What Are the Benefits of Reishi Mushroom Tea?

Reishi mushrooms
Although there are other varieties available, red reishi is favored by herbalists. (Image: Sasa Radovic/iStock/Getty Images)

Reishi mushroom, or Ganoderma lucidum, is a staple of Eastern medicine. It's Chinese name, ling chih, means "mushroom of immortality." Those drinking the tea continuously for two months report significant improvements in their well-being. One of reishi's active ingredients, polysaccharides, is water-soluble. This makes mushroom tea a benefit to those with health concerns. Reishi mushroom tea is nontoxic and can be enjoyed daily without negative side effects.

Cancer Prevention and Treatment

Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners recommend reishi mushroom tea as a prevention for cancer. In the March 2006 edition of "Experimental Oncology," scientists published a study confirming reishi's impact on human cancer cells. This same study discovered a proliferation of antioxidants in the mushroom that guards against further cell damage.

Immunostimulant

Reishi mushroom is considered an immune modulator as it regulates and supports the immune system. The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center recommends use of reishi mushrooms because they contain proven immunostimulating polysaccharides such as beta glucans.

Lowers Blood Pressure

Reishi is a popular choice in tea blends for patients wishing to lower their blood pressure. The APA's "Practical Guide to Natural Medicines" lauds this supplement for treatment of hypertension. It says that reishi is effective for lowering cholesterol, preventing blood clots and stabilizing blood pressure.

Allergic Reactions

Due to its effect on the immune system, reishi mushrooms are often added to allergy tea blends. Some people have reported stomach upset and dryness of the mouth, nose and throat as an allergic reaction to this herb. Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners recommend adding herbs high in vitamin C such as citrus to counteract this effect.

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