In Eastern Asia, medical practitioners have used reishi mushrooms for their medicinal effects for centuries. Only recently has an awareness of their therapeutic promise been explored in the western world. Several dozen studies in Japan, China, the USA, and the UK have shown that Reishi mushrooms do indeed have positive health effects.
Reishi mushrooms exhibit anti-inflammatory properties. In one study, extracts taken from the mushroom showed it to be both potentially good oral and topical anti-inflammatory agents. Orally, extracts contribute to an increase in blood flow and therefore might prove a useful treatment for some inflammation-related conditions. When topically applied, the isolated compound in the mushroom was found to be as effective as the hormone cortisol, which is found in many topical medications. Reishi mushrooms do not have the toxic effects seen in many over the counter anti-inflammatory medications.
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