According to Rebecca Wood's New Whole Foods Encyclopedia (as quoted from http://www.naturalnews.com/021498.html) Reishi is "An immunostimulant, it is helpful for people with AIDS, leaky-gut syndrome, Epstein-Barr, chronic bronchitis and other infectious diseases. It is used as an aid to sleep, as a diuretic, as a laxative and to lower cholesterol." I briefly searched Google scholar for medical studies on the fungus and found that Reishi:
- "suppressed cell adhesion and cell migration of highly invasive breast and prostate cancer cells, suggesting its potency to reduce tumor invasiveness" (Sliva, 2003)
- an extract of Reishi "enhanced the immune responses in patients with advanced‐stage cancer" (Gao, 2003)
- "intake of G. lucidum caused an acute increase in plasma antioxidant power" (Galer, 2010)
- "The polysaccharides from G. lucidum enhance the repair process [of radiation damaged cells]" (Pillai, 2010)
These are just a sampling of the many studies showing powerful benefits of Reishi. Commercial extracts are available for upwards of 40 dollars, but, if you can find a wild specimen, stove-top preparation is quite simple. Just chop up the mushroom and boil the pieces in water for at least an hour. The resulting tea is bitter, but well worth it.