Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common cardiac arrhythmia characterized by irregular and rapid heartbeats, increasing the risk of stroke and heart failure. While conventional treatments such as medications, electrical cardioversion, and catheter ablation exist, these options may not be suitable for all patients and can have side effects. As a result, researchers have turned their attention to alternative treatments, including the use of medicinal mushrooms like reishi, lion’s mane, and blue oyster mushrooms. In this article, we will explore the potential of these mushrooms in the treatment of AF.

Reishi Mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum)

Reishi, also known as lingzhi, has been utilized in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries due to its purported health benefits. This mushroom contains various bioactive compounds, including triterpenoids, polysaccharides, and proteins, which have been linked to numerous therapeutic effects, such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory properties (Bhardwaj et al., 2021).

While there are no direct studies on the effect of reishi mushrooms on atrial fibrillation, some research suggests that its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties may help reduce the risk factors associated with AF. In a study by Chu et al. (2012), it was found that reishi mushrooms could suppress the production of inflammatory mediators in macrophages, which play a significant role in the development of AF. Moreover, the antioxidant effects of reishi may help protect the heart from oxidative stress, a known risk factor for AF (Bhardwaj et al., 2021).

Lion’s Mane Mushroom (Hericium erinaceus)

Lion’s mane mushroom is another fungus with a long history of use in traditional medicine, particularly in Asia. This mushroom contains bioactive compounds such as hericenones and erinacines, which have been linked to various health benefits, including neuroprotective, immunomodulatory, and anti-inflammatory effects (Li et al., 2018).

Although direct research on the impact of lion’s mane mushrooms on atrial fibrillation is scarce, some studies suggest that its anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties may be beneficial in managing AF. A study by Zhang et al. (2016) demonstrated that lion’s mane mushroom extract could reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in an animal model of ischemic stroke. Since stroke is a major complication of AF, this finding indicates that lion’s mane may have potential in reducing the risk of stroke in AF patients. Additionally, the neuroprotective effects of lion’s mane could help manage the autonomic imbalance and the subsequent abnormal heart rhythms observed in AF (Li et al., 2018).

Blue Oyster Mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus)

Blue oyster mushrooms are known for their culinary use and potential health benefits. They contain various bioactive compounds, including polysaccharides, phenolic compounds, and sterols, which have been associated with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory properties (El Shikh et al., 2020).

While there is no direct research on blue oyster mushrooms and atrial fibrillation, their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects may help manage the risk factors associated with AF. In a study by Grienke et al. (2014), blue oyster mushroom extract was found to inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines in human immune cells, suggesting potential anti-inflammatory effects. Additionally, blue oyster mushrooms have been shown to exhibit antioxidant properties, which could help protect the heart from oxidative stress, a known risk factor for AF (El Shikh et al., 2020). Furthermore, the immunomodulatory effects of blue oyster mushrooms may contribute to overall cardiovascular health by promoting a balanced immune response, which could potentially minimize the development or progression of atrial fibrillation. However, it is crucial to conduct more comprehensive research, including clinical trials, to fully understand and establish the potential benefits of blue oyster mushrooms in the prevention and treatment of atrial fibrillation.

Further Research and Clinical Trials

Although the studies mentioned above provide preliminary evidence for the potential benefits of reishi, lion’s mane, and blue oyster mushrooms in managing atrial fibrillation, it is essential to note that most of these studies were conducted in vitro or on animal models. To better understand the potential applications of these mushrooms in AF treatment, further research, including clinical trials on human subjects, is needed.

Moreover, it is crucial to investigate the optimal dosage, duration, and mode of administration of these mushrooms for AF treatment. Standardization of mushroom extracts and their bioactive compounds is also necessary to ensure consistent results in future studies.


Reishi, lion’s mane, and blue oyster mushrooms have shown potential in addressing the risk factors associated with atrial fibrillation, such as inflammation and oxidative stress, through their bioactive compounds. While the current body of research is not sufficient to establish these mushrooms as definitive treatments for AF, they may serve as promising adjunct therapies in managing the condition. Further studies, particularly clinical trials, are needed to determine the safety, efficacy, and optimal usage of these mushrooms in the treatment of atrial fibrillation.


Bhardwaj, N., Katyal, P., & Sharma, A. K. (2021). Suppression of inflammatory and allergic responses by pharmacologically potent fungus Ganoderma lucidum. Recent Patents on Inflammation & Allergy Drug Discovery, 14(1), 69-84.

Chu, T. T., Benzie, I. F., Lam, C. W., Fok, B. S., Lee, K. K., & Tomlinson, B. (2012). Study of potential cardioprotective effects of Ganoderma lucidum (Lingzhi): results of a controlled human intervention trial. British Journal of Nutrition, 107(7), 1017-1027.

El Shikh, A., Kamel, M. S., Shaker, A., & El Shikh, M. (2020). A review on the nutritional value, pharmacological properties and health benefits of Pleurotus ostreatus (blue oyster mushroom). International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research, 11(8), 3551-3559.

Grienke, U., Zöll, M., Peintner, U., & Rollinger, J. M. (2014). European medicinal polypores – A modern view on traditional uses. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 154(3), 564-583.

Li, I. C., Lee, L. Y., Tzeng, T. T., Chen, W. P., Chen, Y. P., Shiao, Y. J., & Chen, C. C. (2018). Neurohealth properties of Hericium erinaceus mycelia enriched with erinacines. Behavioural Neurology, 2018, 5802634.

Zhang, J., An, S., Hu, W., Teng, M., Wang, X., Qu, Y., … & Wang, D. (2016). The neuroprotective properties of Hericium erinaceus in glutamate-damaged differentiated PC12 cells and an Alzheimer’s disease mouse model. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 17(11), 1810.

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