Ganoderma lucidum, popularly known as Reishi, is a medicinal superfood fungus with multiple health benefits. It is the most revered adaptogenic mushroom in Asian herbalism. Reishi is found growing in the wild in decaying tree stumps and logs.
Today the mushroom is commercially cultivated due to its growing demand. The mushroom is noted for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. The mushroom is also widely used for promoting sleep in people with insomnia.
If themushroom can promote better sleep, can Reishi calm you down? Or does Reishi help with stress?
Anxiety affects a large number of people, with each one of these individuals trying to look for an effective treatment. Information obtained from research studies shows that reishi is one of the best mushrooms for anxiety. The reishi anxiety benefits are often associated with its ability to boost mental health and function as a stress reliever.
In this detailed guide, our goal is to help you understand why reishi is considered the best mushroom for anxiety. By taking a deeper look at the reishi mushroom for anxiety, we hope to help you discover that there is a natural solution that can help you—or someone close to you—avoid being anxious all the time. Read on to find out thebenefits of Reishi for anxiety.
What Medicinal Mushrooms Are Beneficial For Anxiety?
The use of medicinal fungus for anxiety is not a new concept. When it comes to the mushroom supplement for anxiety discussion, Lion’s mane and Reishi are among the two commonly used mushrooms. These are adaptogen mushrooms that help us grow strong when faced with a stressful situation.
It is, however, worth noting that the anti-anxiety effect is not just limited to reishi and lion's mane. There are other medicinal mushrooms for anxiety. A good example is cordyceps.
A large number of people who are new to the cordyceps anxiety benefits often want the answer to the question "can cordyceps cause anxiety?" The correct answer to this question is a big NO. Cordyceps does not cause anxiety—instead, there is evidence showing that the mushroom helps eliminate the anxiety.
Research has shown that eating functional mushrooms relieves the feeling of anxiety and depression—this is because these mushrooms are rich in ergothioneine and potassium. Both of these compounds reduce oxidative stress and inflammation while also regulating nerve signals. Insufficient levels of potassium and ergothioneine are also known to be risk factors for depression.
While the best mushroom supplement for anxiety can help you deal with your anxiety, it is important to note that the mushrooms are not a substitute for anti-anxiety medications prescribed by your healthcare provider. Therefore, even if you are enjoying the medicinal mushrooms anxiety benefits, you may want to keep using the medication recommended by your doctor. Also, keep in mind that any medicinal mushrooms should always be used after consulting your doctor.
What Are The Benefits Of Reishi For Depression And Anxiety?
This highly prized elixir of immortality is linked with calming and stress-reducing abilities. Chinese Taoist monks have been using the herb for transforming negative energy in the body and cultivating spiritual energy. Reishi is thought to clear karmic obstacles and open up the crown chakras.
When people use reishi for anxiety, the reishi mushroom anxiety benefits often improve their social life more than they expect. The benefits they enjoy are not just limited to the history textbooks but have been proven scientifically. The reasons that make reishi the best mushroom for anxiety and depression have been proven in various studies and recorded in numerous research articles.
A pilot clinical trial study(1) showed statistically significant improvements in quality of life with the use of Reishi. Study groups reported reduced anxiety and depression and enhanced physical well-being. They noted that they benefited from the effect of the calming mushrooms.
Another study indicates that the stress-lowering capacity(2) of the mushroom may be attributed to its bioactive compounds, triterpenoids, and polysaccharides. These compounds increased the sense of well-being and improved the symptoms of emotional disturbance, fatigue, and irritability. This further proves that reishi is one of the top-rated medicinal mushrooms for anxiety and depression.
So, does Reishi improve mood? A recent 2020 study says it does(3)! Regular use of Ganoderma showed higher levels of happiness, including improvements in pain and symptoms of depression. It also reported that users experienced satisfaction with health-related quality of life. The results obtained from this study also strongly suggested that the answer to the question "which mushroom is best for anxiety?" is reishi.
Reishi mushroom is also known to support the adrenals, the tiny glands located at the top of your kidney. Any stressful situation in our life leads to the release of cortisol, the stress hormone, from the adrenals. Having too much cortisol in the body is also unhealthy. Long-term elevated cortisol levels can cause depletion of the happy hormones, serotonin, and dopamine. But does Reishi reduce cortisol? Reishi is a good mushroom for anxiety and stress—this means a dip in cortisol levels as well.
Now that we have established Reishi to be one of the natural medicines for anxiety, let’s take a closer look at the relationship between Reishi and depression. The studies below suggest that the reishi mushroom anxiety benefits also have a positive impact on depression.
Water-soluble extracts from the mycelium of the Reishi mushroom are found to have potential antidepressant actions in animal models. This 2013 study(4) was based on a forced swimming test, which is the most widely used paradigm in rodents for the screening of depression. Many antidepressants are known to reduce immobility in the test. Like the anti-depressants, Ganoderma, also significantly reduced immobility.
Depression is also related to increased oxidative stress. Neurons in the brain are prone to oxidative damage and people with depression have lowered antioxidant defenses. Amongst the many beneficial properties of Reishi, it is a fungus with potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. A two-week oral administration of the mushroom or its extracts has shown a decline in oxidative stress in the body. The antioxidant and neuroprotective properties of the mushroom could contribute to improvements in the symptoms of depression.
Ganoderma extracts were found to have dose-dependent antidepressant-like effects(5)on test subjects. While consuming Reishi is not sufficient to cure depression, the mushroom can be used to improve the symptoms.
We live in a fast-paced world where financial strain and psychological distress are increasing every day. This modern environment takes a toll on our bodies and will exacerbate stress and anxiety.
While people may visit the doctor looking for medications that can help with the treatment of anxiety, very few people want to depend on pills. This is one of the reasons a large number of people are turning to holistic health solutions.
When it comes to holistic health solutions for anxiety, the conversation is usually centered around mushrooms that help with anxiety. If you are trying to answer the question “is reishi mushroom good for anxiety?”, this detailed guide should help you out. The mushroom uplifts the mood and lowers your chance of anxiety and depression.
You can addreishi mushroom powder to your favorite recipes and beverages. Wind down with a cup of the functional mushroom to enjoy the benefits of Reishi for anxiety. This mushroom is an excellent choice for easing anxiety and calming the racing mind.
- Zhao, H., Zhang, Q., Zhao, L., Huang, X., Wang, J., & Kang, X. (2012). Spore Powder of Ganoderma lucidum Improves Cancer-Related Fatigue in Breast Cancer Patients Undergoing Endocrine Therapy: A Pilot Clinical Trial.Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM,2012, 809614. (1) https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/809614
- Tang, W., Gao, Y., Chen, G., Gao, H., Dai, X., Ye, J., Chan, E., Huang, M., & Zhou, S. (2005). A randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled study of a Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharide extract in neurasthenia.Journal of medicinal food,8(1), 53–58. (2) https://doi.org/10.1089/jmf.2005.8.53
- Pazzi, F., Adsuar, J. C., Domínguez-Muñoz, F. J., García-Gordillo, M. A., Gusi, N., & Collado-Mateo, D. (2020).Ganoderma lucidum Effects on Mood and Health-Related Quality of Life in Women with Fibromyalgia.Healthcare (Basel, Switzerland),8(4), 520. (3) https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8040520
- Matsuzaki, H., Shimizu, Y., Iwata, N., Kamiuchi, S., Suzuki, F., Iizuka, H., Hibino, Y., & Okazaki, M. (2013). Antidepressant-like effects of a water-soluble extract from the culture medium of Ganoderma lucidum mycelia in rats. BMC complementary and alternative medicine,13, 370. (4) https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6882-13-370