Reishi mushroom, its Chinese name literally translating to phrases like “divine mushroom” and “mushroom of immortality,” is one of the oldest mushrooms to be used medicinally in the world, dating back around 2,000 years ago.
Native to China, reishi can now be found in both Northern and tropical climates. Because the wild form of reishi is quite hard to find, it is often cultivated on hardwood logs or in woodchips.
History of Reishi
Reishi has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine, showing up in ancient Chinese texts dating back as early as 91 BCE. Throughout history, it’s been tied to general well being, increased immune function, and longevity.
Originally reserved for royals only, reishi is now cultivated all over the world, and has recently gained traction in the United States as a natural health food.
The reishi mushroom itself is typically boiled for a few hours and then turned into a tea, tincture, or supplement.
Health Benefits Of Reishi
In natural medicine, reishi is known as an adaptogen. Adaptogens are compounds and plants that are said to help the body move toward equilibrium in times of stress, returning the nervous system. back to normal. Considering that the first ever recorded health benefit of reishi is “longevity,” this makes perfect sense!
Another big claim to fame of reishi is its strength as a cancer fighter, specifically on breast cancer. A 2013 study published in the medical journal PLOS ONE even goes as far to say, “Reishi is a potential natural therapeutic for breast and other cancers.” The longevity mushroom may even help ease the effects of chemotherapy (nausea, weakened immunity) in patients.
A second study links the properties in reishi to liver regeneration — at least in mice.
A third study links reishi to improvement in brain impairments resulting from degenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s.
Reishi is also great at lowering inflammation in the body, improving immune function, and helping with blood circulation.
With all these amazing benefits, it’s no wonder that reishi has been called the “mushroom of immortality!”
The Taste of Reishi
Reishi is very bitter, which is why it is often boiled for a few hours, and then either dried and turned into a supplement or powder, or made into a tea with honey or other sweeteners.
Where To Buy Reishi
As with all supplemental powders, it’s best to find an unprocessed, organic brand. We love Terrasoul Red Reishi Mushroom Powder.
Smoothie Recipes With Reishi
When combined with sweet ingredients, reishi powder completely disappears in a smoothie, meaning you can get all the health benefits without any of the bitter aftertaste! Here are some of our favorite smoothie recipes with reishi.
Reishi Cashew Power
Great for your immune system and liver, reishi mushrooms have been shown to have “life span-extending properties” by preventing abnormal blood vessels from forming. High in fiber, vitamins K and C, and antioxidants, kale is one of the most nutritious greens you can eat. Combine these ultra-potent foods with fiber from a pear, polyphenol-heavy grapes, and healthy fat and protein from cashews, and you’ve got the Fountain of Youth in a glass!
Native to Asia, reishi mushrooms have been called “mushrooms of immortality,” and have been used for centuries in longevity practices. A 2009 study in the no-nonsense scientific journal Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry found that polysaccharide molecules present in reishi mushrooms promoted longevity via their immune-boosting and cancerous tumor fighting abilities. Jicama is another vegetable you may not always add to your smoothies, but its delicate flavor makes it easy to blend with fruit, and its dietary fiber creates a smooth, filling base.
Bok Choy Bliss
Sometimes labeled “mushrooms of immortality,” reishi mushrooms have been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine. With scientifically studied anti-cancer and longevity properties, reishi gives your immune system a huge boost. Baby bok choy is full of vitamin C and magnesium, which is a mineral known to ease stress in both the body and mind. In addition to healthy fats, avocados also contain a big dose of potassium, which helps lower blood pressure. If you need a moment of bliss in the middle of a busy day, this nutrient-dense drink is your ticket to heaven!
Kiwi Pear Power
Reishi mushrooms, which are native to Asia, have been used for centuries to help increase lifespan. They’ve even been referred to as “mushrooms of immortality,” and the polysaccharide molecules in reishi have been scientifically proven to boost immunity and fight cancerous tumors. Cashews and coconut water provide a creamy base that’s full of healthy fat, and kiwi, pear and kale are overflowing with vitamin C, A and K. Power through your day with a drink that’s got your covered from every angle!
Almond Reishi Refresh
Used for centuries in Chinese medicine, reishi mushrooms have been touted as having “lifespan-extending properties,” as well as the ability to fight inflammation. Grapes are full of polyphenols, some of the best antioxidants for immune system health, and almonds have been praised time and time again for being one of the best snacks here is. Combine these super foods with healthy fiber from a pear and vitamins A, C and K from mild baby bok choy, and you have a nutritionally complete smoothie that can help health your entire body!
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