Reishi Mushroom for Stress, Sleep, and More

by Faith Rodgers, certified clinical herbalist, edited by Liz Faermark, certified clinical herbalist

Latin Name: Ganoderma lucidum

Parts Used: Fruiting Body

Botanical Description: 

Reishi mushroom can be found in Europe and China on decaying hardwood trees. But there are other species of Ganoderma that can be found in the US and also share similar medicinal properties. 

Reishi has been used for medicine and spiritual growth for at least 2,000 years. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Reishi is known as the “Divine Mushroom” for its ability to protect and heal the spirit as well as the body. Students of TCM learn to use Reishi to strengthen the heart, improve lung functions and calm the spirit.

Reishi is an adaptogen, or a type of herb that helps the body better manage stress. It is one of the best herbs for calming anxiety, reducing stress, and promoting healthy sleep patterns. Studies show that Reishi can improve a weakened nervous system and reduce related symptoms like fatigue, depression, headaches and irritability. Additionally, Reishi is known to benefit the heart, and is suggested as a daily tonic for people who are at higher risk of heart disease.

Reishi mushroom is well-known for its action on the immune system. The beta glucans found in reishi can activate the body’s immune response, particularly increasing natural killer cell activity. There are over 300 triterpenes found in Reishi mushrooms. A lot research shows these compounds to be antiviral, anti inflammatory, antioxidant, anticancer and liver protective.

Reishi Fruiting Body. Image by Eric Steinert via Wikimedia Commons.


Reishi Hot Chocolate

1 tsp Cacao Powder

1 tsp Reishi Extract Powder

¼ tsp Cinnamon Powder

Instructions: Add all ingredients to a mug. Pour hot water or milk over the herbs and blend well.  Enjoy!

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