Reishi Extract (Ling Zhi)
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Reishi (Ling Zhi) Extract!
Latin names: Ganoderma lucidum, Ganoderma resinaceum
Synonyms: Lacquered Bracket, Ling Chi, Ling Chih, Ling Zhi, Mannentake, Mushroom of Immortality, Red Reishi, Saiwaitake, Sarunouchitake, and Varnished Conk
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"Mushroom of Immortality" may not be a literally accurate nickname since nobody has been known to live forever. But Reishi extract has for a fact been revered and utilized for its healing and life-extending properties since before the birth of Christ. Buddhists call it Ling Chi, and many an artistic rendition of this beautiful and therapeutic mushroom can be found in Buddhist shrines and temples. In Tibet, it has long been used to cope with high-altitude sickness and infections. 25
Something you'd probably never hear an ancient healer refer to is that Reishi extract is exceptionally high in anti-oxidants. And perhaps the resulting protection from free radical damage may have something to do with its acclaimed anti-aging effect. 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41
Allergies and inflammations are the results of an exaggerated immune response. So it has surprised researchers to discover that while Reishi extract calms the out-of-control immune response in cases of inflammation, it actually improves a healthy immune response. 48, 54, 55 It's even demonstrated some inhibitory effect on the replication of HIV in mother and daughter lymphocytes. 56
Another rejuvenating (anti-aging) effect of Reishi extract relates to its effect on the alveoli of the lungs and increased oxygen absorption, 57 as well as increased coronary flow and decreased blood pressure, 58 both of which contribute to an energizing and vitalizing effect. For this reason, two studies have shown promise in the use of Reishi with chronic fatigue. 59, 60
Reishi extract appears ripe with tumor preventing compounds. Several oriental studies have shown it to have an inhibiting effect on the growth of tumor cells of the lungs, cervix, prostate, liver, and on sarcomas and leukemia. 61, 62, 63, 64, 65 Other research point to this effect possibly being secondary to stimulating the body's own cancer fighting mechanisms by increasing the activity of T-lymphocytes, and interleukin-1 and 6. 66, 67
In addition to these general systematic benefits, Reishi extract also seems to aid specific organs. Three Chinese studies have shown promising results in aiding the liver, both in cases of chronic hepatitis 68 and post-hepatic cirrhosis. 69 One study showed it to have a restorative effect on certain functions of the spleen in mice. 34 A variety of skin disorders have been treated with powdered Reishi, 70 including rashes from poison ivy and oak, although this claim still may need to be conclusively verified. 25
In his book "Mycelium Running," health mushroom expert Paul Stamets also lists the following areas where research has shown Reishi extract to have a beneficial effect: Candida; Diabetes (Blood Sugar); Cardiovascular Health; Cholesterol; Kidney Health; Respiratory Conditions; Nerve Tonic; Stress. 134
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Credits: Thank you to Paul Stamets for source material about fungi & mushrooms!
Please note that the claims on this page and this web-site have not yet been verified by the FDA. We recommend that you consult a licensed medical practitioner before using any substance for medicinal purposes, including Reishi Extract (Ling Zhi).