top of page

MedlinePlus: Reishi Mushroom

Updated: Mar 28

Reishi mushrooms are a type of medicinal mushroom that have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. They contain various bioactive compounds, including beta-glucans and triterpenes, that have potential health benefits, such as boosting the immune system, reducing inflammation, and supporting liver health. Reishi mushrooms can be consumed in various forms, including capsules, extracts, teas, and dried mushrooms.

10 Key Takeaways

  1. Boosting the immune system: Reishi mushrooms contain beta-glucans, which can enhance the activity of certain immune cells, helping to strengthen the body's defenses against infections.

  2. Reducing inflammation: Reishi mushrooms contain triterpenes, which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects. This can potentially benefit people with conditions like arthritis, asthma, and inflammatory bowel disease.

  3. Lowering blood pressure: Some studies suggest that reishi mushrooms can help lower blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels.

  4. Supporting liver health: Reishi mushrooms may have protective effects on the liver, helping to prevent damage and improve its function.

  5. Improving sleep: Reishi mushrooms contain compounds that can have a calming effect on the body, potentially helping people to sleep more soundly.

  6. Reducing stress and anxiety: Some studies suggest that reishi mushrooms may have anti-anxiety and anti-depressant effects, potentially helping to reduce stress and promote feelings of calmness.

  7. Fighting cancer: Some studies suggest that reishi mushrooms may have anti-cancer effects, potentially helping to inhibit the growth and spread of certain types of cancer cells.

  8. Improving respiratory health: Reishi mushrooms may help to improve respiratory health by reducing inflammation in the lungs and potentially enhancing lung function.

  9. Supporting cardiovascular health: Reishi mushrooms may have benefits for the heart, potentially helping to lower cholesterol levels and improve blood flow.

  10. Enhancing cognitive function: Some studies suggest that reishi mushrooms may have neuroprotective effects, potentially helping to enhance cognitive function and protect against age-related decline.


Reishi mushrooms are generally safe for most people, but some individuals may experience mild gastrointestinal discomfort or allergic reactions, such as skin rash or itching. Precautions when taking reishi mushroom supplements include avoiding use during pregnancy or breastfeeding and consulting with a healthcare provider before use, especially if you have a medical condition or are taking any medications.


Wachtel-Galor, S., & Yuen, J. (2017). Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum). In Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects (2nd ed.).

Dai, X., Stanilka, J. M., Rowe, C. A., et al. (2015). Consuming Lentinula edodes (Shiitake) Mushrooms Daily Improves Human Immunity: A Randomized Dietary Intervention in Healthy Young Adults. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 34(6), 478-487.

bottom of page