The reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum), an edible type of medicinal fungus that has been used for various healing abilities for thousands of years, is a true “superfood.” Also known as Ling Zhi in Chinese, these mushrooms are strongly anti-inflammatory and tied to longevity, better immune function and mental clarity — perhaps that’s why they’ve adopted the nickname “king of mushrooms.”
As described in the book “Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects,” in Chinese the name for the reishi mushroom represents “a combination of spiritual potency and essence of immortality … it’s tied to success, well-being, divine power, and longevity. Among cultivated mushrooms, G. lucidum is unique in that its pharmaceutical rather than nutritional value is paramount.”
Throughout history in holistic medicine practices, including Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), LingZhi mushrooms have been considered to be adaptogen herb-like substances, meaning they help us deal with the negative effects of stress — such as increased inflammation, depleted energy levels, damaged blood vessels and various types of hormonal imbalances. Studies have repeatedly shown that LingZhi mushrooms have antioxidant abilities that allow them to strengthen the body’s defenses against cancer, autoimmune diseases, heart disease, allergies, infections and more.
So How Does LingZhi can help our body Kill Cancer cells?
1. Reishi assists the immune system in preventing secondary infections. As if cancer wasn’t challenging to begin with, secondary attacks on the immune system from environmental pathogenic influences, such as viruses and bacteria, make the immune system particularly vulnerable in those already experiencing oncological issues.
2. Reishi helps breast cancer patients. Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is the most pervasive cancer of this type. New findings confirm that Reishi is a suitable IBC therapeutic – because of its ability to selectively inhibit cancer cell viability.
The Journal of Nutrition and Cancer published findings, from researchers, that showed the Reishi mushroom consistently inhibited cell invasion and disrupted cell spheroids involved in the invasive nature of cancer cells.
3. Reishi has multi-faceted immunomodulatory effects. Studies highlight how Reishi can identify potential pathogenic invaders by amplifying natural killer cell activity. Because Reishi’s therapeutic action can break down fibrinogen, an outer layer that protects cancer cells, they are more susceptible to cell death.
4. Keeping healthy cells intact has been demonstrated by Reishi. In a study observing its effects on ovarian cancer cells and cell-mediated responses, Reishi inhibited cell colony formation and cell migration demonstrating its ability to protect already healthy cells. The study also highlighted how Reishi takes action to assist in inhibiting tumor cell growth.
5. Reishi regulates programmed cell death. Referred to as apoptosis, reishi extract has the ability to stop cancer cells in their tracks. Eventually all healthy cells die, but certain cancer cells do not undergo apoptosis and divide endlessly wreaking internal havoc. Reishi intermediates this process successfully.
6. Reishi beats cancer at its own ‘cell-squeezing’ game. Cancer cells, through the protein-destroying enzyme, matrix metalloproteinase squeeze their way into healthy cells and destroy surrounding tissue. They can also enter the bloodstream to metastasize. Reishi has been shown to block the enzyme and prevent cancer from penetrating where it does not belong.
Remember, not all Reishi supplements are created equal. To access the benefits that have been obtained in studies it is essential to use standardized Reishi extracts containing assayed levels of Ganoderma Lucidum, the active therapeutic agent.
Ask your integrative healthcare practitioner to help suggest a dosage and high quality Reishi supplement that best reflects your needs. And, while you’re at it, ask how you can incorporate Reishi mushroom into your regular diet
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