Reishi Spores: Powerful Ancient Medicine For The 21st Century


    For some years now, reishi spores (the spores of reishi mushrooms) have been used in the traditional medicine practices of China and other Asian cultures. The spores come from the reishi mushroom, also known as Ganoderma lucidum or lingzhi, which is a fungus that grows in various hot and humid locations in Asia. These spores are believed to improve overall health by giving the immune system a major boost, and this has led some researchers to look into their possible use in cancer treatment. In addition, the spores may offer other beneficial effects which are now being studied in more detail. Pubmed: Study

    Reishi spores contain a complex combination of chemicals including polysaccharides, alkaloids, triterpenoids, sterols/ergosterol, proteins, nucleosides, and nucleotides. Some of these are found in sufficient quantities to make them potential drug candidates, and these are being studied for their possible benefits to patients with diabetes, inflammation, epilepsy, neurodegeneration, anxiety, sedation, cardiac diseases, depression, hepatic diseases, and immune disorders. Most of these studies are still in their preliminary stages, but the reishi spores have already been shown to possess many valuable pharmacological activities, and the number of patents and clinical trials is increasing.

    Reishi mushrooms are edible, but their spores are often consumed in powdered forms of the mushroom or extracts that contain the specific molecules believed to be responsible for their health effects.

    The reishi mushroom is known by a variety of names, including:

    10,000 Years Mushroom 

    Ganoderma Lucidum

    Ganoderma Spores 


    Mushroom Of Immortality


    reishi spores, and reishi supplements, real mushrooms
    Reishi Mushrooms

    The traditional benefits of reishi spores have led to studies of new ways to take advantage of their healthful properties.

    The major health effect associated with compounds made from reishi mushrooms is improving the body’s immune system to help it fight off a wide variety of diseases and ailments. Some studies have indicated that the spores affect the production of white blood cells, which are a key part of the immune system. They may also have an impact on the inflammation process, another component of the body’s ability to fight off infections. While most of the benefits from reishi spores have been seen in patients who already have diseases, researchers have also seen signs that they may help healthy people avoid getting sick.

    Because of its possible benefits to the immune system, the reishi mushroom is being studied by cancer researchers who hope it can improve the work of white blood cells called natural killer cells, which combat infections and cancer. 

    Although much of the cancer research is still in its early stages, products derived from reishi spores are already becoming popular with the general public. A study of more than 4,000 breast cancer survivors showed that almost 60 percent of them consumed reishi mushrooms. Other researchers are studying the possibility that reishi spores may benefit prostate cancer patients because they affect the hormone testosterone. And they are being studied for having properties that might help in preventing or fighting colorectal cancer.

    Healthline: Reishi Mushroom Benefits

    Breast cancer symbol

    Reishi spores may lift your spirits and brighten your mood. 

    Researchers are also conducting studies to see if products from the reishi mushrooms can help the body fight against fatigue and depression while also improving the general quality of life. One study examined their effects in 132 patients with neurasthenia, a condition associated with aches, pains, dizziness, headaches and irritability The researchers concluded that fatigue was reduced and well-being was improved after eight weeks of taking the supplements. Another study, which focused on breast cancer survivors, found that fatigue was reduced and quality of life was improved after four weeks of taking reishi powder. The patients in that same study also experienced less anxiety and depression.

    women in a good mood from reishi spores

    Reishi spores may someday supply a bounty of healthful benefits.

    While the majority of studies are concentrating on the effects of reishi spores on cancer treatment and anxiety issues, other smaller trials are examining the spores’ possible benefits in a variety of health situations. In the area of heart health, for instance, a three-month study showed that reishi mushroom may increase “good” HDL cholesterol and decrease triglycerides. Several studies have indicated that molecules found in reishi spores can decrease blood sugar in animals.

    Examine: Reishi Supplements

    heart health and lower cholesterolcan be acheived with reishi spores

    Getting the benefits of reishi spores the natural way

    As the popularity of mushroom-derived supplements continues to increase, so does the emphasis of many companies on the natural sourcing and processing of these products. Organic practices are becoming more common, and transparency is increasing in the supply chain for their basic ingredients.

    As its name indicates, Real Mushrooms emphasizes the fact that its products are solely made from mushrooms. Company founder Skye Chilton says all of his company’s ingredients come from a company called Nammex, which his father founded in 1989 to create high quality mushroom extracts for the US market.

    While some suppliers produce their raw ingredients from mycelium grown on a type of grain, Nammex only uses whole mushrooms that are then turned into supplements by Real Mushrooms.

    “China has a rich history of mushroom use and is the birthplace of mushroom cultivation, beginning as early as the 12th century,” Chilton says. “It is one of the only places you can obtain pure organic mushroom extracts for supplement use. China also produces over 85 percent of the world’s mushrooms.”

    In addition to using only organic products, Real Mushrooms also promises its customers that their supplements contain the best possible medicinal mushroom extracts in their purest form, without any carriers or grain fillers. And the company states that its products are analyzed for the important medicinal compounds and are consistent with the existing body of medicinal mushroom research.

    mushrooms and a bottle with mushroom, real mushrooms

    How much of a good thing is a good thing?

    The amount of reishi spores contained in a regular dose of the mushroom’s beneficial ingredients depends on the form of the supplement. The standard dose for the basic extract is from 1.44 grams to 5.2 grams each day. The most popular daily dose is 5.2 grams, taken in three doses of 1,800 milligrams each. The basic reishi extract is essentially dehydrated mushroom powder, which makes it about 10 times as powerful as the actual mushroom itself. This means that 5 grams of extract is similar to about 50 grams of whole mushroom.

    Research continues into reishi spores and cancer treatment

    The future of reishi spores as a cancer treatment is being determined by numerous research products, and these in turn are being monitored by such organizations as the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. While the center says the studies are promising, they do recommend that any cancer patient speak with his or her healthcare provider if they have these specific circumstances:

    If you’re on blood thinners such as warfarin because reishi mushroom can increase your risk of bleeding.

    If you’re on immunosuppressants, reishi may not be safe for you.

    If you’re taking reishi mushroom spore powder. It may increase the levels of a substance called CA72-4 in your body, which may show up on your test results and interfere with your cancer treatment.

    MSKCC: Reishi Mushrooms


    Important Note: The information contained in this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be construed as health or medical advice, nor is it intended to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure any disease or health condition. Before embarking on any diet, fitness regimen, or program of nutritional supplementation, it is advisable to consult your healthcare professional in order to determine its safety and probable efficacy in terms of your individual state of health.


    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here