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The History and Benefits of Reishi Mushrooms

Article at a Glance:

  • Reishi mushrooms have been a staple in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years, used for various health conditions.
  • Commercialized in the 1960s, Reishi mushrooms continue to have culinary purposes today and are sold in supplemental form as extracts, powders, and gummies.
  • One of the easiest ways to add Reishi to your health routine is to grab a bottle of Reishi Mushroom Gummies.

Reishi mushrooms, also known as Ganoderma lucidum and Lingzhi, are native to Asia and have been a foundational part of Traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries. Historically, Reishi has been used for rebalancing Qi, calming the mind, and improving sleep, breathing, dizziness, and heart rate.[1]

Many people continue using Reishi as part of their everyday wellness routine. Let’s examine the history of Reishi as a medicinal mushroom and discover what makes it so special.

The History of Reishi

Depictions of Reishi mushrooms in ancient Japanese and Chinese artwork help date its reverence back at least 2,000 years. They’re often set alongside other important symbols in art representing royalty, gifts, wisdom, power, and healing.

The name Lingzhi translates to “herb of spiritual potency,” as it was thought to provide youthfulness and enhance longevity. Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners referred to it as “the mushroom of immortality.”

Reishi mushrooms were once hard to find and grew in remote areas. This limited their use to the Imperial family, and emperors would send armies to search for it in hopes of making an elixir promising eternal life.

Historically, Reishi has been used for conditions affecting the liver, kidneys, joints, stomach, and blood cells and for supporting normal blood pressure, sleep, respiratory health, and normal blood sugar regulation.[2]

Reishi became a cultivated crop in the 1960s, expanding its reach. Over the last 60 years, it has become more widely available for culinary use and sold in supplemental form, often as a powder or extract.

Modern uses of Reishi include supporting natural immunity, providing antioxidants for cellular health, and supporting calmness and relaxation.

Bioactive Compounds in Reishi

Reishi is thought to offer many potential health benefits due to the bioactive compounds it contains.[2]

Bioactive compounds include dietary fibers, antioxidants, oligosaccharides, triterpenoids, peptides and proteins, alcohols and phenols, minerals, vitamins, amino acids, and polysaccharides.

Reishi Modern Health Benefits

Reishi mushrooms are found in many households to support everyday health and wellness. Below are some of their potential benefits.

Immune Health Support

Some studies using test tubes have observed the ability of Reishi mushrooms to target genes in your white blood cells, which are a critical component of your immune response. For example, they may help reduce irritation and enhance the activity of natural killer cells that help fight infections.[3] They may even help support the effectiveness of certain medications that benefit cellular health.[4]

Antioxidant Protection

Antioxidants are potent plant compounds that help support cellular health. Cellular protection may help support healthy aging. Furthermore, when your body has a steady stream of antioxidants available through your diet, this can help protect your cells from damage that results from oxidative stress.[5]

Mood and Relaxation

Some research suggests that Reishi can help support calmness and a healthy mood.[6] Most of us are familiar with the toll that feelings of anxiousness and the weight of responsibility can take on our mental health. Compounds in Reishi may be an easy way to help counteract these effects and support our best quality of life.

Relax and Recharge with Reishi

Reishi has been around long and has never been easier to add to your everyday health routine. One of the simplest ways to reap their benefits is with our delicious apple flavored Reishi Mushroom Gummies. Each gummy contains the equivalent of 500mg of Reishi mushrooms.


  1. Wachtel-Galor S, Yuen J, Buswell JA, et al. In: Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor S, editors. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2011. Chapter 9. Available from: Link.
  2. Batra P, Sharma AK, Khajuria R. Int J Med Mushrooms. 2013;15(2):127-143. doi:10.1615/intjmedmushr.v15.i2.20.
  3. Cheng CH, Leung AY, Chen CF. Nutr Cancer. 2010;62(5):648-658. doi:10.1080/01635581003605516.
  4. Lam CS, Cheng LP, Zhou LM, Cheung YT, Zuo Z. Chin Med. 2020;15:75. Published 2020 Jul 25. doi:10.1186/s13020-020-00356-4.
  5. Cör D, Knez Ž, Knez Hrnčič M. Molecules. 2018;23(3):649. Published 2018 Mar 13. doi:10.3390/molecules23030649.
  6. Tang W, Gao Y, Chen G, et al. J Med Food. 2005;8(1):53-58. doi:10.1089/jmf.2005.8.53.