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Neurasthenia is a culturally oriented diagnosis that attributed mental and physical symptoms due to nerve weakness. They include migraines, poor digestion, fatigue, and even complete mental collapse in alarming numbers. The cause is often associated with depression or emotional stress, and is sometimes considered similar to or identical with chronic fatigue syndrome. Reishi, amongst many other things, is known to alleviate the symptoms of neurasthenia.
A human clinical study consisting 132 Chinese patients with neurasthenia investigated the efficacy and safety of Reishi extract. The study was randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled, given 5.4g/day of Reishi extract for 8 weeks. The study was monitored using Clinical Global Impression (CGI) improvement of severity scale and the Visual Analogues Scales for the sense of fatigue and well-being. (1) These are rating scales that measure the severity of a symptom, treatment response and the efficacy of treatments. The goal is to reduce the scores of severity. (2)
The patients treated with Reishi (water extract) for 8 weeks had reduced severity scores and sense of fatigue by many folds. The researchers indicate Reishi was well tolerated in the study patients and was significantly superior to placebo with respect to the clinical improvement of symptoms in neurasthenia. (1)
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Reishi mushroom is regarded as the best "spirit elevating" (Shen) tonic that positively promotes mental well-being. Reishi has a long history of use in ancient China by Taoist monks and sages for cultivating spiritual energy, reducing stress, calming the mind, and transforming negative energy in the body.
Another interesting study examined the effects of Reishi spores in 48 breast cancer patients experiencing cancer-related fatigue. In just 4 weeks, the patients given Reishi reported feeling "less anxiety, depression, better quality of life, and significant improvements in the domains of physical well-being and fatigue.” (3)
It is no surprise Reishi is known as the ultimate anti-stress herb, which makes Reishi an important ally in today's fast-paced and over-stressed world.
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