After learning that there are over 1.5 million types of mushrooms, most people aren’t sure where to start. My recommendation is to start with the beautiful Reishi mushroom. Known as the Queen of Mushrooms, Mushroom of Immortality, Lingzhi mushroom, Ganoderma Lucidum, or straightforward Reishi, this mushroom has been used to support well-being for over 2,000 years in China and Japan[*]. While it isn’t a pantry staple in the USA, it’s time we started using it to stop stressing out.
Reishi and sleep
Reishi helps you to chill out. It’s not like kava and won’t make you drowsy (it’s a non-sedative). When consumed in continuous, small doses, Reishi may help to support the body’s sleep cycles. Personally, I've found that daily use seems to show more promise than just drinking it once or twice.
Reishi and stress
Reishi is used in herbal medicine as an adaptogen. It helps your body adapt to stress. It is non-toxic and safe for long-term use. This grounding mushroom helps you to chill out and adapt to whatever life throws your way.
Reishi and immune function
Reishi may also help support your immune system. It has many polysaccharides, antioxidant properties, and beta-glucans that can help with immune function.
Different types of Reishi mushroom
Reishi is a woody mushroom with a glossy exterior. It’s shaped like a saucer and ranges in color from red to black to green, to purple, and even white[*]! The most studied is the red Reishi that grows on Hemlock trees. This is the type of Reishi we use in Four Sigmatic products. The types of Reishi you can buy are grown on either sawdust, grain, cork, or logs. We believe only in using log-grown Reishi.
How Reishi tastes
I’ll be real with you. Reishi is not the most delicious mushroom you will ever taste. Because of this, it has very little use as a culinary mushroom. It is incredibly bitter.
Many health foodies will know that the most bitter foods are often the ones that are best for us. In fact, properly extracted fruiting bodies of Reishi will be much more bitter than mycelium products, which often taste like rice. The flavor of Reishi will grow on you the more you feel its benefits.
I recommend adding it to hot chocolate or decaf coffee, foods that are already bitter. Adding coconut butter and almond milk also improves the taste of Reishi.
Four Sigmatic Reishi mushroom products
At Four Sigmatic, we love Reishi in many different types of products. Our most popular is the Reishi Elixir which has 1500 mg of extracted Reishi mushroom powder. There is 500 mg of Reishi extract in Mushroom Cacao with Reishi. Chai Latte with Reishi has 300 mg of Reishi spores. Reishi is also in every edible skincare product we make: Superfood Serum, Superfood Body Butter, and Superfood Face Mask.
Our Reishi mushroom powder is always the fruit bodies of red Reishi, grown on logs. It is organic, non-GMO, and free from fillers and carriers. The fruiting bodies are not used in many competitor products because it takes several more months to culture them, rather than just using the mycelium[*]. Since most of the research on Reishi is on the fruiting bodies we think it’s worth the wait.
Photo credit: @thefullestco
Our Reishi is grown in China. The Chinese have been producing Reishi for centuries and we believe in their expertise with this mushroom.
We extract this Reishi twice. First in hot water extraction to get the water-soluble compounds that help to support your immune system. Then we use an alcohol extraction to get more adaptogenic properties.
This type of extraction helps with the benefits you’re looking for in Reishi, but it does make it more bitter. We add other ingredients to help with the taste of this functional tonic. In the Reishi Elixir we add tulsi (holy basil) and mint to make it more palatable.
Every single batch of our Reishi mushroom extract products are tested in a third party lab for heavy metals, allergens, bad bacteria, yeasts, molds, mycotoxins, pesticides, and irradiation before they get in your hands. In fact, the product doesn’t leave the manufacturing site until the third party lab has cleared it.
We can’t wait to have you add the Queen of Mushrooms to your daily routine! Any questions about her? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or text us at +1(213) 699-4616
Author: Tero Isokauppila
Tero Isokauppila is the founder of Four Sigmatic. Tero’s roots (or mycelium, if you will) are in Finland, where he grew up growing and foraging natural foods on his 13th generation family's farm. He later earned a degree in Chemistry, Business, and a Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition at Cornell University. An expert in all things related to nutrition, health, and wellness. Tero is the author of two best-selling books: Healing Mushrooms, an educational cookbook from Avery Publishing, and Santa Sold Shrooms, a children's book for adults about the magical origins of Santa Claus.