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Extract Of
                    Reishi And Joint Inflammation

Extract Of Reishi And Joint Inflammation

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For over 2,000 years, Reishi extract has been used as a "cure-all" herbal remedy in Chinese Medicine, with the oldest written record of any health supporting mushroom in Shen Nong's Herbal Classic. Although it may not be totally accurate to claim that Reishi extract cures everything, traditional as well as modern use indicates that it may be a powerful anti-inflammatory agent in a large host of conditions, including arthritis.

In fact, Chinese health practitioners have been prescribing Reishi extract for ages in cases of arthritis, bronchitis and other conditions involving any type of inflammation. Modern research in Asia as well as in America and Europe confirm the validity of these uses. Out of 19 papers used for this article, 17 reported positive results in the use or Reishi extract for arthritis. Only two were studies were inconclusive, both of which were conducted by the same research team. (1,2)

Regarding anti-inflammatory properties in general, a study out of India (2003) demonstrated that Reishi decreased inflammation in cases of acute or chronic edema by 56% and 60% respectively. (3) An earlier American study (1993) had already shown that, water extracts of G. pentaphyllum and G. lucidum [Reishi] were found to possess significant anti-inflammatory activity. (4) In the references are seven additional papers listed which all conclude that Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) possesses potent anti-inflammatory qualities. (5,6,7,8,9,10,11)

Next we'll be looking at some studies that more directly relate to the use of Reishi extract with arthritis. A paper published in 2006 by Blum et al. claimed to provide supporting clinical evidence demonstrating that use of Reishi extract for joint health was both safe and effective. (12)

Also in 2006, a paper by Xi Bao et al. concluded that Reishi in conjunction with another Chinese herbal remedy might exert a beneficial immunomodulatory effect in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. (13)

The answer as to how, precisely, Reishi extract accomplishes this "immunomodulatory effect" may have been given by another Chinese study the following year, which states that an isolated Reishi polysaccharide peptide "significantly inhibited" RASF, which is an indicator of rheumatoid arthritis. (RASF stands for "Rheumatoid Arthritis Synovial Fibroblasts.") (14)

Five additional studies are included in the references that report positive findings between Reishi and arthritis. (15,16,17) One goes so far as to state that Reishi shows favorable results when compared to prednisone, and is free from the side effects. (18) In extension of this, a separate study also found that not only was Reishi extract free of the side effects of prednisone, it could also help balance the existing side effects of prednisolone* such as cell toxicity and proteinuria. (*Prednisolone is the active compound of prednisone. The liver breaks down prednisone and converts it to prednisolone.) (19)

In conclusion, the body of research does seem to support the use of Reishi extract in cases of arthritis. Remember that it is important to always work with a licensed medical practitioner when using any herb for medicinal purposes.

Note: "Reishi" is the Japanese name on the mushroom known in English as "Varnished Conk." It actually encompasses several closely related species, the most common of which is Ganoderma lucidum (Common Reishi or Red Reishi). This species can be found in the U.S. but is much more common in South East Asia. It is also well known by its Chinese name, Ling Zhi.

Other related species that are often called "Reishi" include: "Hemlock Reishi" (Ganoderma tsugae)," which is common on hemlock trees in eastern U.S.; the Chinese species known as "Black Reishi" (Ganoderma sinense); another American species found on the west coast which is sometimes referred to as "Red Reishi" (Ganoderma resinaceum), although "Red Reishi" more often refers to G. lucidum in contrast to "Black Reishi," G. sinense; and finally two Japanese species, one that is sometimes known as "Purple Reishi" Ganoderma japonicum, and one without any English name, Ganoderma neo-japonicum.



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