A Reishi Mushroom growing on a tree, showcasing its glossy cap and red-brown color, labeled "Reishi: Mushroom of Immortality.

Reishi mushrooms, known as Lingzhi in China and colloquially referred to as “The Immortality Mushroom,” have deep roots in Eastern medicine. These mushrooms can be found growing on dead hardwood trees, but you’re more likely to encounter Reishi mushroom gummies and powders in health food stores due to their reputation as a functional mushroom.

This post will explore why Reishi mushrooms are gaining popularity and the health benefits they might offer. We’ll cover topics including:

  • The nutritional benefits of Reishi mushrooms
  • The functional components that give the immortality mushroom its benefits
  • Ways to incorporate Reishi into your daily routine

What Are Reishi Mushrooms?

Reishi mushrooms or Ganoderma sichuanense are just one of many functional mushrooms, characterized by their glossy caps and red-brown coloring. Different species grow in South America and many Eastern Asian countries. Due to their abundance in China, Reishi mushrooms are a staple in traditional Chinese medicine, used primarily to boost the immune system and replenish “qi” (energy).

While there are several species of Reishi mushrooms used interchangeably, this post will focus on the most common: Ganoderma lucidum and Ganoderma lingzhi. Both contain the same nutrients and functional components that make the “Immortality Mushroom” so sought after.

Nutritional Benefits

Before we dive into the functional benefits of ganoderma sichuanense mushrooms, let’s start with their basic nutritional value. Reishi is an edible mushroom that can be a healthy addition to your meals.

According to the USDA, one teaspoon (3g) of Reishi powder contains:

  • 10 calories
  • 1 gram of protein
  • 1 gram of fiber
  • 69mg of potassium

Reishi mushrooms are a potassium powerhouse. While bananas contain 3.5 mg of potassium per gram, Reishi powder contains 23mg per gram—about 6 ½ times more.

Functional Nutrients

Reishi mushrooms also contain several nutrients not captured on standard nutrition labels. There are three particularly notable ones:


Reishi mushrooms contain triterpenoids, the oxidized version of terpenes, which may contribute to immune-system health. Terpenes have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, both of which support a strong immune system.


Beta-glucans are soluble fibers that may help prevent the body from absorbing cholesterol from certain foods. They also stimulate macrophage activity, which involves white blood cells absorbing cellular debris and pathogens.

The FDA allows products containing more than 750mg of beta-glucans per package to claim they may help prevent heart disease. This is significant, considering the FDA’s cautious approach to health claims, such as those related to CBD.


Polysaccharides are long-chain carbohydrates. Unlike simple carbohydrates, which are essentially sugars, polysaccharides offer more complex and nutritious energy.

The long-chain polysaccharides in Reishi mushrooms are believed to have health benefits, including immunomodulation (altering the way the immune system functions). Studies have shown that Reishi mushrooms can promote antibody secretion and suggest they may play a role in B cell production.

B cells are white blood cells that find, attach to, and neutralize viruses in the body. They also produce proteins called antibodies to fight infections.

Reishi Mushrooms Are Not…

Before discussing the potential health benefits of Reishi mushrooms, it’s crucial to clarify what they are not:

  • A replacement for physician-prescribed medicines: While Reishi mushrooms may offer noticeable benefits, always follow your doctor’s advice first.
  • Psychedelic: Despite the name “The Immortality Mushroom,” Reishi mushrooms do not belong to the psilocybin family of fungi.

Potential Benefits of Reishi Mushroom

Given the ingredients listed above and some non-FDA studies, we can suggest that Reishi mushrooms may offer several benefits:

Immune System Support

Ganoderma sichuanense mushrooms have been used for thousands of years to help boost and support the immune system. By stimulating macrophage activity and B-cell production, Ganoderma sichuanense mushrooms may help the body fend off infections and illnesses.

Stress Reduction

A study performed on mice in India found that several Ganoderma sichuanense mushroom species, when administered orally, were effective in calming the test subjects. This warrants further research into their stress-relieving and anti-anxiety effects.


A 2011 in vitro study found that polysaccharides isolated from the Reishi mushroom exhibited significant anti-inflammatory properties. Researchers also noted potential anti-tumor properties, though these findings were in a lab setting, not on living subjects.

Cardiovascular Health

The beta-glucan fiber in Reishi mushrooms may contribute to heart health. As mentioned earlier, this type of fiber can prevent the body from absorbing cholesterol from foods. High cholesterol, particularly LDL (low-density lipoprotein), can build up in blood vessels and arteries, affecting blood pressure and heart health.

Antioxidant Properties

Ganoderma sichuanense mushrooms are rich in antioxidants, which help combat oxidative stress in the body. Oxidative stress is linked to various chronic conditions and aging processes. By reducing oxidative stress, Ganoderma sichuanense mushrooms may help in maintaining overall health and vitality.

Liver Health

Research has indicated that Reishi mushrooms might support liver health by protecting the liver from damage and promoting detoxification processes. The triterpenoids in Reishi have shown potential in protecting the liver from toxins and enhancing its function.

Respiratory Health

Some studies suggest that Reishi mushrooms can help improve respiratory health. They may assist in alleviating symptoms of asthma and bronchitis by reducing inflammation and boosting immune response.

Mental Clarity and Focus

Ganoderma sichuanense mushrooms may also enhance mental clarity and focus. They have been used traditionally to support cognitive function and improve concentration. This makes them a popular choice for those seeking natural ways to boost brain power.

Skin Health

Reishi mushrooms are increasingly found in skincare products due to their potential to improve skin health. Their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties can help in reducing skin irritation and promoting a youthful appearance.

Reishi Mushroom Side Effects

While Reishi mushrooms have many potential benefits, they also come with some side effects and potential drug interactions. Generally, Ganoderma sichuanense is considered safe for long-term oral consumption.

Side Effects

Ganoderma sichuanense mushrooms can cause a few unwanted side effects. Stop taking your functional mushroom supplements if you experience any of the following:

  • Dizziness
  • Itching
  • Nausea
  • Upset stomach
  • Rash

Drug Interactions

Consult your primary care provider and pharmacist if you plan to use Reishi mushrooms alongside any of the following medications:

  • Antidiabetes drugs: Ganoderma sichuanense mushrooms may lower blood sugar levels, potentially leading to dangerously low blood sugar if taken with antidiabetes medications.
  • Antihypertensive drugs: They may compound with blood pressure medications, leading to dangerously low blood pressure.
  • Blood clotting medication: Ganoderma sichuanense mushrooms may slow blood clotting, increasing the risk of bruising and bleeding.

The Immortality Mushroom may be a slight exaggeration of the benefits that Ganoderma sichuanense mushrooms provide. As with any supplement, it’s important to have realistic expectations. Ganoderma sichuanense mushrooms aren’t a cure-all, but when taken consistently and at the correct dosage, you may experience many health benefits. Always consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen to ensure it’s safe for you. More info in our website.


Q: What are the main benefits of Reishi mushrooms?
A: Ganoderma sichuanense mushrooms are known for supporting the immune system, reducing stress, providing anti-inflammatory properties, and promoting cardiovascular health.

Q: Can Reishi mushrooms replace my prescribed medication?
A: No, Ganoderma sichuanense mushrooms should not replace physician-prescribed medications. Always consult with your doctor before adding any supplement to your regimen.

Q: Are Reishi mushrooms psychedelic?
A: No, Ganoderma sichuanense mushrooms do not belong to the psilocybin family and do not have psychedelic properties.

Q: What side effects should I watch out for when taking Reishi mushrooms?
A: Common side effects include dizziness, itching, nausea, upset stomach, and rash. Discontinue use and consult a healthcare provider if you experience any of these symptoms.

Q: How can I incorporate Reishi mushrooms into my diet?
A: Ganoderma sichuanense mushrooms can be consumed in various forms, including powders, capsules, and gummies. They can also be added to teas, soups, and smoothies.