Red reishi is one of the most effective natural remedies for high blood pressure. Red reishi has been used for several thousand years to help regulate high blood pressure, enhance energy levels, obtain a restful night’s sleep and maintain general well-being.
Red reishi is one of the oldest natural medicines
Reishi featured in the earliest Chinese pharmacopoeia, attributed to Shennong, who classed it as Superior and rated it as the number one medicinal herb in a list of 365 medicines. This made Reishi the most exalted natural remedy in ancient times – even more so than ginseng.The red reishi, Ganoderma lucidum, was referred to in Traditional Chinese Medicine as ling zhi – the mushroom of immortality. Although it is too woody and fibrous for culinary use, it is widely taken in the form of tablets or capsules.
Reishi contains ganodermic acids which have a structure similar to steroid hormones involved in the regulation of blood pressure, blood clotting, blood flow and oxygen uptake.
Red reishi and high blood pressure
Red reishi mushroom supplements (Ganoderma lucidum) contain four peptides that act in a similar way to ACE inhibitor antihypertensive drugs. A Japanese study of over 50 people with high blood pressure found that taking Reishi extracts (Ganoderma lucidum) for 6 months lowered average blood pressure from 156/103 mmHg to 137/93 mmHg – an improvement of 19/10 mmHg, which is better than many prescribed antihypertensive drugs.
Another study involving 132 people with stress-related low mood and fatigue, found significant improvements in those taking reishi (Ganoderma lucideum) extracts compared with placebo for 8 weeks. The score for overall well-being increased to 38.7% in those taking reishi compared with 29.7% on placebo. Over half (51.6%) taking reishi said the were more than minimally improved compared with less than a quarter (24.6%) on placebo.
The effects of Reishi are enhanced by vitamin C which increases absorption of the active components.
A typical dose is 500 mg reishi extract, two to three times daily.
No serious side effects have been reported even at 300 times the therapeutic dose. A few people have experienced diarrhoea (often disappears if tablets are taken with food), irritability, thirst, dry skin rash or mouth ulcers during the first week of taking Reishi.
Only use under medical supervision if you are taking immunosuppressive drugs, anticoagulants or cholesterol-lowering medication.
Reishi may increase the sedative effects of certain drugs.
Do not take if on anticoagulant drugs as Reishi also has a blood thinning effect.
If your blood pressure is raised, self-monitoring is key to maintaining good control.
Click here for advice on choosing a blood pressure monitor to use at home.
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