Is it safe to take large doses of reishi mushrooms over a long period of time without consulting a doctor first?

Taking reishi mushroom extract for up to one year might be safe, but taking reishi powder for more than a month could damage your liver. Other side effects of reishi mushrooms include dry mouth, rashes, upset stomach, diarrhea, headache, nosebleeds, and dizziness. The Komen Foundation notes that reishi mushroom extract is possibly safe for up to 1 year when a person takes it orally. However, they also point out that taking powdered reishi mushrooms for more than 1 month can be toxic to the liver.

This advice also applies to those taking immunosuppressants, as reishi mushroom supplements may counteract their effectiveness. Despite the popularity of reishi mushrooms in Eastern medicine, there are few human studies on the effects of this mushroom. Research on this aspect of the health benefits of Reishi mushrooms is varied, but it shows some promising effects. Also called lingzhi (the divine or spiritual mushroom) in China and manetake (the mushroom of immortality) in Japan, Reishi has long been revered for its medicinal properties.

Reishi mushrooms can be harmful to people who have bleeding problems, are pregnant, or are taking certain medications. Double-extraction Reishi mushroom supplements have higher concentrations of beneficial compounds, making them effective at lower doses*. A review of studies found that reishi mushrooms can help boost the immune system, but the authors wouldn't recommend them as a first response to cancer. These products may taste good, but they can't match the power of Reishi mushroom supplementation at therapeutic or supportive levels.

Fully grown Reishi mushrooms provide the most health benefits, which means waiting about nine months to harvest the fruiting bodies that grow on wood. Reishi mushroom supplements are made by alcohol extraction, water extraction, or a combination of both (known as double extraction). Reishi mushrooms (Ganoderma lucidum) have been part of some traditional medicine practices for more than 2000 years. When beta-glucans bind to proteins, they form polysaccharide peptides like those found in Reishi mushrooms.

The reishi mushroom is a rich source of natural compounds with the power to boost immunity, combat stress and calm inflammation.

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