02.18.2022 •

Year of the Tiger – Getting Strong and Resilient with Reishi

Happy Lunar New Year! The Lunar New Year is one of the biggest holidays in Asia. And this year, people all over the world are celebrating the Year of the Tiger. The tiger is a symbol of strength, power, and endurance. So, we thought it be the perfect time to discuss how you can get stronger with reishi to bring out the (calm) tiger in you!

Unleashing the awesome affects of adaptogens

Reishi has been used for centuries in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It was believed to have mystical properties that could help people achieve immortality. While we now know it can’t magically cause you to live forever, it’s clear that this amazing herb is a powerful tool to improving many lives. Today, it’s used as an adaptogen — a natural remedy that can help the body cope with stress and improve overall health.

Adaptogens are natural substances that help the body adapt to stress and promote resistance to a wide range of physical, chemical, and biological stressors. Just like the terms “antioxidant” and “anti-inflammatory,” the term “adaptogen” has become an important buzz world in the wellness world, so it’s no surprise that reishi is one of the most popular fungi around.

Offering a wealth of health benefits

Speaking of those well-recognized terms, modern scientific research has shown that reishi mushrooms contain a wealth of antioxidants and compounds with anti-inflammatory and immune-supporting properties. In fact, reishi is so powerful that it’s sometimes nicknamed the “king of mushrooms.”

Reishi mushrooms are rich in many different plant compounds and nutrients that are responsible for their health benefits. These include polysaccharides, triterpenes, and ganoderic acids. Polysaccharides are a type of carbohydrate that have been shown to help protect against cancer, diabetes, infectious diseases, and digestive disorders. Triterpenes have antioxidant properties that may help reduce inflammation, improve blood flow, lower cholesterol, and enhance liver function. Lastly, ganoderic acids may help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, protect the liver from toxins, and enhance immune function.

Packing a powerful health punch

As you just read, reishi mushrooms offer up a powerhouse of mighty health benefits. In TCM, they are considered “Qi tonics,” particularly for the heart and lungs, and their recognized title of adaptogen supports this. Reishi provides a plethora of hearty health advantages, and it supports energy and endurance by increasing oxygen uptake via the lungs.

At the same time as we love the idea of more energy, most of us don’t want to feel jittery, anxious, or overstimulated. One of the best things about reishi is that it can help calm the nervous system while supplying more get up and go when we need it. After a couple of stressful and exhausting years, feeling calm and focused for the Year of the Tiger sounds like a great plan! If the start to the new lunar year is having you reflect on how you can improve your health in the year ahead, why not add reishi to your routine?

Happy Year of the Tiger!


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.