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Mushrooms have been recognized for their diverse healing benefits since ancient times. Modern science recognizes medicinal mushrooms as nutritional powerhouses with unparalleled abilities to boost the immune system, detoxify the body and improve cognitive health.

There’s a mushroom for every ailment — while some increase energy levels and combat depression, others are great for improving sleep quality and overall digestive health. What’s more, all functional mushrooms seem to have adaptogenic effects, which go a long way in regulating stress.

Adaptogens are plants and mushrooms that have a unique ability to regulate the central nervous system and impact how your body deals with stress, fatigue and anxiety. When consumed they directly address and balance whichever physiological condition the individual body is experiencing by targeting specific stressors in the neuroendocrine-immune system. (1) Essentially — they adapt to whatever your body needs in the moment, whether it is more or less of a particular hormone. If you’re anxious, they will calm you; if you’re burn out they will boost your energy. This is what makes adaptogens uniquely intelligent, and are a go-to remedy for all nervous system dysregulation.

Functional mushrooms all seem to go above and beyond for antioxidant health and immune system support, with each species has an individual ‘star quality’. Below are a list of the top functional mushrooms that cover all the basis. Read up on the specific benefits of each to choose which ones work best for you.

Reishi – Nature’s Xanex

Reishi is the mushroom that was sent to chill you out. Studies show that it can induce relaxation and relieve feelings of depression and anxiety, as well as improve quality of sleep (which helps in every aspect of the physical, mental and emotional health).

That’s not all this superfood mushroom is praised for. Also known as the Mushroom of Immortality, Reishi has proved to radically boost the immune system and white blood cell count to effectively fight against bacteria, viruses and cancer cells (2).

As if that’s not enough, Reishi can help you shed those extra pounds you’ve been carrying. A study with mice demonstrated that Reishi mushrooms act as a unique prebiotic to alter the composition of the intestinal microbiome in a way that favours weight reduction (2.2)

Best Reishi Capsule

Best Reishi Powder

Lion’s Mane – Nature’s Adderall

Skip the coffee — Lion’s Mane is the boost your brain needs. Studies show that Lion’s Mane improves focus, clarity and energy, giving you oomph in productivity. And while it gives you the buzz you’re looking for, unlike other stimulants Lion’s Mane may reduce side effects of anxiety and irritability (3).

It may also prevent dementia. The compounds erinacines and hericenones found in Lion’s Mane stimulate the synthesis of nerve growth factor, a protein responsible for the growth and survival of brain cells (4) which protect against degenerative brain disease. It may also prevent the amyloid-beta plaque that accumulates in the brain during Alzheimer’s disease (5).

Other studies show how Lion’s Mane effectively reduces inflammation in the brain which can help reduce stroke related injury by 44% (6). What’s more, Lion’s Mane has potent anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and immune-boosting abilities, which may lower the risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes in animals (7)(8)(9).

Best Lion’s Mane Capsule

Best Lion’s Mane Capsule

Chaga – Nature’s Detox

All mushrooms have antioxidant properties, but Chaga will give the other ‘shrooms a run for their money when it comes to antioxidant properties. It fights free radicals, effectively combatting inflammatory conditions such as diabetes an, autoimmune disease. Chaga is considered an ‘anti-tumour agent‘: it may stop or slow the growth of cancer by stimulating apoptotic cell death of the cancer cells (10). One study showed a regular dose of Chaga extract reduced a tumour by 60% (11).

Chaga’s potent anti-inflammatory properties make it a popular treatment for arthritis, gut issues such as IBS and high blood pressure. Chaga may also lower cholesterol levels, which may reduce the risk of heart disease.

Also known as the Mushroom of Beauty, Chaga nourishes the skin, nails and hair with its bioactive substances, B vitamins and protein-building amino acids. It also has natural anti-aging compounds. Reishi phenolic acids reduce signs of wrinkles caused by UV damage, and betulinic acids promote skin cell regeneration, which also helps heal scars (12).

Best Chaga Capsules

Best Chaga Powder

Cordecyps – Nature’s Steriods

If you like to work out, Cordecyps is a must for your muscles. Cordecyps boosts your energy by increasing the body’s production of the adenosine triphosphate (ATP), an essential molecule which plays a role in delivering energy to the muscles. This can improve the way your body uses oxygen, especially during physical exercise (13). Not only will it increase your athletic stamina — studies show it increases sex drive as well.

Cordecyps has proved to be a powerful antioxidant and reported to have anti-aging effects by neutralizing free radicals and improving memory function (14). Studies also show it may help reduce the growth of cancer tumours and when taken alongside traditional cancer therapies may even reverse the side effects associated with the treatments.

Cordecyps may even help manage Type 2 diabetes by mimicking the action of insulin and decrease blood sugar levels to a healthy range (15).

Best Cordecyps Powder

Best Cordecyps Capsules

Why settle for just one? Buy a Medicinal Mushroom Medley to combine the healing benefits

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