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Reishi Mushroom

naturally calm your central nervous system

Reishi | Biohacking your body
17 October 2023 | James Kearslake
Table of Contents
An image of reishi mushroom on a pastel yellow background_the benefits of reishi

What is reishi mushroom?

Known as the Mushroom of Immortality, reishi mushroom has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries. Taken for its calming effects on the body, users of reishi report improved sleep, reduced stress levels, and improved mental clarity.

Becoming widely used within Western wellness practice and a supplement taken by those experiencing the stress of our modern lives, reishi mushroom is used predominantly to aid and improve sleep. A quick search of Google and social media, and you will find countless first-hand experiences of people using reishi to calm their central nervous system, and experience a healthy, full nights sleep.

With the ability to calm the central nervous system, it can help bring us to a sense of stillness within ourselves that we so rarely experience in modern life, and is a natural alternative to managing stress and improving overall mood.

Also being used by people with ADHD, chronic stress or anxiety, depression, and others with common mental health conditions, people are looking to reishi for natural management of their mental health rather than prescribed medications with their adverse side effects.

Reishi mushroom is also known to modulate our immune system, aiding production of immune cells to fight infections and disease.

Also being high in antioxidative properties and an anti-inflammatory, scientists have shown reishi mushroom supports healthy liver function, reduces cholesterol levels, and lowers blood pressure.

Within four days of taking reishi mushroom as a supplement I’d noticed a marked improvement in my overall mood, felt lighter within myself, and experienced a greater sense of joy and satisfaction with my life. 

Reishi mushroom has categorically improved how I feel about myself and my life, and I experience a greater sense of gratitude and happiness throughout the day. 

The benefits of reishi mushroom

Benefits of consuming reishi mushroom as a daily supplement include:

  1. Improved sleep – reishi mushroom is known for aiding better sleep and managing insomnia, and has been used as a sleep aid for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine. Reishi is often consumed in morning coffee, throughout the day in tea, or in the evening in herbal tea or hot chocolate, as a way to maintain a calm central nervous system throughout the day and ensure a quality night’s rest.
  2. Mood and stress management – it’s also known for its ability to improve mood, reduce stress hormones within the body, and support a sense of overall mental wellbeing.
  3. Increased melatonin production – melatonin is your body’s sleep hormone which is produced naturally each evening. It is critical to supporting a decent nights sleep, and is often prescribed as a supplement for those experiencing insomnia or struggling to sleep from common mental health conditions including anxiety. The increased melatonin production naturally regulates sleep patterns and improves the quality of your sleep.
  4. Cognitive function – studies show that reishi mushroom also supports cognitive function and may have neuroprotective properties.
  5. Lowers blood pressure – through vasodilation, its ability to reduce stress within the body, and its anti-inflammatory properties, reishi mushroom has a combined effect on reducing blood pressure.
  6. Reduces cholesterol – studies show reishi mushrooms may reduce levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, often referred to as ‘bad cholesterol’, by inhibiting the synthesis of cholesterol in the liver.
  7. Cardiovascular health – the combined effects of lower blood pressure and reduced cholesterol can contribute to overall improved heart health.
  8. Immune system support – the mushrooms contain bioactive compounds, beta-glucans and polysaccharides, that stimulate the production of immune cells and improve immune defences.
  9. Antioxidant properties – reishi mushrooms are rich in antioxidants, including triterpenoids and ganoderic acids. These compounds help neutralize harmful free radicals in the body, reducing oxidative stress and inflammation.
  10. Stress reduction – studies indicate reishi mushrooms have adaptogenic properties, helping the body adapt to stress and reduce stress hormones throughout the body.
  11. Anti-inflammatory effects – compounds in reishi mushrooms may have anti-inflammatory properties, which could benefit conditions characterized by chronic inflammation.
  12. ACE Inhibition – the mushrooms may also inhibit the activity of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), which is involved in blood pressure regulation. This inhibition can lead to vasodilation and lowered blood pressure.

The bioactive ingredients of reishi mushroom

1. Hericenones and erinacines

Scientists believe ganoderic acids are the bioactive compounds found within reishi mushroom that aid relaxation and improve sleep. Ganoderic acid can increase GABA activity in the brain, which is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that can have a calming influence on the central nervous system. GABA primarily functions to reduce the activity of neurons in the brain and central nervous system by inhibiting neurons from firing, thereby reducing neuron excitability or overstimulation

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GABA is a critical component to the brain’s neurotransmitter system, maintaining a calmer and more balanced mind, mood regulation, and seizure control. 

Imbalances in the GABA system are what can lead to neurological and psychological disorders.

2. Triterpenoids

Evidence is showing that reishi mushrooms can promote blood vessel relaxation, known as vasodilation, which results in lower blood pressure. Scientists believe triterpenoids are the inducing factor for vasodilation with new research ongoing.

3. Polysaccharides

Reishi mushroom is also rich in polysaccharides, which are key to maintaining a healthy immune system. By stimulating the immune cells macrophages and natural killer cells, the compounds strengthen the body’s defence mechanisms, making it more resilient against infections and illnesses.

Potential risks and side effects:

Reishi mushroom is generally considered safe for most people. However, there are some considerations and potential risks to be aware of:

  1. Allergic reactions – while rare, some individuals may be allergic to reishi mushrooms, leading to symptoms such as skin rashes, itching, or digestive issues.
  2. Blood thinning – reishi mushrooms may have a mild blood-thinning effect. If you are taking blood-thinning medications, consult with your healthcare provider before adding reishi supplements to your regimen.
  3. Digestive issues – Some people may experience digestive discomfort, such as upset stomach or diarrhoea, when consuming reishi mushrooms.
  4. Interactions with medications – reishi mushrooms may interact with certain medications, particularly those that affect blood clotting or the immune system. It’s crucial to consult your healthcare provider before taking reishi supplements, especially if you are on medication.
  5. Liver health – there have been rare reports of reishi mushroom causing liver toxicity in some individuals. If you have liver issues or are taking medications that affect liver function, use reishi supplements with caution and under medical supervision.
  6. Pregnancy and breastfeeding – there is limited research on the safety of reishi mushrooms during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

It’s important to always source products from reputable sources and consult with a healthcare professional before adding any supplements to your diet, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are taking medications. Individual responses to reishi mushrooms may vary, so it’s crucial to monitor for any adverse effects when trying them for the first time.

Where to purchase reishi mushroom in the UK

We have found Gower’s reishi supplement works great for our team, and as it’s an Amazon recommend product is financially accessible to most.

While there are more advanced products on the market like DIRTEA, we only recommend purchasing these if you have a higher disposable income. It’s more beneficial to take a product long-term, therefore we always recommend sticking to a product that works within your financial range.

Don’t be afraid to try various doses of the supplement, and if you want to manage your own dose outside of Gower’s tablet range, you can try Sevenhill’s Organic Reishi Powder.

Who is James Kearslake?

Having been biohacking my mind and body long before it became fashionable, I’ve always lived by the benefits of nature’s resources to improve cognitive and physiological performance. Using my years of experience, products, and wellness practices, I’m now helping others elevate their cognitive performance to help build the life they want. I save you the time I’ve spent learning, so you can focus your time on building.

Proudly AI Supported

I proudly use AI to support development of my articles. As a heavily dyslexic person, writing can be a time consuming process with words often jumbled up and sentences the wrong way round. AI has become my crutch; allowing me to share the immense interest in my mind, while making content creation quicker and more accurate. AI is my benefit.

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