It’s called “the mushroom of immortality” and not just because it’s been used medicinally for over 4000 years. 

So where can I get this unique, ancient mushroom? How do I use it exactly? How much should I take a day? What are the benefits? Can it really make me immortal? 

As much as I’d like to believe it, unfortunately that’s a no on the last question. However, it does have anti aging properties, as well as numerous other incredible benefits that you won’t want to miss out on.

So without further ado, let’s dissect this mushroom and see what it’s got to offer! 

What Are Reishi Mushrooms?

The reishi mushroom is a fungal growth with a fan-like shape and a toasted orange, red and brown color. When in the wild, it grows in humid areas on dead or dying hardwood trees. Although it can be found in Asia, Europe, Australia and North and South America, it’s actually a rare mushroom to come across. Even in ancient times it was reserved only for royalty. Luckily reishi mushrooms can be cultivated, which gives us much easier access to its amazing qualities! 

It is a common Chinese belief that all mushrooms are nourishing to the spirit. The Chinese names for “reishi” even translate to “spirit mushroom,” “divine mushroom” and as mentioned before, “mushroom of immortality.” It’s no surprise then that the first known uses of reishi are in China. And in addition to being used for “immortality” throughout Chinese history, it was also commonly used for insomnia, cough, fatigue and asthma. 

The taste of a reishi mushroom is definitely bitter. Some describe it as pleasantly bitter or earthy while others say it tastes like tree bark. Regardless of how you choose to describe it, reishi mushrooms aren’t famous for their taste.

Why Is Reishi Mushroom Good For You?

You would think that a bitter, tree bark flavored fungus discovered in ancient times would have long been tossed out of the medicine cupboard. If this fungus isn’t delicious, why have people been using it for over 4000 years? 

Mushrooms rise to the top of the most beneficial superfoods. And the most researched and praised of all superfood mushrooms is the reishi. 

Benefits – What Reishi Mushrooms Are Good For 

1. Detoxification

Reishi can help to regenerate healthy liver cells more quickly, which means more effective detoxification. It is also known to help remedy liver diseases and liver damage.

2. Cognitive Ability

The reishi mushroom can help protect the brain from seizures. It can also stimulate both cognitive ability and nerve growth. 

3. Immune System Boost

Reishi mushrooms contain beta-glucans, as well as other compounds that can help strengthen the immune system. 

4. Antioxidant

Reishi mushrooms are an amazing source of antioxidants. They can increase antioxidant activity in the liver and protect the blood from oxidants.

5. Lower Blood Pressure

Reishi can help improve blood flow and reduce the amount of oxygen used by the heart, which leaves more oxygen for the rest of the body. It may also reduce the amount of bad cholesterol.

6. Inflammation Reduction 

Reishi is well known to have inflammation reducing properties. It increases the amount of blood flow to the brain and can help when your body is suffering from a headache or recovering from an injury. 

7. Respiratory Support

Reishi can reduce irritation and allergic reactions that occur with asthma and bronchitis. 

8. Anti-Aging

This mushroom can help boost immune system and blood vessel health. It can neutralize free radicals, which helps reduce the risk of chronic diseases and premature aging.

9. Mental Energy

By helping to balance hormones in the body, reishi mushrooms can help boost your mental energy. 

10. Cancer Prevention

Reishi can help prevent and reduce tumor and cancer cells, even in advanced stages.

How To Use Reishi Mushrooms

There are many ways to prepare reishi mushrooms. After all, we have had 4000 years of practice. No matter your preferred method, any way you do it will still give you a large amount of reishi benefits.  

Fresh Reishi Mushroom

Finding fresh reishi mushrooms at a store can be difficult. You will have the most luck in organic health food stores and markets. If you are able to cultivate it or live near a forest of hemlock trees that is also ideal!

The benefit of using fresh reishi mushrooms is that they are softer when in this form and can be more easily cut, chopped, grated, or ground. However, the only edible part is the outermost white edge, which when cooked is only about as soft as chicken. The rest of the reishi can be boiled to make a tea. Most often it is sliced to dry out and use later.  

How To Cook Reishi Mushrooms

If you are wanting to try a fresh reishi mushroom, get a whole reishi and slice off the white outer edge. It’s important that the mushroom is very fresh, because as soon as it hardens you will hardly be able to slice and chew through it. 

Once you have your white slices, put them in a pan on medium heat. You can cook them with olive oil, salt, pepper and/or garlic. Let them cook until lightly browned. Enjoy! 

How To Grow Reishi Mushrooms Outdoors

If you want easier access to reishi mushrooms and all their glory, you’ll be happy to find that you can grow them right in your own back yard! The process takes time, but it’s very simple. 

Supplies Needed: 

  • A 3 foot log, about 6 inches in diameter (oak and maple are best) with the bark still intact
  • Reishi dowels/plugs (can be purchased online) 
  • Drill with a 5/16th bit
  • Hammer
  • Wax (beeswax, soy wax, or cheese wax) 
  • Paintbrush

Instructions: 

Take your log (freshly cut is best) and drill holes about 5 inches apart over the entire log, the same depth as your dowels (usually about an inch long). Once the holes are drilled, gently hammer the dowels into the openings so they are completely flush with the log.

Use the paintbrush to seal the holes with wax, which will keep bugs and other competing predetors from entering the log. Once the log is sealed, place it upright in a year-round shady area. You can lean it up against a wall or fence if needed.

Wait 6 to 8 months for the reishi to colonize in the log. It’s important to keep the log moist at all times. Depending on the weather and humidity of the area, you may need to spay the log 3 to 5 times a week, or only a couple times during the hot summer months. After the log has been colonized and the reishi start growing, the log will produce reishi annually for the next 4 to 5 years. 

How To Dry Reishi Mushrooms

Because reishi mushrooms are too tough to eat when fresh, it is most effective to slice them into strips soon after harvest and then dry them for later use. You can also dry them whole, but they are a lot more difficult to work with in this form. Thin strips are much easier to break or grind.  

  • Dashboard Drying. The easiest way to solar dry reishi mushrooms is to lay the strips out on a pan or towel and set them on the dashboard of your car. It’s a great place for the mushrooms to get the full power of the sun through closed windows that keep bugs away. 
  • Herb Drying. Reishi can also be dried like herbs by hanging them on a string and positioning them in the sun. Make sure to give them ventilation as well. 
  • Box Drying. Another great way to dry reishi is to place them in a ventilated box and set them in the sunlight. A black colored box is best to attract more heat from the sun. 

Reishi Mushroom Tea

The most popular way to consume reishi is in a tea. You can purchase reishi tea online and in organic or health food stores, but you’ll see it’s just as easy to buy (or harvest!) reishi strips and make some yourself. Just break up 2 or 3 reishi slices into small pieces, thow them in a quart of boiling water for 20 minutes and you’re done!

Making reishi tea is an easy way to get the benefits of this amazing mushroom. The best part is it that you can make a large batch and then bottle it up, refrigerate and drink it cold! 

Again, it may not be the best tasting tea in town, but the benefits are tremendous. So even if you have to gulp it down quickly, IT IS WORTH IT!

Reishi Mushroom Extract/Tincture 

Reishi can also be taken as an extract or tincture, to really squeeze every drop of nutrients and medicinal properties from it. Reishi extract can also be purchased, but here is how you can make it yourself! 

Start by filling a mason jar with broken strips or ground reishi. Pour 2-3 cups of whisky or vodka into the jar and set it somewhere out of the way for a couple weeks. During this setting time be sure to take it out once a day to shake.

After 2 weeks, strain the tincture and set the alcohol aside. Add the remaining reishi to a quart of boiling water and let the water evaporate until you have 1 or 2 cups left in the pot. Strain the mixture. At this point you have extracted all you can from the reishi and you can throw it away or compost it. Add the reishi water to the reishi alcohol and shake it up to make your tincture.  

You can take your reishi tincture daily with a dropper or you can add it to water to drink it down that way. 

Reishi Mushroom Powder

Another way to prepare your reishi mushroom is to make a powder. If you are wanting to grind it yourself, make sure you have a strong blender or grinder because reishi is extremely tough when dry. The best way to grind it would be to take thin, dried strips and break them into smaller pieces first. Or you could just use Organifi Red Juice; reishi is one of the 11 superfood ingredients!

Reishi powder is great to have around because it has more surface area to extract all the nutrients from. You can also use this powder to steep and make a tea, add it to your morning shakes, or cook it into a soup or stew.  

Reishi Mushroom Recipes

Red Juice Popsicle 

Reishi mushrooms are just one of the amazing ingredients featured in Organifi Red Juice, which is used in this delicious popsicle recipe

Unicorn Toast 

A unique way to eat the Organifi Red Juice for breakfast: spreading it on toast! This recipe also includes the incredible reishi mushroom. 

Reishi Oatmeal

Ingredients: 

  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1 cup of milk, water, or a mixture to your liking
  • 1 tbsp ground reishi mushroom
  • 1 handful of goji berries
  • 1 dash of salt
  • Honey to taste (optional)

Instructions: Boil your milk/water in a saucepan then set the heat to low. Add oats, reishi, salt and goji berries. Simmer and stir for 5 minutes, then remove from the pan, drizzle on the honey and eat up! 

Morning Reishi Mushroom Shake

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp ground reishi
  • 2-3 tbsp cocoa powder 
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 3 dates (pitted) 
  • 1 cup hot water
  • Yogurt and honey to taste (optional)

Instructions: Soak the dates in hot water for 5-10 minutes, or as much time as it takes to measure and add the rest of the ingredients to the blender. Add the dates last and blend until smooth. Pour mixture into a cup or mug and spoon in yogurt and honey if desired. Yum! 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How does reishi mushroom work?

A. A reishi mushroom’s purpose is to break down dead or dying trees into components that are more edible for bugs, plants and humans. It is basically decomposing the tree and taking the nutrients into itself, which we can then harvest and consume. It is the nutrients in the mushroom, taken from the tree, that are extremely beneficial to us and which we wouldn’t be able to consume any other way!  

Q. How much reishi mushroom should I take?

A. As most medicinal foods, the daily dosage depends on what you are using it for. It is always best to see a doctor and find out just how much you should be taking personally. However, generally it is said that 1 gram of raw reishi mushroom a day is sufficient. 

Q. What is the best way to take reishi mushroom?

A. There isn’t one way that’s better than the rest, so it really is up to preference. Some really enjoy the earthy and bitter taste of the tea, while others can’t take reishi unless it’s hidden in a soup or shake. When it comes to the reishi, you really can’t go wrong! 

Almost Immortal

So, reishi mushrooms. They are a great help when it comes to energy, blood pressure, respiratory support, anti-aging and possibly even the prevention of cancer. The secret to immortality? Not quite. But the ancient Chinese emperors were right to think that it’s probably about as close to it as you can get!

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>Biluochun ($5.50 per ounce): This variety has distinctive leaves that are curled up like snails when dry. This tea is known for being fruity and mellow.
  • Chun Mee (Precious Eyebrow): ($2.60 per ounce) This the among the most popular green teas outside of China. It is more sharp and full than many of the teas coming from China.
  • Gunpowder ($2.30 per ounce): This strong and slightly smoky green tea is rolled into small pellets to resemble gunpowder. This is a great affordable daily tea.
  • Huangshan Maofeng ($6.30 per ounce): This is a rare variety of wild tea that is harvested from the specific microclimate of Huangshan Mountain. It’s a sweet and mild brew that is popular among western tea drinkers.
  • Longjing (Dragonwell) ($4 per ounce): Dragonwell is considered one of China’s top teas, treasured for its sweet taste and calming properties. It is a pan-fried green tea that’s popular outside of China.
  • Xinyang Maojian ($5 per ounce): This variety has a fresh aroma and a slightly floral flavor. It has a stronger and more distinctive flavor than the average green tea, grassy, savory, and sweet all at once.
  • > oduction in Japan is more recent than its origins in China, it does still date back to the 12th century when the elite would drink the tea for its health reasons. To this day, green tea is the only tea variety commercially produced by Japan. Production of tea in Japan is heavily mechanized, using modern technology and processes. Most varieties are also produced by steaming, which is said to create a sweeter and more grassy flavor profile.

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    Japanese Green Tea Varieties
    ($2.5 per ounce) Bancha is produced by roasting sencha leaves with high heat. This tea comes out brown and has a nutty flavor.
  • Sencha ($3 per ounce) Sencha is a standard Japanese green tea that brews yellowish in color and can range from mellow to very strong in flavor.
  • Kukicha ($4 per ounce) Kukicha is a blend of sencha leaves and stems. This allows for little waste in the tea harvest. Sencha and kukicha appeal to black tea drinkers, since they offer a woody, sometimes smoky flavor.
  • Hojicha ($4.60 per ounce) This variety is made with sencha and kukicha twigs. It is different from most steamed Japanese teas because it is roasted in porcelain over charcoal. It offers a toasty and nutty flavor that is more earthy than most Japanese green teas.
  • Genmaicha ($1.50 per ounce) Genmaicha is an interesting and toasty blend of grassy sencha and toasted rice puffs.
  • Kabusecha ($5.50) Kabusecha is a shaded mid-range tea, considered just a step below gyokuro in quality.
  • Gyokuro ($7.50 per ounce) This variety is at the highest grade of Japanese green tea. It is shaded before harvesting, giving it a sweet and rich flavor.
  • Tencha and Matcha ($8.60 per ounce) This variety is a high-grade shaded tea that is most often ground into a fine powder known as matcha. Matcha is the tea used in Japanese tea ceremonies, where it is whisked using a special bamboo tool with hot water in a bowl.
  • Culinary Grade Matcha ($2.60 per ounce) Culinary grade matcha often has a lower price point as it features a blend of teas from lower grade harvests. For faster production, it is often subject to high-temperature baking. It is meant for cooking or drinking with sweeteners.
  • Shincha (fluctuates with market price) This is a first flush, or in other words, a first round of harvest, young tea that is highly prized within Japan.
  • > tea range from helping individuals meet their weight loss goals to helping prevent cancer, heart disease, lowering blood pressure and diabetes. All of these studies have a correlation percentage, meaning that the green tea does not always help everybody fight these diseases. However, many people find green tea to have so few side effects that it is worth trying it out for the possible preventative and good health measures.

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    Benefits of Drinking Green Tea
    properties come from polyphenols and catechins which act as antioxidants. Particularly important is epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Alkaloids including caffeine, theobromine, and theophylline allow the tea to have stimulant effects. Additionally, amino-acid compounds, including L-theomine, give the tea calming effects.

    > ll that down for you.

    > ed into green tea’s effect on the body’s markers of oxidative stress. This refers to those time your body might not be able to neutralize free radicals with antioxidants. Free radicals are unstable atoms that cause illness and aging in our bodies.

    Town a strong correlation between the polyphenols in green tea and the reduction of several chronic illnesses. In other words, although green tea isn’t a cure for disease, it may help to prevent illnesses like cancer and heart disease while improving the body’s quality of life with antioxidants. You can recognize the polyphenols in your tea because they are responsible for giving the brew its slightly bitter flavor.

    p-side from its caffeine content, green tea does not have any direct weight loss benefits. This may come as a shock considering how often green tea extract (GTE) supplements are marketed as weight loss products.

    an Side Effects oxrfect balance of healthy and appetizing, but what happens when you consume too much of it?

    kebefore most people feel negative side effects, and many people don’t encounter these effects at all when they drink green tea. For those experiencing negative side effects, it’s best to limit your green tea intake to five cups a day or less.

    On makes it much more likely for individuals to encounter negative side effects, since this extract means consuming concentrated doses of green tea, often with unknown additives and other supplements.

    green tea extract can actually pose significant health risks. The American Heart Association warns that supplements, such as green tea extract can pose a danger to heart patients to the point of weakening heart muscles and increasing fluid and sodium retention. When taken as a supplement, high doses can cause liver toxicity.

    Rarell rience worsening symptoms from drinking green tea. These conditions include anemia, glaucoma, heart conditions, or bleeding disorders.

    Thehael from green tea consumption is over-caffeination. Drinking too many caffeinated beverages has been known to interfere with sleeping. This might also cause you to experience a raised heart rate and an unsettled stomach. Consuming high doses of caffeine also leads to caffeine addiction, which could cause headaches, exhaustion, anxiety, and irritability, when someone who is addicted experiences a disruption in their caffeine habit.

    Flavoda that is responsible for strengthening the body against disease. However, having too many flavonoids in your system could reduce your body’s ability to absorb iron from the food you eat. This could cause iron deficiencies and exacerbate anemia.

    For tngtea between meals. Additionally, the effects of flavonoids, both good and bad, can be partially neutralized by using a squeeze of lemon in your green tea.

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    Studies ivention, drinking three to five cups of tea a day is better than drinking a single cup a day. Many studies on cancer prevention, including the prevention of prostate cancer, stomach cancer, and pancreatic cancer were based on five or more cups of green tea a day.

    Studiesttom/nutrition/how-much-green-tea-per-day#section3″>six or more cups of green tea a day lowered the risk of type two diabetes by thirty-three percent. One to three cups of green tea a day were found to lower the risk of heart attack and stroke.

    When iseo five cups of green tea daily introduces enough antioxidants into the body to help prevent many forms of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

    . Water is still more important than tea when it comes to keeping your body functioning properly and even elevating your mood.

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    A good ruletrtea between your meals. This gives you the added benefits of decreasing your appetite for weight loss, while also preventing the antioxidants in green tea from blocking your iron absorption during meals. In this case, it’s recommended to drink your green tea two hours before or after you eat.

    For thoseacrink your green tea first thing in the morning, since it can be rough on an empty stomach.

    If you’re ditss benefits, then it’s best to drink it before you go to exercise, so that the caffeine can aid your fat burning routine.

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    To get the truest fa,rong>fresh, cold-filtered water.

    The ideal tin degrees Fahrenheit, for reference, that is about 30+ degrees under boiling (around 212 degrees).

    Scorched green tea mof=”https://groomandstyle.com/top-5-best-electric-kettle-reviews/” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>An electric kettle can help you control your water heat to get the perfect temperature for brewing your tea. If you do not have an electric kettle available, you can also boil water for the tea, and then allow it to sit a cool a bit before pouring it over the leaves.