Looking to buy Reishi mushrooms in Canada? This guide will help you find the best quality products for this unique mushroom and ensure you’re getting the highest quality Reishi product.
Countless studies show that Reishi mushrooms (also known as Ganoderma lucidum or ganoderma lingzhi) have beneficial health properties, but consumers should be aware that not all Reishi products are equally effective. According to a study published in the journal “Scientific Reports”, a whopping 74% of Reishi products didn’t contain what was promised in the packaging. This not only means many consumers are not getting their “bang for their buck”, but they will not reap the health benefits offered by high-quality products. This also makes choosing the right products particularly important for those hoping to use Reishi to help treat serious illnesses.
There are many options for choosing high-quality Reishi and medicinal mushrooms in Canada. If you are comparing different Reishi products you can follow the tips mentioned in this guide to ensure that you are getting a high-quality product, as well as our product recommendations for top producers of Reishi supplements.
- Health benefits of Reishi
- The best Reishi mushroom supplements in Canada
- Our selection process for potent Reishi mushroom supplements
Health benefits of Reishi
Reishi mushroom, also known as Ganoderma lucidum or Lingzhi, is a medicinal fungus with wide reported health-boosting effects. The mushroom has been a staple in Eastern medicine and is equally popular in the world of medicinal supplements. People interested in purchasing Reishi mushroom supplements must be aware that only a good quality one can give you the purported benefits.
Several molecules, including triterpenoids, polysaccharides, and peptidoglycans, may be responsible for the health benefit such as:
- Improves immune function
- May help in adjunct cancer treatment
- Helps with depression
- Reduces fatigue
- May improve heart health
- May help with fiabetes
Other Medicinal Properties
- Ganoderma and its extracts contain high quantities of antioxidant and antimicrobial activities.(Ferreira, 2015)
- Ganoderma was shown to help improve learning and memory in mice. (Want, 2004 – Khatian, 2019)
- Ganoderma has prebiotic properties and may help treat obesity. (Delzenne, 2015)
- Ganoderma has been shown to have good potential as an anti-inflammatory supplement. (Wu, 2019)
- Ganoderma species may help promote sleep quality and length. (Cui, 2012 – Yao, 2021)
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Top 3 best Reishi supplements in Canada
Before you purchase from these medicinal mushroom brands, it is important that you first read our Reishi buying guide below. The top choices by our team for the best Reishi powders in Canada are as follows:
#1. Real Mushrooms Organic Reishi Capsules
Also available in powder form and pet range
- Skye Chilton is the founder of Real Mushrooms. He is also the son of Jeff Chilton, the founder of Nammex with over 40 years of experience in medicinal mushrooms! This makes Real Mushrooms is the most experienced medicinal mushroom company in all of North America.
- 25% beta-glucans mentioned on the label
- Highest amount of Triterpenes of >4% we have seen in the Reishi supplement market
- Made from 100% organic Reishi mushrooms with no grain filler of any kind
- Dual-extracted for increased bioavailability
- Improves cognitive function, mental clarity and focus
- Also available in powder form
- Health benefits: immune system support, cardiovascular support, stress relief, sleep support
- Does not ship internationally. Countries outside of North America need to access Real Mushroom products via iherb or Amazon. We hope to see direct access soon!
- Certificate of analysis available on request only. It would be great to see this on the website publicly, however it is worth noting that many medicinal mushroom companies don’t provide this publicly
Our review and experience with Real Mushrooms’ Reishi
Real Mushrooms’ Reishi Mushroom powder and capsules is our number 1 choice for the best quality Reishi in Canada and the most recognised medicinal mushroom brand in the Canadian market. Real Mushrooms is one of the most credible companies in the world, with a team of scientists, veterinarians and TCM professionals working together. Over 2200 medical practitioners are prescribing Real Mushrooms.
Their highly potent Reishi formula contains 100% organic, non-GMO, vegan, Reishi mushrooms uses Dual extraction to extract their compounds. It’s incredible to see to see that this product contains real mushroom fruiting bodies rather than mycelium based products. It also does not contain mycelium, starch or grain filler of any kind. This Reishi product stands out with confirmed and lab certified >15% beta glucan content and >4% triterpenes. We’ve tried many Reishi capsules and powders over the years and this product has a bitter taste which is a strong indicator of triterpenes.
After taking Real Mushrooms Reishi for 8 weeks I felt compounding health improvements across sleep, mood and vitality. Insomnia was no longer an issue which improved rest and a positive approach for the next day.
#2. FreshCap Organic Reishi Capsules
Also available in powder, gummies, drink blends and pet range
- Extracted from mushroom fruiting bodies and does not contain any mycelium grain filler
- Dual-extracted for increased bioavailability
- Impressive 27% beta-glucan amount specified on the label. This is the most beta glucan amount we have seen in Reishi suppelments
- FreshCap founder, Tegan, has a degree in nutrition and food science
- Health benefits include stress relief, immune function, relaxation and sleep support
- Triterpenes content not stated
- No international shipping outside of Canada and the United States
- Certificate of analysis available on request only.
Our review and experience FreshCap’s Reishi supplement
FreshCap is our pick for the second best Reishi supplement in Canada. This product made our top list because it uses a 9:1 Dual extraction method which results in a high 27% beta glucan content.This is the highest beta glucan content in a Reishi product we have seen on the market. Unfortunately there is no mention of the Triterpene content.
Every Reishi product batch is tested heavy metals, potency, pesticides, pathogens and allergens in a US based GMP certified facility. We are thrilled that their product is non GMO, organic, and uses mushroom fruiting bodies with no grain or mycelium filler.
The taste of this Reishi powder has a mild bitter taste and after taking this for 8 weeks we can confirm it provides a a restful sleep with an improved sense of well-being. We feel refreshed every morning, after every night of sleep taking this supplement.
#3. Nootropics Depot Organic Reishi Capsules
Also available in powder form
- Contains 100% mushroom fruiting bodies
- Hot water extracted for bioavailability
- Does not contain any grain filler
- Manufactured in cGMP certified facility and iso17025 certified
- Health benefits include promotion of cognitive function, immune function and cardiovascular function
- Triterpenes amount not specified
- Lower beta glucan content than the above 2 options
Our review and experience with Nootropics Depot’s Reishi
Nootropics Depot’s Reishi is our third choice for the best Reishi supplement in Canada. The extraction ratio uses a 8:1 Dual extraction method resulting in a 25% max beta glucan content. Unfortunately, there is no mention of Triterpene content. For its price, we are impressed to see that their product does not contain mycelium or any grain filler and is made of non GMO, organic, Red Reishi fruiting bodies.
After taking this product for 8 weeks months I felt an improvement in immune function which was evident with a reduced duration of cold and flu symptoms, where previously it would be a lot longer. Nootropics Depot has is great value for money and improves sleep.
Our selection process for the best Reishi supplements
1. Mushroom fruiting body on the label
When choosing a product one of the first things to analyze is to see if it is made from mycelium or the mushroom fruiting bodies. If you are not familiar with the term, just think of mycelium as the white spider web-like “roots” of the mushrooms, whereas the fruiting bodies are the structures we eat and know as mushrooms.
While fruiting bodies are traditionally what has been used in medicine, today many products contain fungal mycelium instead of fruiting bodies. While mushroom mycelium has been shown to be medicinal there are issues with their use in medicinal supplements. Mostly it is that mycelium-based products actually contain relatively small quantities of fungal biomass and instead contain starches and other compounds from the grains that the mycelium is cultivated on. Because of this, these supplements contain high quantities of starches (which many try to eliminate from our diet anyway!) and low quantities of the medicinal compounds we are after.
How to know if your supplement is made from mycelium or fruiting bodies
- Check the label! Ingredients in mycelium products will likely list grains (like brown rice, wheat, barley, etc.) and will have a high quantity of carbohydrates.
- Producers will often mention if they are made from fruiting bodies. It should say “Made with 100% Whole Fruiting Bodies” or something of the like.
It should be noted that dozens of studies have been conducted on medicinal mushroom mycelium that show it does indeed have strong medicinal properties. The biggest difference is that scientific studies usually use pure mycelium that contains no extra grains or fillers. In these cases, fungal compounds are much more concentrated than grain-based mycelium products typically sold in the supplement industry.
2. Ideal extraction methods
Medicinal mushrooms are most often consumed as extracts. These concentrate the number of medicinal compounds in an easy-to-consume product. They are ideal for consumption not only due to their potency but also because of their high bioavailability and ease of consumption. Other forms of consuming Reishi may be more laborious to prepare and not fully extract all the desired compounds.
Dual extraction is best
In the medicinal mushroom world, the most common extractions are known as “dual extractions”. They are “dual” because of the fact they use both alcohol and water as solvents. This ensures that all water-soluble and alcohol-soluble compounds end up in the final product.
- Water is used for extracting the polysaccharides known as beta-glucans. These are found in high quantities in Reishi mushrooms and are one of the most medicinal components it contains.
- Beta-Glucans are compounds found ubiquitously within the fungal kingdom. They are a type of polysaccharide that occurs within the cell walls of the mushroom and have been shown to exhibit a wide array of health properties. The benefits of beta-glucans are diverse but usually tied to improved immune function, digestive health, improved well-being, and anti-cancer properties.
- Alcohol is used for extracting triterpenes present in Reishi mushrooms. In the case of tinctures, it also helps as a preservative that increases the shelf life of the mushroom.
- Triterpenes are alcohol soluble compounds that exhibit a wide array of medicinal properties. Over 50 different triterpenes occur in Reishi mushrooms, the most common being Ganoderic acid. Another important triterpene is lucidenic acid. These are shown to be immune-modulating, anti-cancer, and help with a variety of chronic diseases.
The extraction ratio is something that is commonly mentioned in medicinal mushroom products. They may say something like “10:1 Reishi Mushroom Extract”. What this ratio represents is that the producer used 10kg of Reishi mushrooms for every 1kg of extract they end up with. The higher the ratio usually suggests the more potent the product.
It should be noted that a 10:1 product may not necessarily contain twice the active components of a 5:1 product. This is because this ratio does not necessarily represent the effectiveness of the extraction or the quality of the original materials. It is also important to consider that the more potent the extract doesn’t always reflect the effectiveness of the product. This is because higher doses may not necessarily always be more effective in specific treatments. The only real way to compare the potency of unique supplements is by a chemical analysis that measures the number of beta-glucans, triterpenes, and other fungal-derived compounds.
Extracts can also be found in tinctures or powders. Powders tend to be much more potent by weight because they contain none of the liquids originally used in the extraction process.
3. Reishi mushrooms should be bitter
While bitter flavors are usually considered unpleasant they are often characteristics of many medicinal compounds. This is the case for the triterpenes present in Reishi mushrooms. Since Reishi generally refers to a wide group of mushrooms in the classification Ganoderma the number of triterpenes in the original biomass used for extraction can vary. Improper extraction methods can also result in low quantities of triterpenes.
For this reason, your Reishi products must have a bitter taste. If you are uncertain of the quality of your extract you can taste it for bitterness. A high-quality Reishi product should quickly stimulate a bitter flavor on your tongue within moments of tasting. All you need is a tiny bit to get the bitter flavor. If your product is sold within a capsule you can open one up to test for bitterness. While the bitter flavor may be unpleasant it is not something you should worry about or be concerned of
4. Beta glucans on the label
Some of the most reputable producers of Reishi supplements test the number of beta-glucans in their products. If this is the case then they will usually display this information on the label. As previously mentioned, these are some of the most important compounds present within the mushrooms.
While Beta-Glucans are a type of polysaccharide consumers should beware of not judging their products solely on polysaccharide contents that may be mentioned on the label. This is because some products may contain polysaccharides originating from plants and thus will not have the desired medicinal effect. It should also be noted that certain plants like Oats, also produce beta-glucans that are not as effective.
If your products contain both the information of beta-glucans and polysaccharides make sure that the polysaccharide content is no more than 5% higher than beta-glucan content. Also, be sure to avoid products that may contain plant or yeast-based beta-glucans as these are not going to have the desired effect.
5. North American grown Reishi vs Chinese grown
There is frequent discussion about the quality of Reishi mushroom supplements coming from China. Some areas of China have high rates of air pollution which can negatively affect the quality of soil with unwanted pollutants and heavy-metals. But this does not mean Chinese mushroom products are bad.
China has been using mushroom-based medicine for thousands of years, long before it became popular in the west. China is the largest producer of organic Reishi and medicinal mushrooms in the world and grow their products from provincial areas in rural mountain provinces.
With decades of research and usage, China produces some of the most potent Reishi and medicinal mushroom products on the market, and also has some of the most sophisticated extraction labs in the world.
6. Certificate of analysis
If unsure, ask the producer for a third party Certificate of Analysis (COA). A Certificate of Analysis from a third party lab is important to identify the beneficial compounds (eg. beta-glucans, triterpenes, ergosterol) in the Reishi product, as well as to avoid heavy metals and other foreign contaminants. Heavy metals that are typically tested for range from arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury. Quality Reishi mushroom producers should be able to provide this upon request, or better yet, publicly display this on their website.
Always look for organic Reishi supplements. This verifies that the cultivation process is compliant and is grown without using harmful chemicals, herbicides, and pesticides.
Look for the widely recognized stamp of quality and integrity of a Certificate Organic from the regulatory body, the Canadian Organic Certification (ACO) for Canada
Reishi products available in Canada
Reishi dried powders are made from pulverizing the 100% fruiting body. Reishi Powders are often called ‘full-spectrum’ as you get the ‘full entourage effect’ of consuming the entire mushroom and therefore getting all the nutritional benefits as a whole-food. Powders are generally made from mushrooms that have been heated or processed in a way to make the medicinal compounds bioavailable.
Extracts contain the individual medicinal compounds of Reishi without the biomass. This is done via an extraction process with hot water and/or alcohol and solvents (dual extraction). This makes small doses of Reishi highly potent, extremely compact, and have a longer shelf life. With an extract, however, you don’t receive the full benefit of consuming the mushroom as a whole food which can exclude some beneficial components.
There are two different types of extracts available in Canada:
1. Reishi tinctures
Tinctures are liquid extracts that most often use water and alcohol solvents. They are a convenient method of consuming Reishi.
2. Reishi powdered extracts
Powdered extracts are the dry powdered result of extracting the individual medicinal compounds from the Reishi mushroom. Powdered extracts can be extracted from both the fruiting body and/or the mycelium.
Capsules and Tablets are usually either filled with Reishi mushroom powders or extracts. They are the most convenient way to dose and consume Reishi. Buying capsules are in growing demand in Canada as they are an easy option for those already regularly taking supplements or other medications in this form.
Reishi coffee and tea
Reishi can be incorporated into hot drinks such as coffee and tea. The big benefit these products have is that they are easy to incorporate into your daily routine.
Reishi Tea can be purchased as tea bags containing both Reishi powder and dried tea herbs; leaves.
Reishi Coffee products are sold as ground coffee beans mixed with Reishi powder.
Fresh Reishi mushrooms
Reishi is a tough and woody mushroom. It cannot be cooked up like the edible mushrooms you may be more familiar with. In most cases, fruiting bodies should be cooked in simmering water for at least 20 minutes, although three to four hours is most recommended. You can buy fresh Reishi mushrooms as whole fruiting bodies at speciality farmers markets across Canada.
High Quality Reishi Supplements around the world
Our team of fungi enthusiasts and experts specialising in mycology, agronomy, environmental science, neuroscience, molecular biology, and general health have studied the market and identified the highest quality Reishi supplements available in different countries.
For our Australian readers, please read our guide on the best quality Reishi supplements on the Australian market.
For our readers in the United States, check out our guide on the best quality Reishi supplements in the US.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Reishi Mushrooms Improve Energy?
Reishi mushrooms are known to fight fatigue. These anti-oxidant-rich adaptogen fungi help the body adapt to fatigue and stress and improve energy levels.
Does Reishi Improve Anxiety And Depression?
Reishi is most prominent for its steps-reducing and calming effect. It has a long history of use for its ability to transform negative energy in the body and cultivate spiritual energy. The anti-anxiety properties of Reishi mushrooms are not just found in history books; they have also been supported by science. Reishi use resulted in statistically significant improvements in quality of life, where study participants reported lessened anxiety and depression and improved physical health.
Are There Any Side Effects Of Taking Reishi Mushrooms?
Due to the lack of human research on Reishi mushrooms, many of their side effects are still unknown. However, problems like skin rashes, upset stomach, liver damage, bloody stool, nausea, nosebleeds, insomnia, chronic diarrhea, dry nose, mouth, and throat, and itchiness have been reported.
Can You Take Lion’s Mane And Reishi At The Same Time?
Reishi and Lion’s mane supplements are complementary and can be taken together. It is advised to begin with low dosages and gradually increase them. You can reap all of the advantages that these medicinal mushrooms have to offer by combining the mushrooms.
Does Reishi Mushroom Help Fight Inflammation?
The ability of Reishi mushroom extracts to reduce inflammation is one of their most important qualities. According to recent research, Reishi mushrooms may lower inflammation and boost the production of natural killer cells, which fight inflammation in the body. The mushrooms are, therefore, excellent for preventing inflammatory diseases.
What Is Reishi Supplement Good For?
Reishi mushroom has the potential to fight cancer, regulate the immune system, and alleviate stress. In addition, it improves overall health, immune system function, and energy levels.
What Can You Not Take With Reishi?
Reishi mushrooms should not be combined with hypertensives and blood thinners. Suppose Reishi mushroom supplementation is mixed with blood pressure-lowering drugs. In that case, the blood pressure may drop too low. Blood clotting may also be slowed by Reishi mushrooms, so the combination with medications that also slow blood clotting may increase the chance of bleeding and bruising.
Are Reishi Mushrooms legal in Canada
Yes, Reishi mushrooms are legal for purchase and consumption in Canada.
In Canada, all Reishi supplements and medicinal mushroom products must be registered with the Natural Health Products Regulations (NHPR).
Can Reishi be purchased from my doctor?
Although Reishi is considered a Medicinal Mushroom, you cannot buy it from your doctor. You also do not need a prescription for it. It is considered a complementary therapeutic medicine, that can be purchased online or in stores. You may however be able to purchase dried Reishi mushrooms from a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner.
Can Reishi be purchased from a naturopath?
Yes, many naturopaths sell Reishi supplements as part of their treatment for various illnesses.
How much does Reishi mushroom supplements cost in Canada?
The price of Reishi mushrooms in the Canada can vary, depending on the product type and producer.
Reishi Extracts, powders and capsules can range from $20 CAD per product to over $80 CAD.
High quality medicinal mushrooms Supplements in Canada
Aside from Reishi, we’ve done a great deal of research for other medicinal mushroom supplements in Canada. We apply our same criteria and review process for other medicinal mushroom powders and capsules that we review. Check out the follow articles for high quality supplements in Canada:
- High quality Chaga supplements in Canada
- High quality Cordyceps supplements in Canada
- High quality Lion’s Mane supplements in Canada
- High quality Turkey Tail supplements in Canada
We hope this guide has helped you learn more about buying Reishi in Canada. To summarize, look for organic, dual-extracted Reishi supplements which are made from the mushroom fruiting body and has beta glucans clearly printed on the label. Reishi mushroom supplements should be used as a supplement to a holistic treatment that often includes changes in diet, habits, and daily lifestyles.
Health journal references