Do you suffer from allergies? You're not alone; millions of people worldwide deal with allergies. While there are many ways to treat allergies, one often overlooked remedy is reishi mushroom.
Reishi mushroom provides several benefits for those suffering from allergies. In this blog post, we will explore the top benefits of reishi mushrooms for allergies.
Read on to learn more.
What Are Allergies And Does Traditional Medicine Help?
Allergies result from the body reacting to foreign substances like allergens. Allergens could be something you eat, something you breathe in, or materials that you touch.
The western world is facing an "allergy epidemic"(1), with the prevalence approaching nearly 40-50%(2). With the start of the spring season, many of us are bothered by itchiness, sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose, and coughing. For others, the symptoms persist all year round.
Many natural remedies alleviate symptoms of allergy. Medicinal mushroom supplements, especially Reishi products, have potent anti-inflammatory(3) and antioxidant(4) properties. Based on this, many people use Reishi for allergies and have benefitted from it.
Read More: See all the benefits of Reishi mushrooms.
What Causes Allergies?
Allergies are triggered when an allergen meets our immune system. The immune system mistakes the normally non-threatening allergens as potentially harmful substances.
As a response to this, our immune system releases chemicals to protect us. These chemicals from the immune system sometimes do more harm than benefit, and that is when it becomes a problem.
During an allergic reaction, cells of the immune system known as mastocytes (or mast cells) release chemicals like histamine. Histamines act on the nose, eyes, skin, throat, and lungs to cause allergy symptoms.
Antihistamines medication controls the symptoms caused by the release of histamines. However, while these medications may help with the symptoms of allergies, they never address the problem's root cause— an overactive immune system.
As part of its benefits, Reishi addresses inflammatory and allergic responses by balancing out the immune system and immune response. The mushroom does not just treat allergic reaction symptoms; it goes deep to fix the primary cause of the allergic responses.
Allergies triggers include pollen, dust, dander, pets, grass, mites, and food. The symptoms range from sneezing and runny nose to hay fever, allergic bronchial asthma, eczema, hives, eye inflammation to even widespread anaphylactic reactions.
What Are The Benefits Of Reishi Mushroom For Allergies?
Reishi mushrooms are builders of our immunity(5). Using organic reishi mushrooms boosts your immunity and protects you from disease.
Read More: Learn how to use Reishi mushrooms.
The mushroom has been used in traditional Japanese and Chinese medicine and is regarded as the mushroom of immortality. Evidence supports that the Reishi mushroom, also known as Ganoderma Lucidum, reduces the effects of allergies. Reishi's benefits can help with allergy relief and boost your immunity.
Below, we will look at the Reishi mushrooms benefits that help with allergy prevention and treatment:
1. Reishi Increases White Blood Cells Activity
One of the best herbs for offering health benefits, the Reishi mushroom increases the activity(6) of many types of white blood cells. The white blood cells identify and fight foreign bodies and infections. The mushroom also limits the release of cytokines, the chemical substances that mediate inflammatory reactions in our body.
2. Reishi Offers Immuno-Modulating Benefits
Allergies are also common in people with autoimmune diseases. The immune-modulatory and immune-potentiating(7) properties of Reishi mushrooms can regulate and balance the poor functioning of the immune system. This way, the mushroom can help normalize the immune system's exaggerated response to harmless substances.
3. Reishi Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Reishi mushroom contains triterpenes along with beta-glucans. The triterpenes are the anti-inflammatory constituents(8) of Reishi mushrooms.
Read More: See how Reishi treats and prevents cancer by fighting inflammation.
Inhaled allergens can irritate our cells and can cause swelling and inflammation. Triterpenes are structurally like steroids and thus can inhibit histamines and inflammation. They also enhance oxygen flow, supporting seasonal allergies.
4. Reishi Has Probiotic Potential
Reishi mushroom has probiotic potential. Adding probiotics to your diet maintains the health of the immune and digestive systems. This will help curb the symptoms of allergies(9) if you take the probiotics during allergy season.
Read More: See how the probiotic potential of Reishi supports weight loss.
5. Reishi Offers Asthma Treatment Benefits
Allergies and asthma often occur together. The same substances that trigger an allergic reaction may also cause signs and symptoms of asthma.
Reishi mushroom, in a concentration of 62.5%(10), improves asthma symptoms. The mushroom enhances oxygen utilization. A study has also found that Ganoderma is as effective as a steroid(11) in controlling asthma symptoms.
6. Reishi Fortifies Liver Functions
Liver distress can cause allergies. The liver is the organ of detoxification. If the liver cannot clear histamines from the blood, it can lead to an allergic reaction.
Reishi mushroom has hepato-protective effects(12). Regarded as a liver tonic, Reishi fortifies liver functions.
7. Reishi Helps With Blood Sugar Management
Reishi treats diabetes, playing a vital role in maintaining the sugar levels in the blood.
This is important as allergies occur(13) when there is a drop in blood sugar levels. The liver can counteract a decline in blood sugar by releasing stored glucose.
8. Reishi Helps With Stress Management
Stress increases the levels(14) of histamine in the blood. While stress doesn't directly cause allergic reactions, it is known to worsen allergy symptoms. Reishi mushrooms are adaptogens that help reduce the effects of stress on the body.
Read More: See how Reishi fights depression.
9. Reishi Inhibits Histamine
Using Reishi mushrooms is beneficial for supporting the symptoms of allergy. So is Reishi low on histamine?
Reishi mushrooms have direct antihistamine effects. The mushroom's polysaccharide and triterpenoids have inhibitory effects(15) on histamine.
Why Is Addressing Allergies With Reishi Important?
Below, we will look at several reasons why using Reishi to address an overactive immune function improves overall health.
Reishi Allergy Benefits And High Blood Pressure
According to data from the National Health Interview Survey(16), persons with a history of allergic disorders are more likely to have high blood pressure and coronary heart disease. Further research revealed that those between the ages of 18 and 57 who had a history of allergy illnesses were more likely to develop hypertension.
Moreover, according to an article published on the Harvard website(17), some drugs used to treat high blood pressure constricts blood vessels. This further increases the risk of suffering from high blood pressure.
Using Reishi to treat and prevent allergies naturally lowers the risk of high blood pressure. Reishi can also help with blood pressure treatment by keeping you from taking prescription meds that constrict your blood vessels.
Read More: See how Chaga fights hypertension.
Reishi Allergy Benefits And Diabetes
Most allergy meds(18) have significant side effects on people who have diabetes. Decongestants and Corticosteroids generally make blood sugar levels go up.
Reishi helps with blood sugar management. Moreover, Reishi further reduces the risk of high blood sugar in people with diabetes by replacing corticosteroids and decongestants as a treatment for allergies.
Read More: See how Lion's mane treats diabetes.
Reishi Allergy Benefits And Skin Health
Research has shown that allergies do impact skin health. According to a study conducted in 2021(19), patients who reported allergies stated that their allergies caused cutaneous reactions in 68.6% of cases. Significant skin reactions were strongly correlated with allergic symptoms, including itchiness, burning, and pain in the skin.
The mushroom reishi has skin health benefits. Part of these skin benefits results from the reishi medicinal mushrooms fighting the underlying factors involved in seasonal allergies.
Reishi Allergy Benefits And Anxiety
Research has confirmed Reishi's anxiety benefits. The mushroom's ability to fix several underlying factors—like excess histamine—that cause allergy makes the fungi so effective in handling anxiety.
A research study conducted in 2018(20) looked at the healthcare claims of more than 5000 people. They discovered that people with allergies had anxiety symptoms that were 1.4 times more common and depression diagnoses that were 1.7 times more common compared to people who did not have allergies.
Similarly, the researchers found that severe depression was more common in people with allergies in their analysis of almost 12,000 people.
The study showed that using Reishi to control and prevent allergic reactions can positively impact anxiety.
Reishi Allergy Benefits And Hair Loss
Some of Reishi's hair health benefits result from its ability to treat and prevent allergies.
A research study conducted in 2020(21) determined that allergy promotes alopecia areata (hair loss) in some individuals. Reishi helps people avoid hair loss is by treating and preventing allergies.
Does Reishi Mushroom Cause Allergies?
Reishi mushrooms can cause an allergic reaction when used for 3 to 6 months. The reishi mushroom allergy symptoms can range from dry nasal passages, mouth, and throat to rashes, headache, itchiness, nose bleed, blood in the stool, and stomach upset.
The easiest way to avoid reishi allergies is to talk to your doctor before using the mushroom. A good doctor should help you discover an ideal Reishi mushroom dosage.
It is worth noting that reishi allergies are infrequent. And if these allergies happen, they are effortless to reverse and keep from happening again.
How To Use The Mushroom For Allergies?
You can use dry Reishi mushroom in a refreshing drink. Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a medium-sized pot. Add the slices of dried Reishi along with 1-2 sticks of cinnamon. Let this mixture simmer on low heat for 30 minutes.
Mix this liquid with lime juice or your favorite sweetener and let it sit in the refrigerator until cold. You can serve Reishi lemonade over ice.
You can take Reishi mushrooms at any time throughout the day. You can take it in the morning together with your coffee, or you can take it at night. The mushroom will always offer you allergy benefits irrespective of the time you take it.
Read More: See our detailed guide on the best time to take Reishi.
Allergies are a common cause of chronic illness globally. The annual cost for allergies exceeds $18 billion(22). With so much money for controlling allergies, a mushroom called Reishi might have your back.
Reishi mushrooms are showing promising results in improving the symptoms of allergy. Reishi contains many beneficial bioactive compounds that address the underlying factors involved in allergies.
Have you tried reishi mushrooms for allergies? If not, there are a few good reasons why you should. Give reishi mushrooms a try, and let us know how they work for you in the comment section!
- Self-Reported Prevalence of Allergies in the USA and Impact on Skin—An Epidemiological Study on a Representative Sample of American Adults, (1)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7277149/
- Allergy Statistics,(2)https://www.aaaai.org/About/News/For-Media/Allergy-Statistics
- Suppression of the inflammatory response by triterpenes isolated from the mushroom Ganoderma lucidum, (3)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19651243/
- Antioxidant Properties of Several Medicinal Mushrooms, (4)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12358482/
- Immune Modulation From Five Major Mushrooms: Application to Integrative Oncology, (5)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4684115/
- Antiinflammatory and Immunomodulating Properties of Fungal Metabolites,(6)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1160565/
- Suppression of Inflammatory and Allergic Responses by Pharmacologically Potent Fungus Ganoderma lucidum, (7)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24948193/
- Suppression of the inflammatory response by triterpenes isolated from the mushroom Ganoderma lucidum, (8)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19651243/
- Allergies? Probiotic combination may curb your symptoms, new study finds, (9)https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170301142203.htm
- Safety and Tolerability of an Antiasthma Herbal Formula (ASHMI™) in Adult Subjects with Asthma: A Randomized, Double-Blinded, Placebo-Controlled, Dose-Escalation Phase I Study, (10)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19586409/
- The traditional Chinese herbal formula ASHMI inhibits allergic lung inflammation in antigen-sensitized and antigen-challenged aged mice, (11)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4608683/
- Ganoderma lucidum (Lingzhi or Reishi), (12)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92757/
- Ketotic hypoglycemia in patients with allergic diseases, (13)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14651535/
- Acute stress Modulates the Histamine Content of Mast Cells in the Gastrointestinal Tract Through Interleukin-1 and Corticotropin-Releasing Factor Release in Rats, (14)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2343625/
- Triterpenoids and Polysaccharide Fractions of Ganoderma tsugae Exert Different Effects on Antiallergic Activities, (15)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4417579/
- History of allergies may be associated with increased risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, (16)https://www.newswise.com/articles/history-of-allergies-may-be-associated-with-increased-risk-of-high-blood-pressure-heart-disease
- Ask the doctor: Can allergies cause high blood pressure?, (17)https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/can-allergies-cause-high-blood-pressure
- Treatments to relieve allergy symptoms may impact blood glucose, (18)https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/treatments_to_relieve_allergy_symptoms_may_impact_blood_glucose_1
- Prevalence of Skin Reactions and Self-Reported Allergies in 5 Countries with Their Social Impact Measured through Quality of Life Impairment, (19)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8123031/
- Severity of allergic rhinitis impacts sleep and anxiety: results from a large Spanish cohort, (20)https://ctajournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13601-018-0212-0
- Allergy promotes alopecia areata in a subset of patients, (21)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31479542/
- Allergy Facts, (22)https://acaai.org/allergies/allergies-101/facts-stats/
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