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12 Medicinal Mushrooms and Their Health Benefits

Updated: Jul 29

Welcome to our in-depth exploration of the magical world of mushrooms! Far beyond being a delightful addition to your culinary creations, mushrooms can offer a multitude of benefits to your brain and body health.

Mushrooms hold the power to stimulate neurogenesis, or in simpler terms, the growth and development of new neurons, making them exceptional allies for the brain. But they offer more than just cognitive enhancements, as their benefits extend to our overall bodily health too.

This blog post specifically focuses on the powerful health benefits of 12 distinct medicinal mushroom varieties used in our signature MycoWellness Daily Mushroom Capsules. Let's start our journey into the wonderous and highly beneficial world of mushrooms!

Below is a list of the 12 mushrooms in our signature blend.

Feel free to jump to a section:

  1. Hericium erinaceus: Lion's Mane - Enhances cognitive function.

  2. Ganoderma lucidum: Reishi - Boosts energy and vitality.

  3. Trametes versicolor: Turkey Tail - Provides potent antioxidants.

  4. Cordyceps militaris: Cordyceps - Promotes healthy blood sugar levels.

  5. Pleurotus ostreatus: Oyster mushroom - Nutrient-rich, immune-boosting properties, potential to lower cholesterol.

  6. Lentinula edodes: Shiitake - Strengthens the immune system.

  7. Grifola frondosa: Maitake - Promotes healthy blood sugar levels.

  8. Phelliuns linteus: Song Gen - Shows potential anti-cancer properties.

  9. Agaricus blazei: Royal Sun Agaricius - Supports immune health.

  10. Tremella fuciformis: White Jelly Mushroom - Promotes skin health.

  11. Poria cocos: Tuchahoe - Aids digestion.

  12. Inonuts obliquus: Chaga - Rich in antioxidants for overall wellness.

Hericium erinaceus: Lion's mane

The Lion's Mane mushroom, or Hericium erinaceus as it's known in scientific terms, is an extraordinary fungus distinguished by its potential neurological benefits. With its remarkable cascading, icicle-like structure, this mushroom has held a special place in traditional medicinal practices, especially in Asia.

A close-up of Lion's Mane mushroom growing in the wild.
Lion's mane: Natures brain food.

This large, white Lion's Mane mushroom, recognizable by its distinctive cascading tendrils, lies majestically on a wooden table. Large Lion's Mane mushroom Scientific studies in recent times have underscored its neurogenic capabilities, suggesting that the Lion's Mane mushroom may stimulate the production of nerve growth factor (NGF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). These bioactive compounds play a critical role in neurogenesis - the creation of new neurons in the brain, a process vital for sustaining cognitive functions such as memory, learning, and mood regulation.

Lion's mane mushroom health benefits:

  1. Neuroprotective Properties: Lion's Mane is renowned for its neuroprotective capabilities, it's known to stimulate the production of nerve growth factor (NGF) which is vital for maintaining healthy neurons.

  2. Cognitive Enhancement: It's been suggested in research that Lion's Mane can potentially enhance cognitive functions such as memory and concentration.

  3. Mental Health Support: Some studies suggest that Lion's Mane may have positive effects on mood disorders, including reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression.

  4. Immune Booster: Like many medicinal mushrooms, Lion's Mane contains potent polysaccharides that are thought to enhance the immune system.

  5. Digestive Health: Lion's Mane has been used traditionally to manage gastritis and other digestive problems due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

  6. Heart Health Support: Some research suggests Lion's Mane can help reduce LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, promoting heart health.

  7. Cancer Fighting Properties: Preliminary studies have shown that Lion's Mane mushroom might have anti-cancer properties, slowing the growth of certain types of cancer cells.

As the research narrative continues to evolve, the Lion's Mane mushroom is emerging as a promising natural resource for brain health and neurological well-being.

Ganoderma lucidum: Reishi

Ganoderma lucidum, also known as Reishi or Lingzhi, is a species of mushroom renowned for its medicinal properties. It has been used in traditional Asian medicine for thousands of years and is often referred to as the "mushroom of immortality" due to its purported health benefits.

Reishi is unique among medicinal mushrooms for its bright red, glossy appearance, and kidney-shaped cap. It grows in various hot and humid locations in Asia, particularly in China's heavily forested areas.

Health benefits of reishi

  1. Immune Support: One of the most notable properties of Reishi mushrooms is their ability to boost the immune system. They contain beta-glucans and other polysaccharides that can stimulate the immune response, enhancing the body's defense against infections and diseases.

  2. Cancer Support: Several studies have suggested that Reishi mushrooms may have potential anti-cancer properties. They have been found to inhibit the proliferation of certain types of cancer cells and may enhance the efficacy of some cancer treatments.

  3. Cardiovascular Health: Reishi may also support heart health. It has been suggested to help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

  4. Stress and Sleep: Reishi mushrooms have adaptogenic properties, helping the body better manage stress. They are also known to promote sleep and relaxation, making them beneficial for those with insomnia or anxiety.

  5. Liver Protection: Reishi is also known for its potential hepatoprotective effects, meaning it can support liver health and function.

  6. Antioxidant Properties: Like many medicinal mushrooms, Reishi is rich in antioxidants, which can help protect the body from the damaging effects of free radicals and slow down the aging process.

Learn more about Reishi!

Trametes versicolor: Turkey Tail

Turkey Tail, scientifically known as Trametes versicolor, is a common mushroom native to forests worldwide. True to its name, it's known for its colorful, fan-shaped appearance resembling a turkey's tail.

"Close-up image of vibrant Turkey Tail mushrooms growing on a log.
Boost your wellness with the colorful bounty of Turkey Tail mushrooms.

Turkey Tail has been recognized for centuries in traditional medicine, notably in China and Japan, for its potential health-boosting properties. Today, modern science continues to explore the wide range of benefits that this remarkable mushroom may offer.

Turkey tail health benefits

  1. Immune System Support: Turkey Tail is rich in polysaccharides and beta-glucans, known to support immune health by stimulating the immune system and promoting the activity of certain immune cells.

  2. Cancer Adjuvant: Some research suggests Turkey Tail can enhance the efficacy of chemotherapy and radiation therapy while minimizing their side effects. It has been used in adjunctive cancer treatment in Japan for many years.

  3. Gut Health: Turkey Tail may aid in promoting a healthy gut microbiota due to its prebiotic properties, fostering the growth of beneficial gut bacteria.

  4. Antioxidant Properties: Packed with antioxidants, Turkey Tail can help protect against cellular damage caused by free radicals, promoting overall health.

  5. Anti-Inflammatory Effects: The mushroom may also possess anti-inflammatory properties, helping to reduce inflammation in the body.

  6. Supports Liver Health: Preliminary research shows potential hepatoprotective effects of Turkey Tail, suggesting it might help in maintaining liver health.

  7. Potential Antiviral Properties: Some studies have indicated that Turkey Tail might have antiviral capabilities, including against human papillomavirus (HPV) and hepatitis C.

One of Turkey Tail's most notable attributes is its potential to support the immune system. It is rich in compounds called polysaccharopeptides, particularly polysaccharide-K (PSK) and polysaccharide-P (PSP), which have been found to have immunomodulatory effects. These compounds stimulate the immune system, enhancing its ability to fight off diseases and infections.

Furthermore, research indicates that Turkey Tail might possess potent anti-cancer properties. Studies have shown that PSK can slow the growth of cancer cells and enhance the effectiveness of chemotherapy. Notably, in Japan, PSK is a medically approved adjuvant therapy for certain types of cancer.

Beyond immune support and potential anti-cancer properties, Turkey Tail is also packed with antioxidants, which help protect cells from damaging free radicals and inflammation. It's been associated with benefits for gut health, as it is a natural source of prebiotics that help nourish and support the growth of beneficial gut bacteria.

Typically, Turkey Tail is consumed as a tea or supplement, and its earthy flavor makes it a great addition to soups and stews. However, it's important to note that while there is promising research on the benefits of Turkey Tail, these studies are preliminary, and more human trials are needed.

Cordyceps Militaris: Cordyceps

Cordyceps mushrooms, prized for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine, are known for their contributions to vitality, energy, and neurological health. Modern scientific investigations have validated their role in enhancing cognitive performance, memory retention, and learning abilities.

Benefit of cordyceps mushroom

  1. Energy and Stamina: Cordyceps Militaris is believed to boost energy levels and enhance physical performance, making it a popular supplement among athletes.

  2. Brain Health: Some studies suggest that Cordyceps Militaris can help improve memory, cognitive function, and other aspects of brain health.

  3. Immune System Support: Rich in polysaccharides and other immune-boosting compounds, Cordyceps Militaris may help strengthen the body's natural defenses.

  4. Anti-Aging Properties: This fungus has been linked to longevity and anti-aging effects, possibly due to its rich antioxidant content.

  5. Lung Health: Traditionally, Cordyceps Militaris has been used to support respiratory health, and some studies suggest it may help to improve lung function.

  6. Heart Health: Preliminary research indicates potential benefits of Cordyceps Militaris for cardiovascular health, including maintaining healthy cholesterol levels and improving heart function.

  7. Anticancer Properties: Early studies show that this mushroom may have potential anti-cancer properties, though more research is required to fully understand its implications in cancer treatment.

  8. Sexual Health: Cordyceps Militaris has been used traditionally to enhance libido and address sexual dysfunction.

Pleurotus ostreatus: Oyster mushroom

Oyster mushrooms, known scientifically as Pleurotus Ostreatus, hold a cherished place not just in culinary circles for their rich, umami flavor, but also for their historical importance and a multitude of health benefits.

Image of a fresh harvest of oyster mushrooms, showing their delicate gills and unique fan-shaped caps.
Fresh harvest of oys