In a recent YouTube video, David Wolfe talked about 3 categories that make up a healthy diet – foods, superfoods and superherbs. I was intrigued by this breakdown.
Here is what I took from his video…
Food provides your body with calories/energy in the form of fats, proteins and carbohydrates. The healthiest forms of these macronutrients come from fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and other whole foods.
Superfoods have an above average nutrient profile – they generally provide a high nutrient to calorie ratio. Consuming a diet that contains an array of superfoods will help make sure you are getting all the vitamins and minerals your body needs to keep it healthy and performing at its peak state.
Superherbs play a unique role in maintaining your health by boosting immunity, promoting general health/well being and extending longevity. They fall under the category of tonic herbs which can be taken daily and are never toxic to your body.
You might be asking – what does this have to do with reishi mushroom?! Well, reishi mushroom just happens to be one of the top superherbs on the planet and is known as the “queen of mushrooms” or “mushroom of immortality.” If you are new to superherbs reishi is the perfect choice for a beginner due to its overwhelming number of health benefits.
The health benefits of reishi mushroom include:
- Helps modulate and improve the immune system with its beta glucans and polysaccharides. It acts bidirectionally and ramps up or brings down the immune system to normalize it. An overactive immune system can present as autoimmune disorder, allergy or an inflammatory condition.
- Helps you cope with stress.
- Promotes cardiovascular health.
- Provides general feelings of calmness, relaxation and peacefulness.
- Reduces side effects from radiation and chemotherapy.
- Promotes longevity.
- Calms the adrenal glands.
- Reduces cholesterol in the blood.
- Its adaptogenic properties help the body deal with physical and mental stress.
- Prevents tumor growth and proliferation.
- Increases antioxidants in the blood.
What Is The Best Type of Reishi?
Duanwood reishi. It is grown on a certain type of wood (duanwood) and the whole process is very controlled – the government regulates that no pesticides, fertilizers or other chemicals are used during the growing process.
Also look for wild crafted reishi – make sure it is harvested in a sustainable manner. I’m currently using a wild reishi extract from Giddy Yoyo that is made from mushrooms of Northern Canada.
Quality Is Everything
Just like with any health food or supplement you need to pay close attention to the source – not all reishi is created equally. Poor quality reishi may be grown on rice, corn, grains or sawdust – these haven’t been scientifically shown to have the same medicinal benefits as duanwood. These unnatural foods don’t provide the reishi with the proper nutrients = a lower quality product. Just like we are what we eat… the same goes for mushrooms.
Why Can’t You Just Grind Up The Mushroom And Eat It Whole?
The active constituents of reishi are bound up in chitin which is an indigestible fiber made from the same material as a lobster shell. Without proper processing the mushroom will go right through you without providing any health benefits.
Look For Dual Extraction
There are two ways of extracting the active ingredients from a reishi mushroom. The first involves using hot water – this is called a decoction. The other method uses alcohol and is called a tincture. Each of these methods extracts different constituents from the mushroom because some are water and others are oil soluble. To avoid missing out on any health benefits it is best to consume a product that uses a dual extraction method of processing.
To achieve the health benefits associated with reishi mushroom it is best to consume it daily – consistency is key. It is not the type of herb you use to fight off a current cold or when a health crisis arises and is best taken proactively. That being said… if you are dealing with a health issue you are going to want to consume reishi as well – better late than never.
I find the easiest way to take reishi is as a supplement. You can use drops under your tongue or take capsules – these methods help with consistency. Reishi tea is a great addition to a healthy routine but regular consumption with this method can be a challenge. To make a medicinal tea the mushroom must be heated in a crock pot or over the stove for a long period of time in clean water. Reishi powders work well in smoothies and elixirs but just make sure the active ingredients have already been extracted.
If you are looking to break through a current plateau in your healthy lifestyle, give superherbs a try starting with reishi mushroom – you won’t be disappointed.
To your health!