Looking to biohack your body? Want to get more from your mind? Just hoping to improve your health in general? Medicinal mushrooms have been used for centuries for their huge range of health benefits.
Since functional medicine and holistic nutrition have become a more well-known way to take your health into your own hands, it’s the perfect time to find out how exactly mushrooms fit into the puzzle that is your body.
Various shrooms can help support your brain health, immune system and beyond - but which ones are worth trying? These are the top 10 fantastic fungi that can put the whammy into your well-being.
Lion’s Mane, King Of The Jungle
The mightiest of mushrooms, the Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus), has to come top of the list. It’s not a shroom to skimp on because it can do the A-Z of benefits for your body. It’s typically known for its brain-boosting function, supporting general thinking power and preventing things like brain fog, mental fatigue, and can even do things like protect your brain.
This mushroom is treasured by traditional Chinese medicine makers since it also supports digestion, energy regulation, blood sugar levels and water regulation. When you consider just how complex your internal systems are, bonuses like those are the helping hand you need to unlock the potential of your health.
How does Lion’s Mane do it all? Beta-glucans, baby. This and other essential compounds are potent antioxidants and neuro-protectors. That means your immune system (your body’s defence against… well, everything) and your neurons (we call them thinking strings, it’s catchier) have backup, helping them perform at their best.
So, if you want to be the king of the jungle, Lion’s Mane is the sidekick you want.
Reishi, The Immortality Mushroom
Next up is our friend, Reishi, short for Ganoderma lingzhi. This shroom stretches back over 2000 years in ancient medicinal texts. And since Reishi has always been loved for its ability to promote a calmer body and a longer life, it’s easy to see why humans have been taking it for so long.
Reishi is great at one thing - providing you with polysaccharides and antioxidants that can boost your body’s defences. And as we all know, a happy and protected body is a thriving body. This is how Reishi also gives you the benefits of reduced anxiety levels, reduced feelings of depression and better-regulated blood sugar levels.
As well as giving your body a defensive power-up that reduces the overall stress on your immune system and nervous system, Reishi has been shown to offer some anti-cancer properties, making it the best shroom to bring to a (medicinal) fight.
Cordyceps, The Energy Booster
Energy levels dropping? Taking lots of naps? Look no further than Cordyceps. This is a mushroom frequently used in functional medicine, but it has an interesting personality, too. Cordyceps loves to boost your vitality and fight off fatigue.
Its origin stories are pretty cool, too. Cordyceps first sprouted to fame when Chinese female runners began to break records, and they all gave credit to a cool new mushroom they were taking, called Cordyceps. Studies have shown that this marvellous mushy can improve your body’s use of oxygen, especially during exercise!
On top of that, because it has a high antioxidant content, it can help reduce fatigue symptoms and slow down the effects of ageing in the long run.
Some studies have even shown that it could have promise in preventing tumour growth, as well as reducing signs of inflammation. So, all in all, if you want to amp up the energy, Cordyceps is the way to go.
Chaga, The Immunity Fungus
Chaga is most often found in the Northern European climes, and it’s the go-to guy for immune-boosting. Whether you’re dealing with a case of the sniffles or you want your immune system fighting fit, Chaga is loaded up with antioxidants, meaning it can reduce oxidative stress and inflammation so your body can focus on what’s important.
Chaga has another method of making your immune system believe in itself - it promotes the formation of something called cytokines, which are helpful chemicals that regulate your immune system. So it doesn’t overreact or underreact when you need it most.
So choose Chaga if you're looking to fortify your bodily defences.
Turkey Tail, Mr. Immune Booster
Turkey Tail is just as magnificent as it sounds. This mushroom is another immune-boosting superhero. It’s bursting with antioxidants, flavonoids and phenols, all supporting your immune response by reducing inflammation and fighting off harmful bacteria.
Turkey Tail’s special trick is using polysaccharopeptide to activate and suppress very specific immune cells, making your immune system as optimised as can be.
And if you already want to gobble gobble up some Turkey Tail, you’ll be glad to know that it also supports your gut health by being a natural prebiotic. Overall, you can’t go wrong with a Turkey Tail if you want to have a robust immune system and a contented gut.
Shiitake, The Superfood Shroom
Shiitake mushrooms aren’t just delicious in your dinner; they’re also useful for a wide range of health benefits. Like the other shrooms on our list, Shiitake is an immune booster, backed by plenty of research showing improved immune markers and reduced inflammation levels in people taking Shiitake supplements.
Paired with the polysaccharides that naturally occur in Shiitake, you have a powerful protector against high cholesterol and even cancer.
Because of their antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral effects, these miraculous mushrooms are a versatile and tasty option.
Maitake, An Adaptogenic Mushroom
In Chinese medicine, Maitake is known as the ‘Fountain of Youth’, and that’s because it possesses incredible adaptogenic properties. An adaptogen basically means that it helps your body adapt! That means your body is better regulated overall and is ready to fight off the daily stressors that come at it.
As well as keeping your body protected and regulated, this mighty mushroom may help you deal with colds and flu viruses, supporting your overall immune function to react how it needs to.
So no matter what life throws at you, you’ll be able to adapt with Maitake at your side.
Tremella, Miss Beauty Booster
Looking for a natural way to enhance your beauty and enjoy that youthful feeling for longer? Tremella is your girl. These mushrooms are adept at supporting your skin health, reducing swelling and making life easier for your body so your skin is less stressed.
Rich in antioxidants and polysaccharides (remember those from earlier?) Tremella helps to regulate blood glucose levels, protect your liver so you can stay continually detoxed, and even boost your brain power. Altogether, that makes for a potent beauty regime, all in one mushroom.
Because it's also high in Vitamin D content, you get the benefit of a lighter mood and improved serotonin levels, too, making you feel beautiful both inside and out!
Meshima, Your Fertility Friend
This majestic mushy grows on Mulberry trees and has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years. They’re an OG medicinal mushroom not to be missed.
Known as Phellinus linteus, these shrooms have been shown to have the potential to treat immune system issues, allergic reactions and even menstrual bleeding imbalances. Studies indicate that Meshima could have an anti-inflammatory property that might be useful in the treatment of improving fertility.
With Meshima on hand, you can support your fertility, while this medicinal mushroom also supports your immune function.
Agaricus Blazei, The Healthy Heart Shroom
Last but certainly not least is Agaricus Blazei. Not only does it have a cool, gladiator-y sounding name, it packs a beneficial punch, too. This mushroom has been quickly gaining popularity in recent years for supporting your overall heart health.
Its hearty benefits come from its naturally occurring polysaccharides, antioxidants and beta-glucans. All of which contribute to a healthier immune system and regulated nervous system.
These clever fungi could help to support your cardiovascular health overall, as well as regulate those pesky cholesterol levels. So you can nourish your heart and live life to the fullest!
Where Do You Start With Medicinal Mushrooms?
These top 10 medicinal mushrooms can revolutionise your health and revitalise your overall well-being. But where do you get started? Which do you choose? Well, we always recommend starting with a reliable and high-quality supplement backed by science. If you’d like to find out what powerful medicinal mushrooms can do for your health, check out our high-quality Lion’s Mane capsules.