15 Mar 2023
Mushrooms have been a cornerstone of traditional medicine systems for centuries, and reishi is among the most highly prized fungi. Known in Chinese as lingzhi, reishi earned the nickname ‘the mushroom of immortality’ thanks to its many health-boosting properties. According to legend, reishi only grew on three islands off the coast of China – islands that were home to the immortals. As such, it was very expensive and only readily available to the wealthy.
While this folklore may be an exaggeration, wild reishi is rare. It natively grows at the base of deciduous trees in hot and humid locations across Asia. However, because of its increased popularity, people now cultivate the fungus around the world. So, luckily for those of us interested in how to use reishi mushroom powder, you no longer need to be a member of the aristocracy to take it!
Reishi mushrooms are large and dark orangey-red in colour, with glossy, flat caps shaped like fans. Practitioners of traditional medicine have long used reishi to help enhance Qi (your vital life force). They also believed the fungus could work to strengthen the heart, improve memory, and even have anti-ageing effects.(1)
While modern research into this esteemed mushroom is still in its infancy, early results regarding its health benefits are promising. So before talking about how to use reishi mushroom powder, let’s look at the potential rewards of doing so.
There’s not much point in knowing how to use reishi mushroom powder if you don’t know why it’s worth taking! Therefore, it will be useful to first go through a quick overview of its possible advantages. If you want more details, have a read of our in-depth article on the benefits of reishi mushroom.
One of the most valuable uses of reishi is as a boost for your immune system.(2) Studies indicate that the mushroom could increase the activity of certain types of immune cells and help reduce inflammation. This is thanks to its high levels of potent triterpenes and polysaccharides. In particular, reishi may have anti-cancer properties, although further research is required to clarify this.(3)
Interestingly, reishi could also have a positive impact on our mental health. For example, as an adaptogen, the mushroom may enable us to cope with stress more effectively. Research additionally shows that reishi can assist in reducing fatigue and feelings of depression.(4)
Scientists are also investigating whether reishi could be helpful in supporting cardiovascular health and blood sugar management. There is some evidence that the mushroom may improve cholesterol levels and decrease blood sugar. However, more study is necessary to confirm these reishi mushroom powder benefits.
So now that you have a better idea what it’s good for, let’s get into the details of how to use reishi mushroom powder.
While the focus of this article is on how to use reishi mushroom powder, it’s worth mentioning that there are other ways you can consume the fungus.
Firstly, you can eat the mushrooms fresh. However, they have a rather tough texture and bitter flavour, which means they’re not especially tasty! Likewise, depending on where you live, you might find it tricky to source them.
Another option is to take a reishi supplement. Although these are convenient, they too have their downsides. For example, it’s not always clear exactly what’s in them, and some suppliers use bulking agents that reduce their potency. In addition, companies often make the capsules themselves with animal-derived ingredients like gelatine. That means they’re not suitable for those on a plant-based diet.
For these reasons, we recommend reishi powder as a convenient and versatile method to enjoy the potential benefits of this potent fungus. Not only is it easy to source, but there are also plenty of ways to include it in your diet. As such, you’re sure to find an option that suits your daily routine and taste preferences. So, without further ado, it’s time to take a closer look at how to use reishi mushroom powder.
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