Imagine there was a natural compound that could figure out what was wrong with your body and fix it.
Imagine the same compound could be smoothed on your skin to fight wrinkles … or swallowed to boost your energy and fight off aging from the inside.
And imagine this “miracle” compound could even help your body deal with stress, protect your heart and brain, and fight tumors.
Well, a natural compound like this does exist! And global consumption is rapidly growing because of its almost magical powers. . .
The “Mushroom of Immortality”
The compound comes from the “Mushroom of Immortality,” as some cultures call it. It’s also called “The Gift from God” by some Siberian peoples.
It’s been used for over 2000 years in traditional medicine throughout Asia. Its botanical name is Ganoderma lucidum, but most of us know it by its Japanese name, reishi.
The reishi mushroom has been called one of the healthiest fungi known. This is especially true of the red reishi, which boasts more than 400 bioactive compounds. Some of these compounds make reishi a powerful adaptogen.
What’s that? Glad you asked. . .
Adaptogens have the ability to give your body what it needs, which may be more of “X” at one time, and less “X” at another. An adaptogen can adjust to help your body balance out certain things that are out of whack.
That’s why reishi can improve so many different biochemical functions. Studies show it can perform a wide range of useful services, from shrinking tumors to regulating blood sugar. It can even fight Alzheimer’s.1
An Anti-Aging Elixir
I now see skincare companies launching products that contain reishi because it helps skin retain water, which makes you look more youthful. But what really excites me is what reishi can do inside your body.
Reishi has four types of bioactive molecules that give it the power to slow down aging. These molecules are polysaccharides, triterpenes, peptides, and polysaccharide peptides. Selected examples of each are proven to boost your body’s immune system. They also protect your body from inflammation and oxidative stress.
You may know the biggest factors that cause your body to age are oxidative stress –the buildup of free radicals. These leave your body prone to various “age-related” maladies including arthritis, cancer, cardiovascular disease and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Studies show an extract of reishi called EGL (ethanol extract of Ganoderma lucidum) has an amazing ability to suppress oxidative stress. This protects the heart, brain, and liver from aging. Not only that, EGL also increases your body’s own free-radical-fighting antioxidant enzymes.
In one study, people were tested for their levels of these enzymes, which our bodies make to fight oxidative stress, such as glutathione, glutathione peroxidase, and catalase. Then they were given EGL once a day for 15 days.
After the 15 days, the participants were tested again for the enzymes, and the results showed they had a significant increase. The study also demonstrated a reduction in toxins caused by free radicals, particularly in the heart and brain.2
More Research Ahead
Many of the animal studies done on reishi show it possesses definite anti-aging properties. There have also been some human studies. Because of this, researchers feel reishi has an emerging role among the anti-aging, and perhaps even disease-fighting options available to us.3 But more research is needed before we fully understand what reishi can do and how we can tap into its potential.
I’m looking forward to seeing the details as they emerge, but for me, there’s enough evidence already. There’s no reason why you can’t enjoy some of the anti-aging, health-promoting benefits of reishi now.
Just Don’t Look in the Produce Aisle!
While reishi is known for many good things, taste isn’t one of them! It has a tough texture and tastes too bitter to add to an omelet or salad. So you won’t find it in the produce isle.
But if you’re interested in trying reishi, you can find many supplements and powders online. I take it regularly (along with other mushroom extracts – they really are superfoods.) My preferred brands are Mushroom Science and Mushroom Wisdom.