The Incredible Benefits of Reishi Mushrooms for Your Animal Companion

Many of us consider the animals we share our homes with as part of our family, and we are always on the lookout for ways to improve their health and well-being. One natural supplement that has gained popularity in recent years is reishi mushrooms. Reishi mushrooms, also known as ling zhi mushrooms, have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for thousands of years due to their numerous health benefits. These amazing mushrooms are not only good for humans but also for our beloved animals.

With Adopt a Shelter Pet Day on April 30th, National Pet Day on April 11th, and International Search and Rescue Dog Day on April 28th, this month is all about pets. So, what better time to discuss all the amazing benefits of reishi mushrooms for your furry, feathered, whiskered, or scaled friends.

1. Boosts the Immune System

Just like humans, animals benefit from a strong immune system. Reishi mushrooms are known for their immune-boosting properties, thanks to their high content of polysaccharides and beta-glucans. These compounds have been found to stimulate the production and activity of immune cells, enhancing their ability to fight off infections and diseases. By adding reishi mushrooms to your pet’s diet, you are giving their immune system a powerful ally.

2. Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury or illness, but chronic inflammation can lead to a variety of health problems. Reishi mushrooms have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, making them ideal for animals suffering from conditions such as arthritis or allergies. By reducing inflammation, reishi mushrooms can help alleviate pain, improve mobility, and enhance your animal companion’s overall quality of life.

3. Supports Respiratory Health

Respiratory issues such as asthma and bronchitis can also occur in animals, especially those with allergies or congenital conditions, or in older age. Reishi mushrooms have long been used in TCM to treat coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.

4. Enhances Liver Function

The liver plays a crucial role in detoxifying the body and removing harmful substances. Reishi mushrooms have been found to support liver health and enhance its function. Studies have shown that reishi mushrooms can help protect the liver from toxins and oxidative stress, as well as improve liver enzyme levels.

5. Calming and Stress-Relieving Properties

Animals, just like humans, can experience stress and anxiety. Whether it’s separation anxiety, noise phobia, travelling-induced stress, or post-traumatic stress disorder (yes, animals can experience PTSD too), reishi mushrooms can help calm and soothe their nervous system. These mushrooms contain bioactive compounds that have been shown to have a calming effect on the central nervous system, promoting relaxation and reducing anxiety. So, if your animal companion gets anxious during thunderstorms or trips to the vet, reishi mushrooms might just be the solution.

6. Provides Antioxidant Protection

Antioxidants play a crucial role in neutralizing harmful free radicals in the body, preventing oxidative damage to cells and tissues. Reishi mushrooms are rich in antioxidants, including triterpenoids and phenolic compounds, which have been found to have strong free-radical scavenging activity. By adding reishi mushrooms to your animal companion’s diet, you are providing them with a natural source of antioxidants, which can help protect against age-related diseases and promote longevity.

Reishi Supplements

Reishi mushrooms truly are a remarkable natural supplement for both humans and animals. From boosting the immune system to supporting liver function and providing antioxidant protection, the benefits of reishi mushrooms are vast and impressive. However, it’s important to note that it may be important to talk with your veterinarian to determine dose, particularly if your animal companion is on medications.

How do you give reishi to an animal? Note that the flavour of a high-quality reishi supplement will be bitter, so you might hide the capsule in a treat if your animal is a gulper and won’t likely chew it. Otherwise, it’s best to hide the powder in some other food that they love. While taking your reishi supplement for your own wellness, why not share the health with the animals you share your home and your heart with?

The Amazing Health Benefits of Reishi for Your Dog

A couple of years ago, we noticed our precious little girl—a sweet, now 12-year-old dog named Hana—was having a difficult time breathing and was frequently coughing.

We took her to our veterinarian, and after running a bunch of tests, Hana was ultimately diagnosed with a weak heart valve, enlarged heart, and collapsed trachea. Her breed is also prone to congestive heart failure.

The news was shocking and heartbreaking, to say the least.

Ever since then, I’ve been doing everything under the sun to make Hana’s conditions more manageable and slow its progression. If you’re anything like me, there is nothing you wouldn’t try to help ease your fur baby’s suffering and boost their quality of life.

I started using reishi mushrooms a while back to keep my immune system strong, fend off fatigue, and manage stress—this fantastic fungus isn’t called “the mushroom of immortality” for nothing. Reishi mushrooms have been used for centuries in Traditional Chinese Medicine for their many health boosting properties.

This got me thinking…

Can reishi mushrooms offer health benefits for dogs too?

While most studies about medicinal mushrooms are for use on humans, some veterinarians are now prescribing mushrooms like reishi to their animal patients for a wide range of reasons, including supporting cancer treatment, liver health, kidney health, heart health, immune support, blood sugar regulation, and lowering inflammation.

Here’s why.

Packed with nutrients, reishi mushrooms are renowned worldwide for their medicinal properties. These mushrooms contain an array of interesting and heath-supporting compounds, including beta glucans and ganoderic acids called triterpenes that are shown to regulate the immune system and help protect against cancer.

Reishi Mushrooms also contain antioxidants, including zinc, vitamin C, and selenium. These antioxidants help nourish, detoxify, and protect the liver, as well as fight free radicals that can compromise liver functioning.

If your pet suffers from diabetes, reishi mushrooms may be able to help manage this disease. Powerful compounds found in these mushrooms have been shown to reduce blood sugar and help control glucose levels.

Finally, and most importantly for my Hana, reishi mushrooms may help support heart health by boosting blood supply and oxygen delivery to the heart. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the red reishi mushrooms, in particular, are said to support heart health. Classified in the TCM textbooks as calming the nervous system, they also help my Hana settle down, as getting too excited puts too much stress on her body.

One of the big benefits of medicinal mushrooms like reishi mushroom is that they appear to be extremely safe. Occasional side effects could include mild digestive upset, skin rash, or dry mouth, but they resolve after discontinuing. It’s also important to talk to your veterinarian about your animal, especially if they have complex health conditions or are on medications.

What I know is that I feel good including reishi mushrooms in her diet. I sprinkle it on her food and her “sibling’s” (another dog; his name is Kendo) food too because I want them in my life as long and as healthy as possible.