A Hundred Reasons To Take Reishi Supplements

Hailed in ancient Eastern medicine as the “mushroom of immortality” and the “medicine of kings,” you’d expect reishi to offer you some pretty astounding health benefits, right? Your assumptions are correct. This prized fungus may be able to boost your immune system, fight cancer, ward off heart disease, calm your nerves and relieve both allergies and inflammation.pretty reishi mushroom

“Reishi indeed sounds like a cure-all,” writes Rebecca Wood in her book “New Whole Foods Encyclopedia.” She goes on to explain reishi’s wide range of uses: “An immunostimulant, it is helpful for people with AIDS, leaky-gut syndrome, Epstein-Barr, chronic bronchitis and other infectious diseases. It is used as an aid to sleep, as a diuretic, as a laxative and to lower cholesterol.” It almost seems too good to be true.

How can one fungus help the human body in so many ways? Traditional Eastern medical science explains reishi’s wide range of medicinal applications better, perhaps, than mainstream medicine ever could. According to Eastern thought, the body needs to defend itself against threats to its “equilibrium.” These threats can be physical, such as viruses and bacteria that cause infection; emotional, such as stressors that cause anxiety; or energetic, in that they reduce alertness. Whatever the threat, reishi helps the body maintain its defense against these threats to its equilibrium, helping the body to maintain balance. In this sense, diseases like heart disease and cancer mean that the body is out of balance, which is why an equilibrium-enhancing remedy such as reishi can help so many diverse ailments.

Skeptics can doubt the previous explanation as Taoist “mumbo jumbo,” but laboratory research proves many of reishi’s medicinal applications. As Dr. Andrew Weil writes, reishi “has been the subject of a surprising amount of scientific research in Asia and the West.” Research shows that the polysaccharide beta-1,3-D-glucan in reishi boosts the immune system by raising the amount of macrophages T-cells, which has major implications for people suffering from AIDS and other immune system disorders.

This immune-boosting action also works wonders in the prevention and treatment of cancer, as the T-cells are then able to fight cancer cells more effectively. However, reishi may help the body defeat cancer in not just one, but four ways. In addition to boosting the immune system, the glucan in reishi helps immune cells bind to tumor cells. Many experts believe that it also actually reduces the number of cancerous cells, making it easier for T-cells and macrophages to rid the body of them. Another substance in reishi, called canthaxanthin, slows down the growth of tumors, according to “Prescription for Dietary Wellness” author Phyllis A. Balch and other experts. As a result of these amazing anti-cancer abilities, laboratory research and traditional medicinal usage of reishi to fight cancer is so positive that the Japanese government officially recognizes it as a cancer treatment.

Besides cancer, reishi can help and treat another of America’s top killers: cardiovascular disease. The protection reishi offers against heart disease and stroke is truly remarkable because it helps prevent so many different risk factors, due to its high content of heart-saving substances like sterols, ganoderic acids, coumarin, mannitol and polysaccharides. Experts believe that the ganoderic acids in particular lower triglyceride levels, remove excess cholesterol from the blood, lower blood pressure, reduce platelet stickiness and even help correct arrhythmia. In fact, for 54 people with hypertension unresponsive to medication, taking reishi extract three times a day for four weeks was enough to significantly lower blood pressure, according to a study reported by Burton Goldberg in “Heart Disease.” Just imagine how the incidence of cardiovascular disease could be reduced if using reishi really caught on in the Western hemisphere.

While you protect your body against infectious disease, cancer and heart disease, your use of reishi can also help relieve your everyday discomforts. Do you have allergies? Japanese researchers discovered that the lanostan in reishi acts as a natural antihistamine. Do you suffer from muscle aches or arthritis? Dr. William B. Stavinhoa of the University of Texas Health Science Center found that reishi is as powerful as five milligrams of hydrocortisone, but with minimal side effects. What about anxiety or insomnia? According to “Mind Boosters” by Dr. Ray Sahelia, the reishi mushroom can calm the mind, as well as improve memory, concentration and focus. With all these benefits, reishi truly is the “medicine of kings.”

Different types of reishi

Though there are six different types of reishi, all classified by color, herbalists generally call red reishi the most potent and medicinal variety, and thus it is the most commonly used form of reishi in North America, Japan, China, Taiwan and Korea. In the wild, the mushroom grows on deciduous trees in heavily forested areas of China and Japan, but it’s now easily and widely cultivated commercially, so you don’t have to venture into the forest to enjoy the benefits of what “Herbal Medicine-Maker’s Handbook” author James Green calls a “remarkably beneficial fungus for the human body.”

However, keep in mind that reishi isn’t exactly the kind of mushroom you’ll want to put in your next salad, either. Since it’s more than 90 percent indigestible fiber, reishi has an extremely wood-like texture and to top it off, it’s unpleasantly bitter. In spite of this bitter flavor, many reishi enthusiasts use ground reishi to make a life-enhancing tea or even use the mushrooms in soups. For the less daring, many health food stores offer reishi capsules, tablets and extracts, and Japanese research suggests taking vitamin C along with it may enhance reishi’s medicinal effects.

So, how much reishi should you take? In the “Vitamin Bible for the Twenty-first Century,” vitamin expert Earl Mindell advises an average dose of 100 milligrams of reishi extract daily to boost your immune system, reduce inflammation and ease joint pain. On the other hand, Dr. Linda B. White recommends up to three 1,000-milligram tablets up to three times per day in her book “The Herbal Drugstore.” Because of this wide range of dosage suggestions and additional risks it might pose for pregnant or lactating women (even though reishi has no known toxicity) you should check with a physician, preferably a naturopath, before adding reishi to your regimen. Similarly, you should be aware that reishi does have some side effects, including abdominal upset, dizziness, nose bleeds and dry mouth and throat, according to “Natural Pharmacy” author Schuyler W. Lininger. In other words, it’s up to you and your naturopath to decide which dose of reishi is right for you.

The experts speak on reishi:

Reishi’s wide range of medicinal applications

Health Benefits: Reishi indeed sounds like a cure-all. An immunostimulant, it is helpful for people with AIDS, leaky gut syndrome, Epstein-Barr, chronic bronchitis, and other infectious viruses. It is used as an aid to sleep; as a diuretic; as a laxative; and to lower cholesterol. Reishi mushrooms are antioxidants and liver protectants..

New Whole Foods Encyclopedia by Rebecca Wood, page 288

One key function, identified long ago by Eastern medical science, is defense–that is, the body has the need and ability to defend itself against threats to its equilibrium, whether they be physical, emotional, or energetic. Having noted and studied the body’s defensive capabilities, Chinese doctors then explored the natural world to find ways of maintaining and enhancing them, and they discovered a number of ways to do so, including the administration of herbal remedies. Among these remedies are ginseng, astragalus, and several mushrooms that grow on trees, such as Ganoderma lucidum (known to the Chinese as ling chih and the Japanese as reishi).

8 Weeks To Optimum Health By Andrew Weil MD, page 15

Not all of the active components in reishi have been isolated; like many other organic substances, the molecules in this plant are quite complex, though they are probably mostly polysaccharides and peptides. Dr. Terry Willard, a proponent of the medical uses of this mushroom, maintains that reishi also decreases free radicals by 50.4 percent through an as yet, unidentified antioxidant. … Other researchers suspect that reishi may not have an antioxidant of its own but rather stimulates production of the body’s own free radical scavenger, an enzyme called superoxide dismutase (SOD). According to the Bulletin of the Oriental Healing Arts Institute, reishi acts as an agent for promoting an increase in leukocytes, phagocytosis which in turn increase the number of disease-fighting T-cells in the bloodstream.

Attaining Medical Self Sufficiency An Informed Citizens Guide by Duncan Long, page 196

These powerful adaptogens — Siberian ginseng, schisandra, ginseng, astragalus, and reishi–are among what Teeguarden calls the “superstars of Chinese tonic herbalism . . . incomparable, legendary herbal substances [that] have withstood the test of time.” These five herbs also tend to be the ones with the most scientific backing for their strengthening and normalizing effects.

Off The Shelf Natural Health How To Use Herbs And Nutrients To Stay Well By Mark Mayell, page 291

Reishi and the immune system

Reishi is a purely medicinal mushroom, not a culinary one, both because it is hard and woody and because it tastes very bitter. But it is nontoxic and has been the subject of a surprising amount of scientific research, both in Asia and the West. Although most of the research has been in animals, the results are so promising that I think human studies will soon follow. Like maitake and other related mushroom species, reishi improves immune function and inhibits the growth of some malignant tumors. Additionally, it shows significant anti-inflammatory effect, reduces allergic responsiveness, and protects the liver.

8 Weeks To Optimum Health By Andrew Weil MD, page 140

Reishi is a supreme immune tonic. Because of its neutral energy, it is fine for anyone to take. It treats immune disorders including AIDS as it raises the T cell levels (an index of AIDS and immune disorders). It is also specific for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. It inhibits bacteria and viruses, treats cancer and tumors and its adaptogenic quality protects the body against stress. It treats heart disease, reduces cholesterel and lowers high blood pressure.

The Herbs Of Life by Lesley Tierra, page 195

Maitake, shiitake, and reishi mushrooms possess beta-1,3-D-glucan, a type of polysaccharide that stimulates the immune cells. Their immune-boosting power makes them essential for fighting the flu.

Prescription For Nutritional Healing by Phyllis A Balch CNC and James F Balch MD, page 469

In addition to being an effective energizer, reishi is an antioxidant that protects the body from the harmful effects of radiation and free radicals. It contains polysaccharides and other compounds that may combat bacteria and viruses and boost the immune system

Off The Shelf Natural Health How To Use Herbs And Nutrients To Stay Well By Mark Mayell, page 56

Reishi Mushrooms Known as kisshotake or the “lucky fungus,” in Japan, reishi mushrooms were originally used in China in both cooking and traditional healing. However, for several thousand years the Japanese have used these delicately flavored mushrooms in their cuisine. reishi mushrooms, which are quite pricey, are available in Asian markets and gourmet shops. However, they may be worth their weight in gold. Recent studies show that reishi may stimulate the immune system, which increases the body’s ability to ward off disease. In addition, reishi mushrooms contain compounds that are natural antihistamines and have strong anti-allergic activity. Other studies show that reishi can lower blood cholesterol levels and prevent the formation of dangerous blood clots that can lead to a heart attack or stroke..

Earl Mindells Soy Miracle Earl Mindel RPH PHD, page 107

Reishi is a supreme immune tonic. Because of its neutral energy, it is fine for anyone to take. It treats immune disorders including AIDS as it raises the T cell levels (an index of AIDS and immune disorders). It is also specific for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. It inhibits bacteria and viruses, treats cancer and tumors and its adaptogenic quality protects the body against stress. It treats heart disease, reduces cholesterel and lowers high blood pressure.

The Herbs Of Life by Lesley Tierra, page 195

Herbal Medicine: There are numerous herbs useful in the care of infections. Some are directly antibacterial or antiviral while others are immune potentiators. Some herbs do both. Examples include goldenseal, licorice, astragalus, garlic, Panax ginseng, reishi and shiitake mushrooms, slippery elm, and echinacea.

Alternative Medicine by Burton Goldberg, page 1112

The third is reishi (Ganoderma lucidum), currently available in US health food stores. It is said to have been used as a “fountain of youth” elixir for centuries. A novel protein with immunomodulating activity in vivo has been isolated from the mycelial extract of reishi.

Cancer Therapy by Ralph W Moss PhD, page 248

reishi tones the immune system, supports nerve function, scavenges free radicals, protects the liver, and quells inflammation and allergies. According to Hobbs (1996), “reishi has the unique ability among medicinal mushrooms to calm and support nerve function.” In his practice, he recommends reishi to people with chronic stress, anxiety, or insomnia.

Disease Prevention And Treatment by Life Extension Foundation, page 116

Reishi, shiitake, and maitake mushroom extracts or powders are all proven antivirals and are used as immunostimulants around the world for everything from colds to cancer.

Herbal Defense by Ralph T Golan ND, page 180 Immunity (increases) astragalus, codonopsis, cinnamon, ginger, ginseng, bayberry, schisandra reishi echinacea and American ginseng. The Herbs Of Life by Lesley Tierra, page 231

The most common herbs used in fu-zheng are blood-vitalizing herbs, including astragalus, milletia, reishi, panax ginseng, schizandra, jujube, ligus-ticum, hoelen, salvia, ho shou wu, cordyceps, atractylodis, and codonopsis. Studies continue to demonstrate that these herbs have a dramatic impact on the enhancement of an immune system weakened by chemo and radiation therapies. They not only protect the immune and endocrine systems but also inhibit such diseases as influenza, upper respiratory infections, fungal infections, and chemically induced hepatitis. These diseases can cause serious complications for the person with cancer, requiring an interruption in treatment and a course of antibiotics that can lead to diarrhea and other debilitating problems.

Herbal Medicine Healing Cancer by Donald R Yance Jr, page 85

If yeast or other vaginal infections keep coming back, your best bet is to see a natural health practitioner who’ll recommend an herbal tonic program that you’ll use for a series of months. It will likely include herbs such as astragalus, reishi, shiitake, nettles, or burdock — botanicals that gently and gradually rebuild the immune system and the many organs it involves. Such a program will likely include some diet changes as well, such as cutting down on caffeine and sugar.

The Herbal Drugstore by Linda B White MD, page 535

The once extremely rare and precious reishi mushroom is now cultivated and widely available. It is a very potent immune system and longevity tonic. Traditionally used to “nourish the heart and pacify the spirit,” it has also been found to have numerous other health benefits.

The One Earth Herbal Sourcebook by Alan Keith Tillotson, page 190

Use one of the immune-boosting tonics, like maitake, reishi, or astragalus. In cities, people live in close proximity and come into contact with each other more frequently than in rural areas. Germs spread easily in dense populations, so give your immune system some help.

8 Weeks To Optimum Health By Andrew Weil MD, page 229

HERBS: Herbal medicine is best administered under the guidance of a professional trained in their use. The following herbs can be used safely as a self-care protocol, however. Dr. Bock recommends astragalus, ginseng, and maitake and reishi mushrooms for general immune support.

Alternative Medicine by Burton Goldberg, page 1043

Mushrooms, particularly Eastern varieties, revitalize the body. Various cultures consider them to contain the secrets of staying young. Reishi and shiitake mushrooms build resistance to stress by strengthening the immune system. They also provide key B vitamins to the liver and stimulate the adrenals with their high concentration of pantothenic acid. The common American button mushroom contains methionine, an amino acid high in sulphur. When combined with tofu, the result is a more complete protein.

Food Swings by Barnet Meltzer MD, page 258

Several species of mushroom — including shiitake (Lentinus edodes), reishi (Ganoderma lucidum), and maitake (Grifola frondosa) — are considered immune system stimulants. They contain compounds called polysac-charides that are similar to those found in other immune-boosting plants, such as astragalus and echinacea. These compounds increase the ability of white blood cells to devour germs.

Anti-Aging Prescriptions by James Duke PhD, page 163

This is the type of herbal tea I drink most frequently. After all, on a day-to-day basis, we mostly need to keep our good health intact. If I feel “immune challenged” or I want to start my day with an immune boost, I’ll drink a cup of a blend that contains any of the following tonic herbs, known as adaptogens (herbs that strengthen or enhance the immune system, nervous system, and/or glandular system while they help the body cope with stress): Siberian ginseng, Panax ginseng, astragalus, shizandra, echinacea, ashwagandha, reishi mushrooms, licorice.

Caffeine Blues By Stephen Cherniske MS, page 324

Therapeutic and Healing Powers: reishi and shiitake mushrooms boost the immune system by producing interferon-like effects that fight viral infection. Mushrooms are also being studied for their anti-cancerous capabilities.

Food Swings by Barnet Meltzer MD, page 216

Mushrooms from Japan — specifically, shiitake as a food, and reishi and maitake (which are currently available in the United States only as extracts) — offer a host of immune-system benefits.

Herbal Defense by Ralph T Golan ND, page 152

All edible mushrooms contain both medicinal and nutritional qualities. Scientific research indicates that the major actions of medicinal mushrooms are stimulating the immune system and protecting against cardiovascular disease, free radicals, mutagens, and toxins. Most medicinal mushrooms contain polysaccharides (complex sugar molecules) called beta-glucans that increase RNA and DNA in the bone marrow where immune cells, like lymphocytes, are made. The combination of compounds in mushrooms is believed to target the immune system and aid in neuron transmission, metabolism, and the transport of nutrients and oxygen. Three mushroom varieties — reishi, shiitake, and maitake — have been studied intensively and have proven to possess strong medicinal properties. All mushrooms must be cooked to get the nutritional value. The cell walls cannot be digested unless they are tenderized by heat.

Prescription For Dietary Wellness by Phyllis A Balch, page 167

If you have a family history of cancer, have been a smoker, have worked in a hazardous occupation, or know that you have had toxic exposures, take one or more of the tonics that are cancer-protective and immune-enhancing. My first choices would be maitake and reishi mushrooms.

8 Weeks To Optimum Health By Andrew Weil MD, page 251

Ganoderma: Ganoderma lucidum, the Chinese “mushroom of immortality” called ling zhi (in Japan, reishi) has been extensively studied in the laboratory for antiviral activity and is well known for its immune-modulating activity. My teacher of Chinese medicine, the late Dr. York Why Loo, kept a specimen of dried wild Chinese ling zhi in a jar for use in his old age. So revered by Chinese doctors is ling zhi that it is frequently pictured on their business cards or displayed in their shop windows as a sign of respect for its importance.

Viral Immunity by J.E, page 292

In China, many pharmacological, chemical, and biochemical studies have been conducted with this remarkable mushroom. Results show that reishi meets all qualifications of being an ad-aptogen and tonic. Its use bolsters the immune system, stimulates health, and improves or prevents allergic conditions and a variety of degenerative and other disease conditions.

Miracle Medicine Herbs by Richard M Lucas, page 9

Try shiitake or reishi mushrooms with your veggies — the Chinese use them to bolster the immune system.

Prescription Alternatives by Earl Mindell RPh PhD and Virginia Hopkins MA, page 283

Preliminary human research demonstrates some efficacy for the mushroom reishi in treating chronic hepatitis B, although this use still needs to be confirmed.

The Natural Pharmacy by Schuyler W Lininger, page 80

Many researchers are now recommending a combination of mushrooms to maximize effects on the immune system. “A complex blend of medicinal fungi can offer a powerful therapeutic punch,” says internationally renowned mycologist Paul Stamets, known by some as “Mr. Medicinal Mushroom.”1 Two other mushrooms that hold great therapeutic promise are reishi, or Ling zhi (Ganoderma lucidum), and maitake (Gri-Jola frondosa).

The Encyclopedia Of Popular Herbs by Robert S McCaleb, page 335

Improves conditions of viral hepatitis (70% of all cases with this condition showed marked improvement after taking reishi).

Miracle Medicine Herbs by Richard M Lucas, page 9

Chinese herbalists have long considered mushrooms to be the most beneficial of all medicinal foods; however, the ordinary culinary mushrooms found at the supermarket are not as advantageous to the immune system as the more exotic reishi, maitake, or shiitake mushrooms. Modern research has determined that these mushrooms can support immune function. Extracts of these mushrooms can be purchased in capsule form.

Prescription For Dietary Wellness by Phyllis A Balch, page 10

Immune tonics: reishi, astragalus, schisandra liver tonics: dandelion, fennel nerve tonics: scullcap, valerian nutritive tonics: comfrey, marshmallow.

The Herbs Of Life by Lesley Tierra, page 139

Immune-modulating plants often used by doctors of herbal medicine include Asian ginseng, eleuthero (Siberian ginseng, ashwagandha, and the medicinal mushrooms shiitake and reishi.

The Natural Pharmacy by Schuyler W Lininger, page 89

The reishi mushroom is traditionally used in Chinese medicine for asthenia-type syndromes, characterized by a deficiency of vital energy and functions of the lower body. reishi is the perfect remedy for the typical American suffering from constant stress. This type of individual has depressed vital force and is likely to be both deficient and toxic. When a person in such a state develops cancer and is then faced with the toxicities of chemotherapy, the situation calls for reishi. reishi’s overall effects could be described as regulatory and beneficial to the restoration of homeostasis. Its effect on the immune system is total enhancement of immune function: increase of white blood-cell count, platelets, hemoglobin, and various tumor-fighting cells. reishi also improves both energy and sleep.

Herbal Medicine Healing Cancer by Donald R Yance Jr, page 156

Master the language of mushrooms. Forget those bland, almost tasteless specimens that you find in the typical mushroom omelet. Your immune system craves exotic mushrooms, notably shiitake, maitake, and reishi. “Shiitake and maitake mushrooms strengthen the immune system,” notes Santa Cruz, California, herbalist Christopher Hobbs, L.Ac., the author of several authoritative herb guides. “reishi mushrooms build up bone marrow, where white blood cells are made.”

Blended Medicine by Michael Castleman, page 10

Reishi is one of the most versatile medicinal mushrooms. It has long been used in Asia as an energy tonic to promote longevity and overall health. Studies indicate that reishi is an antioxidant and contains polysaccharides and other compounds that may boost the immune system. reishi is taken to counter bacteria and viruses and has shown promise as an agent to help prevent or treat cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, and other conditions. Russian researchers at the Cancer Research Center in Moscow have had positive results using reishi extracts to boost the immunity of cancer patients.

Off The Shelf Natural Health How To Use Herbs And Nutrients To Stay Well By Mark Mayell, page 88

The fruiting body of reishi mushroom is sweet in taste and neutral to slightly warming in action. It calms the spirit; strengthens immunity; slows aging; strengthens the heart, lungs, and liver; and relaxes spasms.

The One Earth Herbal Sourcebook by Alan Keith Tillotson, page 190

Reishi and cancer

For the past decade, reishi has also been used as a cancer treatment in Japan, with some success. reishi appears to inhibit cancer via its beneficial effect on the immune system. Compounds in reishi can boost immune function by activating macrophages and T-cells, the disease-fighting cells that help rid the body of all foreign invaders, including viruses, bacteria, and cancer cells.

Earl Mindell’s Supplement Bible by Earl Mindell RPh PhD, page 167

One of the reishi polysaccharides, called glucan, shows anti-tumor potential according to some researchers. Researchers speculate that glucan reduces the number of cancerous cells making it possible for the body’s immune system to handle them more effectively.

Attaining Medical Self Sufficiency An Informed Citizens Guide by Duncan Long, page 196

Carbohydrate-proteins, called mucopolysaccharides, which are found in many herbs, such as echinacea and reishi mushrooms, not only activate macrophages but actually help them to bind to the antigen or tumor cell.

Herbal Medicine Healing Cancer by Donald R Yance Jr., page 93

Canthaxanthin acts as an antioxidant, boosts immunity, slows the growth of cancer cells, and may help to prevent skin and breast cancers. Food sources include mushrooms, particularly reishi, maitake, and shiitake.

Prescription For Dietary Wellness by Phyllis A Balch, page 50

Studies done at the Cancer Research Center in Moscow have found reishi to act as a host defense protector. It helps the body to fight cancer and slow down tumor growth.

Treating Cancer With Herbs by Michael Tierra ND, page 166

Ancient Chinese herbalists considered the reishi mushroom the most beneficial of all medicines and the emperors of Japan believed the reishi granted them immortality. Today, the Japanese government officially recognizes the reishi mushroom as a substance for treating cancer.

Prescription For Dietary Wellness by Phyllis A Balch, page 167

Because it is called ling zhi in Chinese, the scientists called this protein ling zhi-8. And Prof. H. Maruyama called the antitumor activity of a water extract of reishi as well as two other mushrooms “remarkably effective for inhibition of tumor growth.”

Cancer Therapy by Ralph W Moss PhD, page 248

Scientific studies report this food’s effectiveness in controlling cancers of the breast, lung, and prostate, and in minimizing the side effects of chemotherapy. Shiitake and reishi mushrooms, also called ganoderma mushrooms, exhibit anticancer properties as well, and are used by Orientals to enhance longevity. Animal research done in Japan showed a highly significant rate of tumor elimination in animals fed extracts of maitake, shiitake, and reishi mushrooms.

Complete Encyclopedia Of Natural Healing by Gary Null PhD, page 82

Besides its anti-tumor and immuno-modulatory properties, reishi also helps counteract stress. The crude extract of reishi has been found to be more effective in fighting free radical damage than isolated, synthetic compounds. reishi also contains bitter triterpenes. These strengthen the circulatory and immune systems, tone the liver and protect the body from physical stress. Triterpenes work as adaptogenics, antihypertensives and to control allergic reactions.

Treating Cancer With Herbs by Michael Tierra ND, page 166

Shiitake and reishi mushrooms will be magic because they help prevent cancer.

Asian Health Secrets by Letha Hadady DAc, page 477

The reishi and maitake mushrooms are two other fungi for which researchers are cheering in their fight against cancer and viruses.

The Complete Book Of Alternative Nutrition by Selene Y Craig, page 225

Other Herbs — Other herbal medicines have been identified as potentially useful adjuncts to cancer treatment, including: pearl barley (Hordeum vulgare); reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum); shiitake mushroom (Lentin-ula edodes); cauliflower (Brassica oleracea); wax gourd (Benincasa hispida); calendula (Calendula qfficinalis); chaparral (Larrea divaricata and Larrea tridentata); white mulberry (Moms alba); Japanese pepper (Piperfutokadsura); thyme (Thymus serpyllum); Chinese cucumber (Tri-chosanthes kirilowii); and stinging nettle (Urtica dioica).

Alternative Medicine by Burton Goldberg, page 612

The reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) has a sweet and warm energy, is both sedative and tonic, is a supreme deep immune system tonic, and nourishes the spirit, essence, and vital energy. It has strong anticarcinogenic properties and is rich in a number of complex phyto-chemicals, including ergosterol, fumaric acid, aminoglucose, and man-nitol; coumarins; alkaloids; lactone; and various enzymes.

The Way Of Herbs by Michael Tierra, page 313

Finally, evidence has shown that reishi, shiitake, and maitake mushrooms can serve as formidable opponents of cancer cells.

Complete Encyclopedia Of Natural Healing by Gary Null PhD, page 72

If you have cancer, you should work with a knowledgeable physician or natural healer. As a cancer treatment, doses are much higher than those for pain control — you will need to take about 10 grams of reishi daily. But reishi is considered safe even at the highest levels; there is no known toxicity.

Earl Mindell’s Supplement Bible by Earl Mindell RPh PhD, page 167

According to researchers at the National Cancer Center in Japan, there was complete tumor elimination in about 80% of cancer-induced animals fed extracts from maitake, shiitake, and reishi mushrooms. Compounds in each of these mushrooms increase the tumor-fighting activity of NK cells and improve antibody responses, but maitake seems to have the strongest and most consistent effect. Alternative Medicine by Burton Goldberg, page 613

As with other medicinal mushrooms, this herb is rich in polysaccharides that increase white blood cells; it serves as a potent free radical scavenger and generally exerts broad anticancer and antitumor properties. Reishi contains the immune stimulating polysaccharide, beta D-glucan, which has been shown to be effective against sarcoma. The polysaccharide stimulates macrophage activity to produce tumor-necrosis factor (TNF-a), together with cancer killing interleukins. In another study the polysaccharides (PS) from fresh fruiting bodies of G. lucidum (PS-G) were isolated and used to potentiate cytokine production by human mono-cytes-macrophages and T lymphocytes. Results demonstrated that the levels of interleukins (IL)-l beta, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)- alpha, and IL-6 in macrophage cultures treated with PS-G (100 micrograms/ml) were 5.1, 9.8 and 29 fold higher, respectively, than those of untreated controls. In addition, the release of interferon (IFN)- gamma from T lymphocytes was also greatly promoted in the presence of PS-G (25-100 micrograms/ml). Furthermore, these cytokine-containing mononuclear cell-conditioned media (PSG-MNC-CM) suppressed the proliferation of both the HL-60 and the U937 leukemic cell lines. Further, a process of DNA labeling was able to induce cell death (apoptosis) only of cancer cells.

Treating Cancer With Herbs by Michael Tierra ND, page 166

Two other types of medicinal fungi, which have received considerable attention in the scientific community in the last few decades, are the reishi (pronounced REE-she) and shiitake (pronounced SHE-taw-key) mushrooms. They are venerated throughout the Orient for their marvelous healing properties, especially in the treatment and prevention of cancer. Laboratory and clinical studies done with both of them in man and beast alike have shown remarkable regression of malignant tumors, particularly through the injection method.

Encyclopedia Healing Herbs Spices by John Heinerman, page 243

Adding foods to the diet which contain significant amounts of the trace element germanium, which enhances the action of oxygen in the body. Germanium foods and supplements are commonly used as cancer remedies and for immune restoration in general. Among the more concentrated food and herb sources: “turkey tails” and related shelf or punk mushrooms that grow on the sides of decaying trees; other mushrooms including shiitake, ling zhi or reishi (Ganoderma luddum), and champignon; garlic; the herbs Suma (Pfaffia paniculata), ginseng, and unrefined aloe vera juice; chlorella micro-algae, and barley.

Healing With Whole Foods by Paul Pitchford, page 40

Medicinal mushrooms with immunomodulating activities have been traditionally used as tonics in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). They are now used in cancer treatments to counteract the toxic effects of radiation and chemotherapy. Mushrooms used in cancer therapies are generally processed into liquid or powder in order to obtain the necessary potency. It takes about 15 pounds of reishi mushrooms to produce 1 pound of the powdered concentrate. Medicinal mushrooms make a significant contribution to the healing process by enhancing and stimulating the body’s own immune system. This is a very important factor in diseases like cancer and HIV, which have components unique to each individual. In my protocols for people with cancer, I always include one or more medicinal mushroom extract products. Descriptions of some of the more frequently used mushrooms follow.

Herbal Medicine Healing Cancer by Donald R Yance Jr, page 155

It is believed, they are more accessible to the immune system cell called the macrophage. Remember, these are nonspecific “Pac Man”-like immune cells that literally gobble up invaders. When the macrophage becomes activated, it signals helper T cells to get to work. From research in China and Japan, the immune cells being activated by reishi to kill tumor cells are primarily the macrophages and helper T cells.

Healing Pets With Nature’s Miracle Cures By Henry Pasternak DVM CVA, page 114

Reishi calms the central nervous system, exerting a blood-pressure-lowering effect beneficial to the heart. It is now employed in China for treatment of autoimmune diseases and to calm hypersensitivity. Like many other medicinal mushrooms, reishi mushroom can be used to treat cancer patients due to its ability to activate NK cells, macrophages, T-lymphocytes, and cytokines, all important immune system components. Kee Chang Huang reports that reishi “exerts a synergistic effect with other anticancer chemothera-peutic agents or radiotherapy, to augment the clinical therapeutic effect in the treatment of cancer patients.”

The One Earth Herbal Sourcebook by Alan Keith Tillotson, page 191

reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) contains carbohydrates, fiber, amino acids, protein, steroids, triterpenes, lipids, alkaloids, polysaccharides, glucoside, coumarin glycoside, volatile oil, vitamin B2 (riboflavin), and ascorbic acid. It also contains the minerals calcium, zinc, magnesium, copper, and germanium. Additionally, reishi contains ganoderic acid, which is a free-radical scavenger, giving reishi antioxidant powers. The polysaccharides in reishi mushrooms appear to activate a type of white blood cell known as a macrophage. These cells filter the blood, destroying cancer cells, viruses, bacteria, and other large particulate material. Macrophages also signal other white blood cells to seek out and destroy tumor cells.

Prescription For Dietary Wellness by Phyllis A Balch, page 168

reishi. Several species of ganoderma have traditionally been used by the Chinese to prevent or treat cancer of the esophagus and other organs. Studies show that certain steroidlike compounds in reishi can help kill liver cancer cells. reishi extracts have also been shown to boost the immunity of cancer patients.

Off The Shelf Natural Health How To Use Herbs And Nutrients To Stay Well By Mark Mayell, page 226

One study showed that reishi strongly inhibited the growth of sarcoma 180, with an inhibition rate of 95.6 to 98.6 percent at an interperitonial dosage of 20 mg/kg for ten days in mice.116 Another study demonstrated that reishi polysaccharides significantly inhibited the proliferation of JTC-26 tumor cells, a human cancer-cell strain. Ganodermic acids U through Z, which are six types of cytotoxic triterpenes found in reishi, showed significant cytotox-icity on hepatoma cells grown in vitro.

Herbal Medicine Healing Cancer by Donald R Yance Jr, page 156

Medicinal Mushrooms: Especially maitake, reishi, shiitake and turkey tail mushrooms. Maitake D- fraction has been shown to enhance the effects of chemotherapy as well as having anticancer and immune strengthening properties. New research shows maitake D-fraction also has apoptosis (cancer cell death) inducing properties. Planetary formulas Maitake Mushroom and reishi Mushroom Supreme have shown themselves to be very efficacious.

Treating Cancer With Herbs by Michael Tierra ND, page 374

Like the shiitake, reishi extract — known as G. lucidum — has shown immune-enhancing ability and may curb the growth of tumors, according to proponents. They also believe that reishis can help to fight a host of ailments, including high blood pressure, allergies, asthma, fatigue, arthritis, high cholesterol, dizziness, liver problems and congestion.

The Complete Book Of Alternative Nutrition by Selene Y Craig, page 225

Immune tonics such as reishi mushroom and astragalus can be given in higher dosage during the early stages of disease or to prevent recurrence. In the more advanced stages, tonics are also used but to a lesser extent, with greater emphasis on the use of eliminative, heat clearing herbs. In the middle stages of cancer one combines tonification and elimination substances equally.

Treating Cancer With Herbs by Michael Tierra ND, page 117

Kelp, reishi, and St. John’s wort may help protect against the adverse effects of x-ray radiation.

Prescription For Nutritional Healing by Phyllis A Balch CNC and James F Balch MD, page 730

Herbal and nutritional therapies can make chemotherapy more sensitive to the particular cancer being treated. For example, bromelain and quercetin are especially compatible with most chemotherapies used in cases of breast, ovarian, and colon cancers, as well as leukemia and most melanomas, while reishi, coriolus, astragalus, and Siberian ginseng work well with all chemotherapies for all types of cancers.

Herbal Medicine Healing Cancer by Donald R Yance Jr, page 281

The immune potentiating effects of the astragalus polysaccharide was validated through research at the M.D. Anderson hospital in Houston, Texas during the 1980’s. No patentable drug resulted from this research because of the difficulty of patenting plant polysaccharides. However, both in China and Japan a wide range of anticancer herbs rich in immune potentiating polysaccharides are used including a variety of medicinal mushrooms such as ganoderma (reishi), lentinus (shiitake), grifola (maitake) and coriolus ver-sicolor (turkey tails) and cordyceps (dong chong xia cao).

Treating Cancer With Herbs by Michael Tierra ND, page 77

Sabley said that reishi contains two major groups of organic compounds: Ganodermic acids (compounds with a structure similar to steroid hormones) and polysaccharides (long chains of naturally occurring sugar molecules or carbohydrates). Many believe that polysaccharides, commonly found in mushrooms, seaweed and numerous plants, have immune-enhancing properties, possibly capable of treating some forms of cancer.

Attaining Medical Self Sufficiency An Informed Citizens Guide by Duncan Long, page 196

Popularized by the Chinese and Japanese, ganoderma, also known as the reishi mushroom, is a general energy stimulant that also possesses cancer-fighting abilities. It is particularly effective when used along with astragalus and legustrum.

Complete Encyclopedia Of Natural Healing by Gary Null PhD, page 108< p> reishi: immune booster, cancer preventive, system balancer Off The Shelf Natural Health How To Use Herbs And Nutrients To Stay Well By Mark Mayell, page 19

The beta-glucans lentinan, grifolan, schizophyllan and SSG are available in Japan. Lentinan and schizophyllan are approved in Japan as drugs for the treatment of cancer. … Non-edible mushrooms that are rich in beta-glucans include the reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) and the coriolus mushroom (Coriolus versico-lor).

PDR For Nutritional Supplements by Sheldon Saul Hendle and David Rorvik, page 316

Various types of mushrooms can be good sources of vitamin D, Bi (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), minerals, and amino acids. They have the ability to enhance the body’s immune system T cells that seek and destroy cancer cells. Shiitake, zhu ling, enoki, reishi, and maitake mushrooms have all been reported to have anti-cancer properties.

Prescription For Nutritional Healing by Phyllis A Balch CNC and James F Balch MD, page 253

reishi MUSHROOM (Canoderma lucidum) Ling zhi All types of cancers when there is qi weakness, blood deficiency, low and/or threatened immune system, dampness, nervousness and anxiety. It is also used to offset the adverse effects of chemotherapy and radiation. Dose: 9-30g

Treating Cancer With Herbs by Michael Tierra ND, page 81

Because there is some evidence that reishi extract lowers cholesterol and blood pressure and reduces platelet stickiness, another cardiovascular risk factor, it is being studied for its potential in the treatment of heart disease.

Off The Shelf Natural Health How To Use Herbs And Nutrients To Stay Well By Mark Mayell, page 56

This mushroom is prized in Japan and China, where its rejuvenating qualities have been known for over 4,000 years. Scientific studies have confirmed its medicinal properties. Published studies in humans show that it lowers blood pressure and reduces “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, another type of blood fat. It also reduces the tendency of blood platelets to accumulate, thus making blood less likely to clot and provoke heart attacks and strokes. Since the raw mushroom is woody and inedible, the traditional method of preparing reishi is to make a tea by simmering it for a long time in water. Fortunately, it is also available in a powdered form. Typical dosage: 1,000 to 9,000 milligrams in capsules per day,- or 50 to 75 milligrams in concentrated capsules three times per day.

The Herbal Drugstore by Linda B White MD, page 327

Chinese herbal medicine physicians regard the reishi mushroom as an “elixir of immortality.” Research confirms that reishi is an effective cardiotonic. In a study of 54 people (average age, 58.6) whose blood pressure was over 140/90 and who were unresponsive to hypertension medication, those taking reishi mushroom extract in tablet form three times a day for four weeks experienced a significant drop in their blood pressure compared to the control group. The blood pressure of all the test subjects fell below 140/90.

Heart Disease by Burton Goldberg, page 205

Today, both shiitake and reishi mushrooms are used to treat a variety of disorders and to promote vitality. They are used to prevent high blood pressure and heart disease, to control and lower cholesterol, to build resistance to disease, and to treat fatigue and viral infections. They are also known to have anti-tumor properties valuable in treating cancer.

Prescription For Nutritional Healing by Phyllis A Balch CNC and James F Balch MD, page 80

reishi has been shown in several studies to lower cholesterol levels, helping to prevent atherosclerotic changes in the blood vessel walls (reported in Huang, 1999).

The One Earth Herbal Sourcebook by Alan Keith Tillotson, page 191

Today, both shiitake and reishi mushrooms are used to treat a variety of disorders and to promote vitality. They are used to prevent high blood pressure and heart disease, to control and lower cholesterol, to build resistance to disease, and to treat fatigue and viral infections. They are also known to have anti-tumor properties valuable in treating cancer.

The A-to-Z Guide to Supplements by James F Balch MD, page 157

Clinical studies at the Tongji Medical University, Wuhan, China, involving 15 healthy volunteers and 33 patients with atherosclerotic disease suggest that the mushroom may offer help for other diseases as well and the team reported that reishi also inhibited platelet aggregation.

Attaining Medical Self Sufficiency An Informed Citizens Guide by Duncan Long, page 197

Reishi (Ganoderma luciduni). Sixteenth-century Ming Dynasty texts say that this marvelous Chinese medicinal mushroom “mends the heart.” And my good friend, pharmacognosist (natural product pharmacist) Albert Leung, Ph.D., says in his Better Health with (Mostly) Chinese Herbs and Food that reishi has considerable value in preventing and treating arrhythmia.

The Green Pharmacy by James A Duke PnD, page 121

This medicinal mushroom has long been used in China as a general heart tonic, as well as for a host of other conditions. If your arrhythmias are caused by stress, reishi is a good choice to add to your routine because it acts on the many body systems that can be affected by stress. Typical dosage: up to five 420-milligram capsules per day,- or up to three 1,000-milligram tablets up to three times per day.

The Herbal Drugstore by Linda B White MD, page 155

Morel, reishi, shiitake, and maitake are mushrooms that were touted by the ancient Chinese as superior medicines that give eternal youth and longevity. They prevent high blood pressure and heart disease, lower cholesterol, prevent fatigue and viral infections, and much more. They are found in supplement form as well as fresh.

Prescription For Nutritional Healing by Phyllis A Balch CNC and James F Balch MD, page 138

Since heart disease is America’s most serious health risk, any program designed to maintain and optimize health must start with protecting the cardiovascular system. This means reducing artery-clogging cholesterol, preventing the oxidation of blood fats, and maintaining a strong, steady heart beat. The best-researched herbal remedies for reducing blood fat levels (cholesterol) and for obtaining other cardiovascular benefits include garlic, hawthorn, ginger, horse chestnut, bilberry, reishi mushroom, and the Ayurvedic herb

The Encyclopedia Of Popular Herbs by Robert S McCaleb, page 12

Reishi is a heart tonic, like hawthorn and ginkgo. It improves blood flow to the heart, reduces coronary demand for oxygen and helps ease the chest pain of angina. I make reishi tea using three to six teaspoons of dried herb per cup of boiling water.

The Green Pharmacy by James A Duke PnD, page 121

Perhaps one of the reasons the Chinese regard mushrooms as spirit medicine is the claim found in the oldest recorded botanical monograph on another powerful Chinese medicinal mushroom, the ling zhi or reishi mushroom (Canoderma lucidum). The Chinese claimed that it made the body lighter, which may refer to its ability to reduce cholesterol and blood lipid levels. Shiitake mushrooms have immune-potentiating properties similar to those of reishi mushrooms.

The Way Of Chinese Herbs by Michael Tierra LAc OMD, page 431

Reishi as an antihistamine

Japanese researchers have also found that reishi acts as an antihistamine, making it useful for treating allergies. Lanostan, a compound found in reishi, appears to control the release of transmitting chemicals in the body, thereby inhibiting the release of histamine. Since reishi also promotes the adrenal function and immune reaction, it has added effectiveness in controlling the body’s reaction to an allergen. Attaining Medical Self Sufficiency An Informed Citizens Guide by Duncan Long, page 196

reishi is a true adaptagen, enhancing health and normal functions of the body. For example, while it increases some components of the immune response to cancers, it also inhibits pathological immune functions in autoimmune diseases. It has also been reported to reduce the histamine release associated with allergic reactions, and even to help prevent life threatening ana-phylactic reactions.

Healing Pets With Nature’s Miracle Cures By Henry Pasternak DVM CVA, page 112

Learn more: naturalnews.com

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How A Mushroom Could Help You Find Peace And Health

reishi on tree

From the book Healing Thresholds: A Modern Journey into Taoist Health Philosophy, by Rehmannia Dean Thomas. (pp. 180–189)

I think reishi must have come to me because of my prayers. I’d been pleading to overcome the negativity I had built up over so many years, and Master Teeguarden introduced me to reishi. He taught me that reishi (Ganoderma Lucidum, Ling Zhi) is by far the most precious shen herb on the planet. I regard this herb’s effect upon my life as the single most important thing that has ever happened to me, and I literally evaluate my life as pre– and post–reishi. The most revered herb in all Taoist Chinese medicine, it has a long history of use by Taoist monks and wise men/women throughout the ages for its superior shen opening capabilities.

I felt this substance was calling to me and I began taking large amounts of the herb, which is essentially a mushroom. Reishi has a long and illustrious history as an agent to access deeper perception. The herb is thought to open and clear the crown chakra (the energy center located at the very top of the skull), and to clear karmic obstacles and old psychic baggage.

I began to ingest fifteen capsules of pure reishi powder daily, nearly three times the recommended daily amount as suggested on the bottle. I found out later that reishi is so safe and free of side effects that I could have taken even more. On the third morning after beginning to take reishi, I awoke to find the light in the room infused with color and saturated with intensity. I got up, and immediately knew the dark clouds over my head had dissipated. It was as if I had taken off a shirt—it was that easy!

It still took another few years to completely rid myself of the “spiritual suppression” but reishi laid the groundwork. And once gone, the suppression has never come back; I still take reishi regularly. Within days after my breakthrough I seemed to feel the essence of Lao Tzu’s brilliant insights more distinctly, and knew that the folklore about him taking reishi must be true. I believe reishi was instrumental in his crystal clear perception and connectedness to all nature’s cycles, the laws of cause and effect, the expansiveness of the Yin and Yang. The herb started to quickly open my life to this vast and sensible consciousness.

Premium grade reishi is harvested in the Changbai Mountain region of China, and is also indigenous to the southern Appalachian Mountains of the U.S. The mushroom grows wild on trees and wood stumps. Reishi will often be found growing in the carbon dioxide–rich interior of hollowed out trunks of fallen deciduous hardwood trees and in conifer forests. It is considered an “advanced fungal,” a polypore (mushrooms that grow on wood) with a phytochemistry that is quite complex and takes a relatively long time to mature into its fruiting body, the cap of the mushroom with which we are most familiar. At maturity it attains a tough woody structure not associated with most other mushrooms.

Reishi is a bitter mushroom, not fit for culinary consumption. Boiling the herb is required in order to release its constituents from the tough, woody cellulose. Due to living in wild diversity of old forests, reishi must develop internal resistance and immunity to genetic pollution from other life forms and fungals in its vicinity. Reishi contains a high proportion of immunoglobulins, polyglycans, polysaccharides, triterpenes (cholesterol regulating), beta-glucans (macrophage promoting), ganoderic acids (unique antioxidants) and other immune building components. Experience in China has indicated the herb is not just a powerful immune stimulant; it is an immune system “regulator”, it is actually known to fine tune the immune system, helping bring excessive immune factors into balance.

According to Chinese medical documentation, allergies, arthritis, and many inflammatory responses in the body can be improved by the regular use of reishi. Research in Asia also showed it helps prevent leukopenia, or white blood cell death, which is associated with cancer and the use of chemotherapeutic drugs. Reishi is also used successfully in Japan and China as a treatment for cancer and other immune related degenerative diseases. One notable researcher is Fujimi Morishige of the Linus Pauling Institute of Science and Medicine.71

In Asia, pregnant women also seek the herb as an immune builder for themselves and the fetus. Master Teeguarden spoke of “reishi babies,” as he called them, babies whose mothers took reishi throughout pregnancy. I saw some of these children, older and newborn, and they appeared uniformly calm and focused. The infants had little or no inflammations on their face or hands, cried little, and appeared to take in their surroundings with incredible acuity.

Recent Western health literature is replete with information on reishi’s broad array of health benefits.72 I would suggest conducting an Internet search on this herb and you’ll find more positive information than you can read.

Still, it is reishi’s spirit opening powers that are the herb’s main benefit. Here’s how I believe it works: When we consume the herb it begins quickly to strengthen and fortify our general immunity. When one’s immunity to pathogenic/environmental factors is enhanced, one begins to feel safer. The more we take herbs like reishi, the more we feel we have built a “wall of safety” around ourselves. Reishi has been shown to activate cytokines, agents that aid the body in increasing large white blood cells governed by our immune systems, which represent our first line of defense against microbial and carcinogenic invaders. Those big macrophages (giant white blood cells) are in there chewing up the bad guys, and our subconscious neurotransmitters are aware of this. We feel we can take on more in life and gain confidence that we are less susceptible to being knocked down by limiting and harmful factors. By taking herbs like reishi, we empower ourselves. When this empowerment starts to unfold, we let down some of the guards we’ve built up, easing fear-related stress. This winds up taking a big load of pressure off our adrenals, which sit right on top of the kidneys.

Luckily for us, the adrenals—once relieved of stress– and fear–related burdens—can actually replenish rather quickly. When the adrenals recuperate, the healthy energy resonates right down to the kidneys; our life force begins to get stronger, replenishing jing. Our light gets brighter.

Also, in ways that have not been determined, reishi seems to have a direct effect on the crown chakra, helping clear psychic obstructions. While many mushrooms have psychotropic effects on the brain, reishi does not alter perception. Its effects on neurotransmitters like dopamine, melatonin and DHEA may be enhanced—as any action or substance that promotes calm in the brain. The herb certainly somehow benefits the higher frequencies of mental perception. When our light gets brighter, we may tend to attract more light to us, in the form of people and circumstances. Reishi can be the initiator of benevolent energy that can, and often does, completely change a person’s life for the better.

When searching for reishi, which may be hard to find in your local health food store, make sure that the reishi contained in the bottle is the “fruiting body,” the sexual apparatus of the mushroom, the part we actually associate with mushrooms visually. This part contains over twenty times the concentration of immune potentiators, beta 1–3, 1–6 and 1–9 glucans, than the “mycelium,” which is the unseen part of the mushroom, the white fuzzy fungal part that has grown inside the log or underground and is feeding on the deteriorating wood and oxidizing decaying plant matter in the soil. This mycelium actually comprises the largets bulk of the fungal but has only a fraction of the immune and spirit power of the fruiting body. Many reishi products contain the mycelium. Check the bottle or ask the nutriceutical specialist at your local health food store about mycelium and fruiting body ratios in any reishi product you find. I have seen reishi supplements on store shelved which consisted of nothing but ground up mycelium. Bear in mind that even the mycelium alone has been shown in clinical studies in Japan and China to have positive results in fighting cancer and AIDS, and American mycologist Paul Stamets expresses high regard for the healing and therapeutic benefits of fungal mycelium, but according to Master Teeguarden’s teachings, the fruiting body is more concentrated and thus more efficacious.

To test the quality of a reishi supplement, try opening a capsule and stirring it into an ounce or two of hot water. With good quality reishi, the color should be thick dark brown, and should taste like string, bitter black coffee. If the color reminds you of orange pekoe tea, and chunks of sediment are lying on the bottom, then the product is mainly mycelium, and is not as potent. Don’t be afrand of taking a lot of reishi; it is very safe and contains more spiritually uplifting potential in larger doses. Twelve to fifteen capsules a day can help clear the fog quick. But one may want to start out by following the recommended daily amount as printed on the bottle, and working up as it feels appropriate. I put the powdered extract into teas and smoothies.

The spores of the mushroom are sixty times more potent still, but the cell walls of the spores must be “cracked” before they are bioavailable to us. Once cracked though, the spore will deteriorate, and the common practice is to combine them into oil for preservation. Dragon Herbs has an awesome cracked reishi spore oil. Cracked reishi spores will be almost impossible to find, so one should jump at the chance to take some if available, especially if one is dealing with an immune deficiency issue.

Master Teeguarden showed me ancient scroll paintings from China that depicted reishi perched on a rock in the middle of the artwork, with heaven depicted above and the nether world of lower frequencies below. He explained that this painting revealed reishi as a “bridge between Earth and Heaven.” It was very popular among the elite classes during china’s classical dynasties (approx. 1000 B.C. to 1915 A.D.) This was a period of great scientific and cultural advancement and rulers were said to govern the land with compassion; perhaps reishi had something to do with that.

There appears to be a symbiosis between this mushroom and our higher mind. Reishi may “unlock” the door to our connection with the consciousness of the crown chakra, our connection to the spirit, to our future DNA (it is thought that certain aspects of human DNA have not yet been activated), the genetic code that may contain our true potential as a species.

The class of living things on Earth called fungi is thought to be extraterrestrial; they do not appear to have a earthly origin and it is thought by mycologist Paul Stamets, that the “advanced polypores,” complex fungals such as reishi, agaricus and corriolus originated somewhere else in the galaxy, and the dusts of their spores can survive the harsh oxygen– and light–deprived conditions in space, possibly for millions of years, and eventually some of these dusts land on earth. Stamets states that we humans are actually more closely related to fungi than to plants (we both breathe oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide, the opposite of plants), and that images of fungal mycelia resemble the human neurological system.73

I believe that fungi such as these advanced polypores could be involved in helping design the activating systems for the transmittal of information along neural pathways—consciousness, and our destiny. This could answer the heretofore–unexplained question of how 450 million years ago, single–celled organisms developed the process of differentiation into multi–cellular organisms. Various fungi may have had a role in drawing these early aquatic algaes onto land through their mycelial masses, and somehow imparted to the simple algae more complex neurological and vascular systems capable of transmitting and transporting information—and eventually aiding in the DNA design of humans. Mushrooms such as reishi may have very important messages to convey to us—once we’re ready. *Contraindications: none recorded in all Chinese medical literature.

71. Morishige, Fukumi, 1987. Chinese Traditional Medicine Part III, Page 12 – 23, ISBN4-88580-053-6 C-0077 72. Wood, R. The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia (New York: Penguin, 1988), 287. 73. Paul Stamets, Mycelia Running, How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World (Berkley: Ten Speed Press, 2005), 2-7.

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Sweet Potatoes Are A Cancer Fighting Super Food

        DESCRIPTION: Sweet potatoes are not just one of the healthiest and cheapest sources of nutrition; the predominant protein is a type of protease inhibitor that may have cancer-fighting properties. Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite snacks. During the harsh Boston winters, I used to put two freshly microwaved sweet potatoes in my coat pockets as natural hand-warmers. And then when they cooled down, my hand-warmers became instant healthy snacks!

Learn more at Nutrionfacts.org

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Feeling Stressed? Cordyceps May Well Help You Unwind

Cordyceps miltaris Nature provides an amazing array of resources to improve our health and boost our immunity. Mushrooms are a type of fungus that are enjoyed by people all over the world and renowned for their nutritional benefits. In recent years, scientists have studied the medicinal benefits of the Cordyceps Sinensis mushroom and its effects on ameliorating the negative effects of stress on the body and brain among other things. Mushrooms have been used as food, medicine, poison, and in spiritual/religious rituals across the world since at least 5000 BC. They have used in tonics, soups, teas, prepared foods, and herbal formulas to promote health and longevity. The mushroom fungus Penicillium was the raw material used to create the antibiotic, penicillin, which transformed the medical world.

What is Cordyceps?

This oddly shaped mushroom grows native to China and is all around the Tibetan area. For years, it was thought to be a living worm rather than a mushroom and was nicknamed the caterpillar fungus as it is seen growing on the sides of trees. Cordyceps is actually a fungal spore that kills insects such as caterpillars and moths and feeds off their tissues. The Cordyceps mushroom has been described in old Chinese medical books from ancient times and is also found in Tibetan medicine. Traditional Tibetan healers have recommended Cordyceps as a tonic for all illnesses. This is because they continually witness how it improves people’s energy, sleep habits, digestion, stamina, libido and endurance. Cordyceps first became popular in the Western world when the coach of the record breaking Chinese female runners credited it with the team’s extraordinary success. Today, many researchers believe Cordyceps to be one of the most powerful performance and longevity promoting herbs (1).

Brain health

We have all experienced how stress fatigues our brain, and it is well-understood that chronic stress creates chronic inflammatory states in the brain. These chronic inflammatory states are observed in studies through various pro-inflammatory markers. Additionally, chronic stress is often seen with imbalanced neurotransmitter levels and lowered levels of brain-derived, neurotrophic growth factors (BDNF). Chronic stress impairs memory, cognitive acceleration, the speed of cognitive processing, and judgement or reasoning skills. Additionally, chronic stress induces mood disorders and depression. It also accelerates the process of neurodegeneration that can ultimately lead to diseases such as Parkinson’s, dementia, and Alzheimer’s.

Studying stress, Cordyceps, and the brain

When scientists are studying the delirious effects of chronic stress on brain health, they look at inflammatory markers such as tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-a), interleukin-6 and NF-kb. They also look at the key neurotransmitters such as serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine, acetylcholine and gamma amino butyric acid among others. A 2014 study published in Evidence Based Complimentary and Alternative Medicine showed that Cordyceps supplementation reduced inflammatory markers in the hippocampus of the brain. It also raised up brain-derived neurotrophic growth factor and 5-HTP (precursor to serotonin and norepinephrine levels). These results demonstrated that Cordyceps has positive benefits on mood and memory levels (2). Another 2012 study showed that Cordyceps lowered inflammatory markers in the brain of D-galactose injected mice and increased key anti-oxidants such as superoxide dismutase and glutathione. The non-treated mice showed signs of early mental decline while the Cordyceps treated mice showed great ability to think and function at a high level (3). The researchers suggested based on study results that Cordyceps improves memory and ameliorates the decline of mental function.

Sources:

1) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

2) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

3) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

About the author: Dr David Jockers is a Maximized Living doctor and owns and operates Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Georgia where he specializes in functional nutrition, functional medicine and corrective chiropractic care to get to the underlying cause of major health problems.    

Article From Naturalnews.com

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Want To Look Younger? How Reishi Combats Aging

By Emily Steiner

Over the past several decades, scientific research has intensified and focused on analyzing the hundreds of unique bio-active compounds found in the medicinal Reishi Mushroom.  Just this year alone, three new compounds were discovered. With each new finding, intriguing medical applications for Reishi have emerged.
Reishi Combats Aging
There is now a wealth of impressive data that demonstrates Reishi’s life extending properties1,2  but also its significant ability to stimulate brain neurons,3 search and destroy cancer cells4 and prevent the development of new fat cells in obese individuals.5  As an example of growing science supporting Reishi, researchers using laboratory mice have detailed life span extension of 9% to more than 20% —the equivalent of 7 to nearly 16 years in human terms.2,6,7 As if these targeted benefits were not sufficient, Reishi’s numerous compounds show a therapeutic effect on asthma,8 allergies,9 autoimmune diseases, 10-15 Alzheimer’s16 and Parkinson’s diseases,17-21 diabetes,22-26 liver disease,27-36 and more. Given Reishi’s complex composition of bioactive compounds, there is still more to discover.  In this report, we will bring you up to date on how Reishi successfully targets a broad spectrum of deleterious factors of aging.

Multiple Components Target Aging Mechanisms

Reishi mushrooms have been used for medicinal purposes for at least 2,000 years.37 The mushrooms were known to the ancients as “the mushroom of immortality”37—and for good reason. They had the reputation of promoting health and longevity, boosting the immune system, and reducing the risk of life-shortening conditions such as cardiovascular disease and cancer.38-41 Science has finally validated this traditional wisdom. Originally, Reishi mushrooms were rare and expensive,38,42 but now advances in cultivation techniques have made these medicinal mushrooms more available which has led to an explosion of research on their properties and components.38,42 Studies have shown that Reishi mushrooms can contribute to longer life spans.1,2 They can help manage some of today’s most troubling age-related conditions, including autoimmune diseases, neurodegenerative disorders, diabetes, liver disease, cancer, and more. How is it that this simple mushroom can have such wide-ranging health effects? Keep in mind that there isn’t one single cause of aging and disease. Numerous factors contribute to these conditions—meaning that in order to combat them, you need to fight them from a multi-targeted approach. That’s exactly what makes Reishi mushrooms so powerful. The mushroom itself contains hundreds of biologically active molecules—all of which work together to have such broad-reaching health benefits.37 Researchers have identified three specific compounds that are essential to Reishi’s powerful antioxidant and antiaging effects:
  1. Polysaccharides have anticancer effects based on their ability to prevent abnormal blood vessel formation, and to boost immune system function.40,42
  2. Triterpenes protect the liver, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, prevent platelet clumping that leads to heart attack and stroke, fight allergic responses triggered by histamine, and also possess anticancer activity.42
  3. Ganoderma lucidum peptide is a unique protein that has remarkably potent antioxidant characteristics that are still being unraveled.43
But what makes Reishi mushroom beneficial to so many varied aspects of your health is its actions on many different targets in your body. The actions triggered by Reishi mushrooms produce important changes that may contribute to their promotion of longevity. Reishi extracts are known to:
  • Protect cellular DNA from oxidant damage that causes aging and cancer.44
  • Protect mitochondrial DNA and the mitochondria themselves from oxidant damage that weakens their energy-producing abilities and makes them inefficient, another major cause of aging.45-47
  • Increase levels and activity of a large suite of natural intracellular antioxidant molecules, resulting in reduced oxidation of cell membranes and organelles that lead to aging and its related diseases.38,48
  • Protect kidney tubule cells from oxidant damage that leads to kidney failure.49
  • Increase expression of a key longevity gene and promote an increased life span in species ranging from yeasts, to primitive worms, to mammals such as mice.1,2,50,51
Several studies have shown that Reishi is one of the most powerful mushrooms with regard to antioxidant characteristics.52,53 Reishi mushrooms boost total antioxidant capacity, an important measure of the vigor with which they fight oxidant damage.52,54 In a human study, Reishi mushrooms were given to healthy volunteers as a single 1,100 mg dose.54 Plasma antioxidant capacity rose rapidly to a peak at 90 minutes, while urine antioxidant capacity (a measure of what has been in the body) rose by 29% after 3 hours. Neither study showed any evidence of toxicity or side effects.39 Reishi’s many mechanisms of action are what allow it to have such a dramatic impact on such a wide array of age-related health threats. Let’s now look at some of the most promising areas of research.

Breaking News on Reishi Mushrooms and Cancer Prevention

New compounds are being discovered within extracts of Reishi mushroom on a regular basis; at least 3 were identified in late 2012 alone.55 These discoveries are shedding light on Reishi extracts’ remarkable, multi-targeted anti-cancer properties. Most intriguing are findings that add to our knowledge about Reishi and the phenomenon of immune surveillance. New cancer cells appear in your body every day, but your healthy immune system normally searches these out, quickly activating killer cells to destroy developing cancers before they can form tumors. Advancing age, coupled with the onset of other chronic illnesses, and exposure to various environmental toxins (and even some medications), means that your immune system’s ability to carry out immune surveillance wanes. And, if just one abnormal, cancer-prone cell escapes detection and destruction, it can develop into a full-blown malignancy with tremendous swiftness.
Meta-Analysis Conducted on Reishi for Cancer Treatment
An evaluation of all available clinical trials on the use of Reishi in cancer treatment was published in June 2012. While there was insufficient data to demonstrate efficacy Reishi by itself, when Reishi was given alongside radiation and/or chemotherapy, patients were 50% more likely to respond positively compared to those given chemo/radiation alone. the results in cancer patients receiving Reishi showed the expected increases in immune cells known to enhance tumor response and stimulate host immunity.82 We at Life Extension® look forward to better quality methodological trials to clarify the value of Reishi in adjunctive cancer treatment.
There’s an abundance of data on ways that Reishi extracts boost immune surveillance and enhance detection and elimination of emerging cancer cells from the body.56 And in late 2012, several new studies revealed that these mushrooms have substantially deeper and more advanced mechanisms than had been previously suspected.  The mechanisms of how Reishi identifies and then attacks cancer cells are extremely sophisticated and effective. We know that cancer cells evade immune system surveillance by “hiding” their abnormal surface markers.4 These types of molecular changes not only permit primary cancer to arise, but also contribute to relapses of cancer following chemotherapy.57 Reishi extracts force cancer cells to reveal their telltale markers, flagging them for destruction by immune killer cells.4 At the same time, Reishi extracts induce the production of specific molecules that the immune system needs to complete the killing process.4 Ultimately, Reishi extracts enhance the killing of cancer cells by normal immune killer cells, and reduce the amount of chemotherapy drugs required to finish the job.57,58 In addition to their impressive immune-surveillance-boosting properties, Reishi extracts have numerous other ways of attacking cancer:
  • Reishi compounds, particularly the triterpenes and polysaccharides, limit tumors’ growth rate by blocking the abnormal reproductive cycles of cancer cells.59
  • Some of these compounds are directly toxic to cancer cells, while sparing healthy tissue.60,61
  • Reishi compounds inhibit metastatic processes and decrease the expression of genes involved in cancer cell survival, proliferation, invasion, and metastasis.61
  • Reishi compounds also trigger the programmed cell death called apoptosis that’s suppressed in malignant cells.55,60-62
Together, all of these effects of Reishi mushrooms are shown to reduce the size and growth rates of human tumors, both in animals and in human clinical trials. The most dramatic impact has been shown in colorectal cancer, which is the second leading cause of cancer death among cancers that affect both men and women.63 Clinical studies show that Reishi extracts suppress the development of adenomas, which are pre-malignant masses found in the large intestine.64
What You Need to Know
Chromosome
Remarkable Benefits of Reishi
  • Recent studies show that Reishi mushrooms have hundreds of components in three distinct classes of bioactive molecules, making them ideal for combating the complex and multifactorial diseases we face with advancing age.
  • Reishi extracts prolong life spans in animal experiments by 9 to more than 20%.
  • Reishi boosts the immune system’s vigilance against cancer cells, potentially reducing the risk of developing a detectable and deadly tumor.
  • Reishi extracts can suppress an overly vigorous immune response, helping to quell symptoms of allergies, asthma, and autoimmune diseases.
  • Independent of their immune-modulating effects, Reishi mushrooms’ active molecules are showing promise in the battle against neurodegenerative diseases, obesity and diabetes, and liver disease.
  • If there is such a thing as the “ideal” supplement, capable of attacking multiple complex diseases each with multiple causative factors, Reishi mushrooms are surely an outstanding candidate.

Reishi Balances the Immune System

Woman with tissue having flu or allergy
Reishi mushrooms have a well-known ability to beneficially modulate the immune system.11,65-67 The mushrooms’ ability to boost immunity is the source of their advanced cancer- and infection-fighting properties. But it is equally important to keep your immune system from overreacting and turning on itself, as is the case with autoimmune diseases such as allergies. Reishi mushrooms have demonstrated the ability to modulate the delicate balance necessary for a healthy immune system. Studies have shown that Reishi mushrooms can reduce the overactive immune response that occurs in conditions such as allergies, asthma, and autoimmune diseases. The polysaccharides and triterpenes found in Reishi mushrooms act at multiple targets in the cascade of events leading to inflammation and excessive immune response.17,67,68 Reishi extracts inhibit the release of histamine from specialized immune cells called “mast cells.”65 They have the ability to reduce the activity in nerves that transmit the itch sensation to the brain after a mosquito bite or similar itchy stimulus.69,70 In animal models, Reishi extracts were able to sharply reduce the symptoms associated with allergies, such as rhinitis (watery, itchy nose) and mosquito bites.9 Studies also show that Reishi extracts can reduce “airway hyper-responsiveness,” the “twitchy” smooth muscle responses in the lung bronchi that trigger an asthma attack.8 Reishi extracts also show promise for the management of the underlying immune imbalance that leads to autoimmune diseases.10-15

Reishi Promotes Neuroprotection

Reishi extracts were found to stimulate the production of nerve growth factor, which in turn supports the rapid development of healthy neurons and enhances their mitochondrial function.3 Reishi’s powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties make these mushrooms attractive candidates for preventing neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Both of these diseases are driven by oxidative stress and inflammation. The triterpenes and polysaccharides from the mushrooms reduce the oxidative impact of destructive proteins such as Abeta, the chief trigger of Alzheimer’s disease,16 and they protect brain cells from the inflammation known to cause Parkinson’s disease.17-21 Studies reveal that supplementing with Reishi mushrooms has beneficial effects for stroke victims. First, it can limit the size of the stroke-damaged area in the brain, which helps limit behavioral and functional damage caused by the stroke.71 Second, Reishi mushrooms protect brain tissue from hypoxia/reperfusion injury, the “one-two” punch of oxygen starvation followed by excessive oxidation that produces most of the damage in the brains of stroke victims.19 But as valuable as these benefits are, nowhere are the effects of Reishi mushroom extracts more clear than in their impact on diabetes-related cognitive disorders. In animal studies, Reishi spores alleviated diabetes-induced oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction in the hippocampus, one of the brain’s chief memory-processing areas.22

Reishi and Diabesity

Obesity is a health hazard sweeping the globe in epidemic proportions—and chief among its complications is type II diabetes. The conditions are so often found hand-in-hand that researchers refer to them as a single disease called “diabesity.” Reishi mushrooms are especially valuable in the fight against this epidemic because they’ve been shown to have benefits across the entire spectrum of diabesity. 23-26 Laboratory studies show that the polysaccharides and triterpenes in Reishi extracts can prevent the development of new fat cells from pre-adipocytes, helping to limit excessive fat storage seen in obese people. 5 The extracts also have favorable effects on lipid profiles (cholesterol and triglycerides), which are frequently elevated in those with obesity and/or diabetes—and are risk factors for cardiovascular disease. 23 Reishi extracts work to lower blood sugar by several different mechanisms. 5,23,24, 72-76 Reishi inhibits alpha-glucosidase, the chief enzyme responsible for digesting starches into sugars. 77 This inhibition prevents the sharp after-meal spike in glucose that is so dangerous as we age. 78 They also limit the destruction caused by advanced glycation end products (AGEs), the proteins whose malfunction promotes aging and inflammation. 79 Studies have shown that reducing blood sugar and glycation with Reishi supplements reduces diabetic consequences like kidney disease.80 Reishi extracts also speed wound healing in diabetic individuals, the result of enhanced antioxidant function. 81

Reishi Safeguards Liver Function

Reishi Combats Aging
Your liver is the direct recipient of toxic threats both from the environment and from destructive molecules produced within your body. While it is well protected with its own antioxidant and detoxification systems, oxidation and inflammation eventually take their toll, leaving the aging liver at risk for decreased function, increased accumulation of toxic injury, fibrosis, and cancer. Fortunately, Reishi mushrooms offer direct protection against such threats.27 Studies show, for instance, that pre-treating animals with Reishi spores can protect them when they’re exposed to cadmium, a highly toxic metal capable of causing massive liver failure.28 Researchers found the spores decreased the cadmium accumulation in liver, while “pushing” the toxic metal into the liquid matrix of the cells. Once there, the mushroom spores increased the production of a cadmium-binding protein that removes the toxin from the body.28 Reishi mushroom extracts similarly protect liver tissue from the toxic effects of certain bacterial infections. In animals with such infections, Reishi polysaccharides inhibit inflammation in liver cells.29 Other studies reveal that Reishi polysaccharides restore natural liver antioxidant systems to normal function following an infection, while inhibiting liver enzymes that produce excessive oxidative stress.30,31 Reishi mushrooms limit the activity of beta-glucuronidase, an enzyme that is elevated in many liver conditions, including inflammation, cirrhosis, and jaundice.31,32 One of the most exciting potential applications for Reishi mushrooms in liver disease is in the condition called liver fibrosis, which is the final stage of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Statistics have shown that non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is the most common form of liver disease, ultimately affecting 20 to 30% of the population.32-35 In an animal model of toxin-induced liver fibrosis, treatment with Reishi extract reversed the fibrosis even after it was well-established.36 This is an exceptional result, because in most cases, liver disease that has advanced to the stage of fibrosis is considered irreversible.

Summary

Woman with tissue having flu or allergy
Reishi mushrooms provide a broad-spectrum approach to the treatment and prevention of many of today’s age-related diseases. With their diverse molecular makeup, they offer a broad spectrum of actions that attack aging at its root. This is seen clearly in research demonstrating Reishi’s ability to prolong the life spans of laboratory mice by 9% to more than 20% —the equivalent of 7 to nearly 16 years in human terms. This is further demonstrated in research that has uncovered its powerful anti-cancer activity. Reishi mushrooms contribute to enhanced immune surveillance that can seek and destroy cancer cells before they can form threatening tumors. Finally, studies have shown that Reishi extracts have a role in the prevention or mitigation of asthma, allergies, and autoimmune disorders, while offering protection against neurodegeneration, obesity and diabetes, and liver diseases of many kinds. If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension® Health Advisor at 1-866-864-3027.

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