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Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that I may earn a small commission from, at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products I use or have used myself. All opinions expressed here are my own.

The Mushroom of Immortality

Basic Identification

While reishi mushrooms do not have a poisonous counterpart, it’s always important to consult with an expert before consuming any mushroom found growing in the wild.

Reishi has a kidney-shaped, reddish-brown cap that looks as though it was painted with a clear coat of varnish. Also look for a band of pale yellow around the outer edges. The cap can grow up to a foot across and 2-inches (5 cm) thick. The underside does not have gills.

Where Does It grow?

Reishi mushroom grows on old stumps and logs, as well as dead or dying trees. It can be found in forested areas around the world including North America.

Edible Uses

Reishi mushrooms are rarely eaten as they are very tough and have a bitter taste. However, they can be used to season soups and then strained out.

Medicinal Uses

As an excellent adaptogenic herb, reishi helps to strengthen the body against the negative effects of stress—like inflammation, hormonal imbalances, high cortisol, fatigue, and low energy. These mushrooms foster quality sleep, alleviate adrenal fatigue, and encourage healthy immune function. It is important to note that reishi mushrooms need to be double-extracted with both water and alcohol, like the one in my Apothecary, to harness the full spectrum of their medicinal properties.

Here are my top 3 uses for reishi mushroom

Calm Seizures, Convulsions, and Restless Legs Syndrome: Reishi mushrooms are known to successfully reduce seizures and convulsions. Through anti-inflammatory and anti-convulsive properties, it relieves stress on the nervous system and helps to improve recovery. These mushrooms also soothe Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS).

Anti-Microbial Help for Wounds, Infections, and Disease: Reishi is a powerful anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and antiviral agent. It also regulates the immune system and is effective against a range of pathogens—including HPV, influenza and E. coli. Reishi mushroom is beneficial for healing urinary tract infections as well.

Relieves Autoimmune Diseases and Leaky Gut: Reishi mushroom is a formidable anti-inflammatory and also helps to modulate the immune system. Since autoimmune disorders are inflammatory in nature, reishi is an excellent choice for slowing or reversing disease progression. It also has neuroprotective qualities and is effective in calming the inflammation and immune response involved with Leaky Gut.

And yet, this is only the beginning. There are many more medicinal uses for reishi mushroom in my book, The Lost Book of Herbal Remedies: The Healing Power of Plant Medicine. Detailed harvesting advice for this mushroom and a myriad of other easy to find plants and mushrooms are included. What’s more, it shows you how to make tinctures right in your own home—including a reishi mushroom double-extraction tincture. Nature truly is bountiful!


While reishi mushrooms are generally safe, it is possible to take too much. Only use reishi that’s from a reputable source or consult with an expert. The safety of consuming reishi has not been established for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding. If you have a bleeding disorder, consult a health care professional before using. Since reishi is a vasodilator, avoid use before surgery.

Nicole Apelian

Roll Up Your Sleeves and Do it Yourself?

The Lost Book of Herbal Remedies

Are you interested in making your own herbal remedies at home and learning about the many plants, lichens, and mushrooms you can find out your own back door? If so please pick up a copy of my book: "The Lost Book Of Herbal Remedies: The Healing Power of Plant Medicine" today!

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