The Reishi mushroom, also known as Ganoderma lucidum or Lingzhi, is an ancient herb referred to in China, Japan, and other Asian countries as the "herb of spiritual potency." For over 2000 years, this edible fungus has been used alongside other medicinal herbs, like Maitake mushrooms and fo-ti, to treat and prevent several conditions and illnesses.
The Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum ) is a large, dark mushroom with a glossy exterior and a woody texture. The Latin word lucidus means "shiny" or "brilliant" and refers to the varnished appearance of the mushroom's surface. In China, G. lucidum is called Lingzhi, whereas, in Japan, the name for the Ganodermataceae family is reishi or mannentake.
A long list of health benefits associated with this medicinal mushroom includes lowered blood pressure, control cholesterol levels, reduced anxiety, and decreased risk of heart disease. Additionally, the Reishi mushroom has been beneficial in dermatology-related conditions and benefits the hair and skin.
How do Reishi mushrooms support overall hair health?
Reishi mushrooms belong to a group of natural ingredients called adaptogens. These adaptogens are believed to have a wide array of beneficial effects on our bodies.
The health benefits of adaptogens:
- Reduce the effects of free radicals on cell membranes
- Help with protein production
- Help re-build damaged muscle tissuePromote recovery after physical activity.
- Help increase muscle endurance
- Reduction of stress
- Improve sleep at night
- Improve mental alertness throughout the day
What are the effects of Reishi mushrooms on our hair?
Jam-packed with antioxidants, Reishi mushrooms can protect our scalp from environmental toxins and free radical damage. Reduced free radical damage provides a healthier scalp and a better environment for hair follicles to regrow stronger, thicker hair.
Reishi mushrooms reduce scalp inflammation.
In addition to being a powerhouse of antioxidants, reishi mushrooms have anti-inflammatory properties. They also encourage blood circulation, which means more oxygen and hair-loving nutrients can travel to the scalp to promote healthy hair growth while reducing the likelihood of scalp conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, and dandruff.
How do Reishi mushrooms help prevent and reverse hair loss?
Evidence suggests that Reishi mushrooms can act as an inhibitor of DHT. DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) is a sex hormone that is a byproduct of testosterone when converted by the enzyme called 5a-Reductase. When the hair follicles are more sensitive to DHT, the DHT binds to receptors in the hair follicles, causing them to shrink, leading to androgenetic alopecia (aha female pattern hair loss and male pattern hair loss). One study found that reishi mushrooms could decrease 5a-Reductase production activity by 70 - 80%
How to use Reishi mushrooms for hair health?
The good news is, incorporating Reishi mushrooms into your daily routine to benefit the hair doesn't have to be complicated! There are ways to reap the benefits of the beloved fungi topically and orally.
What is the best Reishi hair regrowth shampoo?
For best results, look for a shampoo specifically formulated for hair regrowth. An excellent example of such a shampoo is MDhair's hair Regrowth shampoo that includes in addition to Reishi and Maitake mushrooms; this shampoo contains Saw Palmetto, Pumpkin seed oil, and probiotics to help stimulate the hair follicles for more robust, thicker hair. It also includes Biotin and Argan oil for shinier, younger-looking hair and is vegan, silicone-free, sulfate-free, paraben-free, fragrance-free, color-safe.
What are the best Reishi hair regrowth supplements?
To support hair regrowth, there is a need to improve scalp health, provide the hair follicles with micronutrients, and move them from their resting phase (telogen) to the active growth phase (anagen). Formulated with DHT-blocking saw palmetto, nettle leaf extract, and Reishi and Maitake mushroom extracts, MDhair Regrowth supplements can block the effects of excessive DHT on your and help grow new hair faster. Biotin, along with vitamins B6, B9, D, folate, zinc, and calcium, provides the essential nutrients for healthy, natural hair growth.
DYI Reishi mushrooms
Reishi mushrooms are bitter in their raw state, so they are often made into a hot extract such as teas or soups. Some enjoy them grilled and added to side dishes or salads for a unique twist.
Reishi mushroom tea: You can find dried Reishi mushrooms at almost any natural food store. Use them to make morning tea! All you need is 4 - 6 slices of Reishi mushrooms, 8 cups of water, and four tablespoons of loose leaf chai tea (optional). Bring 4 cups of water and the dried mushrooms to a boil and simmer for 1 - 2 hours. Strain the mushrooms from the liquid. Using a tea infuser or tea net, submerge the chai tea into the mushroom-infused water, pour an additional 2 - 4 cups of boiling water over the chai, and let steep for up to 10 minutes. You can add Reishi mushroom extract water into any of your favorite hair masks and treatments to add an extra boost of nutrition and antioxidant goodness.