A Guide to Functional Mushrooms

From news outlets to influencers, people across the country have been lauding the therapeutic and health benefits of functional mushrooms. They have become so popular that the global functional mushroom market is expected to grow to over $19B by 2030. More and more people are turning to these amazing fungi, but not everyone knows where to start. Each functional mushroom has its own unique properties and health benefits. Once they are understood, it is a matter of picking the best mushroom product for the wellness routine. Perhaps, it is a cup of functional mushroom coffee in the morning, or a delicious Reishi mushroom gummy before bed.

Two Types of Functional Mushrooms

mushroom coffee made from functional mushrooms
Some Functional Mushrooms are Brewed in Coffee

Functional mushrooms fall into one of two categories, medicinal or adaptogenic,  based on composition and therapeutic benefits. There are some mushrooms, like the Reishi, that can have properties of both groups. 

Medicinal Mushrooms

Medicinal mushrooms have compounds and properties that can provide specific health benefits. These mushrooms have antioxidative and cytotoxic properties which can inhibit the oxidation process while killing harmful cells. Some examples of medicinal mushrooms include Turkey Tail and Maitake.

Adaptogenic Mushrooms

Adaptogenic mushrooms were given this name because they contain compounds known as adaptogens. These compounds help the human body adapt to and fight off chemical, biological, and physical stress. So, instead of masking pain or reducing inflammation, adaptogens support the bodies’ own stress response systems and help them function properly. Lion’s Mane and Cordyceps are some examples of these mushrooms.

Functional Mushrooms Explained

Be sure to read about each functional mushroom and the associated therapeutic benefits. This will ensure proper support of an overall holistic approach to your wellness routine.

Lion’s Mane

Lion’s Mane mushrooms are very reminiscent of their namesake. It has long distinctive spines or “teeth” that hang down in a white-ish to off-white color giving the appearance of a shaggy mane. It is usually found on dead trees across North America, Europe, and Asia. 

Due to its neurotrophic properties, Lion’s Mane has been shown to reduce inflammation.This mushroom may also prevent and slow cognitive decline. Other evidence shows Lion’s Mane can support heart health, reduce anxiety, and improve focus.

Chaga

Chaga mushrooms don’t look like a traditional mushroom. They resemble a lump of dark brown coal and have a rich orange center inside. Chaga can be found growing on the birch tree across the Northern Hemisphere. 

Studies have shown that Chaga mushrooms have antioxidant and  anti-inflammatory compounds. Chaga has the largest concentration of antioxidants of any food in the world. Other studies show Chaga to support effective treatments for boosting the immune system and overall health. 

Turkey Tail

Turkey Tail mushrooms look like dark brown fans that look very similar to a turkey’s tail feathers. This mushroom is found all over the world growing in clusters on hardwood stumps or fallen trees. Studies have shown that turkey tail is a non-specific immune modulator. As a result, it boosts the overall immune system while reducing body inflammation. 

Reishi

group of reishi mushrooms
Reishi Mushroom are Known as the Immortality Mushroom

The Reishi mushroom can be found growing everywhere from South America to Asia. They don’t grow on the ground, but instead on the side of trees resembling a shelf or set of shelves. The cap is a deep red body with colors that lighten to orange, yellow, and white at the edges.

The Reishi is often referred to as the “Immortality mushroom” because of its therapeutic abilities. A study in 2021, found that the triterpenoids, polysaccharides, and peptidoglycans are anti-inflammatory and can support healthy overall function.

Cordyceps

The Cordyceps mushroom is a long thin yellowish stem with a rounded end. It can be found growing all over the world out of the bodies of insects. The spores land on the insect, and as it grows, hyphae weave into the body and kill the insect. The cordyceps fungus grow out of the insect’s body. Most Cordyceps are grown on farms and hail from Asia.

This mushroom is high in polysaccharides which increases the body’s natural immunity to combat unwanted pathogens. Cordyceps have also been shown to improve energy, reduce stress, and support overall health.    

Maitake

Maitake mushrooms are small light brown mushrooms that grow together in clusters. Translated from Japanese, the name means “dancing mushroom.” They can be found growing in Fall across North America, Europe, and Asia around the base of oak trees and other hardwood trees. 

As a rich source of bioactive polysaccharides, especially D-fraction, MD-fraction, and SX-fraction, Maitake mushrooms are immunoprotective. This mushroom can also support healthy gut function.

ShroomBuddy Has Medicinal Mushrooms and Adaptogenic Mushrooms

Each functional mushroom has a unique set of properties that can enhance any wellness routine. ShroomBuddy has an extensive selection of functional mushrooms. From Reishi gummies and Maitake tincture to Cordyceps energy drinks and Lion’s Mane capsules, we have functional mushrooms to meet any need. Be sure to check out our full line of functional mushroom products. 

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