Reishi mushrooms, or Ganoderma lucidium, is well-known as the King of Herbs and the Mushroom of Immortality. It has earned its reputation due to its ability to promote vitality and overall body balance, strengthening the immune system and preventing a wide range of diseases. Throughout Chinese history dating back 2000 years, Reishi mushrooms were widely used for medicinal and health purposes.
With more than 400 bioactive compounds, Reishi has attracted the attention of researchers world-wide. Evidence of its efficacy is shown to the extent that it is officially accepted for use in conventional medical sectors in some countries. Among the hundreds of biologically-active compounds found in Reishi mushrooms, five compounds in particular have been highlighted as the major components that contribute to most of its active pharmacological properties. They are the polysaccharides, triterpenoids, adenosine, organic germanium and ganoderic essence.
Polysaccharides are one of the most active elements found in Reishi mushrooms. Their water-soluble polysaccharides possess anti-cancer properties, information that has already been established with research. Polysaccharides activate natural killer cells that identify and kill foreign bodies, and stimulate production of tumor-necrosis factors TNF, a group of cytokines that can cause death to cancer cells. Of all the polysaccharides, Beta-D-glucan proved to be the most potent cancer-fighting component.
Additionally, polysaccharides strengthen the immune system, assist in the detoxification process disposing of toxic deposits within the body, and play a major role in maintaining cellular health by strengthening cell membranes reducing damage to healthy cells. Polysaccharides found in Reishi mushrooms help improve skin condition by eliminating dead surface cells, thus, resulting in reduced signs of aging. They also regulate blood sugar levels improving pancreatic functions, and prevent hypoglycemia and diabetes. Moreover, polysaccharides help to improve the capacity of red blood cell in transferring oxygen throughout the entire body, acting as an adaptogen by reducing the stress and bodily changes resulting from altitude sickness.
Triterpenoids are another group of biologically active compounds found in Reishi mushrooms. Triterpenoid are responsible for the bitter taste of the mushrooms. Like polysaccharides, triterpenoids also exhibit anti-cancer properties and enhance the immune system. Since triterpenoids are capable of inhibiting histamine release, they are prized for their anti-allergy and anti-inflammatory properties. They function as an anti-oxidant and improve digestion. Triterpenoids prevent blood clots by inhibiting platelet aggregation. They also play an important role in promoting cardiovascular health by reducing cholesterol and fats, thus, lowering the level of cholesterol and blood pressure. Therefore, triterpenoids are to treat or prevent hypertension and hypercholesterolemia.
Adenosine prevents blood clots by lowering the platelet agglutination level, preventing blockages and enhancing blood circulation. Adenosine also lowers cholesterol levels by reducing the levels of blood lipids. Additionally, soluble adenosine increases the metabolic rate which boosts energy and promotes vigour and vitality. Adenosine acts as an anti-inflammatory, provides endocrine-balancing properties, balances blood pH, and normalizes irregular heart rhythms.
Organic germanium, is another potent compound from Reishi mushrooms, and is known for its ability to balance the body’s electrical system by regulating electrical charges around cells. It increases the oxygen absorption rate up to 1.5 times, hence, increasing oxygen content and preventing tissue degeneration. As a detoxifier, organic germanium eliminates water soluble toxins such as heavy metals. With an abundance of anti-oxidant properties, organic germanium is capable of inhibiting free radicals which are known to cause aging, cellular degeneration and cancer, thus, strengthening the immune system.
Ganoderic essence found in Reishi mushrooms is effective as a topical application of the treatment of skin diseases including, rashes, wounds, stings and sunburn, thus, beautifying the skin in the process. It can also stop external bleeding and relieve mouth ulcers. It boosts the body’s functions
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