What are Reishi Mushrooms, What are They For? What’s Ashwagandha?

Reishi mushrooms, a.k.a. Ganoderma lucidum and lingzhi is a fungus that often grows within humid and hot regions in Asia. And for over 150 years, indigenes of the region have continued to depend on this natural supplement as a remedy to numerous ailments. 

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Within Reishi mushrooms exists numerous active molecules. These molecules include triterpenoids, polysaccharides and peptidoglycans that are currently being studied for its health effects. Ingestion wise, one can eat Reishi mushrooms via numerous means. You can eat them fresh or also take them via powdered forms or as mushroom extracts. 

Within this article, we are going to be highlighting some common uses for these mushrooms. 

Uses of Reishi Mushrooms

It may function as an immune system booster:

This is probably the most well known use of the Reishi mushroom. Although research is still going on into determining the how, initial reports show reishi effects white blood cells. White blood cells are very important for a healthy immune system. Furthermore, other studies have also shown that other forms of reishi could interfere with inflamed pathways within white blood cells.

Within another study, it was discovered that, some molecules within Reishi have also been discovered to increase the presence of a particular type of white blood cell referred to as natural killer cells. These cells have been noted to fight infections and particularly cancerous cells within the body. And another study discovered that Reishi could also increase the amount of white blood cells found in patients dealing with colorectal cancer.

 

That is not to say one needs to be ill before being able to enjoy the benefits of Reishi. There has also been some evidence of general improving wellness among healthy users too. A study discovered that the natural supplement was able to improve lymphocyte function to stave off infections in athletes exposed to increased levels of stress. 

 

Reishi Mushrooms could aid feelings of sadness and fatigue:

Second to improving a user’s immune system is Reishi’s ability to reduce fatigue and alleviate feelings of moodiness. According to a study involving 132 living with neurasthenia, a condition that has been characterized by pains, aches, headaches and irritability and dizziness. Within the study, researchers talk about a few things. They saw reduced fatigue level and an increase in general well-being. The subjects were taking reishi for 8 weeks before these results. 

 

Within another study involving 48 breast cancer survivors, Reshi powder was administered for 4 weeks and it was discovered to also reduce fatigue and increase quality of life. In addition, participants within the study also reported experiencing decreased levels of anxiety and moodiness. 

 

Reishi Mushrooms  may possess neuroprotective properties:

Another amazing use of Reishi mushrooms is to improve one’s cognitive ability and improve memory function. According to a study published in 2012 by, it was discovered that these mushrooms could have neuroprotective effects in rodents which could prove pivotal in the further search pertaining to Alzheimer’s disease. Within the study, the discovery came about that reishi extract enables production of nerve growth factor. That’s a protein that is very important to maintaining optimal healthy neurological function.

 

Beyond these incredible uses, it is important we mention that studies are still underway. Further studies will look to understand the full extent of Reishi Mushroom’s effect on the body. What we do know however is that these amazing supplements are a huge part of today’s popular holistic medicine industry.

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What is Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha is arguably one of the most important herbs in holistic medicine today. Most especially within Ayurveda which is a form of alternative medicine based on ancient Indian healing principles. This natural herb has been used by indigenous people for over 3000 years to relieve stress, optimize energy levels and improve concentration within users. 

 

In Sanskrit, Ashwagandha means ‘smell of the horse’ which refers to its ability to improve strength and its unique smell. Ashwagandha’s botanical name is Withania somnifera a.k.a “Indian ginseng” or “winter cherry”. The plant material itself happens to be a small shrub with yellow flowers native to India and North Africa. Its extracts or powder from the root or leaves are popular for promoting general wellness and treat some ailments. 

Ashwagandha has also been known to possess high quantity of withanolides, compounds that have been known to be very helpful when dealing with inflammation or tumor growth. 

Why Ashwagandha?

It may impact blood sugar levels of the body:

Across multiple studies, we’ve seen demonsrations that ashwagandha can reduce blood sugar levels in the body. According to a test-tube study, researchers realized that the natural supplement optimized insulin production in the body and improved insulin sensitivity within muscles in the body. Other human studies have also demonstrated that the herb can reduce blood sugar levels within healthy people and people with diabetes.

 

Also, within a 4-week study of patients with schizophrenia, the group with ashwagandha were reported to have a reduction in fasting blood compared to their colleagues who had a placebo. 

 

It may reduce cortisol levels in the body:

Cortisol is a stress hormone. It’s a stress hormone because its release in the body happens as a response to stress by the adrenal glands. Your body could also release cortisol when the blood sugar levels reach really low levels in the body. There have also been cases where cortisol levels could also become uncharacteristically high. This could cause high blood sugar levels and an increase of fat stores within the abdomen. 

But studies show that the supplement ashwagandha could reduce cortisol levels within the body. One study in particular reported users who consumed ashwagandha as a supplement enjoy more reductions in cortisol levels when compared to the control group. 

 

Could lead to a reduction in stress levels:

This is perhaps Ashwagandha’s most popular property. Its ability to decrease stress and anxiety levels. According to researchers, the supplement was about the block the stress pathway in the brain of rodents by regulations the chemicals responsible for signaling the nervous system. 

In addition to do, there have been multiple controlled human studies that have shown a reduced symptoms in users dealing with anxiety and stress disorders. 

A 60-day study with users dealing with Chronic stress shows promising signs. Users within the Ashwagandha group reported a significant reduction in insomnia and anxiety levels. These results held  when compared with their colleagues within the placebo group. Another study reported an 88% reduction in anxiety among users who were using ashwagandha compared with the 50% of their colleagues placed on placebo.

 

It may reduce feelings of sadness:

Although research is still underway, there have been a few studies that suggest that ashwagandha could ease difficult and sad feelings within patients. A controlled study was held over 60 days with 64 subjects. Researchers found that those who used ashwagandha extract daily displayed a significant reduction in symptoms. This was true even when compared to their placebo group contemporaries who reported an increase in symptoms.

We hope you’ve learned something about ashwagandha, and that your herbal wellness journey goes well!

We do not make any medical claims as to our products, nor are we medical professionals. This is merely our best understanding of the subject and research material available. This blog is for informational purposes only.

Other Top Herbs BESIDES Kratom:

Echinacea:

Originally from North America, this flowering plant has a long history of use in Native American practices to alleviate a wide berth of ailments. One of the most interesting facts about Echinacea however, is the fact that almost every part of the plant has benefits. This includes the leaves, petals and the roots! In fact, the roots may deliver some of the strongest effects among the plant materials. 

This supplement is available often as a tea or in capsule form. It can also go topically onto the skin. Today, Echinacea is still popular to alleviate a vast variety of issues. It is famous for its ability for reducing one’s ability to catch a cold. In fact, according to a review done with 4000 participants, it was discovered that there was a 10 – 20% reduction rate in patients being able to catch a cold. 

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Ginseng:

Possibly the most popular item on this list, Ginseng Is a medicinal plant famed for its ability to reduce inflammation. Like Echinacea, all parts of this supplement contain medicinal benefits to the user. But, it is often its roots that are the parts for making tea to form a powder. 

Originally used within traditional Chinese medicine to increase immunity levels, brain functions and energy levels, this plant comes in multiple varieties. Today, the most popular varieties are the Asian and American variants – Panax ginseng and Panax quinquefolius, respectively. It is believed that the American version induces feelings of relaxation, whilst the Asian strain is said to be able to stimulate one’s system.

Today, test-tube and animal studies have hinted at some things. Ginseng’s compounds – ginsenosides may be able to provide users with increased neuroprotective, anti-diabetes, anticancer and immune-supporting benefits.  But more tests are underway to completely ascertain its effects in human beings.

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