The world of mushrooms is an utterly fascinating one full of thousands of species ranging from deadly to edible, to spiritual journeys and few and far between.
Today, our focus is on the select fungi that have been used time and time again throughout history by many different cultures for their health and healing properties.
Some of the main medicinal mushrooms used in the modern day are lion's mane, chaga, turkey's tail, reishi, shiitake and cordyceps. Their names sound glorious, but so are their each and individual properties. From being powerful adaptogens that help our bodies cope better with stress to boosting energy and focus, supporting our immune systems and better sleep, this is why we absolutely love and recommend them where applicable!
If you are familiar with anxiety, especially coupled with problems sleeping, reishi is the mushroom for you.
Reishi is known to be profoundly calming on the nervous system, helping to reduce our stress and supporting a positive mental state. Apart from relieving stress and anxiety, reishi is also known to aid better quality sleep while supporting the immune system (anti-viral compounds).
It is one of the oldest mushrooms known to be used medicinally, having been utilised in China for over 2,000 years!
On the other end of the spectrum, if energy and performance is what you are after then look no further than cordyceps.
Cordyceps has a broad range of health benefits but is very well known for its ability to help boost energy levels, aid in muscle recovery, support both kidney and liver function, and even give you a sexy boost in libido.
You can probably put aside that second or third coffee (or just opt out altogether) and take some cordyceps instead for a boost in stable energy levels and better performance and stamina. If you're a bit of an athlete, rejoice because cordyceps has also been shown to increase lung capacity and speed up workout recovery time!
Finding yourself slipping at work or study? Can't focus for too long because brain fog keeps creeping up on you? Lion's mane will kick you back into action!
This mushroom is a powerful adaptogen which helps specifically with burnt out nervous systems and tired brains. It also happens to be great for supporting good digestive and immune health too! Lion's mane contains diterpenoids which are bioactive compounds that have been shown to support our brain and nervous systems, improving cognitive function, brain power, memory, and mood.
This is a mushroom that many are probably familiar with and have likely used it in the kitchen. Common in Asian cuisine, it's not only so yummy, but also super nutritious and full of other benefits.
Shiitake helps cardiovascular health by aiding in cholesterol-lowering activity. It is also very high in antioxidants that benefit the health of our skin, hair and nails, preventing ageing and skin damage -- woo! Moreover, Shiitake contains a compound called 'kojic acid' which helps to even hyperpigmentation in the skin so say bye-bye to acne scars!
Chaga is another mushroom mega-rich in antioxidants. Like reishi, chaga has also been used for over 2,000 years by humans for its ability to neutralise harmful free radicals in the body.
If you're looking for something that will really dampen any inflammation in the body and also give your immunity a little support, this is it.
Last but definitely not least, we have turkey's tail, a mushroom high in β-glucan polysaccharides which are a fantastic source of prebiotic fibre for the gut to support a healthy digestive system.
Turkey's tail is also full of antioxidants, immune-supporting actions and is currently being researched for it cancer-fighting compounds -- wow!
How amazing are medicinal mushrooms. These fantastic fungi have been doing so much for us for thousands of years. It’s only in more recent times that modern science has been able to test, research and prove the incredibly powerful properties that these ancient healers possess.