Reishi Mushroom: Dos and Don’ts For Anyone Interested In Adaptogens 

Reishi mushroom is an oddball adaptogen that tends to confuse people. Although this mushroom is medicinal, it’s not psychedelic. In English, reishi is nicknamed the “mushroom of immortality” because it features magical immune-boosting effects, minus the “trippy” sensation.

The origins of this mushroom date back as far as 100 B.C. in Eastern medicine.[1] Followers of Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine have known about the adaptogenic quality of reishi mushroom for centuries. Today, you can find reishi in just about any health foods store.

But there’s a catch, and it’s that web sources that ought to be an authority on adaptogens are inconsistent, contradictory, and unbelievable. As a result, the people who want to learn about adaptogens are the ones who suffer.

No need to worry, because you’re safe at Sovereignty. The information presented here is not only factual but backed by every one of us based on personal experience. 

Whether you’re brand new to the world of adaptogens or somewhat knowledgeable about herbal medicine, this article is for you. 

In this article, we list the dos and don’ts to follow when learning about reishi mushroom. Before experimenting with adaptogens, it’s a good idea to do your research ahead of time so you know what to expect from herbal medicine. We cover this mushroom's benefits and present up-to-date research, but be sure to check out the #1 DON’T at the end of the article if you want Sovereignty’s exclusive advice for dosing reishi. 

DO trust what the research says

The Internet is probably the best and worst educational tool at our disposal. There’s so much noise that it can be a mission to get a straight answer.

For example, household names like WebMD [2] and Healthline [3] present solid evidence supporting the benefits of reishi mushroom. However, sources like Medical News Today [4] discredit the adaptogen due to lacking research in humans, plus its potential toxic effect. 

Luckily for you, we analyzed the contradictory information to save you time. 

Reishi is an adaptogenic substance that is used to help the body protect itself from stress and illness. Scientists know that the reishi mushroom has an anti-cancer [5] and immune-boosting effect. [6] 

According to these studies, the molecular function of this mushroom inhibits the expression of breast cancer in human and mouse experiments. As for the immune system, reishi contains a substance that increases T cells and natural killer cells (translation: reishi supplements your immune system functioning). 

Other studies reveal an estrogen-inducing effect of reishi mushroom, which could be good news for female hormone health.[7] Finally, reishi may be beneficial to diabetics. In a study with diabetic rats, a component in the mushroom modified bacteria in the gut to bring levels back to normal.[8] 

Before we turn over to a reishi DON’T, we want to address the elephant in the room: is this mushroom safe? 

According to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, this mushroom has been associated with liver problems and diarrhea.[9] With this in mind, see point #5. Adaptogens may not be for everyone but they’re still potent substances in alternative medicine. 

DON’T believe anyone who says reishi cures XYZ

Any herbal supplement that promises to cure or prevent cancer is stretching the truth to make a buck. It’s not only false advertising but contributes to misinformation. We mention this point because of how iffy the commercial drug market can be when it comes to selling adaptogens like reishi mushroom. 

Part of our responsibility includes educating the public about herbal medicine, a topic that’s inherently “mystical” and “foreign” to many Americans. This mushroom has supplemental benefits to your overall health, but it isn’t a curative treatment on its own. 

Takeaways: put your trust in companies who are transparent about all sides of the equation and sell adaptogens ethically.  

DO look for these terms

Like other medicinal plants, reishi mushroom comes in different varieties. The most common family to look for is called Ganoderma lucidum as this is the go-to variety in herbalism [10] and research involving this mushroom. 

You might notice people referring to the mushroom by its Japanese name (reishi) or its Chinese name (lingzhi).  


Adaptogens are a whole class of vitality-stimulating herbs and mushrooms with antioxidative effects. They interact with free radicals to counteract cell damage in your body [11], so you can recover from illness quicker or attempt to avoid bad bacteria altogether. 

Reishi mushroom is sold in a powder, pill, and tincture form. The raw form has a bitter taste and may give you a stomach ache. Consider making an herbal tonic with reishi powder, hot water/plant milk, and turmeric. 

DON’T call reishi a psychedelic mushroom

Here’s the deal: please don’t lump reishi mushroom in with psychedelic shrooms. You might not be making this mistake but other people are. “Medicinal” mushroom is a general term used to describe a fungus with a positive effect on the body. [12]

Psilocybin mushrooms are different from adaptogenic mushrooms because of their psychoactive component. They’re both a fungus, but not the same kind of medicinal mushroom. Adaptogens strengthen your immune system over the long term. Reishi mushroom won't cause any visuals or make you feel high. 

DO talk to your doctor

Your safety is a priority so remember to keep your doctor in the loop when experimenting with reishi mushroom. Some adaptogens don’t agree with prescription medicine, particularly chemotherapy drugs. 

For your benefit, ask your doctor about Eastern medicine to get their input on adding reishi to your diet. 

DON’T forget to try our reishi + CBG formula

Last but not least, don’t forget to consider trying our favorite adaptogen and cannabinoid supplement called Purpose+.

It’s a berry-flavored powder that has reishi mushroom, CBD, CBG, and other adaptogens like schisandra berries and eleuthero. This soothing blend keeps you hydrated and energized in ways coffee doesn’t achieve. 

energy supplement

Still not convinced? That’s okay too. We’ll still be here if you change your mind. 

We’re just happy you came here to learn a thing or two about plant medicine. After all, it’s our specialty, so feel free to share this information with your network to spread the word about the healing powers of the magical reishi mushroom.