may also help control tumour activity in cancer patients through boosting natural killer cells

3.    Decrease anxiety and depression, while improving quality of life - various studies indicate reishi may also alleviate symptoms of fatigue, depression and anxiety in people with certain medical conditions

4.    Anti-aging (Thanks to the polysaccharides!) - numerous animal and human trials are looking at the effects that polysaccharides found in reishi and other medicinal mushrooms have on slowing cell decline and the aging process

As with all natural medicine, clinical research and human studies are still in relatively early stages so as always, it's recommended that you never 'self-diagnose' and always seek professional medical advice.

Reishi & Your Immune System:

Reishi mushrooms may help everything from sleep, blood pressure and heart health through to mood, skin complexion and cancer treatments. Most of these benefits are related to its remarkable ability to support a thriving immune system.

The increased immune response is mainly from boosting white blood cells in the body. It does this by stimulating the growth of specific types of white blood cells, those that systematically hunt down infections in the body. White blood cells are your body frontline defence against disease, viruses, and illness.

Reishi Mushrooms & Cancer:

Again, we can't stress enough the importance of seeking professional medical advice, particularly if you are dealing with an illness such as cancer.

In undertaking endless research for substances that can help with cancer treatments, reishi has found its way into many studies and clinical trials. At this point, there is a large amount of scientific research that indicates reishi inhibits the spread of cancer cells related to breast cancer, hepatoma and myeloid leukemia in test tube studies, but applying it in human treatment has so far shown to have more moderate effects.

Further research suggests that it is a good candidate for pairing with conventional cancer treatment to help boost the immune system and tumour-fighting response. When patients undergo chemotherapy and other intensive cancer therapies, their immunity is heavily taxed. Reishi may assist cancer patients with the side effects of first-line treatments and promote a quicker recovery.

How To Make Reishi Tea:

If you are using a powdered or liquid reishi mushroom extract you can quite easily throw it into almost anything. It does have one of the more bitter flavour profiles of any mushroom though, so if you have a sweet tooth you might want to add some honey or maple syrup.

Reishi is most commonly prepared in caffeine-free tea as it promotes good sleep, making it the perfect nightcap. The recipe below is one of the easiest and tastiest recipes for a reishi mushroom sleepy tea, and also packs in a bunch of potent healing benefits:

reishi sleepy tea recipe
A SuperFeast reishi sleepy tea



  1. Bring the filtered water to the boil in a kettle or saucepan on the stovetop
  2. Add the chamomile tea bag to the hot water and let steep for 4 - 5 minutes
  3. Remove the tea bag and stir in your reishi mushroom powder or liquid extract. If using a powder, keep stirring until it's all dissolved
  4. Stir in your honey or maple syrup (if desired)

Make this about 30 to 45 minutes before going to bed and notice the difference in your sleep. Most people report sleeping deeper and waking feeling significantly more rested.

Where to Buy Reishi Mushroom?:

When buying reishi it's crucial to make sure you’re sourcing it from a reputable, trusted and well-established supplier. As with most natural supplements and mushrooms, there is a slew of poor-quality, low-potency and unethical products on the market.

Reishi is most commonly taken as a reishi mushroom extract (in liquid or powder form) or as capsules. These are the best ways to get the most from the mushrooms as it allows it to be concentrated and potent.

There are 4 suppliers that use for our own reishi mushroom extracts (and most other mushroom extracts too). We’ve researched all of these manufacturers extensively and love them for their ethics, transparency and strict quality standards. These products are:

Click any of the links above or the links below the banner to head over and find out more about each supplier and their reishi product.

reishi mushroom extracts
 Click here for SuperFeast Reishi Click here for Life Cykel Reishi Click here for Teelixir Reishi


We do have some of the best subscriber discounts available for a number of these products as well - if you’d like to grab a discount, just join our email list by clicking here.

Reishi Mushroom - FAQ:

To finish off, we have some of the most commonly asked questions surrounding the might reishi mushroom!

Can You Eat Reishi Mushroom?:

Yes you can! Reishi is obviously not poisonous, but if you were to eat the fruiting bodies raw, you'd find it to be quite bitter, woody and chewy. To consume the mushroom whole we'd recommend boiling it down first or using it in soups and stews.

How to Identify Reishi?:

Red reishi is quite distinctive and relatively easy to identify in the wild, although quite rare and difficult to find. It’s characterised by its stunning red colour, waxy surface and 'cap' or 'fan' shape. That being said, don't ever go hunting without a good foraging book or some advice from a qualified expert to make completely sure you know what you're dealing with.

Never eat a mushroom you have found until you are 100% certain it won’t make you grow gills, or worse. Take a few foraging classes, talk to some experts, and join a group!

Does Reishi Have Any Side Effects?:

Reishi has been found to be relatively safe to take in large doses without any side effects, but should be discontinued if you experience digestive problems or stomach complaints.

There are also mixed scientific studies about its potentially negative impact on the liver or kidneys. Start out slow with the dosage and always consult a qualified medical practitioner for advice, especially if you are pregnant or taking auto-immune medications.

linghzi growing
You can also grow your own reishi!

That’s A Wrap!:

Thanks for reading! We hope you found what you were looking for and got some great info, tips and recommendations on the ‘spiritual herb of potency’.

As always, if you have any questions or comments at all - please get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.

best reishi mushroom
 Click here for SuperFeast Reishi Click here for Life Cykel Reishi Click here for Teelixir Reishi

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