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Which Mushrooms are Adaptogens?

Mushrooms have been used for centuries in traditional medicine to promote healing and wellness. More recently, “adaptogens” have gained popularity as powerful substances that can help us supercharge healing and kick stress to the curb. With mushroom adaptogens, you can have the best of both worlds.

But, while many mushrooms are good for you, not all have adaptogenic properties. Read on to find out which mushrooms have healing adaptogenic properties, and how you can choose the best functional mushrooms to help you reach your health goals.

What are Adaptogenic Mushrooms?

Adaptogenic mushrooms are a subset of fungi that help the body cope with physical and mental stress more effectively. By balancing the body’s response to stress, adaptogenic mushroom supplements can support a healthy immune system, increase energy levels, and improve overall well being.

It’s also important to note what these mushrooms are not. The medicinal mushroom varieties we’re exploring today are not intended for recreational “hallucogenic” use. They should only be used intentionally for their health benefits.

Not a mushroom fan? Don’t worry – you don’t have to eat these mushrooms to enjoy their adaptogenic benefits. In fact, most adaptogenic mushrooms are not the typical foodie fungi you’ll find at your local market. Rather, they are potent herbal medicinals that are best sourced from reputable wellness brands. Today, you can easily find a range of medicinal mushroom products that fit seamlessly into your daily life:

  • Adaptogenic mushroom powders: Simply mix the powder with water, juice, or your favorite smoothie.
  • Adaptogenic mushroom pills/capsules: Convenient and easy to take, pills and capsules are a great option for those on the go.
  • Adaptogenic mushroom tea: Brew adaptogenic mushroom tea for a calming and relaxing beverage.
  • Adaptogenic mushroom gummies: A tasty and convenient option for those who prefer to take supplements in a gummy form.

3 Key Mushroom Adaptogens Benefits

Medicinal mushrooms vary widely, but there are a few key benefits that all adaptogenic mushrooms offer:

  1. Mushroom adaptogens boost immunity.
    Mushroom adaptogens are renowned for their ability to boost the immune system. Most adaptogenic mushrooms contain polysaccharides and beta-glucans that stimulate immune cells and support the body’s natural defenses. Some adaptogenic mushrooms also contain high levels of antioxidants, which neutralize harmful free radicals and prevent oxidative stress. By incorporating these functional mushrooms into your diet or your daily supplements, you can improve your overall immune function, reduce the risk of infections, and enhance your body’s ability to fight off pathogens.
  2. Mushroom adaptogens reduce stress and boost brain health.
    If you’ve been feeling burdened by brain fog or strained by stress, medicinal mushrooms can help. Several adaptogenic mushrooms have been proven to support cognitive function and memory, improve stress levels, and enhance overall mental clarity. They work by both reducing stress and improving blood flow to the brain. These actions in turn reduce your mental fatigue and enhance your ability to solve problems, think creatively, stay focused, and feel at ease.
  3. Mushroom adaptogens reduce Inflammation.
    Do you have lingering pains that won’t go away? Frustrating symptoms that don’t seem to have a cause? A chronic health condition that reduces your quality of life? Inflammation could be at the root. In fact, there is often some aspect of inflammation at the root of most chronic health or pain issues. To reverse our symptoms and finally feel better, we need to clear away the inflammation.

    Thankfully, medicinal mushrooms are powerfully anti-inflammatory. Several adaptogenic mushrooms contain compounds like polysaccharides and triterpenes that are known to reduce inflammation by inhibiting the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines.

Which Mushrooms are Adaptogens?

There are several types of medicinal mushrooms, each with its unique characteristics. Let’s explore some of the best mushroom adaptogens and their benefits to see how they can boost your health from within.

Reishi

Known as the “mushroom of immortality,” Reishi mushroom is packed with antioxidants that support a healthy immune system. It also has calming properties and can help ease anxiety and promote better sleep. Additionally, reishi may have significant benefits for those with chronic illnesses – it has been shown to have antitumor and anti-cancer properties, as well as the ability to regulate blood sugar levels and protect the liver.

Use Reishi For: 

  • Sleep disturbances  
  • Anxiety and restlessness 
  • Low immunity 
  • Poor liver function or detoxification
  • Cancer care support  

Find it in:


Lion’s Mane

This mushroom is known for its ability to improve cognitive function, boost mental clarity, and reduce memory loss. Studies show that lion’s mane has neurotrophic properties – in other words, it helps the brain adapt, grow, and perform better during times of stress. Lion’s mane can also be used to help prevent cognitive age-related diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia diseases.

Use Lion’s Mane For: 

  • Poor focus and concentration 
  • Memory loss
  • Boosting brain function 

Find it in:


Chaga

Along with the other medicinal mushrooms, chaga supports stress relief, energy, and immunity. But chaga mushroom is unique in that it contains high levels of anti-inflammatory compounds and beta-glucans that specifically support healthy digestion and promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. Research shows that this mushroom may help alleviate symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Chaga also helps reduce the risk of developing colon cancer by promoting healthy gut bacteria and reducing inflammation in the gut.

Use Chaga for:

  • Bloating and weight gain
  • Digestive disorders and food sensitivities 
  • Leaky gut syndrome
  • Gut health support

Find it in: 


Turkey Tail

Turkey tail mushroom is an all-around wellness adaptogen, but is specifically known for boosting immune health, energy, and digestion. It contains high levels of polysaccharides and beta-glucan – complex carbohydrates that activate our immune cells to boost the body’s antibodies and strengthen the immune response. Turkey tail mushroom can be used preventatively, or as a supportive supplement for those undergoing chemotherapy.  Studies show it helps reduce the immune-suppressing effects of chemotherapy(as well as unwanted chemo side effects.

Use Turkey Tail for: 

  • Colds, infections, and allergies
  • Low immunity 
  • Cancer and chronic illness support 

Find it in:


Cordyceps

Recently, cordyceps has gained popularity as a “zombie fungus,” but it is nothing to be feared! This mushroom adaptogen has been used for centuries in traditional medical systems to improve respiratory function and athletic ability. Studies show cordyceps can increase blood flow and improve respiratory function, making it easier for athletes to maintain intense exercise. It also helps to increase oxygen uptake, which means that more oxygen is available to the muscles during physical activity. This reduces post-workout muscle fatigue and improves your overall performance.

In TCM, cordyceps is also considered a strong Kidney Yang tonic and is used to enhance stamina, libido, and bedroom performance in addition to athletic endurance.

Best for: 

  • Athletic performance enhancement  
  • Muscle fatigue and recovery 
  • Low libido and erectile dysfunction
  • Overall natural energy support

Find it in:


Experience Adaptogenic Mushroom Magic at Best Chinese Medicines

Adaptogenic mushrooms are more than just garden-variety supplements. They offer an expansive range of proven health benefits and are an excellent addition to any wellness plan. With regular use, mushroom adaptogen blends can help support your mind and body to help you live well.

Shop our line of high-quality mushroom adaptogen powders, capsules, and teas to start enjoying these and many other wellness benefits today!

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