Ganoderma Lucidum | 9 Reasons Everyone Should Try Reishi Mushroom
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Ganoderma Lucidum or Reishi mushroom is a powerful herb. It goes by such names as the supreme protector, mushroom of immortality and the mushroom of spiritual potency which I have found are worthy descriptions. Truth Calkins has described it as “soft kundalini” which also lends some idea as to how this herb will affect you. There are many physical health benefits but the real uniqueness in my experience is how it works on your spiritual energy or as the Chinese describe it – Shen. It’s not something that happens overnight but when taken daily over a couple months the positive changes have a way of creeping into your life. Even if you find this type of talk too esoteric then the well studied health benefits you get from Reishi should be enough to give it a try.
Everyone who takes Reishi notices the peacefulness that seems to accompany its use. Many people are able to stop using chemical drugs. And Reishi’s effects seem to be cumulative, gradually strengthening the nerves and actually changing how we percieve life – Ron Teeguarden – Ancient Wisdom of the Chinese Tonic Herbs
9 Benefits to taking Reishi Mushroom
1. Builds Shen (spiritual light) – In my opinion this is one of the biggest reasons to take Rieshi and why I believe it can help the world. In Chinese medicine you have 3 energies/treasures; Jing, Chi and Shen. Your Jing is your primal energy- your life force. Your Chi is your daily energy that you get from from food, water and breath and then your Shen is your spiritual energy – the light you give off and your reason for being put on the earth. Your Jing and Chi support your Shen. Reishi nourishes all 3 treasures but its effect on your spirit (shen) is profound. In the Upanishads it says “The sublte energies of your food become your mind” – this mushroom has a high vibration and its energy allows you to align with the bigger picture. When you have this force in you, the world starts to open up in a new way.
2. Immune System Modulating – Like many tonic herbs, Ganoderma Lucidum or Reishi is bi-directional which means it brings your immune system into a balanced state. It doesn’t stimulate it rather it regulates it. So if your immune system is over active it will help calm it down and if it is under active it will boost it. For example, when a person has seasonal or pet allergies their immune system is under active, taking Reishi brings the immune system back into balance thus overtime alleviating all symptoms. Being in balance and having your body function optimally is a key factor in being able to handle the stresses or challenges that life presents.
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3. Anti-tumour – May inhibit growth of Breast and Prostate Cancer – Reishi has been shown in studies to have an anti-tumour effect and as an aid in the prevention of breast and prostate cancer according to a study done by the Cancer Research Laboratory in Indianapolis.  It has been used in Asia for centuries as an alternative treatment for cancer and other diseases plus as an aid in chemotherapy treatment. In Ron’s book , Ancient Wisdom of the Chinese Tonic Herbs, he states – “Ganoderma stimulates the production of interferon and interlukin -1 and -2, which are potent natural anti-cancer substances produced by our own bodies. Reishi may well prove to be the greatest prevention against cancer because it helps us to protect ourselves by our own power.”
4. Meditation Aid, Anti – Stress, Anti Anxiety – Managing stress is essential to longevity and Reishi helps you do just that. It has been used by the Shaolin monks for centuries for meditation and concentration. You can feel it calm you down shortly after taking it. Our world today is very stressful with a lot of stimulation. Sitting down to a Reishi tea is like taking a big deep breath. It gives you a chance to just stop, regroup and tune into the bigger picture. The bi-directional quality of Reishi brings you into a state of balance without making you tired. It gives you calmness, energy and focus. Personally, I love taking it before my yoga practice. Mental and physical stress I believe is a major factor in the diseases and medical problems we have facing us. Being able to calm down with the help of herbs and breath centered physical practices is a big part of optimal health and well being.
5. Liver Repair and Protection- The liver is your main organ for removing toxins out of the body and needs to function at optimal levels to do its job. In Ron’s book he lists the functions of the liver as – “storing and purifying blood, regulating the flow of Qi (daily energy), manifesting creativity and ambition, regulating the nervous system and degree of muscular tension, vision, strength of ligaments and tendons, calmness” and more. One of the reasons Reishi may be so beneficial to the liver is due to the powerful free radical scavenging activities of Reishi. Keep your liver strong and healthy with the help of Reishi. 
6. Improves Sleep – this was a bit of surprise to me how I found out about this benefit of Reishi. Originally I was taking it in my coffee in the morning along with Cordyceps mushroom. Then I decided to quit coffee and instead started making a Reishi tea before bed. What I noticed was an improvement in my sleep and also an increase in vivid dreams. I felt I went to sleep quicker and overall deeper. My girlfriend said she experienced the same and other friends I’ve given it to have reported similar experiences with their sleep. Studies done on mice taking Reishi showed an decrease in time it took to fall asleep (sleep latency as well as an increase in the amount of sleep time, the amount of non-REM sleep as well as Delta wave sleep. 
7. Radiation Protection – with the Fukushima issue becoming a bigger concern everyday, we’re all looking for ways to protect ourself from an increasing exposure to radiation. Reishi along with substances like Iodine and Zeolite may help us manage this upcoming threat. According to this study by the Amla Cancer Research Center in Kerala, India ” These findings indicate that the total triterpenes isolated from G. Lucidum (Reishi) have a remarkable ability to protect normal cells from radiation-induced damage, which suggests therapeutic potential”  Reishi has also been used to help protect cancer patients undergoing chemo treatment from the radiation with success.
8. Anti-allergy – my girlfriend had crazy allergies when I met her and was taking some the typical allergy medications. She started taking Reishi daily and they have completely disappeared. Looking into it further I found that Ganoderma extract is known to block histamine release. In Ron’s book he states ” “it is potentially useful for Type I allergies, including anaphylactic shock, atopic dermatitis, hay fever, hives, drug allergies and bronchial asthma”  In a world with ever increasing toxins to know what exactly is causing our reactions becomes a challenging puzzle. Reducing our exposure to these chemicals by choosing the safest cleaner, perfumes, and materials is one step to take and incorporating Reishi as protection is another.
9. Helps control blood sugar and Type II Diabetes – although most of the studies have been done on animals, there are strong reasons to believe that Ganoderma Lucidum will help in controlling blood glucose levels. . Diabetes has become an epidemic in our high sugar low fat society. I don’t believe Reishi will be a magic pill to solve this issue but it can definitely be one step in the right direction. If you do have a high sugar diet then Reishi can help offset some of those dramatic swings.
Reishi mushroom is still largely unknown to the west but slowly it is starting to make its way into our consciousness and just in time. I strongly believe this powerful herb will benefit the lives of many people if only they knew it existed and had the resolve to take it for 3 or more than months. One of the biggest challenges I see is in our society is that we want everything- right now. Reishi doesn’t work like that. It takes time. It has to build inside you. Once you sense its strong spiritual energy, the physical benefits and mental shifts of this amazing herb, you will understand why it has been revered for 1000’s of years.
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 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14713328 – Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi) in cancer treatment.
 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21944902 – Ganoderma lucidum total triterpenes prevent radiation-induced DNA damage and apoptosis in splenic lymphocytes in vitro.
 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23468988 , http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?cmd=historysearch&querykey=3
 Ancient Wisdom of the Chinese Tonic Herbs, Pg. 81, Ron Teeguarden.
 Ancient Wisdom of the Chinese Tonic Herbs, Pg. 93, Ron Teeguarden.
Article Taken From Ekaminhale.com
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Neal has had long running relationship with Daoism and its health related practices including Chi Gung, Meditation and a interest in its methods of using herbs and food to generate health. He hopes his passion will rub off on you in a positive way.