The Nootropics Library: Red Reishi Mushroom

Everything You Need To Know About Red Reishi Mushroom

General Information

Scientific Name: Ganoderma lingzhi / Ganoderma lucidum

Any Other Names: Reishi, Ling Zhi, Munnertake, Sachitake, Youngzhi, “Mushroom of Immortality”

Primary Constituents: Polysaccharides (Beta-Glucans, Coumarin, Mannitol, and Alkaloids), Fungal Immunomodulatory Proteins (FIPs), Ganoderic Acids, Triterpenoids

Country or Region of Origin: Native to Asia, Europe, and North America

Known Uses: Anti-Fatigue, Mood Booster, Antioxidant and Stress Reducer, Immune System Booster, Hearth Health, and More


General History & Introduction

Red Reishi Mushrooms are native to China, most of Asia, and scattered amongst comparable climates throughout the world. Although extremely rare, they are easy to spot with their bright red or orange-hued, clam-shaped glow protruding from a tree. These mushrooms are well-known and trusted constituents of traditional Chinese medicine. In fact, some common Chinese folklore glorifies the Reishi mushroom as the “Mushroom of Immortality,” where it is known as Ling Zhi and has been utilized for thousands of years (Knechtges, 1996). The primary reason the Red mushroom was nicknamed the Mushroom of Immorality is due to its purported anti-disease properties, fighting and preventing most major diseases of modern times (Paterson, 2006). And while the mushroom has many traditional uses, today it is easier to implement into a daily regimen as a nootropic extract.

Nootropic Benefits of Red Reishi Mushroom


Despite the fact the mushroom is known throughout traditional Chinese culture as the “Mushroom of Immortality,” the Red Reishi is well-revered for its anti-fatigue effects on the mind and body (Wachtel-Galor et al., 2011). There are many bioactive constituents which may contribute to the mushrooms longevity and energy-preserving properties including nucleosides, peptides, phenolic compounds, polysaccharides, and triterpenoids (Geng et al., 2017). And although more research is still required to determine which types of fatigue and energy the mushroom may impact, many studies prove it clear that Red Reishi offers relevant energy boosting effects (2017).

Antioxidant and Overall Cognitive Health

Many traditional and modern applications of Red Reishi involve its stress relieving properties. It is also revered for its positive effects on cognitive health.  The antioxidant effects are part of the reason the mushroom is considered a general longevity herb (Cor et al., 2018). The proteins, lipids, phenols, sterols, and other bioactive compounds offer the mind and body very therapeutic effects (2018).

Mood Booster

Red Reishi Mushroom is commonly used for its mood boosting effects.  It is sometimes used to fight depression (Socala et al., 2015).  There are studies which suggest the herb can moderate mood, anxiety, and even seizure threshold (2015). Many studies propose that the mushroom’s water soluble extract has the potential to antagonize the 5-HT2A receptors which could help moderate anxiolytic-like effects toward many cognitive functions which contribute to mood (Matsuzaki et al., 2013).

Other Benefits

Red Reishi contains many bioactive components such as adenosines, flavonoids, peptides, polyphenols, and triterpenoids (Geng et al., 2017).  These components are responsible for many of the obscure, positive effects of the mushroom.  For example, Red Reishi can be found as an ingredient in many immune system support supplements.  The mushroom is also notoriously used to promote cardiovascular function and overall heart health. Part of the gains seen by the cardiovascular system are from the energy provided by the mushroom (2017). There are some Chinese medicinal recipes with Red Reishi which are used to control blood sugar (Winska et al., 2019). 

Although there is not enough empirical research available to reach a conclusion, there is some evidence which suggests that Red Reishi Mushroom may have anti-cancerous and anti-disease properties (Paterson, 2006). It has been shown to relieve blockages and pressure in the bladder. And other traditional applications of the herb are preparations meant to support respiratory health (2006).

Dosing and Usage Information

The fruiting bodies are where the Red Reishi offers most of its medicinal and culinary properties.  These are the orange-colored parts of the mushroom exposed and visible on the surface of the tree.  While these mushrooms have been foraged and consumed for thousands of years for their intrinsic value, they are commonly consumed as a healthy, purified extract via supplement.  The typical Red Reishi Mushroom dose is around 500 mg per serving, per day of extract. These extracts may be anywhere from 1:2 to 1:20 in strength, with the dose varying depending upon the strength of the extract.

Side Effects

People with liver disease or liver conditions are advised to avoid Red Reishi Mushroom.  The mushroom is generally considered safe for consumption within established daily values. Still, however rare, possible side effects may include dryness of the mouth, dryness of the nasal passageways, itchiness, rash, nausea, dizziness, headache, and diarrhea.

Other Important Information


Traditional use of Red Reishi in some cultures meant brewing the herb into an aromatic herbal tea or consuming dried or crushed preparations (Corbley, 2020).  Today, the herb is more commonly consumed as an extract. And because there are many different extracts available, it is important to consider the quality and potency of the extract (some are stronger than others).


Red Reishi Mushroom has long proven itself throughout many traditional Eastern medicines. In modern times, the mushroom is making an impact in Western healing as well, appearing in many studies and journals as of late.  The mushroom can be commonly found in longevity-based nootropic stacks and anti-fatigue/fitness supplements. Whether it is used for one of its more specific effects or as an overall health booster, it is a sensible addition to almost any daily regimen.

A Note from NooFiles

This article is intended to be used for information only.  We want to remind you that consulting your physician is recommended before adding any dietary supplement of any kind to your daily regimen.


Cör, D., Knez, Ž., and Knez Hrnčič, M. (2018). Antitumour, Antimicrobial, Antioxidant and Antiacetylcholinesterase Effect of Ganoderma Lucidum Terpenoids and Polysaccharides: A Review. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland). Vol. 23(3). Pp. 649. DOI:

Corbley, A., (2020). Stanford Designer is Making Bricks Out of Fast-Growing Mushrooms That Are Stronger than Concrete. Good News Network.

Geng, P., Siu, K. C., Wang, Z., and Wu, J. Y. (2017). Antifatigue Functions and Mechanisms of Edible and Medicinal Mushrooms. BioMed research international. Vol-Ref: 9648496. DOI:

Knechtges, D. (1996). Wen Xuan or Selections of Refined Literature. 3. Princeton University Press. Pp. 201-211. ISBN 9780691021263.

Matsuzaki, H., Shimizu, Y., Iwata, N., Kamiuchi, S., Suzuki, F., Iizuka, H., Hibino, Y., & Okazaki, M. (2013). Antidepressant-like effects of a water-soluble extract from the culture medium of Ganoderma lucidum mycelia in rats. BMC complementary and alternative medicine. Vol. 13. Pp. 370. DOI:

Paterson, R., (2006). Ganoderma – A therapeutic fungal biofactory. Phytochemistry. Vol. 67(18). Pp. 1985-2001. DOI:

Socala, K., Nieoczym, D., Grzywnowicz, K., Stefaniuk, D., and Wlaz, P. (2015). Evaluation of Anticonvulsant, Antidepressant-, and Anxiolytic-like Effects of an Aqueous Extract from Cultured Mycelia of the Lingzhi or Reishi Medicinal Mushroom Ganoderma lucidum (Higher Basidiomycetes) in Mice. Int J Med Mushrooms. Vol. 17(3). Pp. 209-18. DOI: 10.1615/intjmedmushrooms.v17.i3.10

Wachtel-Galor, S., Yuen, J., Buswell, J., and Benzie, I. (2011). Ganoderma lucidum (Lingzhi or Reishi): A Medicinal Mushroom. In Benzie, Iris F. F.; Wachtel-Galor, Sissi (eds.). Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects (2nd ed.). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press/Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-1-4398-0713-2.

Wińska, K., Mączka, W., Gabryelska, K., & Grabarczyk, M. (2019). Mushrooms of the Genus Ganoderma Used to Treat Diabetes and Insulin Resistance. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 24(22), 4075.

The Nootropics Library: Black Hoof Mushroom

Everything You Need To Know About Black Hoof Mushroom

General Information

Scientific Name: Phellinus linteus

Any Other Names: Meshima, Meshimakobu, Sanghwang, Song Gen, Sanghuang

Primary Constituents: Polysaccharides, Triterpenoids, Phenylpropanoids, and Furans

Country or Region of Origin: Asia, Africa, Americas, and Warmer Regions

Known Uses: Antioxidant, Brain Booster, Treating Chronic Diseases and Conditions, Anti-Cancer, Anti-inflammatory, Abrasions, Bruises, Cuts, Topical Treatments

General History & Introduction

Black Hoof Mushroom has strong traditional roots and retains popularity throughout many Asian countries.  Some of the countries the herb is found widely available and used include China, Korea, and Japan (Chen et al., 2019). In these countries it is highly revered for its purported longevity-granting properties (2019).  Longevity in this case translates in this case into mental and physical destressing and overall vitality. The range of chronic diseases or conditions which have been shown to see benefits from the introduction of Black Hoof Mushroom is wide and extensive.

The Black Hoof Mushroom gets its name from the physical shape of the species resembling that of a hoof. It is darker in color, from dark brown to black.  The mushroom has a proclivity for growing on mulberry trees.  The more empirical data, the more promising the mushroom looks in terms of medicinal use.  And while much more research stands to be done, there is a lot to be said about the studies and trials which have already been performed and there is no doubt Black Hoof Mushroom should not be ignored!

Nootropic Benefits of Black Hoof Mushroom

Antioxidant, Neuroprotective

Counteracting oxidative stress is very important in maintaining balance in the human body (Pham-Huy et al., 2008).  It is for this reason the body has created natural ways to reduce this oxidative stress, such as the production of antioxidants (2008). Occasionally, however, the body does not produce enough antioxidants and it benefits from the introduction of exogenuous antioxidants [such as those that are obtained from diet or dietary supplements] (2008).  Black Hoof Mushroom possesses a strong supply of polysaccharides which are excellent conductors of antioxidant activities (Wang et al., 2014).  And the polyphenol pigment flavonoids found in the mushroom are proven antioxidants (Song et al., 2003). And the neuroprotective effects of the mushroom have been studied enough to warrant further investigation on the herb’s potential to prevent or reduce neurodegenerative disease (Choi et al., 2016).

Chronic Diseases

Some of the diseases and conditions which Black Hoof Mushroom might help with are serious, even lethal.  It is commonly used to treat diabetes, HIV, and cancer (Kim et al., 2010). In fact, the mushroom has even been shown to inhibit the development of some disease (2010).  One example of this could be the mushroom’s ability to regulate cytokine expression to inhibit the development of autoimmune diabetes (2010).



Although previously mentioned, it is arguable to say that any herb which has even the slightest potential at substantiated, empirical evidence of being able to help with cancer deserves its own category. Based upon evidence revealed in recent studies, it has been suggested that Black Hoof Mushroom may have potential to be used as an alternative treatment for cancer (Sliva, 2010).  The effects of Black Hoof have been studied on tumors and cancers of the bladder, breasts, colon, lungs, and prostate (2010). There are studies which have been suggesting that the mushroom possesses anti-angiogenic properties as well, meaning, it inhibits the growth of tumors by reducing their ability to grow off of their own blood supply (Song et al., 2003).  It also possesses a purported ability to improve immune response (Harikrishnan et al., 2011).

Anti-inflammatory and Topical Treatments

The flavonoid polyphenol pigments found in Black Hoof mushrooms are well-studied and known to offer anti-inflammatory properties (Chen et al., 2019).  It has been traditionally used for its healing, antiviral, and antibacterial properties (Osińska-Jaroszuk, 2020).  The mushroom contains polysaccharide-proteins which are useful for speeding up the healing process in burns, cuts, infections, and abrasions (2020).  The analgesic properties have also made the mushroom desirable in treatment for many topical wounds (Chang et al., 2011).  And the ability for Black Hoof Mushrooms to produce immunostimulatory action (Uskoković et al., 2020) makes the herb a candidate for being a cornerstone herb in the grand book of holistic healing and recipes.

Other Uses

The mushroom has been used for its purported ability to aid with angina (chest pain and blood supply issues), leucorrhoea (a type of vaginal discharge), hemorrhage, gastroenteric dysfunction, and diarrhea (Zhu et al., 2008). For these reasons it is very commonly used to treat pain and overall digestive health.  It is quite normal to hear of Black Hoof Mushrooms being used to improve metabolic function, cellular function, energy, and endurance. It has even been suggested to offer radioprotective properties (Huang et al., 2016).

Dosing and Usage Information

Black Hoof Mushrooms have extremely bitter taste.  Still, it is most used around the world as an herbal tea (Chen et al., 2019).  In Western culture, it is more common to find the herb in powder or extract form, served in capsules. Extracts of the mushroom have especially begun to pick up in popularity, probably due to increased use of the mushroom in disease and cancer treatments (Sliva, 2010). And these dietary supplement servings are usually around 300-500mg of extract.

Side Effects

The side effects of using Black Hoof Mushroom, though minimal, are sometimes reported in clinical trials or studies.  In general, there is not enough empirical data to know its true dietary limitations or benefits, but its long standing traditional and holistic use makes the herb a definite candidate for future research.  It could be argued, however, that it may be ill-advised to use Black Hoof Mushroom if suffering from an autoimmune disorder.  The mushroom has not been cleared as safe for pregnant or nursing women.  It is also possible that the mushroom could offer different effects for individuals diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and that these individuals should consult their physician before adopting the herb into their daily regimen (Li et al., 2014).

Other Important Information

Black Hoof Mushroom is sometimes used in combination with other medicinal mushrooms including red reishi and chaga mushrooms (Zhu et al., 2008). The recent studies which have indicated the mushroom’s potential to be used in treatment of cancerous disease makes it worth investing further (Sliva, 2010). Whether the mushroom’s use is classified as preventative or treatment, however, does not take from the fact the herb has made the appearance it is valuable in the world of holistic healing.


Although the research is young on modern use of the mushroom, it has a strong foundation of use in traditional, Chinese medicine (Zhu et al., 2008). Modern times have offered Black Hoof Mushroom a spotlight and a spike of popularity. Although a lot of the modern use of the herb has surrounded its benefits as a brain boosting nootropic (mostly through the application of its antioxidant and neuroprotective properties), it is still popular for many of its traditional uses as well.  And while it is important to reiterate that the mushroom is only lightly researched by today’s empirical standards, it is still a part of so many over the counter, dietary supplements and proprietary blends.

A Note from NooFiles

This article is intended to be used for information only.  We want to remind you that consulting your physician is recommended before adding any dietary supplement of any kind to your daily regimen.


Chang, H., Yang, C., Lu, T., Chang, Y., Peng, W., Huang, S., and Huang, G. (2011). Analgesic Effects and the Mechanisms of Anti-Inflammation of Hispolon in Mice. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. PMID: 19349477 DOI: 10.1093/ecam/nep027

Chen W, Tan H, Liu Q, Zheng X, Zhang H, Liu Y, and Xu L. (2019). A Review: The Bioactivities and Pharmacological Applications of Phellinus linteus. Molecules. Vol. 24(10). Pp. 1888. DOI:

Choi, D., Cho, S., Yeon Seo, J., Burm Lee, H., and Park, Y. (2016). Neuroprotective effects of the Phellinus linteus ethyl acetate extract against H2O2-induced apoptotic cell death of SK-N-MC cells. Nutrition Research. Vol. 36(1). Pp. 31-43. ISSN 0271-5317. DOI:

Harikrishnan, R., Balasundaram, C., Heo, M. (2011). Diet enriched with mushroom Phellinus linteus extract enhances the growth, innate immune response, and disease resistance of kelp grouper, Epinephelus bruneus against vibriosis. Fish & Shellfish Immunology. Vol. 30(1). Pp. 128-134. ISSN 1050-4648. DOI:

Huang, S., Chen, J., Chen, C., Su, C., and Hu, M. (2016). Black Hoof Medicinal Mushroom Phellinus linteus (Agaricomycetes) Extracts Protect Against Radiation-Induced Hematopoietic Abnormality in Mice. Int J Med Mushrooms. Vol. 18(5). Pp. 425-31. DOI: 10.1615/intjmedmushrooms.v18.i5.60. PMID: 27649604.

Kim, H., Kang, J., Kim, J., Park, S., Kim, H., Lee, Y., Yun, J., Hong, J., Kim, Y., and Han, S., (2010). Evaluation of antidiabetic activity of polysaccharide isolated from Phellinus linteus in non-obese diabetic mouse. International Immunopharmacology. Vol. 10(1). Pp. 72-78. ISSN 1567-5769. DOI:

Li, L., Wu, G., Choi, B. Y., Jang, B. G., Kim, J. H., Sung, G. H., Cho, J. Y., Suh, S. W., & Park, H. J. (2014). A mushroom extract Piwep from Phellinus igniarius ameliorates experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis by inhibiting immune cell infiltration in the spinal cord. BioMed research international. 218274. DOI:

Osińska-Jaroszuk, M., Sulej, J., Jaszek, M., and Jaroszuk-Ściseł, J. (2020). Applications of Fungal Polysaccharides. Reference Module in Life Sciences. Elsevier. ISBN 9780128096338. DOI:

Pham-Huy, L. A., He, H., & Pham-Huy, C. (2008). Free radicals, antioxidants in disease and health. International journal of biomedical science : IJBS, 4(2), 89–96.

Sliva D. (2010). Medicinal mushroom Phellinus linteus as an alternative cancer therapy. Experimental and therapeutic medicine, 1(3), 407–411.

Song, Y., Kim, S., Sa, J., Jin, C., Lim, C., and Park, E. (2003). Anti-angiogenic, antioxidant and xanthine oxidase inhibition activities of the mushroom Phellinus linteus. J Ethnopharmacol. Vol. 88. Pp.113–116. DOI: 10.1016/s0378-8741(03)00178-8

Uskoković, A., Jovanović, J., Dinić, S., Vidaković, M., Mihailović, M., Poznanović, G., and Grdović, N. (2020). Chapter 13 – Mushroom and plant extracts as potential intervention supplements in diabetes management. Biodiversity and Biomedicine. Academic Press. Pp. 247-256. ISBN 9780128195413. DOI:

Zhu, T., Kim, S., and Chen, C. (2008). A medicinal mushroom: Phellinus linteus. Curr Med Chem. Vol. 15(13). Pp. 1330-1335. DOI:10.2174/092986708784534929