01.15.2022 •

Keep Your New Year’s Resolution and Lose Weight with Reishi

New Year’s resolutions have a bad reputation for being tough to keep, and weight loss is one of the most common (and high failure) resolutions. So, if you’re already feeling disappointed in your attempts to start to lose weight this year, don’t let that discourage you because we’re here to keep you motivated and on track to accomplish your weight-loss goals this year.

Why is excess weight hard to lose?

There are many reasons why loss of excess weight can be so difficult. Like most health issues, there can be a combination of nature (genetics) and nurture (lifestyle) issues contributing to health challenges. Some of the more common medical reasons for weight gain include insulin resistance (poor blood sugar metabolism) and diabetes, dysbiosis (imbalance of gut bacteria) and other digestive disorders, hypothyroidism, depression, and hormonal imbalance and menopause.

Further to that, chronic stress can cause too much cortisol production. Made by the adrenal glands, cortisol is a steroid hormone that can increase appetite and the amount of sugar in the bloodstream, causing weight gain, particularly around the middle. Insufficient sleep time, including that caused by simply not allotting enough time for rest, insomnia, and sleep apnea can also contribute to weight gain.

Reishi can support healthy weight loss

Wild mushrooms called “lingzhi” in China and “reishi” in Japan are found growing on dead trees in forests throughout the world. But herbologists have been cultivating this incredible mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) for over 2000 years because of its medicinal properties. Used to treat everything from asthma to heart palpitations, this mushroom has also been found to have anti-diabetic compounds.

In a study published by MDPI, a publisher of peer-reviewed open access journals, a team of researchers found that extracts from reishi mushroom can reduce obesity in mice. Mice fed a diet that included Ganoderma lucidum were found to have a better ability to metabolize glucose, had less accumulation of fat in the liver, and had smaller fat cells, all of which resulted in weight loss.

Another group of researchers investigated reishi’s ability to help with preventing obesity associated with chronic low-grade inflammation and imbalance in the gut bacteria. They found that a water extract of reishi mushroom helped reduce body weight, inflammation, and insulin-resistance. At least part of the reason was that reishi helped restore the gut’s microbiome—a healthy foundation of good bacteria in the digestive system.

Because chronic stress and sleep disorders can also contribute to weight gain and make it harder to lose excess weight, anything that can help manage these issues can assist with reaching a healthy weight. Reishi is most recognized for its adaptogenic properties, helping the body to better deal with stressors, and in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), it is classified as an herb that helps to calm the mind.

If you’re looking for ways to keep your New Year’s resolutions to lose weight and get healthier, in addition to watching what you eat, exercising regularly, and sleeping soundly, supplementing with reishi mushroom can help reach your health goals for 2022 and beyond.


Dr. Melissa Carr is a registered Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine with a B.Sc. in Kinesiology. In practice since 2001, Dr. Carr has a passion for sharing health information. She has been a nutrition instructor and a health consultant, lecturer, and writer for 24 Hours Vancouver newspaper, Fraser Health Authority, UBC, and the David Suzuki Foundation, amongst others.