Reishi Mushroom: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects, Dosage

Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum ) aka.Lingzhi mushroom, is a fungi that is commonly found in the Eastern parts of Asia. Packed with chemicals that have the potential in benefiting the immune system, it is generally considered non-toxic. The description decipts the mushroom as tough, woody, and bitter in taste. Let’s go in detail about the uses, benefits, side effects and dosage of Reishi mushroom or a better understanding about this miracle fungi.

The Chinese have used the Lingzhi, medically for many years dating back to 2000. Hence arguably making it the oldest mushroom to be used for a medical purpose.

Uses Of Reishi mushroom

Uses Of Reishi mushroom

According to the researchers the possible uses of Reishi mushroom are effective in preventing certain disorders like

  • Non-cancerous Tumors – Researches suggest that intake of Reishi Mushroom for 12 months has the capability to reduce tumors in people who are diagnosed with colorectal adenomas.
  • Clogged arteries – Intake of a specific product of Reishi Mushroom (Ganopoly) reduces clogged arteries, breath shortage, pains in the chest.
  • Diabetes – Consuming Reishi mushroom for 12 weeks can reduce the hemoglobin but it doesn’t count for people with diabetes Type 2.
  • Hepatitis B – Again taking Reishi mushroom reduces the virus circulating inside the body Hepatitis B. It also improves the function of the liver in this people.
  • Blood Pressure (High) – A 12 week medication of Reishi mushroom lowers the BP for people with high BP, but it’s not recommended for people with lower BP.
  • Lung Cancer – Improves the quality of the body immune system and life quality in people diagnosed with lung cancer.
  • Pain relating to Shingles – The hot extracts of Reishi mushroom decreases pain in case where the conventional treatment fails to deliver.

The other uses of Reishi mushroom are seen in

  • Boosting the immune system
  • Cure from viral infections
  • Prostate cancer
  • Bronchitis and asthma
  • Stress
  • Kidney disorders
  • Liver diseases
  • HIV
  • Fatigue
  • Altitude sickness
  • Insomnia
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Poisoning

Benefits of the Reishi Mushroom:

The major benefits of Reishi mushroom include

  • Relief from respiratory conditions of chronic origin
  • Preventing abnormal formation of blood vessel
  • Reduced risk of cognitive disorders
  • Prevention and treatment of cancer
  • Strengthening of the immune system
  • Lowering of bad cholesterol levels
  • Prevention of allergic reactions
  • Boosting the cognitive development
  • Most effective in the treatment of gout/arthritis
  • Detoxification of the body and boosting the energy levels
  • Reduced risk of premature aging and chronic disease

Side Effects of Reishi mushroom

Like any food item, Reishi mushroom too may have some side effects if not taken in the right manner. Some of the side effects of Reishi mushroom may be related to the form or quantity in which it is taken.

Taking it in the powdered form may be considered unsafe as there are risks regarding which, the liver gets affected. Though no proper study has been made the suspected effects includes dryness of the throat, nasal areas and mouth. The others include itchiness, bleeding nose, blood stools, stomach upset. Drinking the Reishi wine could cause rashes and the inhaling of Reishi spores can ignite allergies. Further cautions in specific fields include;

  • Breastfeeding and Pregnancy : Due to the unavailability of reliable information it is highly advisable for women especially pregnant ladies to avoid using these mushrooms
  • Bleeding Disorder : The over dosage can result in bleeding disorder
  • Low BP: People with low BP are best adviced to stay away from this as it has the capability to lower the blood pressure
  • Thrombocytopenia: People with Thrombocytopenia also ought to keep away from Reishi Mushroom as high dosage will result in bleeding
  • Surgery: It is advisable to not use this mushroom 2 weeks before a surgery and also after one. The side effect of Reishi mushroom, in this case can be excessive bleeding.

Dosage of Reishi mushroom

The most crucial part while taking any medicinal product relies heavily upon the appropriate amount of dosage given or taken. In this case, the appropriate dosage of Reishi mushroom depends on the person’s age, health and so on. However, so far there is no proper information determining an appropriate amount to be taken by the user. We usually tend to believe that natural products are the most reliable sources, which do not have any side effects. However, the reality is that the natural products as they seem are not always safe and as a medical product despite the health values they contain the dosage amount plays a vital role and that cannot be neglected. If you ever happen to take a Reishi Mushroom, it’s advisable to consult your local physician, pharmacist and if required you can also seek advice from a professional. And don’t forget to read the labels before using it.


Though the concept of Reishi Mushroom seems to be promising in the medicinal field with promised cures in many illnesses, but the major setback is that there is no proper research done. Most of the cures are just a theory and it hasn’t been proven yet. In addition, the side effects of Reishi mushroom are not fully known, so also the exact dosage. While it may be best to consuming it as food in moderation, to have it as a medical supplement, medical advice is needed.

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 30, 2017

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