Reishi Mushroom Benefits for Men
Known as the lingzhi in China, the reishi mushroom is one of the most famous medicinal mushrooms in the world.
Enjoyed both for its nutritious value and its numerous health benefits all over East Asia since ancient times, recently, the reishi has also surged in popularity elsewhere.
Many curious souls are wondering these days whether adding some reishi to their diet could in any way improve their health and well-being.
In particular, many men out there have heard something about reishi’s benefits for male health, but can you really trust all that hearsay?
Let’s take a deep dive into the reishi mushroom and its unique health benefits.
Benefits of Reishi Mushroom
We aren’t going to beat around the bush: the rumors you might have heard are true, and reishi mushrooms do contribute in numerous positive ways to our physical well-being.
The reishi’s fascinating health benefits were documented as early as 2000 BCE.
Since then, modern science has allowed us to map its effects on our bodies more closely, and we now know of a long list of ways in which the reishi – sometimes surprisingly – can help you and me improve our well-being and overall health.
High Blood Pressure
One of the most common health indicators used in general medicine today is blood pressure. This one measurement can, with accuracy, be correlated to any of a wide variety of the most common chronic ailments and diseases, particularly age-related ones.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, often results from various causes that can interact in very complex ways.
Here is where the reishi mushroom comes in. Reishi contains a lot of polysaccharides, a class of complex carbohydrates. These interact with your cardiovascular system in a unique way and have been shown to reliably reduce hypertension in many different demographics.
Interestingly, the reishi’s polysaccharides do not just work in a supplementary manner to traditional blood thinners. In some cases, they have been shown to be even more effective.
Like hypertension, high blood cholesterol levels are one of the most common indicators of poor health that we are warned about in PSAs, advertisements, and just about everywhere else.
Particularly for men, the risks that go hand in hand with high cholesterol can be very worrisome and include heart disease, several types of cancer, and obesity.
Overall, men with high cholesterol levels are much more likely to die young and in poorer health than their peers.
Then, it should come as great news that the reishi mushroom is also an effective treatment for this particular ailment. Thanks to its polysaccharides, beta-glucans, and triterpenes, reishi works wonders at normalizing cholesterol levels in the bloodstream.
In particular, it is effective in fighting LDL, the so-called “bad cholesterol.”
The reishi does not just fight high levels of harmful LDL cholesterol; it can also promote higher HDL levels, the “good cholesterol.”
In addition, reishi contributes to low levels of triglycerides, which are strongly linked to cardiovascular disease.
All in all, thanks to the reishi mushroom’s unique blend of active ingredients, it can turn your heart health on its head – and much for the better.
Liver or Kidney Disease
Elsewhere in the body, the reishi can be equally potent as a promoter of healthy functioning.
A healthy liver is essential for flushing toxins out of your system, as well as keeping your body safe from disease and infection.
Reishi mushrooms encourage cell regeneration, particularly in the liver this can be a gigantic boon to your health. Likewise, as a powerful antioxidant, reishi helps the liver and the kidneys remove harmful compounds from the bloodstream.
Respiratory Diseases (Asthma)
Reishi mushrooms can contribute positively to lung health, making them a good treatment for respiratory problems. Regarding asthma, reishi mushrooms have been shown to lessen severe symptoms and encourage faster recovery than common prescription medications.
Viral Infections (Flu)
Because of its immune-boosting and antioxidant properties, medicinal mushrooms like the reishi are also great at warding off viral infections. In clinical trials, reishi has successfully proved itself as a competent treatment for influenza and many other viruses.
It doesn’t stop at the common flu, either. Research has shown the reishi to be equally effective at combating AIDS. This is due to its unique ability to boost the production of leukocytes within the body – the special white blood cells responsible for eliminating damaged or harmful tissue.
Reishi mushrooms are now used in many countries in Asia and elsewhere as an alternative
treatments for HIV, either as a substitute for or complementary to chemotherapy.
Cancer and Support During Chemotherapy
Leukocytes do not just seek out and eliminate cells harmed by infections within the body. They are also responsible for fighting tumors and other abnormal growths.
This is why the same capabilities that make the reishi vital in fighting off infections and even combating HIV also make it a viable cancer treatment. And, as if that wasn’t enough, reishi has been shown to lessen some of the symptoms associated with long-term chemotherapy in many patients.
Pain During and After A Shingles Outbreak
Shingles can be one of the most physically uncomfortable conditions to deal with, and particularly during recovery, chronic pain can be unbearable. Prescription treatments and medication exist, but they remain quite ineffective for many.
This is where reishi mushrooms come in. As powerful immunomodulators and relaxants, these fungi can provide profound pain relief that you won’t get with many alternatives.
At the same time, reishi helps stave off the infection – something that no other pain medication or treatment can claim to do at once.
Building Strength and Stamina
Reishi is an effective dietary supplement for athletes and workout enthusiasts who wish to improve their performance by boosting the immune system and metabolism.
The reishi mushroom can help you increase your VO2-max, in other words allowing you to push yourself harder, wring more effort out of those muscles, and maximize the amount of time you spend in or near your anaerobic zone.
For runners, in particular, this can be a great option to bring down your lap times, and when used consistently, can lead to definite long-term improvements.
Because of its energy-boosting metabolic effects, the reishi mushroom naturally also makes for a great remedy against fatigue.
Especially for those suffering from chronic lack of energy, reishi can be a godsend compared to traditional medications and treatments.
Within only a month or two, regular use of reishi mushrooms can noticeably improve energy levels and even lift moods. Indeed, reishi has been explored with some measure of success as a treatment for chronic depression.
Risks of Taking Reishi Mushroom
No medicine is without its risks, and why should a mushroom be different? True, not many people experience adverse side effects from consuming reishi, and the risks, though real, are rare.
Nevertheless, you need to consider what unintended effects reishi might have on your body before adding it to your existing diet and regimen.
The most significant risk involved in taking reishi mushrooms is an allergic reaction. These can range from mild to severe and even life-threatening – thankfully, though, especially the latter is incredibly rare.
Still, if you have any doubts whatsoever, or if you have existing allergies that might cross-fire with reishi, do get a consultation with your doctor regarding this issue.
Blood Pressure Problems
While reishi mushrooms can naturally lower blood pressure and are thus a healthy alternative to blood thinners for diabetics and many others, those already using such prescription medicine for their blood pressure might want to see a professional first before trying out reishi.
Otherwise, you could end up with dangerously low blood pressure by accident or see other side effects appear as the reishi’s compounds interfere with your medicine.