Reishi Mushroom Benefits, Usage, and Side Effects

Edible mushrooms come in all shapes, sizes, and flavors and can support your health in significant ways.* The Reishi mushroom is no different. In this article, you will learn how the Reishi mushroom can benefit your well-being.*

We’ll also go over basic facts about this fungus and give you a few easy ways to incorporate it into your daily supplement regimen. Then, you can take advantage of this amazing mushroom on a daily basis. Let’s start with what it is and where it grows.

What Are Reishi Mushrooms?

The Reishi mushroom goes by a couple of different names. Scientifically, it is known as Ganoderma lucidum, but you might also hear it called Ling Zhi or even “the mushroom of immortality.”

That’s a pretty big claim for a small mushroom. But it’s true that the Reishi mushroom has been revered for thousands of years in China and historically used in Asian countries for health and longevity.*1

This fungus is native to Europe, Asia, and North America and prefers tropical, subtropical, and temperate climates with plenty of deciduous hardwoods such as oak and maple.

However, it is not extremely common in the wild and has been cultivated due to the high demand for this mushroom.1 Only two or three out of 10,000 mature hardwood trees have Reishi growing on them, with oak and maple being the most common.

 Reishi mushroom

A mushroom’s fruiting body is the part that is above ground and typically foraged. The Reishi mushroom we’re talking about today is “a large, dark mushroom with a glossy exterior and a woody texture.”1

Reishi mushrooms are edible, but they have a bitter taste and tough texture. The good news is that you don’t have to cook with the raw mushroom to take advantage of Reishi mushroom benefits.

If you prefer an easier method, you can find these mushrooms in a supplement, such as a capsule or powder form.

We mentioned that the Reishi mushroom is known as “the mushroom of immortality” and has been used for longevity, but let’s talk now about the modern uses and benefits of this brown fungus.*

Reishi Mushroom Benefits

Reishi Mushrooms Provide Immune Support*

sick woman who needs Reishi mushroom benefits

One of the ways the Reishi mushroom shines within the health and wellness world is that it provides immune support.* It’s not the only mushroom that does so. Many mushrooms, Reishi included, contain a specific polysaccharide called beta glucans.

Beta glucans have been shown to support immune health and function.* The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center reports, “When animals were fed beta glucans, some cells of their immune system became more active.”*2

With its immunomodulating effects, the Reishi mushroom can help support hormonal balance and help regulate the immune system.”*

The Reishi mushroom is also considered a tonic for the vital energy that Traditional Chinese Medicine calls qi.* This is a force field around the body that helps maintain overall health and vitality.*

Reishi Mushrooms Are Adaptogens*

Reishi mushrooms are adaptogens. However, this word can be confusing. Adaptogens are, simply put, herbs or mushrooms that normalize the body and help it respond to and “adapt” to various types of stress.*

Adaptogens are used to support energy levels and the stress response system.* Adaptogenic herbs help your body cope with the effects stress can have on your health.

Reishi Mushrooms Support the Liver*

In addition to supporting your immune system and your body as a whole, the Reishi mushroom helps to support your liver.* This is important since the liver processes and cleans your blood while also producing bile, which is involved in digestion.3

Reishi has been shown to have “hepatoprotective properties,” which is the scientific way of saying that it helps protect the liver.*

Researchers conducted a study on mice treated with a Ganoderma lucidum spore and commented that, “The medicinal fungus Ganoderma lucidum has been shown to have hepatoprotective effects.”4

It has also been noted that this protective mechanism of Reishi “might be due at least in part to its superoxide scavenging effect.”5

Reishi Mushrooms Promote Mental Clarity*

man doing a crossword puzzle

Last but certainly not least, Reishi mushrooms support mental clarity, which is something everyone wants more of.*

That brings us to the next topic: How you can incorporate this vital mushroom into your everyday life so that you can take advantage of all of the Reishi mushroom benefits.

How to Experience Reishi Mushroom Benefits

While you can certainly cook with this mushroom if you’d like, because of its bitter taste, many people prefer Reishi mushroom supplements instead.

So, we’ll go over two options: Reishi mushroom capsules and Reishi mushroom powder.

Reishi Mushroom Capsules 

Reishi Mushroom Formula

Reishi Mushroom

One of our newest Reishi products, from our brand-new line of six mushroom supplements, is a pure Reishi Mushroom formula, made with 100% organic Reishi mushroom fruiting bodies and nothing else—no fillers, starch, grains, or mycelium. At 5x strength with 2,500 mg of dried Reishi per capsule, you only need one a day to maintain a healthy immune system, support heart health, and help your body cope with stress in a healthy way.*

Remember, as we discussed above, Reishi mushrooms are adaptogens and thus can help your body adapt to various types of stressors.* The mushrooms are hot water and dual extracted for optimal bioavailability, absorption, and digestibility.*

Respiratory Mushroom Blend

Respiratory Mushroom Blend

Another of our just-launched mushroom products, our Respiratory Mushroom Blend mixes Reishi with Cordyceps to help you maintain overall lung and respiratory health.* Indeed, in addition to being adaptogenic mushrooms, both Reishi and Cordyceps have been traditionally used to support the respiratory system.*

Like our new Reishi Mushroom supplement, this blended formula contains only 100% organic mushroom fruiting bodies and packs a potent 5x strength punch, so you get the support you need in just one capsule per day.*

Adrenal Health® Nightly Restore

 Gaia Herbs Adrenal Health® Nightly Restore has Reishi mushroom benefits

As you sleep, your body repairs itself. Gaia Herbs Adrenal Health® Nightly Restore is designed with mushrooms and herbs to nourish the adrenal glands while you rest, providing support when you're feeling tired and run down.*

These liquid Phyto-Caps® contain a blend of mushrooms such as Reishi and Cordyceps, as well as herbs such as Ashwagandha, Mimosa, Magnolia, Vervain, and Gaia-grown® Lemon Balm.

This Lemon Balm is grown on our very own Certified Organic farm. We chose this 350-acre plot of land, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, for its rich alluvial soil and amazing biodiversity.

We grow 25 to 40 different herbs each year, all nourished by the clear mountain waters flowing through our Certified Organic farm. Each plant is nurtured, observed, and allowed the time to flourish in the sun until the right moment to harvest.

We recommend that adults take two capsules of Adrenal Health® Nightly Restore every day in the evening after dinner. 

Everyday Immune Mushrooms & Herbs

 Gaia Herbs Everyday Immune has Reishi mushroom benefits

A healthy immune system is the foundation for well-being. To take advantage of Reishi’s immune-supporting properties, turn to Gaia Herbs Everyday Immune Mushrooms & Herbs.*

This supplement is made with a blend of organic mushrooms and herbs designed to be taken daily to help sustain overall wellness.* In addition to Reishi mushrooms, these powder capsules contain Chaga, Cordyceps, and Maitake along with the herbs Astragalus, Schisandra, and Turmeric.

Here at Gaia Herbs, we are committed to transparency. To learn more about how the mushrooms and herbs in this product were sourced, visit

We created the world’s first herb traceability platform so you can discover the origin of your herbs, learn how they were grown, and see validation of your product’s level of purity and potency.

We verify at every stage of the Gaia Herbs’ soil-to-shelf journey because you deserve to know exactly what’s in your herbal supplement and should feel confident about the products you are using to support your health and wellness.*

To help support your immune system, take one Everyday Immune Mushrooms & Herbs capsule twice a day.* 

Reishi Mushroom Powder

Mind Spring™

 Mushroom Powder Mind Spring™ has Reishi mushroom benefits

If you’d rather reap the benefits from the Reishi mushroom via a powder, Gaia Herbs Mind Spring™ Mushrooms & Herbs powder is a great choice.

This Certified USDA Organic powder contains a synergistic blend of mushrooms and herbs traditionally taken to support brain health and recall.* It is made with Lion's Mane and Reishi mushrooms combined with a blend of herbs including Turmeric, Ginkgo, Gotu Kola, and Holy Basil.

And you can be assured that this herbal supplement contains no added fillers, flavors, or sweeteners.

It’s easy to work Mind Spring into your daily wellness regimen. Once a day, simply mix one teaspoon into any milk or smoothie of your choice. Or you can use this powder along with other healthy ingredients to make a Nourishing Mind Spring Broth. Check out the recipe here.

Reishi Mushroom Side Effects and Precautions

Remember that before you start using any new herbal supplement, Reishi mushrooms included, you should consult your doctor or naturopathic physician, especially if you are already taking any medications or have an existing medical condition.

Additionally, keep in mind that Gaia Herbs Adrenal Health® Nightly Restore, Everyday Immune Mushrooms & Herbs, and Mind Spring™ should not be used during pregnancy or lactation.

Reishi Mushrooms for Your Well-Being*

Reishi mushrooms

As we’ve uncovered, Reishi mushrooms can help keep your body at its best.* Reishi mushroom health benefits include immune support and liver support.* Plus, this fungus promotes mental clarity and is an adaptogen, which means it can help your body better adapt to and cope with stress.*

While you may not want to cook with this bitter mushroom, you can easily add it to your routine through capsules such as Gaia Herbs Adrenal Health® Nightly Restore and Everyday Immune Mushrooms & Herbs, or a powder supplement such as Mind Spring Mushrooms & Herbs powder.

Reaping the benefits of the Reishi mushroom is that easy.



1 Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition.

Reishi Mushrooms.

Liver: Anatomy and Functions.

Protective effects of Ganoderma lucidum spore on cadmium hepatotoxicity in mice.

Evaluation of the hepatic and renal-protective effects of Ganoderma lucidum in mice.

Emerging Roles of Ganoderma Lucidum in Anti-Aging.

Reishi Mushroom.