Last update: June 11, 2024

9 minute read

9 Key Benefits of Reishi Mushrooms

Explore 9 incredible reishi mushroom benefits, from boosting immunity to fighting cancer and fatigue.

Stephanie Wright

By Stephanie Wright, RN, BSN

Edited by Dr. Jacquie Leone, NMD, HN

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Did you know that reishi mushrooms can help you get healthier? These fungi, mostly found in warm and humid parts of Asia, have caught the attention of researchers and health enthusiasts.

They might help boost your immune system and even have properties that can benefit your overall health. In this guide, we'll go through the benefits, how much to take, and the possible side effects of reishi mushrooms. This way, you can figure out if they're a good addition to your health routine.

Key takeaways

  • Reishi mushrooms might support immune function
  • Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement
  • Quality matters, so make sure you choose high-quality reishi supplements for the best results

    What are the benefits of reishi mushrooms?

    Reishi mushrooms aren't just a staple in traditional Asian medicine, they've become a hot topic for modern health enthusiasts as well. Despite their tough appearance, they have tons of potential health benefits that could make a big difference in your life.

    They might help strengthen your immune system and even combat fatigue. Let's dive into what makes these mushrooms so popular.

    1. Immune system boost

    Reishi mushrooms are known for their ability to strengthen the immune system. Research suggests reishi may influence the genes in white blood cells, which are your body's defenders against pathogens.

    Plus, compounds in reishi mushrooms may help decrease inflammation pathways in white blood cells, potentially offering a two-layered defensive strategy. While not all studies agree, the potential shown by reishi is big, and many people are enthusiastic about it.

    For instance, in people facing intense physical stress, like athletes, reishi has been shown to boost the function of lymphocytes. These cells play a key role in the body's defense against infections.

    2. Reduces fatigue and depression

    Reishi mushrooms could help fight fatigue and depression. In a study involving people with neurasthenia (a condition with many physical complaints and sometimes called “chronic fatigue syndrome”), reishi supplementation was linked to supporting reduced fatigue and improved well-being.

    3. Promotes heart health

    Taking care of your heart is crucial, and reishi mushrooms may offer some benefits for this. Studies indicate that reishi has the potential to lower blood sugar levels, increase good HDL cholesterol, and decrease triglycerides.

    While the evidence isn't conclusive, the potential cardiovascular advantages make reishi an interesting option for people mindful of heart health. It's worth mentioning that not all studies have consistently shown significant effects of reishi supplementation on lipid or sugar levels.

    VitaRx Tip

    Still, the positive findings suggest that reishi mushrooms might be heart-healthy for certain people, emphasizing the need for more research in this area.

    4. Blood sugar control

    Managing your blood sugar is a key component of maintaining overall health, especially for people with diabetes. Some initial studies have found that reishi mushroom components could help reduce blood sugar. While results are mixed, this potential benefit keeps reishi in the conversation for people looking to keep healthy blood sugar levels.

    In a 2016 study, reishi supplementation didn't lead to a decrease in fasting blood sugar or an improvement in long-term blood sugar control. Despite this, researchers are still interested in reishi's potential in regulating blood sugar, and further studies are in progress.

    5. Antioxidant properties

    Antioxidants are crucial for protecting cells from damage, and reishi mushrooms have been applauded for their antioxidant properties. Some believe that reishi may significantly support the body's antioxidant status and protect its cells.

    However, research has shown mixed results, with many studies not detecting changes in important antioxidant enzyme levels following reishi consumption. The jury is still out, but the potential for reishi to support antioxidant defenses is interesting.

    6. Reduced inflammation

    Chronic inflammation can lead to many health issues, and managing it is a component of supporting overall wellness. Some studies have found that reishi mushrooms may change inflammatory pathways in cells, suggesting a possible benefit in reducing inflammation.

    Even though these findings are early, the potential of reishi mushroom to influence immune system responses and inflammation makes it an exciting natural supplement for people looking to manage inflammation.

    7. Lowered blood pressure

    High blood pressure is a risk factor for heart disease, and managing it is crucial for long-term health. Reishi mushrooms may play a role in keeping healthy blood pressure levels, although research in this area is still ongoing.

    It's worth noting that the effects of reishi on blood pressure may not be direct, but rather a result of its potential impact on overall cardiovascular health. The mushroom’s ability to positively affect cholesterol and blood sugar levels may indirectly contribute to blood pressure regulation.

    8. Liver health

    The liver plays a crucial role in detoxification and metabolism, and reishi mushrooms may help support its function. Some studies suggest that reishi may support liver health and help the body's detox processes.

    However, there are conflicting studies that mention potential liver issues with reishi consumption.

    VitaRx Tip

    It's important to approach reishi with caution and take personal health profiles into account when considering its role in supporting liver health.

    9. Adaptogenic benefits

    Adaptogens are substances that help the body respond (or ‘adapt’) to stress, and reishi is often classified as one. By potentially helping in stress resistance, reishi mushrooms may boost overall resilience to physical, chemical, and biological stressors.

    Even though concrete scientific evidence on adaptogenic properties is limited, the historical use of reishi in traditional medicine as a stress reliever keeps it in the adaptogen discussion. People interested in natural stress management may find reishi to be worth considering.

    Extra reishi mushroom tips

    In addition to understanding the benefits of reishi mushrooms, it's necessary to have actionable tips to maximize their potential. Adding reishi to your lifestyle can be straightforward with the right approach. Here are some extra steps to take if you decide to include reishi in your health routine:

    • Start with small doses: Start with a lower dose of reishi mushroom to check your tolerance before slowly increasing as needed.
    • Consult with a professional: Talk to a healthcare provider familiar with herbal supplements to tailor the dosage and form (powder, capsule, or extract) to your personal needs.
    • Quality matters: Choose high-quality reishi supplements from reputable brands to ensure potency and safety.
    • Watch your body’s reaction: Keep an eye on any changes in your health or potential side effects when starting reishi.
    • Combine with a healthy diet: Maximize the effectiveness of reishi by keeping a balanced diet rich in antioxidants and other nutrients.
    • Stay hydrated: As with any supplement, drinking plenty of water is crucial to help the body process and benefit from the reishi mushroom.
    • Pair with other immune boosters: Consider matching reishi with other immune-supportive foods and supplements for an overall wellness boost.
    • Be consistent: Regular intake, as recommended, may be necessary to see potential health benefits from reishi.

    Advantages and disadvantages of reishi mushrooms

    Reishi mushrooms have been a part of traditional Eastern medicine for centuries and their rise in popularity in the Western world has brought them under the spotlight. While they have many potential health benefits, it's important to weigh both the pros and cons before adding them to your health routine.

    Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

    Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the benefits of reishi mushrooms.

    Final thoughts

    Reishi mushrooms offer many potential health benefits, from boosting immune function to having antioxidant properties. But like any supplement, it's important to approach them with understanding and caution.

    Consult with a healthcare provider, follow recommended dosages, and consider your personal health needs. Stay informed, stay healthy, and let the natural world surprise you with its health potential.


    1. Immuno-physiological effects of dietary reishi mushroom powder as a source of beta-glucan on Rohu, Labeo rohita challenged with Aeromonas veronii | Scientific Reports
    2. Mushroom extracts and compounds with suppressive action on breast cancer: evidence from studies using cultured cancer cells, tumor-bearing animals, and clinical trials | Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
    3. https://scholar.google.com/scholar?as_ylo=2019&q=reishi+mushrooms+fatigue&hl=en&as_sdt=0,15
    4. Full article: The beneficial effects of Ganoderma lucidum on cardiovascular and metabolic disease risk
    5. The Effects of Major Mushroom Bioactive Compounds on Mechanisms That Control Blood Glucose Level
    6. Proximate analysis, phtochemical screening and antioxidant activity of different strains of Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi Mushroom)
    7. Proximate analysis, phtochemical screening and antioxidant activity of different strains of Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi Mushroom)
    8. https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C15&as_ylo=2019&q=reishi+mushroom+liver&btnG=
    9. Mushrooms And Stress Management: Adaptogenic Properties For A Balanced Lifestyle


    Stephanie Wright avatar

    Stephanie brings over 13 years of diverse nursing experience to the table, having honed her expertise in critical care, mental health, and utilization management. Her journey as a registered nurse across these various healthcare sectors underscores her adaptability and deep commitment to patient care.

    Fact checker

     Dr. Jacquie Leone avatar

    Dr. Leone holds a BA in Psychology, a Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine, and board certification in holistic nutrition. In addition to practicing medicine, Dr. Leone has developed and currently teaches science and nutrition courses for a nationally accredited institution. She specializes in chronic illness, gastrointestinal dysregulation, inflammatory conditions, and mental health. Her unique approach combines the wisdom of Eastern medicine with the technology and science of Western medicine, offering an integrative approach heavily focused on functional medicine.

    At VitaRx, we're not just passionate about our work — we take immense pride in it. Our dedicated team of writers diligently follows strict editorial standards, ensuring that every piece of content we publish is accurate, current, and highly valuable. We don't just strive for quality; we aim for excellence.

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