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There’s something extra special about microdosing reishi mushroom. Bearing the title “the mushroom of immortality,” reishi (pronounced ray-she) has maintained a 2400-year-old reputation in East Asia and beyond as an immune system protector.
Suffice it to say, it feels oddly monumental supplementing with a fungus as respected as reishi—that is, if you know where to look.
To help guide your search, we chatted with a few herbalists to learn what they love about reishi—and found out what makes for a high-quality reishi supplement. With expert recommendations and simplified mushroom-speak, this list covers the essentials for buying dried reishi, tinctures, powders, and capsules.
What Makes a Good Reishi Mushroom Supplement?
Whether you’re shopping on foot or online, a reputable reishi supplement brand offers details about its sourcing and harvesting process, if not on the packaging, then somewhere on its website.
James McConchie, mycologist and owner of Haight Street Shroom Shoppe in San Francisco, encourages shoppers to “look for a small producer clearly stating their process and support their endeavors.”
“Small batch producers tend to have the highest attention to detail of the mushrooms they are cultivating, productizing, and selling,” McConchie continues. “Mass producers are held to very high production standards, work toward consistent products, and may offer easier access through mass distribution.”
Specifically, with reishi products, keep an eye out for these words in the product description:
- lingzhi: Reishi is the Japanese word for lingzhi (pronounced “ling-juh”), which is Chinese for “spirit mushroom.” They both mean the same thing, but you could see brands using one or both words.
- G.sinensis or G.lucidum: Reishi belongs to the Ganoderma genus with around 80 different species. Red (G.lucidum) and black (G.sinensis) reishi are two of the more popular species you’re likely to see in product formulations.
- mycelium: The best mushroom supplements ideally contain both mycelium and the fruiting body of the mushroom. Mycelium is are the thin, sprawling network of cells that colonize the mushroom’s favorite growing medium. A fruiting body is the mushroom’s cap and stem.
- myceliated grain: As McConchie explains, “Myceliated grain means less mushroom content.” A key component of the mushroom growing process, myceliated grain is the material out of which the mushroom grows. This could be oats, hay, or brown rice. Alone, though, myceliated grain doesn’t possess the full range of therapeutic compounds found in reishi mushrooms.
One advantage to buying reishi in person is getting to ask the seller questions, says professional herbalist and astrologer Cameron Allen. “Personal experience is invaluable.”
If you are going the online route, Allen says to look for specific emblems that show if the product is organic, Di Tao, or fairtrade, as these credentials hold value when considering brand ethics and ingredient safety. Otherwise, Allen suggests reading product reviews and gleaning insights from the brand’s website.
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The Best Reishi Mushroom Supplements
Below, we compiled a list of different reishi formulations that stand out above the rest. We hand-picked a variety of products to give you a better sense of what’s out there, along with recommendations based on each formulation type.
Herbalist’s Pick: Wild Red Reishi Drops
Allen shares that he was first introduced to reishi as a prized medicine in Taoist herbalism. This reishi tincture from Dragon Herbs is made with wild red reishi from the Changbai Mountains in Asia, which happens to be Di Tao (“authentic”). Personally and professionally, Allen has had success with reishi for inflammation and anxiety, as well as liver and lung support.
“I have experienced taking reishi in times of heightened anxiety and accessing not only peace, but also clarity,” says Allen. Reishi is his “go to” when he feels internally unsettled. As a tincture, Allen loves how easy it is to travel with the supplement.
Pro tip: When you’re busy, Allen suggests putting the tincture somewhere in your line of sight. Take 30 seconds before and after dosing the tincture to breathe deeply. This brings a sense of centeredness and mindfulness to the moment.
If you’re tapped into the mushroom scene, you’ll appreciate these reishi capsules from Host Defense Mushrooms, a Washington-based company founded by Paul Stamets. The celebrity mycologist specializes in organic mycelium-forward supplements. Those who dislike the taste of mushrooms can happily take their reishi in capsule form.
Pro tip: Keep your reishi capsules next to any other daily medications or herbal allies you use. Dosing consistency is key to getting the most benefit out of reishi.
Clinical herbalist and founder of Puff Herbals Lian Bruno says that her favorite way to use reishi is to work with dehydrated mushrooms in the kitchen. While you can always chop the mushroom into pieces and brew a tea, consider throwing this whole reishi mushroom into a bone broth or herbal coffee decoction, as Bruno recommends.
Pro tip: We love that Mountain Rose Herbs sells these in 4-ounce or 1-pound quantities so you can decide how you want to show off this medicinal ingredient. Feel free to tweak your recipe and double-up on the reishi by adding a few drops from a tincture too.
Not only does this tincture have reishi as a star ingredient, but the formulation also features lion’s mane, shitake, turkey tails, and maitake. Mary Ruth’s reishi tincture possesses the power of multiple fungi, which McConchie explains is the best way to benefit from mushrooms. “Eat them as frequently and in as many forms as possible,” says McConchie. His advice? Less is more! “That’s why microdosing ALL mushrooms is so beneficial. We’re looking to absorb as many of the beta-glucans and polysaccharides as possible.”
Pro tip: Follow the recommended serving size on the product’s label to avoid gastrointestinal upset from too much reishi.
DoubleBlind’s Pick: La Republica USDA Organic Reishi Powder
The second supplement to make the list is one of the more versatile formulations. With 120 servings, this reishi powder from La Republica is impressively affordable and long-lasting considering the USDA organic certification. Feel free to get creative with this product and add reishi into your smoothie or baking recipes.
Pro tip: For a more potent reishi beverage, steep this powder in hot water along with coffee or tea. Temperature-wise, hot liquid promotes better digestion, especially with mushroom compounds.
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