Skin, Lip and Body Care

Ingredient Spotlight: Reishi Mushroom

+ CV Skinlabs Team

You may have heard of reishi mushrooms in your soup, but what about in your skin care?

We actually have reishi mushroom in all of our CV Skinlabs products. Here’s why.

What is Reishi Mushroom?

Also called the “lingzhi” mushroom, reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) is a species of mushroom native to East Asia, where it’s been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years.

This mushroom is soft and flat, with a reddish, kidney-shaped cap, and white to dull brown pores underneath. It grows naturally in Eastern Hemlock forests, and likes both tropical and temperate regions. It forms at the base and around the stumps of deciduous trees, usually maple, but its wild form is rare.

Fortunately, the reishi is widely cultivated today for its many uses. It has a bitter taste unless simmered in water, but when soaked, makes a good tea, soup, and even a grilled side dish.

What are the Benefits of Reishi Mushrooms?

Reishi mushrooms have a number of natural components that may provide both health and skin benefits. These include proteins, amino acids, polysaccharides, triterpenoids, and triterpenes called “ganoderic acids” that may help alleviate common allergies.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways reishi can help both our bodies and our skin.

1. Activate the immune system to kill cancer cells.

Some studies have indicated that reishi may help the body fight off cancer. The studies are preliminary, but they’re interesting. In 2003, for example, researchers reported that reishi had anti-tumor activity. Considering that, they gave 34 advance-stage cancer patients 1800 mg of reishi extract per day, and found that it helped enhance the immune response.

A 2012 study showed similar results, with reishi polysaccharides showing anti-tumor activity and activation of the immune response against cancer. Other studies have found similar results, and in a recent study, researchers found that reishi helped suppress the proliferation of cancer cells. Researchers stated, “Our results provide evidence that Reishi suppresses breast cancer cell growth and migration…, indicating that Reishi may be a potential natural inhibitor for breast cancer.”

2. Tame inflammation.

When you experience inflammation on your skin, it’s because the immune system is acting on it. Maybe it’s doing its job and healing a wound, or maybe it’s overreacting to a product you used or some other allergen you were exposed to.

Studies have found that reishi may help tame inflammation because of how it works on the immune system. Though it stimulates the immune system to fight cancer, it can also calm the immune system when it’s getting a little too crazy.

Researchers reported in 2015 that mushrooms like reishi can create anticancer activity, but they can also suppress autoimmune diseases and calm allergies. Other studies have found that reishi has an anti-inflammatory action, attributed to the polysaccharides and the terpenes.

In a 2007 study, for instance, researchers found that the triterpene acids in reishi helped inhibit inflammation and skin-tumor formation. In another 2007 study, researchers found that reishi inhibited inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis.

3. Kill bacteria and other microorganisms.

Reishi also has a natural antimicrobial effect, which means that it helps kill bacteria, fungus, and other microorganisms that can cause problems in products or on your skin.

In 2014, for example, researchers found that reishi was effective against E. coli, and a 2012 study reported that it was effective against Staphylococcus aureus and a number of other types of common bacteria.

4. Helps stimulate wound healing.

Reishi was used in traditional medicine to help heal wounds, and more recent research has supported this use. In 2014, researchers looked at the effects of reishi extract on a cut on the skin, and found that it helped enhance healing activity, increased wound contraction, and stimulated the production of collagen.

In a 2017 study, skin cells treated with polysaccharides from the reishi mushroom, after being exposed to UV radiation, were able to better resist photodamage than skin not treated by reishi. Researchers concluded that reishi “may serve as a novel strategy for antiphotoaging.”

How Reishi May Benefit the Skin

As you look at these benefits, you may be able to see why we included reishi mushroom as part of our proprietary Tri-Rescue Complex in all of our CV Skinlabs products.

We made these products so they could be used by anyone, even those with sensitive or medically treated skin. Reishi is one of the ingredients that makes that possible, since it helps to tame inflammation, calm allergic responses, and protect the skin from environmental stresses. On top of that, it helps wounds to heal faster, protects against UV rays, and fights off bacterial invaders.

We think you’ll agree that reishi was a smart choice—especially after you try our products, and notice the radiant, youthful benefits!

Have you tried reishi mushroom for health or skin-care benefits?

Gao Y, et al., “Effects of ganopoly (A Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharide extract) on the immune functions in advanced-stage cancer patients,” Immunol Invest., August 2003; 32(3):201-15, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12916709.

Wang PY, et al, “Antitumor and Immunomodulatory Effects of Polysaccharides from Broken-Spore of Ganoderma lucidum,” Front Pharmacol., July 13, 2012; 3:135, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22811667.

Alena G. Guggenheim, et al., “Immune Modulation from Five Major Mushrooms: Application of Integrative Oncology,” Integr Med, February 2014; 13(1):32-44, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4684115/.

Cristina Lull, et al., “Antiinflammatory and Immunomodulating Properties of Fungal Metabolites,” Mediators Inflamm., June 5, 2005; 2005(2):63-80, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1160565/.

Yu Zhang, “Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi) suppresses proliferation and migration of breast cancer cells via inhibiting Wnt/B-catenin signaling,” Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, July 8, 2017; 488(4):679-684, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006291X17307623.

Akihisa T, et al., “Anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor-promoting effects of triterpene acids and sterols from the fungus Ganoderma lucidum,” Chem Biodivers., February 2007; 4(2):224-31, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17311233.

Ho YW, et al., “Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharide peptide reduced the production of proinflammatory cytokines in activated rheumatoid synovial fibroblast,” Mol Cell Biochem, July 2007; 301(1-2):173-9, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17219061.

Vazirian M., et al., “Antimicrobial effect of the Lingzhi or Reishi medicinal mushroom, Ganoderma lucidum (higher Basidiomycetes) and its main compounds,” Int J Med Mushrooms, 2014; 16(1):77-84, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24940906.

Karwa AS, Rai MK, “Naturally occurring medicinal mushroom-derived antimicrobials: a case-study using Lingzhi or Reishi Ganoderma lucidum (W. Curt.:Fr.) P. Karst. (higher Basidiomycetes),” Int J Med Mushrooms, 2012; 14(5):481-90, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23510217.

Gupta A, et al., “Wound healing activity of an aqueous extract of the Lingzhi or Reishi medicinal mushroom Ganoderma Lucidum (higher Basidiomycetes),” Int J Med Mushrooms, 2014; 16(4):345-54, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25271863.

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