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What is Reishi and How Does It Help Dogs?

NUTRITION_reishiReishi is an herbal mushroom that has been used extensively in Japan and China for thousands of years.

Its wide range of health benefits include boosting immune function, assisting in cancer treatment, delaying the aging process and acting as an anti-inflammatory.

Ganoderma lucidum is the scientific name for the mushroom known as reishi (pronounced RAY-she) in Japanese, and lingzhi (pronounced LING-chi) in Chinese. It is often referred to as “the medicine of kings.”

Reishi is a medicinal mushroom that is not used in cooking because it is too hard, bitter and woody. Instead, its extract is made into capsules, tablets and liquid supplements.

There are more than 2,000 known species of reishi mushroom, but only six have been studied in detail for their health benefits – red, black, blue, white, yellow and purple. Of these six varieties, red and black have the most significant effects, with red reishi having the most proven benefits to overall health.

Reishi’s History

Reishi mushrooms have been used for their medicinal properties for over 4,000 years in different parts of Asia. Their benefits were recorded in scientific documents from as far back as the Chinese Han Dynasty (206 B.C. to 8 A.D.). The original textbook of Asian medicine classified reishi in the “Superior” category – the highest possible for medicine. It earned this grading due to its numerous health benefits and few side effects.

During these ancient times, reishi was so highly valued that it was reserved for use by emperors and royalty, giving it the name “Medicine of Kings.” Japanese royalty drank tea made from reishi to promote vitality and long life. Reishi can also be found immortalized in ancient Chinese paintings, sculptures and folk tales as a symbol of longevity and good health.

Reishi was difficult to source in ancient times, as it grew high on mountains and in deep forests. Royal servants would be sent to collect the wild mushroom, and festivities were held when they returned with their yield. It wasn’t until the early 1970s that Japanese scientists successfully cultivated the mushroom. Nowadays, thousands of tons of reishi are produced every year in countries such as China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and the United States.

Health Benefits

There are numerous health benefits associated with taking reishi supplements.

  • Immune System

Reishi can boost immune function. Reishi mushrooms have been found to enhance immune modulators, which are important for fighting viral and bacterial infection. Its properties can also relieve stress and lessen nervous tension, which in turn helps to keep the immune system strong.

  • Cancer

Regular consumption of red reishi has been shown to stimulate the production of potent natural anti-cancer substances produced in our body. This can inhibit the growth of tumors and even cause tumors to regress. Animal studies have demonstrated that reishi can effectively prevent the growth of secondary cancers.

There has also been research showing reishi is effective during chemotherapy or radiotherapy to reduce side effects such as infection, fatigue, loss of appetite and hair loss.

  • Aging

Reishi can delay the aging process and also reduce symptoms associated with aging. The loss of the body’s internal balance (homeostasis) is what causes many age-related problems. Reishi can restore this balance, and thus alleviate related problems.

Effects of reishi can also include increasing memory and preventing forgetfulness in old age.

  • Anti-inflammatory

Research from the University of Texas Health Science Center provides evidence that reishi has anti-inflammatory activity. This may help improve memory when reishi is taken by older adults.

  • Heart and Circulation

In Japan, reishi is used to treat circulatory problems. It is thought to improve blood circulation by thinning blood, similar to the effects of aspirin. Reishi is known for alleviating arrhythmia (a condition in which the heart beats with an irregular or abnormal rhythm), and it can also reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

  • Allergies

Reishi has anti-allergenic properties because it inhibits the release of histamine, which causes allergic reactions in the body.

  • Liver

Regular consumption of reishi can protect the liver. It may help rejuvenate liver cells, strengthen liver functions and improve detoxification. It may also improve chronic hepatitis.

  • Diabetes

Studies suggest reishi has beneficial action in treating diabetes. Reishi has blood-sugar-lowering properties and can possibly help regulate glucose levels. It can also improve blood circulation, which is important for diabetics as they are prone to developing artery disease.

  • Respiratory System

Reishi has been found to strengthen the respiratory system and to have a healing effect on the lungs. It can be particularly beneficial for asthma sufferers because of its anti-inflammatory properties. It can also relieve coughs and alleviate other respiratory problems.

  • Antioxidant

Reishi can protect cells from damage by inhibiting the growth of free radicals in the body. This in turn can reduce the effects of aging.

  • Pain Relief

Reishi has analgesic (pain relieving) properties.

Reishi Recommendation

We recommend i Love Dogs REISHI with Green Tea for dogs that are:

  • Showing signs of aging
  • Suffering from cancer
  • Undergoing chemotherapy or radiation
  • Experiencing heart problems
  • Suffering from allergies
  • Suffering from hepatitis
  • Suffering from pain and stiffness
  • Undergoing treatment for infection
  • Having trouble with a weak immune system

In our experience, i Love Dogs REISHI with Green Tea has proven beneficial for dogs with the above issues. As with any supplement, pet parents should consult with their veterinarian prior to use.

i Love Dogs premium vitamins and supplements with reishi can be purchased from our online store.

i Love Dogs, Inc.

i Love Dogs, Inc.’s three websites – ilovedogs.com, ilovedogfriendly.com and findavet.us – provide information and up-to-the-minute news to keep pet parents aware of all things dog. A premium canine vitamins and lifestyle company, i Love Dogs is famous for its line of diamond dog collars. The name says it all — at i Love Dogs, we are committed to the health and happiness of our canine companions.

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March 25, 2012 By : Category : Ingredients VITAMINS & SUPPLEMENTS Tags:
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2 Comments Print

The Dog Park   


Hello ...I want to put my 65 lb. dog on astragalus and reishi mushrooms for his cancer diagnosis on Saturday.  I know the dosage for the astragalus, but need to know the dose for the mushrooms.  Any ideas?  Thank you.