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Reishi Mushroom Health Benefits

Question:
Do reishi mushroom supplements boost the immune system, or have other health benefits?
Reishi Mushroom Benefits -- reishi mushrooms, powder and capsules
Answer:
Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) is an edible mushroom traditionally used in Chinese medicine for a wide range of purported health benefits, such as increasing vitality and strengthening the heart. In the U.S., supplements containing reishi are most commonly promoted for "strengthening" the immune system, as well as for lowering blood sugar, improving cardiovascular function, protecting from liver damage and reducing cancerous tumors.

Compounds in reishi, including certain beta-glucans and ganoderic acids, are thought to be responsible for some of its benefits. However, evidence from clinical trials has been mixed, and one clinical trial in people with gastrointestinal cancer found that taking reishi had negative effects. For details, information about potential safety concerns and side effects, plus our tests and Top Pick among popular products, see the Reishi Mushroom Supplements Review.

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COMMENTS

MOHAMMED17880   May 29, 2019
Please consider reviewing the potency of Reishi products from DXN

michael17730   April 7, 2019
would be great if you can add Urgent Fungus Destroyer to your reichi fugal supplement study. It is expensive and haven't seen what appears to be unbiased reviews.

Alan17715   April 4, 2019
Was pleased to read that you'll be testing reishi mushrooms in 2019. The following question defers to your expertise; why test just reishi? I, myself, am taking a supplement called "5 Defenders," (no financial interest in the product) which not only contains reishi, but four additional mushroom extracts as well. Can't be too sure about their efficacy. Your professional perspicuity would surely be appreciated. Thank you.

ConsumerLab.com   April 5, 2019
Hi Alan - The reason our tests will focus initially on reishi is that it is the only one for which there is a published compendial method of analysis from USP or AOAC. Such methods do not exist for chaga, shiitake, maitake and turkey tail mushrooms.

Alan17724   April 5, 2019
Appreciate the clarification, and as a complete non sequitur, THANK you for saving me a TON of money.

Leonard17687   March 29, 2019
Please consider reviewing the potency of Reishi products grown and produced in the US from Aloha Medicinals called Gano Ultra.

Leonard17686   March 29, 2019
When you do your 2019 review of Reishi mushroom can you please consider Aloha Medicinals' GanoUltra Ultra. Is this American grown and produced product of similar high quality or better than what comes in from China or other areas?

Patricia/Wayne17683   March 27, 2019
I'm also interested in Chaga mushroom. Info. on administering to pets would be very helpful too. My cat has a tumor, and I am giving her Holistic Hound brand, CBD and Mushroom (Chaga). And am going to give her organic mushroom powder also by Holistic Hound, which includes Shitake, Reishi, Mesima, Poria and Turkey Tail.

Heather17678   March 26, 2019
I would really like to see testing on the BulkSupplements mushroom extracts. They sell shiitake, reishi, chaga, and turkey tail extracts which are a good deal, if they are what they say they are.

Ed17772   April 21, 2019
Agree with Heather. I just came here from the Bulk site to see if I could find some additional information. I like what they do, but want to be better informed before buying and taking these.

Heather17665   March 22, 2019
Please consider testing the Reishi and other mushroom extracts from Bulksupplements.

Julie17381   December 19, 2018
Please test four sigmatic mushroom products

ConsumerLab.com   December 26, 2018
Hi Julie - Thank you for your suggestion, we will keep it in mind.

Philip and Roni17299   November 16, 2018
Please do a test of different mushrooms products. It is hard to tell if the mycellium is good or only the fruiting bodies. Also, what type of extract is best? Also, most extracts come from China so they need to be tested for quality.

Lana17229   October 10, 2018
The Mushroom Science brand has been highly recommended https://mushroomscience.com/

Would you please test them when you evaluate mushroom products?

Thank you,


Kathleen17182   September 19, 2018
Please test Real Mushroom Reishi. It is a Canadian company which distributes from the US, and sells through Amazon.com and Amazon.ca. They make many different types of mushroom extracts.

SHARON16533   March 4, 2018
Please test Quality of Life Brand - Kinoko Platinum AHCC. (Active Hexose Correlated Compound). It says improves immune response,maintains peak NK cells activity and supported by 20 studies. I have taken this on and off for years. Thank you.

ConsumerLab.com   March 5, 2018
Thank you for your suggestion, Sharon, we will keep it in mind.

Heather17666   March 22, 2019
Agree that I would love to see this one tested.

Jennifer18220   August 20, 2019
Agree. I would like to see this tested as well. Their website makes it seem very scientific. It says it's acetylated alpha-glucans, which after reading your Reishi review makes me concerned it really just contains the grains the mushrooms are grown on and is a total scam.

Eric16473   February 19, 2018
Please test "Red Reishi Mushroom" from BRAINFORZA.
Says it has "a combination of the best strains known to man".
Also "Our premium lab-grown, certified organic, non GMO, Reishi Mushroom Blend. Consistent every time and naturally containing aprox. 34% polysaccharides."

Carol16224   November 21, 2017
Thank you for your very important work which I and many health enthusiasts depend upon. My membership is worth every penny. It's great to see a review of medicinal mushrooms. I would love to see a review of Lion's Mane supplements (this is an odd 'filamentous' fungus said to be a powerful mood & memory enhancer and cancer fighter). Thanks!

ConsumerLab.com   November 21, 2017
Thank you for your kind words, Carol. We will keep your suggestion in mind for future tests.

JARKKO16212   November 19, 2017
ConsumerLab will be testing reishi mushroom supplements in 2018.

I hope you will test
"Life Extension, Reishi Extract Mushroom Complex, 60 Veggie Caps"

Steven16265   December 5, 2017
EXCELLENT! Please include the Four Sigmatic line of products (Reishi, Lions Mane and Chaga). Thanks!

ConsumerLab.com   December 5, 2017
Thank you for your suggestions Steven, we will keep them in mind.

Joshua16532   March 4, 2018
Interested in this “tea” brand too, as well as the Moon Dust powders that are a trend

Jeff16211   November 17, 2017
I am hoping that you well test Reishi from VitaCost.com which I think has good size market share.

Kari16209   November 16, 2017
It would be helpful to know which Reishi mushroom supplements tested as the genuine thing. My daughter is taking this and it would be nice to know that we're not wasting our money.

Louise16205   November 15, 2017
Please consider testing the Ganoderma coffee. Thank you.

ConsumerLab.com   November 22, 2017
Thank you for your suggestion Louise, we will keep it in mind!

melissa16543   March 5, 2018
Yes, I would also like you to test this coffee. It's Organo Gold brand. I have friends who are giving their kids daily doses of this companies reishi-hot chocolate to help with their hyperactivity and focus issues. They swear it works.

Starla16203   November 15, 2017
So glad to see info on Reishi! I have taken medicinal mushrooms for over 4 years and feel they have helped my health. I am affiliated with the company, named Alphay, which uses the fruiting body and not just the mycelium. I hope you would consider testing the Alphay supplements as well!

Leonard16202   November 15, 2017
When you compare the various Reishi products, I hope you can consider the US product called GanoUltra from Aloha Medicinals. They make strong claims that their growing and processing is best for enhanced potency. I am not associated with the company in anyway but I have used this product.

Lyudmyla11288   September 21, 2016
Thank you!
very interesting-we were taking Reishi powder for many years,and we felt that it boosted our energy.

john8449   February 16, 2016
Thank you for this informative piece. Would you please write on the benefits of other mushrooms,
John Mas LCSW
Clinical Sexologist

T8445   February 15, 2016
The two articles listed under the safety are not open access articles.
Is there any indication that people with liver damage took excessive doses.

ConsumerLab.com   February 18, 2016
Hi T - In the report of non-fatal liver damage (Yuen, Hepatol 2004), the person did not appear to have prior liver disease and liver function returned to "nearly normal" five months after supplementation with reishi mushroom powder was stopped. The dose was not reported. In the other case, it is not clear whether there was prior liver disease. Both cases occurred after switching from a boiled preparation of the mushroom to a reishi powder.


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Share your thoughts and comments about this topic in the space below. Please abide by the following rules:
  • If you make a statement of fact, such as whether a type of treatment does or does not work, state your basis -- such as personal experience or a published study.
  • If you make a positive or negative comment about a product, note whether or not you have a financial interest in the product or in a competing product.
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  • Please do not submit any type of HTML markup or scripting as it will not be accepted, nor will comments that exceed 2,500 characters.
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This CL Answer initially posted on 2/13/2016. Last updated 8/10/2019.
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