Lately, the wellness industry has become saturated with increasingly complex and abstract concepts – products, remedial therapies and diets that appear to be ripped from the pages of either science fiction or fantasy novels. Biohacking, colonics, wine yoga, activated charcoal toothpastes, crystal water bottles… these are all real products and services you can buy.
But if you want products that work – products that can have an appreciably positive effect on your wellbeing – you have to go to the roots of wellness. Functional mushrooms are one of the oldest categories of the wellness industry, dating back millennia, when holistic wellness was a part of ancient medicinal practices.
These humble fungi may not have the chic allure of a crystal water bottle, or the gimmick appeal of a wine yoga session, but several recent scientific studies show that functional mushrooms can be powerful products for health promotion.
Here are three functional mushrooms you should know – and how they can help you hit your health targets.
Lion’s Mane Mushrooms for Mental Clarity and Peak Cognitive Performance
Have you ever felt like your brain was shrouded in fog? Have you ever had trouble concentrating on work or completing basic tasks? You aren’t alone. Several people suffer from occasional or chronic brain fog. In small doses, brain fog can be a minor annoyance; but when it happens habitually, it can affect your quality of life in a significant way.
Several synthetic nootropics exist to help people achieve better mental clarity and cognitive performance, but – as with any synthetic drug – these nootropics come with risks and side effects. For that reason, several people turn to a natural alternative like lion’s mane mushrooms.
Lion’s mane mushrooms have a long history of use in Eastern medicinal practices and Ayurvedic medicine. Modern research shows that the hericenones and erinacines found in lion’s mane mushrooms may help stimulate brain cell growth, repair neural connections, and potentially even ward off degenerative brain diseases like Alzheimer’s. For the best lion’s mane supplement, find an online retailer offering USDA organic mushrooms mixed with rhodiola – another nootropic known to promote peak cognitive performance.
Reishi Mushrooms for Relaxation and Stress Regulation
Perhaps the most commonly cited concern for wellness consumers is stress. People want to regulate their stress response. They want to relax at the end of a tough day. And they want actionable solutions for long-term stress mitigation.
In conjunction with therapy and traditional medicine, consider reishi mushrooms. These fungi have been a part of ancient Chinese and Japanese medicinal practices for centuries. Early practitioners recommended reishi for people experiencing disruptive stress. Recent research into the adaptogenic qualities of reishi has found lots of promise.
Chaga Mushrooms to Support Immune Health
The last functional mushroom to know is chaga – perhaps the most popular of the three. Cultures across the globe have used chaga medicinally: East Asian cultures, European cultures and even some Cree and Ojibway regions of North America.
Chaga has several potential benefits; it has been found to potentially lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, fight aging and even help prevent some cancers. But chaga’s main role in most people’s medicine cabinets is as an immune system booster. Chaga mushrooms are a wellspring of micronutrients, minerals and vitamins that play pivotal roles in supporting the human immune system. If you’re sick of – well – getting sick, chaga tea is the functional mushroom for you.
Sometimes the most powerful wellness products come in the simplest forms. If you want to improve your stress response, sharpen your focus and support your immune system, try one of the functional mushrooms above.