Neither Reishi nor Chaga is better, both are beneficial and are considered medicinal mushrooms. They are usually taken in combination or as an expanded group of 5-7 medicinal mushrooms that include Turkey Tale, Lions Mane, Cordyceps, Shiitake, Maitake to mention a few.
The mere mention of mushrooms will make you think of getting high, but that is not with the Chaga and Reishi mushrooms. These mushrooms are medicinal and will get you healed instead. Chaga mushrooms have a black pigmentation, grow on birch trees, and are known for; boosting immunity, good anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer properties, antioxidants, and blood glucose levels. Reishi mushrooms are red, kidney-shaped, and well known for; reducing malaise and stress. Strengthening the immune system, lowering high blood pressure, improve the respiratory system, and sleep.
The fungus has a burnt charcoal appearance and orange tissue inside. They are commonly found in Asia, Canada, Northern Europe, Alaska, Russia, and Siberia. The use of Chaga mushrooms for medicinal purposes is not a new practice since they have been used for centuries as traditional medicine.
Chaga mushroom is available in the form of supplement capsules, herbal teas, or in powder form. Consumption of this mushroom will prove useful to your health but don’t stop your doctor’s prescribed medication. Before introducing the mushroom to your diet, it is wise to consult your doctor and mention it if you are already taking some if it may interfere with your prescribed medication. Daily intake depends on treatment goals so that it will vary from one person to the other.
Benefits of taking Chaga mushrooms include;
· It is rich in nutrients, minerals, and vitamins like; amino acids, vitamin D, potassium, magnesium, and calcium, among others
· Has antioxidant properties that reduce oxidative stress and slows the process of aging.
· Studies done on animals shows that Chaga mushrooms can slow multiplication of lung, cervical, and breast cancerous tissues and, in other cases, cause self-destruction of tumor cells.
· Prevents drug side effects, especially in chemotherapy, medication for chronic illness, and radiation therapy.
· Lowers high blood pressure hence improving cardiovascular health. This reduces the occurrence of stroke, arrhythmias, and heart attacks.
· Chaga mushrooms boost immunity by stimulating cytokine production as they play a major role in the body defense mechanism.
· With the regulation of cytokines, it controls inflammation, especially from chronic illness like rheumatoid arthritis.
· For the diabetic and obese, this mushroom plays a part in lowering blood sugar levels and body cholesterol levels.
· The mushroom can trigger allergic reactions, namely; labored breathing, loss of consciousness, and increased heart rate in some people, so it is advisable to note down any changes while taking them and consult with your doctor.
· It is not a substitute for the prescribed medication; it is taken concurrently and seeks medical advice.
· Chaga mushrooms cannot be used alongside any other herbal medication without the doctor’s approval.
This mushroom, also known as Ganoderma lucidum, or lingzhi, grows in China, Japan, and other Asian countries. The mushrooms are red, kidney-shaped, and have a shiny appearance. The traditional use of the Reishi mushroom begun centuries ago and still in use to date.
The mushrooms can be eaten, crushed into powders, liquids, and as supplements. The doses vary with different methods of ingestion, with eating whole having the highest doses. It is important to know to avoid consuming above the recommended doses. The dose is determined by certain factors such as; age, condition for the mushroom prescription, a form of the mushroom, and general health.
Oral daily dose:
a) 1.5- 9 grams of dried mushroom
b) 1-1.5 grams of Reishi powder
c) 1 milliliter of Reishi solution
Reishi mushroom has numerous advantages like;
· Enhances the immune system by lowering bacterial and viral infections. They inhibit colonization without affecting the normal cells. It’s useful to the ill and has a different effect on a healthy system.
· Reishi mushrooms contain polysaccharides, peptides, triterpenoids, dietary fiber, various minerals, vitamins, and amino acids, all of which play a key role in health improvement.
· Has anti-cancer properties but cannot be used alone as a form of treatment. Study shows the mushroom has effects on prostate, colorectal, and breast cancer. It helps decrease the size and number of tumor cells.
· Fight malaise and fatigue to improve the quality of life.
· The mushroom is used in treating memory loss due to Alzheimer’s disease.
· Reishi mushrooms have demonstrated use in reducing anxiety and depression.
· The mushroom can increase the good high-density lipoproteins (HDL) and lower triglycerides.
· Helps build strength and a stronger stamina
· Consumption can lead to; dizziness, itchiness, rash, headaches, liver toxicity, insomnia, stomach upset, nosebleed, and bloody stools
· It has an allergic reaction if consumed for a long time, which presents with dry mouth, throat, and nose.
· Should be avoided if pregnant or breastfeeding
· Not consumed if you have a known blood disorder and a low platelet count
· Avoid if you have a scheduled surgery and right after.
· Contraindicated in an individual with low blood pressure or taking medication to boost the blood pressure.
· Reishi mushrooms have a poor interaction with some medication like Aspirin, NSAIDs, Warfarin, and Heparin
The question of which is better between Chaga and Reishi mushrooms is a tricky one to give a definite answer. The reason is choosing which one to take depends on the individual. You consult your doctor first before beginning the self-treatment to ensure no further harm is done. Choose one that aligns with your intended purpose for good results.
The downside to the consumption of the Chaga or the Reishi mushrooms is that not enough research has been done on human beings, making their treatment inconclusive. Most of the research has been performed on animals, which makes it sort of unreliable. Liver toxicity as a side effect of consumption of the mushrooms is dangerous and may lead to death.
Remember taking the mushrooms doesn’t mean you do away with your daily medication as they act as booters. Some people are highly allergic to these mushrooms. Make sure you are not one of them before consuming it. It is a great idea to keep a keen eye on any side effects noticed to determine whether to continue or stop the mushrooms.
Regulate your intake of the mushrooms despite their numerous pros as too much of something can be poisonous.