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My Personal Experience with Reishi Mushroom Powder – Good or Bad?

I had heard about reishi mushroom and codyceps from David Wolfe and I did a little research (though brief, admittedly) and thought it sounded like the perfect addition to my smoothies. It claimed to boost our immune system to the point that it would get to the gene level of immunity and it really sounded like an “all-round” healer. I love products like this, as to me it is far easier to just focus on boosting our body with heaps of super foods and herbs, and letting it fix itself than focusing on any one particular problem.

However, my experience with reishi mushrooms wasn’t a good one…unfortunately.

Now, I must just stress a few things that could have worked against me in my “reishi mushroom experiment”:

  1. I may have taken too much too soon
  2. I have been making a heap of big changes in my life at the moment (moving to London in a week)

Back to my experience…

I started taking the reishi mushroom about a month ago. Initially, I didn’t notice anything particularly strange or unusual within my body. Over the first two weeks I did notice that my digestion seemed to be a little haywire but landed up blaming that on other things.

The last two weeks I started to develop really bad days of constipation, which I haven’t had EVER since doing my Endo diet.

The real test happened just a few days ago. We were traveling up from Wellington and I was sitting still for most of the day and that old familiar Endo pain started to appear, but with quite a large shouting voice. I thought it might just be the interstitial cystitis flaring up because you know how it is, you never drink enough when you drive and have to constantly stop for a toilet break. I drank more water, took my bicarbonate of soda and cornsilk, which usually fixes the problem fairly instantly, but it didn’t alleviate the pain.

I had taken a full teaspoon of reishi with a smoothie in the morning and had drunk the whole thing just before heading off on the road.

Well, the pain got worse and worse as we were driving and I even got to a point of considering taking a painkiller—you know that I am just never in that kind of pain that I would consider those anymore!

Eventually, we found some accommodation and I could attend to the pain in my usual format: hot shower/bath, some oil (current favorite is geranium oil), some yoga and a nice cup of warm tea. I did all of that and it didn’t do ANYTHING!

I started to panic, I started to freak out… maybe my Endo wasn’t really getting better but worse! Maybe, because of the stress of traveling, somehow that had triggered it off and I would have to deal with this daily… again! Oh boy, that was a bad, bad night! I barely slept and oddly kept having strange dreams about mushrooms! James actually made a joke about them and said they were “magic mushrooms” and were actually “calling me.” All very strange.

The strangest connection was the day before, which I only thought about on that grueling night. I was doing yoga in this little park, a little way from where we were staying and I saw a mushroom. It was strange because it was one of those “Alice in Wonderland” mushrooms, you know the red ones with the white dots? Well, this strange mushroom was growing in the middle of this park and it was like a big fat warning: “Get off the mushroom!”

Well, the morning eventually came and I decided to go and jump on the trampoline, more to entice my digestion than any other reason! It was actually really good and made me feel a whole lot better too. I didn’t have any reishi that day and to be honest I was a little scared to try it again.

I do think I might have had too much and perhaps it didn’t agree with me.

I don’t know why it was so painful or what was going on, but it honestly felt like every area where my endometriosis typically sits was literally bellowing with pain. I have always known where my Endo sits due to the 7 operations I have had and it was always on the left side. Well, this was intense, left side pain. It was SEVERE and for me to say that, you must know that it was bad.

I have a friend who is a naturopath and I might go and pop into his shop tomorrow and ask him what he thinks. To me, if something reacts this badly, even in large quantities, it makes me weary. I think perhaps I just took way too much and it triggered something in my digestive system. Who knows…

What is your experience with it all?

Hugs, Melissa x
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This Post Has 15 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    Mushrooms are immunoregulators. If your immune system is down-regulated, they boost them, if it’s overactive, they calm them down. Unless you take too much too fast. They have a balancing effect when taken in moderation or therapeutic doses regularly

  2. maggie

    bowel obstructions, not bowl 🙂

  3. maggie

    My boyfriend was put on a strict anti-inflammatory diet because he has bowl obstructions due to ulcerative colitis. He’s had multiple surgeries. Anyway, his naturopath told him he can’t have mushrooms… so that’s interesting…

  4. Geraldine

    I wonder if it has something to do with some autoimmune responses that are still attacking the wrong stuff (?). If you had any situation where the body was still accidentally attacking healthy tissue and you take something that strengthens the immune system, would it be made worse? How easily/quickly could an autoimmune situation come and go. Western medicine wants us to believe once we have an autoimmune condition, there is no fix. We know that isn’t true. But once it’s gone, how easily/quickly could it come back? Could we make it worse for a day, and have relief the next?

  5. Melissa

    That is cool to note! I have never seen Reishi up close. Would be awesome to see it growing 🙂

  6. k

    I’m thinking the fact that you took large amounts of the powder could have something to do with it. I’ve tried chewing on a reishi mushroom after it had been in tea for a while. it was so dense, like tree bark! Imagining that stuff powdered up and in my digestive system sounds like it would be very painful! I’d try a tincture tea or extract next time.

  7. Noel

    My pain is generally on my right side. Well, the sharp, severe pain is right-sided. I also have an all-over pain/discomfort that pales in comparison. In regard to the reishi, I just bought some reishi tea this weekend and tried it this morning. It’s such a coincidence that I stumbled upon this article. I was wondering as I sipped it (which I found to be somewhat tasty) if I should limit my intake. I think, after reading about your experience, that I’ll take it slow. Maybe a once or twice a week.

  8. Megan

    Amykinz – My pain is primarily on the left side and worse with a full bladder as well! It is nice to see others who are experiencing the same thing. The first gyno I saw said it couldn’t be endo because the pain was primarily on one side. Then again she told me she thought I pulled a muscle and had been in pain for months because of that and that the pain followed my cycle was just a “coincidence” … I, of course, got a 2nd opinion. Melissa is right – natural remedies really work. 🙂

  9. Melissa

    That’s okay. The body recovers far easier on natural options 🙂 luckily!

  10. It’s nice to read the comments and see that others experience the same thing I do. My pain, is also primarily on the left side. and is made worse w/a full bladder. Sorry about your bad experience, Melissa. 🙁

  11. Megan

    🙂 I do notice a correlation similar to yours. The pain is also a lot worse if I have a full bladder. I will try that bicarbonate of soda with water! Thanks for an amazing blog.

  12. Melissa

    Love that you saw this connection in the article Adina! That is a fabulous explanation too 🙂 Yes, I am going to explore the idea that some immune supporters seem to make things worse or perhaps need to be taken in smaller doses over a longer period. There are apparently some that don’t do this – Ginseng being one of them 🙂

  13. Adina

    I am always so surprised when I get repeated messages like that (dreaming about mushrooms the mushroom in the park). I am impressed you listened to them. I didn’t believe them for a long time but have started to hear them see them and believe them. I call it the cosmic 2×4 (intuition, the universe, God). If I listen I am often given the thing I need (repeatedly). I have found I need to be careful with things that stimulate the immune system even though that is ultimately what needs strengthened.

  14. Melissa

    That is cool – well you know what I mean 🙂 that we both share the pain on the left side thing. Do you find it is worse at certain times. I find there seems to be a close correlation with IC for me. The last 4 nights, I have been drinking bicarbonate of soda with water before going to bed and I didn’t wake up with any of it, the following morning, like when you need to pee and don’t go straight way, kinda pain.

  15. Megan

    I love your blog. I found it recently and it has helped me a lot (and the facebook page)! 🙂 I wanted to comment on your blog because my pain is also mostly on my left side, I know the exact place, and it is very severe. Most people I talk to seem to have it more in the middle or both sides, not on one. So it was nice (not nice that you have the pain or endo, but nice to relate to someone) that you have it on that side as well. Thanks for doing this amazing blog.

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I'm Melissa

Sick of dealing with endometriosis and ready to move forward?

I empower women to stop feeling like a victim to their endometriosis and find empowering ways to reduce pain & symptoms. 



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