The common cold ain't nothing to sniff at. People underestimate one of the most successful viruses in the world; they see it as an inevitability, and wait for it to pass.
But if you're like us, you don't believe in taking such a blasé approach to your health. Your body is a temple, and if there's a way to protect it from contaminants and viruses with ill-intent, best believe you'll take it.
Allergies occupy a similar space – to most people, they're just something to put up with. One of life's 'oh well' instances – a thing to get frustrated with, not a thing that can be fixed. They haven't been looking in the right places. But first, some table setting...
What's the difference between the cold and the flu?
Let's discuss what they share first:
1. You'll be miserable with both if you don't prepare.
2. They're both contagious, respiratory illnesses.
The difference lies in the origin of the virus. The flu is caused by influenza viruses exclusively, whereas the common cold can originate from a number of different biological sources.
They have similar symptoms, which accounts for a lot of the confusion. If you're unlucky enough to catch either virus, you can expect to experience a runny or stuffy nose and a general sense of fatigue.
The flu tends to have more negative symptoms, which can include a cough, fever, chills, headaches and more. Neither are fun, but both can be (hopefully) avoided, and at the very least mitigated.
What is the root cause of allergic reactions?
The presence of allergies is essentially your body being over-protective. We're sorry, allergies, but it's true. Give us some space, please.
Of course we're being reductive (and spectacularly unfunny but, come on, it's hump day), but it's largely true. When you come into contact with a foreign substance, the allergy-sufferer's immune system effectively starts running around screaming, desperately barking orders at cells to become inflamed in an attempt to ward off a terrifying invasive threat.
Chronic inflammation of this kind signals the presence of an autoimmune disorder, and in all seriousness, it can have a dramatic impact on your life. If you suffer with asthma, hay fever, or any kind of allergic, sinus-bothering affliction, you'll know that a seemingly small issue can have a gigantic impact.
Reishi mushrooms: quick fix to an old problem?
Did you know that there might be a way to alleviate these most persistent of afflictions? Even better, there's a way to do it naturally. Lo and behold, the key to possible sinus-salvation might just lie in the deep-red ridges of the magical (not in that way) reishi mushroom.
A super-shroom that could have practical applications for everything from cancer to cardiovascular diseases, it might also be an accomplished antidote to cold, flu and allergies too. Multi-talented does not do this mushroom justice.
Meet Ganoderma Lucidum, the forest-dwelling fungi superstar
Reishi mushrooms, or Ganoderma Lucidum (or Lingzhi!) are fungi that almost exclusively grow on hardwood in forests, mainly in China. It's a vibrant, visually-arresting mushroom with a number of different aesthetic forms. But our favourite is the one above.
Beetroot-red at the heart, it cycles through progressively-lighter concentric circles to create a stunning gradient. Nature's always been the best artist to ever do it.
Lingzhi has been a crucial feature of traditional Chinese medicine for over 2000 years. It's valued for its abundance of amino acids triterpenes and polysaccharides, two chemicals that can incite biological changes such as anti-inflammation, anti-oxidation, anti-tumour growth and more.
How reishi mushrooms can help to combat the cold and flu viruses
Reishi mushrooms can have incredible immune system-boosting properties. Our in-built virus protection software helps protect us from the nasty things that tend to result in health problems. It's a vital feature of our composition in every sense of the word, and around this time, it needs all the help it can get.
Reishi mushrooms are packed to the gills (one for the mycology nerds out there – we see you) with utterly essential amino acids. Along with the previously mentioned polysaccharides and triterpenes, you'll also find proteins, steroids, mannitol, coumarin and alkaloids – a potent cocktail that will give these pesky winter viruses the shivers.
Studies suggest amino acids can have a marked effect on immune function. With reishi mushrooms, you won't be lacking for these wonder-compounds.
How reishi mushroom formulations could assist you in your fight against allergies
Ganoderma Lucidum contains within it a number of immune-boosting abilities, as we've mentioned. But there's evidence to suggest there's even more to this already spectacular organism – namely that it also possesses anti-inflammatory and antiallergic mechanisms.
With the potential to specifically target hay fever and a host of other allergies, reishi could be your ticket to combating allergic inflammation AND promoting immune-system regulation. What's not to love?
Which form of reishi mushroom should I take to fight flu, cold and allergies?
Honestly, it's all down to preference. Both of our formulations contain 100% natural reishi mushrooms, they just come in different forms. Don't you dare ask us to pick favourites. We'll just do the ol' copout and declare that they're both our favourites (they really are, though).
Reishi mushroom capsules
The capsules make supplementation a bit simpler – the recommended dose is 3 capsules, 1-3 times daily, and staying on top of that is easier if your doses are already measured.
They're gluten free, USDA organic, vegan and GMP certified. Which generally amounts to: they're natural, as they should be. We don't mean to throw shade like an overhanging reishi mushroom, but if you're going to corrupt the inherent power of organic wonders with inorganic preparation methods, what's the point?
Reishi mushroom powder
If you want a bit more freedom in terms of how much you take and when you take it, the powder form might be more your speed. Adding it to a drink or meal* can spice up any form of sustenance. The recommendation for optimal effects is 2g of powder, again 1-3 times daily.
Again, you can expect the same list of guarantees with the powder format. It really is just down to preference. You're totally allowed to pick favourites.
The literature on reishi mushrooms is unambiguous; it's a wonder-herb, plain and simple. A genuine success story amidst a mountain of nootropic pretenders. It can help you give your body the boost it needs for the upcoming sniffles season, and even give it some fight against ever-present allergies.
For a more detailed breakdown of this astonishing fungi, check out our in-depth blog.
*do not use with citrus products.