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Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) is one of the world’s most well known medicinal mushrooms, with examples of it’s medicinal use dating back at least 2,000 years. Traditionally, it’s been used to help support digestion, cognitive function, and blood flow. Chinese practitioners often call Reishi a “shen tonic” or a substance that can help to balance the spiritual heart and nervous system in a way that balances blood energy.
Thanks to advancing research, Reishi is used for a number of different reasons today. The rare mushroom is loaded with beneficial polysaccharides, peptides, and triterpenoids that provide a slew of potential health benefits. Some evidence suggests that it may be useful for stimulating the immune system, helping to relieve the stress-related symptoms of chronic fatigue, and even providing some relief from allergies.
If you’ve already taken the deep dive into Reishi’s potential benefits, you may be asking–how much Reishi should I take every day?
We’ve got answers. Here, we’ll cover the ins and outs of when to take Reishi, how often to take it, and what Reishi dosage you need to best meet your wellness goals.
If you're asking "how much reishi should I take," you’re already on the right track to an effective functional mushroom routine. Before your question can be answered, though, you need to consider that some unique biological and lifestyle factors will affect how much Reishi you need to take, and there is no one-size-fits-all dosing routine. For instance, your age, weight, and reason for taking Reishi will all play a role in how much of the brain-boosting mushroom you need to take daily.
The Pharmacopoeia of the People's Republic of China recommends 6 to 12 g Reishi powder daily. Most people do well with 6-8 grams of Reishi daily. In general, though, we recommend starting on the low side of the dosing threshold and increasing your dosage as needed until you experience the benefits you're after.
If you’re using capsules or another pre-measured dosing form, we recommend starting with the smallest possible dose. If the product you choose includes other functional mushrooms and adaptogens in a multifunctional blend, you may find that you need less Reishi to reap the same benefits. Of course, you’ll also need to pay attention to the dosage of all ingredients when deciding to increase or decrease your dosage.
Because you’ll need to do some “experimenting” with your dosage threshold, its important that you buy your Reishi from an experienced, trustworthy manufacturer. If you buy a high-quality product made for beginners, you can usually just follow the dosage information on the label.
Let’s take a look at the Reishi dosages used in the research available, and then we will discuss different product styles and how they play into different dosage needs.
One studyevaluated the effects of Reishi on neurasthenia, a condition characterized by chronic stress and fatigue that causes pain and mood instability. In this study, 132 patients were given either 1,800 mg of a Reishi extract or an equivalent placebo three times daily for 8 weeks. The study found that the Reishi group experienced significantly lower levels of pain and fatigue (reduced 15.5% and 28.3% from baseline) compared to the placebo group.
One study found that Reishi may be useful for lowering high blood sugar, although it’s important to note that it may be unsafe to take alongside antidiabetes medications. In this study, 1.44 grams of Reishi (or an equivalent placebo) was given to patients for 12 weeks and the majority of subjects experienced lower blood sugar levels with no change to blood pressure or BMI.
One study found some success in using a Reishi extract to combat seizures and the resulting neurological damage. In this study, which was performed on mice, the researchers distributed extract doses of 10-80 mg/kg. To put that in to perspective, a 150 lb person weighs approximately 68 kilograms and would take 680-5,440 mg, or 0.68-5.44 grams daily.
Of course, animal trials do not always directly translate to human applications, so more information is needed to understand the true dosage threshold when using Reishi for its potential neurological benefits.
Now that we’ve covered the Reishi dosage basics you need to get started, there’s another important question to tackle–what's the best form of Reishi to take?
This is another great question since the form of Reishi you choose will heavily affect how much of the product you take and the increments at which you can adjust your dosage. In general, you have two main options:
If you choose a whole-mushroom supplement, whether you actually consume whole reishi mushrooms or use a powder made from whole mushrooms, you’re getting a supplement with a beta-glucan content of about 20%. In other words, a 1 gram dose of whole Reishi provides approximately 200 mg of bioactive polysaccharides.
One primary benefit to this dosing style is that whole mushroom usually contains other therapeutic and nutritional compounds, like terpenes, antioxidants, prebiotic fiber, peptides, enzymes, and more.
Reishi extract can also come in different forms that may or may not include some of the other nutritional or therapeutic compounds found in the Reishi mushroom, but it usually refers to the polysaccharide extract. That means that Reishi extract provides a more concentrated dose.
Still, there are plenty of inconsistencies in extract formulas, so it’s usually best to follow the dosage information given for the product, assuming you purchased a product from a high-quality, trustworthy manufacturer.
Regardless of which of the formulas highlighted above you decide to go with, you’ll usually have a few different dosing methods to choose from, including:
Capsules are simply pre-measured, encapsulated doses that are great for daily dosing at any time of day. You won’t need to measure the dosage each time, and you’ll also be able to take your Reishi dosage without tasting it.
Reishi capsules are an especially convenient dosing method when using whole Reishi powder, but the quantity necessary for a multifunctional blend may be too large to fit in a mall capsule dose.
Reishi powder is popular because it offers more control over the dosage you take each day. Some people suggest that it has a higher bioavailability, or absorption rate, because it's often consumed with plenty of fluids and possibly even healthy fats, like from plant milk. Reishi powder, or multifunctional blends containing Reishi, can be added to warm beverages, used to make tea, baked into food, and more, making it one of the most versatile dosing methods available.
Tinctures are a liquid form of Reishi extract that offer powerful doses in small quantities. Many people love the simplicity of a tincture dose, which is easy to measure in small increments when a dose a adjustment is needed. Tinctures do typically have a stronger flavor than other dosing methods, however, because they are more concentrated and usually contain small amounts of alcohol.
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When you take Reishi really depends on your personal preference. Many people use Reishi for it’s potential sleep benefits or find that they feel a bit more relaxed immediately after taking their Reishi dose, so they choose to take Reishi in the afternoon or evening. In fact, Reishi is usually taken in the evening around dinner or about an hour before bed.
In general, though, you’re safe to take Reishi at whatever time it best fits into your dosage routine. Consistency is most important! Of course, if you take Reishi during the day and find that it makes you more tired than usual, then you should consider taking a later dose.
Some people prefer to take Reishi with food, although it isn't necessary, especially when taking a whole-mushroom product. If you do feel some stomach upset after taking Reishi on an empty stomach, consider taking it with a small meal or snack instead.
In the available research, Reishi is generally well-tolerated by both humans and animals, but more evidence is needed to understand if some groups of people may be more at risk of Reishi side effects than others. For now, we known that people with certain conditions or ailments should talk to their doctor before taking Reishi, especially since Reishi could interfere with some medications.
You should talk to your doctor before taking Reishi if:
The best way to ensure your safety when trying Reishi for the first time is to choose a Reishi product from a high-quality manufacturer. Look for a brand that uses cGMP compliant manufacturing facility and can provide test results that rule out contaminants, like pesticides or mold. Also choose a low starting dose so that you can get comfortable with the effects of Reishi before taking larger doses.
The amount of Reishi you need for optimal health benefits will vary. Studies base therapeutic doses on a range from 1.5 to 9 milligrams per day.
Yes! In fact, Reishi is known to be more effective when taken daily. With consistent doses, Reishi imposes a systemic, balancing effect on the body, meaning irregular dosing will not offer the same adaptogenic benefits.
Most sources suggest that Reishi is best taken in the evening, typically with your last meal. Some people prefer to take Reishi about an hour before bed in order to reap potential sleep benefits.
Reishi’s maximum dosage threshold is unknown, but the mushroom is thought to generally be safe for most people. Higher doses of Reishi may be more risky for those with a bleeding disorder, irregular blood pressure or blood sugar, or other chronic conditions requiring medication.
You may need to wait at least two weeks to see the benefits of your Reishi dosage routine. It’s important that you take Reishi daily, at or around the same time each day, to reap optimal benefits.
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