The God of Fungi, also known as Reishi mushrooms, boasts a bounty of nutrient-rich compounds and takes up an extremely small amount of space to grow. Reishi mushrooms are also known for their potential natural healing properties. During a SHTF scenario, when calling 911 is not possible, you or someone you love could benefit from the God of Fungi once the supply of modern medicine dries up.
This particular type of fungi houses three specific molecules that could be the reason Reishi are foraged and cultivated for alternative medicines: triterpenoids, polysaccharides and peptidoglycans. Although this fungi can be eaten raw just after being freshly picked, it is far more common for Reishi to be turned into an extract and then powdered for natural healing remedies.
#1. Natural Cancer Fighter
These delicious mushrooms contain beta-glucans, a set of complex sugars. According to a Memorial Sloane Kettering report, these specific sugar compounds could help stop the spread and growth of cancer cells.
The possible positive impact Reishi mushrooms may have on white blood cells could be yet another reason why this fungi is often heralded for its potential cancer fighting power. Reishi mushrooms could increase the number of white blood cells in the body, particularly for colorectal , breast, and prostate cancer patients. This type of fungi could help reduce both the size and quantity of specific types of cancerous tumors and help improve the quality of life for some patients fighting this wretched disease.
#2. Stress Reliever, Depression, and Fatigue
Reishi mushrooms are not a sedative, but they may be able to help users reduce both stress and anxiety. Some folks who routinely ingest the God of fungi develop healthy sleep patterns.
Although testing is still in the preliminary stages, it is possible that Reishi mushrooms may help fight both depression and fatigue. One study on the topic revealed that fatigue reduction and overall well-being improved in the 132 test patients after only 8 weeks of taking Reishi mushroom supplements. A similar study found that fatigue was reduced in merely four weeks by the 48 breast cancer survivors participating in the test.
To help prevent the inflammation that is so often involved with arthritis , eating a plethora of fresh mushrooms may be able to help – especially if they are Reishi mushrooms. This type of fungi contains high levels of the natural antioxidant I-ergothioneine. This antioxidant does not break down when exposed to heat, so cooking the mushrooms into soups, stews, and casseroles is a great way to absorb them into your system. The beta glucans, a type of carbohydrate, in Reishi mushrooms and other varieties, also act as an anti-inflammatory agent to help reduce swelling from arthritis and various injuries.
Some studies have indicated that the fungi has the capability to decrease blood sugar levels in animals. But, the results are mixed when some larger studies on humans reveal no noticeable improvement in fasting blood sugar levels. In some cases, Reishi mushrooms were able to lower blood sugar after meal consumption.
Reishi mushrooms are one of several varieties of fungi that could help improve brain function. Some of the naturally occurring bioactive compounds in mushrooms may enhance nerve growth inside the brain and therefore offer protection against neurotoxic stimuli and swelling that can pave the way for Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other neurodegenerative diseases.
Reishi mushrooms and lion’s mane mushrooms specifically possess a nerve growth factor molecule, that is part of the regulatory growth, production, and maintenance of brain nerve cells.
#6. Immune System Booster
This species of mushrooms could help boost the immune system and help the body ward off viral infections like bronchitis, the flu, liver disease, asthma, kidney disease, avian flu, and swine flu. Reishi mushrooms might also possess antihistamine effects.
One of the primary purposes of fungi is to decompose organic matter. The breaking down of this natural material is essential to creating cellulose decomposition, that is critical for natural nutrient cycling.
Mushrooms are capable of surviving temperatures that range from 40 degrees to about 100 degrees. This broad range in temperature tolerance means Reishi mushrooms and all of its peers can be grown nearly anywhere on the planet.
#9. Heart Health
Consumption of Reishi mushrooms could cause an increase in “good” HDL cholesterol, while minimizing triglycerides in heart patients in some preliminary studies. But, the reaction and results of this fungi on heart patients is mixed, with some large studies noting no noticeable improvement after taking supplements.
#10. Weight Loss
Reishi mushrooms might not technically be able to help you lose weight, but may be able to slow down the packing on of extra pounds by altering digestive system bacteria. Whether the slowed weight gain pace experienced in animal trials transfers the same way in humans, would require more extensive study and likely clinical trials.
Reishi Mushroom Dosage
How much Reishi should be taken depends on the type of the fungi being used: fresh or powdered. When using fresh Reishi mushrooms in a natural healing remedy, the average dose recommended for an adult is about 25 to 100 grams.
When the powdered version of Reishi mushrooms is used, about one and a half to nine grams per day is recommended for adults.
Reishi Mushroom Warnings
Using either fresh or powdered Reishi mushrooms could cause liver damage, when taken for long periods of time. While recommendations from different studies vary, the general consensus says that consumption is likely safe when used for several months at a time.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women, people with a blood disorder, folks with low blood pressure, and anyone preparing to undergo surgery are encouraged not to ingest Reishi mushrooms. Reishi mushrooms may cause blood to clot more slowly.
These mushrooms also contain sterols that may act as precursors to hormones. Reishi also contain triterpenes which could possess anti-allergy reactions but also may cause a drop in blood pressure. People taking blood thinning medications or warfarin could experience increased bleeding risk, if they consume Reishi mushrooms.
This mushroom type is not recommended for consumption by cancer patients, who are undergoing chemotherapy. It is possible that Reishi mushrooms could cause some drugs prescribed during the chemotherapy process to become less effective.
Because Reishi mushrooms can stimulate immune system responses, anyone taking immuno-suppressant drugs should also not consume this type of fungi. The FDA has not approved Reishi mushrooms as a drug. I am not a medical professional of any type. The information presented here is strictly for research and entertainment purposes.
You should always speak with your doctor before using any type of natural remedy. It is possible the Reishi mushrooms could interact negatively with some prescription or over the counter medications.
Eating Reishi Mushrooms
In addition to the possible medicinal benefits of consuming Reishi mushrooms, they can also be eaten in a host of different ways.
Reishi mushroom tea has a great taste and can easily be made by steeping 1 teaspoon of the powdered mushroom into 1 cup of water. Either ginger or lemon – or both, are typically tea additives.
You can stir in 1 tablespoon of powdered Reishi mushrooms to a bowl of soup to infuse more nutrients into your diet – a big plus during a survival situation when food is scarce, but manual labor demands abound. It is not recommended to add more than 1 tablespoon of powdered Reishi to a bowl of soup because its slightly bitter taste can become overwhelming.
Reishi Stir Fry
Toss 1 cup of fresh Reishi mushrooms or about 1 tablespoon of the powder into a skillet with olive oil, onions, and garlic to create a tasty and nutrient-rich stir fry.
There are approximately 1.5 million fungi species in existence, but only a small percentage have actually been described and labeled. Reishi mushrooms have been used in Chinese, Korean, and Japanese medicine for centuries. All true fungi possess the following unifying characteristics:
- Eukaryotic nuclei
- Absorptive nutrition
- Chitin or chitosan cell wall
- Non-motile vegetative state
- Yeast growth
- Sexual reproductive spores
Growing Mushrooms At Home
This species of mushroom grows extensively in central Maine, as well as in many northeastern regions of the United States. Most commonly, this shiny red mushroom is found growing on either dead or dying hemlock trees. As it matures, a Reishi mushroom tends to darken in color.
The Ganoderma lucidum and lingzhi – AKA the Reishi mushroom, thrives in growing environments that are both hot and humid. They have been at the cornerstone of Eastern medicine for centuries.
Cultivating fungi is definitely not as simple or inexpensive as planting a row of corn in the garden. A mushroom farmer often needs to purchase pasteurization equipment and create a climate controlled environment to get spores (fungi version of a seed) to grow. Once the spores grow inside their hot and humid environment, they turn into a cotton-like structure that is called mycelium, before it reaches maturity and can be harvested.
Reishi mushrooms are a great cash crop. You only need about 200 square feet of space to cultivate approximately 800 pounds of this fungi. Depending on market price fluctuation, a harvest of this weight could earn you around $15,000.
Mushrooms start to lose their potency to a degree of approximately 25% when they hit the six month mark. Storing them in an airtight container in the freezer can increase their potency over time.
Drying Reishi mushrooms (or any mushroom) is the best way to preserve them. Dry the fungi in a dehydrator set at about 95 degrees – keeping the temperature low is essential to creating a shelf stable source of food and medicine.
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