Medicinal mushrooms are a group of mushrooms that are considered best for various areas of health. Deemed generally safe to ingest, the research community is currently on a mission to reintroduce the world to mushrooms, but this time not as a vegetable but as a health-promoting ingredient thanks to promising results signifying their biologic effects. Who can forget their combined antioxidant, antiallergic, cardiovascular protective, antibacterial, and detoxification properties, among several others? As preliminary results continue to impress the public, it only made sense for our editorial team to present some of the top medicinal mushroom supplements of 2021.
Given that more and more producers are working to tell a story through their respective formulas, it becomes imperative that we distinguish the promising from the deceptive. After further investigation, our panel developed a guiding framework encompassing features to be watchful of. As a result, we have not one but a whopping 29 supplements worth conversing about. The following guide will dive into our thought process, how we arrived at the top supplements of the year, the entirety of the guiding framework, the scientific outlook into medicinal mushrooms, and much more.
The Top Medicinal Mushroom Supplements of 2021
Listed below are the top 29 medicinal mushroom supplements for 2021, along with a brief on their distinctive features. Typically, we like to provide information on the supplement itself, the company behind it, and anything that drew us closer to the solution. The latter is often represented in the form of additional features (i.e., lab reports, medical advisory board, education resources, etc.) that aren’t mandatory per se yet allow the supplement to stand out. Well, without giving too much away, here are our picks:
5 Mushrooms Reserve Blend
- Company: Hippie Farms
- Starting Price: $29.99
Formulated by Hippie Farms, 5 Mushrooms Reserve Blend is a dietary supplement that could support the immune system, energy levels, cognitive and nerve functions, and mood. As the Hippie Farms team maintained, their strategy entailed using organic mushrooms and confirming that their solutions have been third-party tested for potency, quality, and purity. One specific feature we’ve never seen before is the hip nature of this brand. This is so unlikely, but it gives off a playful vibe that cheers everyone to enjoy mushrooms.
In further delving into this brand, we also gathered that they are part of the Carbon Offset Program, which is an effort that encourages entities to reduce carbon emissions on their part. Another feature that this team is proud of is creating a vegan supplement, promoting inclusivity! Finally, any purchase exceeding $50 is eligible for installment payments, a rare offering needing appreciation. Nevertheless, we must now talk about the formula itself. As given away in the name, this formula embodies the power of five mushroom types, including Reishi (350mg), Lion’s Mane (350mg), Cordyceps (350mg), Chaga (350mg), and Turkey Tail Mushrooms (350mg).
Organic Lion’s Mane Mushroom
- Company: Brain Forza
- Starting Price: $23.86
Established in 2010, Brain Forza is presently operating from Vancouver, British Columbia. Founded by a natural science enthusiast, Greg Loukas, Brain Forza can be perceived as the one-stop-shop for all fitness and natural health solutions. To the topic of mushrooms, all their products are said to have been 100% organically grown and made in the U.S. Organic Lion’s Mane Mushroom supplement has been developed to enhance brain health, nerve function, and cognitive function. With each serving delivering 1,500mg of full-spectrum Lion’s Mane Mushroom, we can assure you that this is by far the most potent concentration using a single mushroom strain.
What caught our attention regarding this supplement is the emphasis placed on “full spectrum mushrooms.” The reason for having considered this approach rests in the fact that “the polysaccharide content is absolutely important; these are other crucial compounds within mushrooms that also may contribute to their positive effects,” writes Brain Forza. As for uniqueness, we admire how informative and transparent Brain Forza is in educating consumers. How can anyone neglect organic ingredients, lab testing, precision in details, Red Reishi, Turkey Tail, Cordyceps Mushrooms supplements, and the soon-approaching “Herb ID Track” feature?
Botany Cordyceps Militaris Extract
- Company: Science.Bio
- Starting Price: $23.99
Science.Bio is a company devoted to providing reference materials of the highest quality for life science research. Driven by science, the team pledges to promote innovation by committing to client goals, partaking in sustainable operations, supporting public advocacy, and ensuring employee satisfaction, among others. What might the outcome be? One example is that of the Botany Cordyceps Militaris Extract supplement. They are delivering 500mg of Cordyceps Militaris Mushroom per serving, the team at Science.Bio vouch that this supplement (and every other) is free from contaminants, excipients, and flow, ensures maximum purity.
When we say, we’ve never seen a company that spent resources on lab testing and quality control like Science.Bio ever before, we genuinely mean it. Not only has the team provided consumers with the lab testing results, but each jar has also been stamped with a QR code to gain immediate transparency. Unlike most solutions offered in capsules, this one celebrates powders that can be added to just about anything. On the topic of jars, the team also used a tamper-proof seal and PET single-wall jar so that the contents are neither released nor exposed to UV rays, minimizing degradation, respectively.
Mushroom Blend Tincture
- Company: Ceremony Mushrooms
- Starting Price: $59
Ceremony Mushrooms is more than just a company; it combines holistic nutrition and clinical research experts who have admired the effect of mushrooms and herbs on the body. This brand flourished into existence because of the lack of consistency in texture and taste. Having established on the brink of COVID-19, things weren’t always smooth sailing, but fortunately, their products have since been well-received. One such solution is the Mushroom Blend Tincture, which might help nourish energy levels, boost mental clarity, and regulate the immune system.
As for delivery, the team stuck by tinctures because they promote easy absorption, so their goal was to make the Mushroom Blend Tincture as highly concentrated and bioavailable as possible. In terms of quality, a Quality Assurance Officer was allegedly hired to the ingredients were used through organoleptic testing. To guarantee a microbial contaminant-, heavy metals-, and pesticide-free solution, third-party testing was also conducted. Finally, we have the contents of this blend, which include Turkey Tail, Chaga, Reishi, Lion’s Mane, Cordyceps, and Shiitake Mushrooms. At the time of writing, the exact breakdown of each type has not been provided, but this can be gathered by communicating directly with the customer service team.
- Company: Circadian Wellness
- Starting Price: $30
Circadian Wellness is a company that strongly believes that re-aligning the circadian rhythm using functional mushrooms and other natural products is the solution to a healthy mind, body, and spirit. In this case, their take on Lion’s Mane Mushroom uses a licensed proprietary Quicksome technology reckoned to increase bioavailability at lower doses. That’s right, they aren’t so much for “the stronger the better” ideology but instead would prefer to elevate the effects of even the smallest of doses. In turn, individuals can anticipate holistic healing towards insomnia, focus and energy levels, exhaustion, and sexual dysfunction, to name a fraction.
Up to this point, Circadian Wellness is the only one to have an extensive advisory board filled with enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, clinical hypnotherapists, addiction recovery experts, professors, and branding experts. Talk about diversity, right? As much as the idea of small quantities going a long way impresses our team, not to forget variety all around, the one clarity needed here is the exact concentration per dose and precise pricing, both of which have yet to be listed anywhere.
Energy + Focus
- Company: EarthNutri Performance
- Starting Price: $39.98
Energy + Focus is advertised as a mental performance enhancer that guarantees a sustainable energy source that will last an entire day. This formula is formulated to improve energy levels and focus, and recovery. This formula contains a series of blends and patented ingredients needing analysis. But before we get into the contents of the Energy + Focus formula, it is essential to note that this solution is for anyone in dire need of enhanced clarity, memory, concentration, and mood. In addition to ingredients such as Acetyl-L-Carnitine Hydrochloride (2000mg), L-Tyrosine (2000mg), AlphaSize or Alpha-Glyceryl Phosphoryl Choline (600mg), Cognizin or Citicoline (250mg), PurCaf or Caffeine (250mg), and Theacrine (100mg), a 2000mg-mushrooms blend called Peak02 has been included.
Peak02 constitutes the likes of Cordyceps, Reishi, King Trumpet, Shiitake, Lion’s Mane, and Turkey Tail Mushrooms. Strength is the least of EarthNutri Performance’s worries, as the team stuck by maximum concentrations per listed ingredient. This doesn’t surprise us at all, seeing that their goal is to “share premium ingredients, clean products, and powerful information that help you live your life the to fullest.” Two additional features caught our attention. First, the team tested potency and strength and has since been certified HPLC, an effort that we’ve hardly seen before. Second, individuals can choose from lychee and watermelon flavors, making its consumption an amusement more than a chore!
Mushroom Blend Mix
- Company: Four Sigmatic
- Starting Price: $30
The Mushroom Blend Mix is caffeine-free immune support that combines ten functional mushrooms. The Four Sigmatic team affirms that two scoops into a choice of either coffee, tea, smoothie, or soup suffice to elicit health benefits. 100% organic, plant-based and have undergone rigorous testing, and the team also made sure to elevate the taste. The taste of mushrooms is said to have been highly masked in whatever base. Playing with the statistical term “sigma,” which assesses how far an observation is from the average, this brand insists that their products are well beyond the standard three sigmas, making them “much, much, much, much better” than the average.
The founder of Four Sigmatic, Tero, grew up in Finland on a family farm that’s been around for 13 generations. From his life experiences, he learned to appreciate “the best off-the-beaten-track ingredients and the absolute worst,” leading him to establish Four Sigmatic. Each Mushroom Blend Mix serving constitutes the likes of Chaga (150mg), Reishi (150mg), Cordyceps (150mg), Shiitake (150mg), Maitake (150mg), Enoki (150mg), Agaricus Blazei (150mg), Meshima (150mg), and Tremella Mushrooms (150mg) and Organic Rose Hips for flavor. So far, this is the only solution to have included ten mushrooms, which at this very moment makes the brand unique!
- Company: FreshCap
- Starting Price: $22.50
If one company truly has a long love for mushrooms, it is the lo and beholds FreshCap. Every conceivable product found on their official website celebrates different single and combinations of mushrooms. Founders Tony and Tegan have always been passionate about growing mushrooms and teaching others about them, and realizing the impact that real food has on natural health, respectively. As per the duo, all their products reflect “organically grown, carefully extracted and analytically tested” mushrooms so that individuals see and feel a difference.
At present, FreshCap offers mushroom-infused drinks, extract powders, capsules, and shroomies to account for various consumption preferences. Individuals can easily get their hands on Lion’s Mane, Chaga, Turkey Tail, Cordyceps, Reishi, and Maitake Mushrooms. We found it interesting that this brand is its commitment to educating consumers on the different layers of mushrooms and how they interact with the body. Another aspect of this brand is a line dedicated to mushrooms-infused pet food, which is seldomly viewed. Of course, there are also their efforts in getting all solutions tested for pathogens and allergens, heavy metals, potency, and pesticides, which is something to appreciate since not all entities appear to fulfill this essential factor.
- Company: The Genius Brand
- Starting Price: $21.99
Genius Mushrooms offer three organic mushroom types that allegedly work in unison to enhance mental clarity, immune function and deliver a sustainable energy source. As a brand that flourished into existence because of a “passionate vision and industry realization,” The Genius Brand tries to deflect ongoing myths such as “your pre-workout must contain legal amphetamines for it to be effective” or “you have to drink BCAAs all day if you are serious about building muscle.” For those of you wondering how exactly this brand deflects them, they do so by focusing on natural and high-quality alternatives while ensuring that science remains at the core.
Each serving of Genius Mushrooms is said to deliver equal amounts of Organic Cordyceps (500mg), Organic Reishi (500mg), and Organic Lion’s Mane (500mg) Mushrooms. Fitness fanatics will find comfort in this supplement because it may help to elevate energy levels via ATP production. Finally, all products have undergone rigorous testing, and should anyone wish to glance at the reports, an email at email@example.com is all it takes to get a copy!
- Company: Goldmine
- Starting Price: $28
Supershroom Powder is an immunity support that combines the effects of four mushroom types and additional herbs for easy drinking. The Goldmine team attests this drink is nutrient-dense and packed with anti-inflammatory compounds called polysaccharides. These are low-calorie, low-cholesterol, and low-sodium combinations deemed effective enough at boosting exercise performance and stimulating white blood cell production (vital for fighting off free radicals).
Regarding Goldmine itself, it has been woman-founded to create tasty, natural stress-relieving solutions. This goal led founder Rachael Gorjestani to discover the power of adaptogens, allowing her to delve further into different ways of revamping energy while tending to other body areas. With emphasis placed on accessibility, transparency in sourcing, and sourcing responsibility from USDA organic certified farms, Goldmine created Supershroom by considering the likes of Astragalus (300mg), Reishi (300mg), Turkey Tail (200mg), and Maitake Mushrooms (200mg). Other included enticing tastes include Organic Lucuma Fruit and Organic Ginger Rhizome.
- Company: GundryMD
- Starting Price: $65.95
As maintained by the GundryMD team, Mushroom Vitality is a tincture constituting the “big three” mushrooms. The choice for mushrooms is trusted to provide the body with a synergistic blend of immune-boosting nutrients. That said, this supplement can either be consumed as a beverage mix or directly on the tongue. Nonetheless, consistent uses may support healthy immune function, induce feelings of freshness and renewal upon waking up and prevent free radical damage.
Founded by Dr. Steven Gundry, this brand stemmed from the expert’s mission to improve human health, happiness, and longevity using diet and nutrition. As someone who spent the bulk of his life as a heart surgeon, he quickly realized that surgery couldn’t help his overweight patient because he was simply “inoperable.” This didn’t stop the patient, as they went on to seeking natural, dietary nutrients. Amazed by the results, Dr. Gundry put down his catheter and started his journey into nutrition, ultimately leading him to establish GundryMD. The formula entails Reishi, Chaga, and Coriolus Mushrooms, but unfortunately, the concentrations have not been disclosed.
- Company: Dose Nomadic Nutrition
- Starting Price: $39.95
MindHoney is a dietary supplement perceived as a suitable substitute for both energy- and cognitive-boosting goals. Individuals can anticipate a sustainable boost free from jitters and afternoon crashes by introducing the combined effects of adaptogenic herbs and medicinal mushrooms. Hence, just about anyone can benefit from the formula, whether entrepreneurs, athletes, students, travelers, or professionals.
According to Dose Nomadic Nutrition, the decision to call their supplement “MindHoney” was inspired by mycologist Paul Stamets, who has been widely recognized for his mission to save the bees by using a mushrooms-blend to decrease “deformed wing virus.” In addition, the team vouches to plant one tree for every unit of MindHoney sold as their way to give back to the environment. Regarding supplements, Dose Nomadic Nutrition’s strategy entails providing all-natural substitutes that have been clinically backed to promote wellness.
The MindHoney formula contains Vitamin B3 (20mg), Vitamin B6 (5mg), Vitamin B12 (5mg), Vitamin B9 (400mcg), a 500mg-Proprietary Mushroom Blend encompassing Lion’s Mane, Cordyceps, Reishi, and Chaga Mushrooms, NeuroFactor™ or coffee (200mg), Coffeeberry® Energy (200mg), N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine (200mg), L-Theanine (200mg), DMAE Bitartrate (100mg), Ashwagandha (80mg), and American Ginseng (50mg).
MUD\WTR Starter Kit
- Company: MUD\WTR
- Starting Price: $60
Starting the day with the MUD\WTR Starter Kit is reckoned to give rise to a productive day ahead. With an emphasis on a micro-dose of caffeine (1/7th of a standard cup) and a macro-dose of functional mushrooms and ayurvedic herbs, a mug a day is deemed more than enough. Inside each kit, individuals will find a 30-serving tin of “mud,” a USB rechargeable frother, and free stickers, a guidebook, and a sample of the MUD\WTR creamer. Though storytelling is minimal here, the team has since created an elaborate FAQ section expounding on all possible questions that consumers may have.
As a brand, MUD\WTR took shape because the founder wanted to reduce their coffee dependence, seeing that it had a “slingshotting” effect on energy levels. To ensure a more balanced approach can be attained, equal emphasis has been placed on focus and wakefulness. The MUD\WTR formula contains Chaga (562mg), Reishi (562mg), Lion’s Mane (562mg), and Cordyceps (562mg), Organic Cinnamon, Organic Turmeric, Organic Ginger, Organic Cardamom, Organic Black Pepper, Organic Nutmeg, Organic Cloves, Organic Black Tea and Himalayan Pink Salt. This brand deserves appreciation for taking a different route in coffee content, unlike most brands that have included at least a cup of coffee per serving!
- Company: Leading Edge Health
- Starting Price: $59.99
Mushroom Defense is an immune-boosting supplement encompassing neither one nor three but a total of 10 mushroom varieties so that results are attained on a cellular level. Aside from its immune-stimulating possibilities, individuals can anticipate increased antioxidants delivery, focus, mental clarity, and sustainable energy levels. To think that the latter is just a fraction of the endless outcomes is quite reassuring. Having been around since 1999, Leading Edge Health insists that their approaches to developing formulas revolve around sought-for factors such as “restoring youthful vitality, energy and confidence with visible results.” As more and more consumers find comfort in their processes, Leading Edge Health consistently reflects their values in their products.
Each serving of Mushroom Defense delivers Cordyceps (266mg), Reishi (266mg), Shiitake (266mg), Lion’s Mane Mushrooms (266mg), and a 266mg-Proprietary Blend of Maitake, Turkey Tail, Chaga, Royal Sun Agaricus, White Button, and Black Fungus Mushroom Extracts. What drew us to this formula is that some of the listed mushrooms are distinctive and have yet to repeat in our list, which alone is impressive. Who can neglect Leading Edge Health’s presence in the supplements industry exceeding 23 years!
- Company: Mushroom Revival
- Starting Price: $34.95
Mushroom Revival is a brand devoted to offering nothing but organic mushroom supplements. As stated in its name, the goal is to “revive health with functional mushrooms.” This approach has been used throughout history and, in recent times, has been scientifically proven. Like many of the brands on our list, they mostly started with energy deficiency and the gruesome consequences of excessive caffeine intake. Founder and CEO Alex Dorr claims to have found maximum comfort in functional mushrooms and has since “committed himself to leading a healthier way of life.”
Alex’s passion for helping others only grew with every new insight gained, leading him to found Mushroom Revival. As a brand, all supplements offered are promised to have undergone third-party lab testing (with transparent results) and contain USDA-certified organic, vegan, gluten-free, KOF-Kosher certified, and NSF-certified ingredients. Finally, all supplements have been clearly labeled, ultimately reflecting Alex’s thought process for utmost healing. Presently, Mushroom Revival carries four tinctures: Reishi Calm, Mushroom Mix Daily 10, Lion’s Mane Focus, and Cordyceps Energy. For people interested in the test results, a QR scan code has been included on every bottle.
- Company: Eco Nugenics
- Starting Price: $104.95
MycoPhyto Complex is officially the most priced and highly concentrated mushrooms supplement that made our list. According to Eco Nugenics, the goals for MycoPhyto Complex are to train and balance the immune system, enhance energy and stamina, provide support against infrequent cold symptoms, boost the metabolism, tend to cardiovascular and respiratory health, and ensure optimal cellular function.
Founder and Formulator Dr. Isaac Eliaz, MD, MS, Lac, has over 25 years of clinical and research experience and has practiced holistic approaches by creating a balance between Western and Traditional Asian medicines. As for Eco Nugenics, the brand reflects his expertise in medicine and research and the significance of scientific literature and findings. Having a doctor pave the path towards wellness is an advantage for this brand. On that note, the MycoPhyto Complex contains 3.84g of the MycoPhyto Proprietary Blend (Turkey Tail, Reishi, Agaricus, Cordyceps, Zhu ling, and Maitake) and Beta-1, 3-glucan (150mg) for every serving size of six capsules.
Shroom Tech SPORT
- Company: Onnit
- Starting Price: $23.29
Shroom Tech SPORT has been designed with the hopes of increasing cellular energy and cardiovascular endurance. Hence, fitness fanatics and athletes can anticipate boosting their exercise volume and aerobic performance. Speaking of cellular energy, the Onnit team insists that the limitations imposed on the body’s capacity to produce ATP prevent consumers from reaching their best. With Shroom Tech SPORT, the latter goal is deemed possible thanks to a series of mushrooms and herbs.
On that note, a facet currently unique to the Onnit team is the clinical study that has been conducted using this formula. In particular, a 14-week double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial was conducted at the Florida State University, resulting in statistically significant increases in performance, namely, increases in gains because of heightened training volumes. Aside from evidence, Shroom Tech SPORT has been certified drug-free by the BSCG standard, which is described as a “rigorous science-first program [that] provides assurance that products and ingredients are free of drugs and other harmful agents.”
To fully use this formula, one serving size (i.e., four capsules) has been recommended 45 minutes before exercise, competition, and infrequent sports. On the topic of formula, each serving encompasses Vitamin B12 (750mcg), Chromium (200mcg), Shroom Tech O2 or Cordyceps (1.2g), and a 930mg-Shroom Tech Adaptogen Blend consisting of Ashwagandha, Green Tea Extract, Rhodiola, and Astragalus Root.
- Company: Organixx
- Starting Price: $54.95
As maintained on the official website, 7M+ represents “centuries-old knowledge” on mushrooms combined with anti-aging nutrients for immune-supporting purposes. The name gives away that each serving constitutes seven organic mushroom varieties that deliver “infection-fighting compounds called “beta-glucans.” Consequently, this supplement could provide antioxidants essential to prolong cellular aging while enhancing mood, digestion, and energy levels.
Several facets spoke to us about Organixx. For starters, each bottle represents American-owned farms to ingredients, ensuring that quality can be overseen while contributing towards local success. Then there’s the team’s yearn to deliver maximum nutrition and value for money. How can anyone neglect that Organixx gives back to pregnant and breastfeeding mothers in dire need of nutritional support? Above all, they’ve spent a considerable amount getting their products third-party tested (results are available on their website) by the NSF, a well-established leader in testing.
Each 7M+ serving reflects a 700mg-Fermented Mushroom Mycelium Complex Blend of Turkey Tail, Chaga, Shiitake, Maitake, Cordyceps, Lion’s Mane, and Reishi Mushrooms along with a 240mg-Fermented Kelp Blend of Sprouted Purple Maize and Kelp.
WonderDay Mushroom Gummies
- Company: Plant People
- Starting Price: $29.99
WonderDay Mushroom is a dietary supplement in gummies forms offering ten functional mushrooms. Finally, a delivery system that is neither powder or capsules, right? Created in wild raspberry flavor, the WonderDay Mushroom Gummies are believed to modulate the body’s stress response, boost energy, mental and physical performance, promote healthy digestion, and strengthen the immune system. Besides different delivery, this respective take on mushrooms has been doctor-formulated (with a practitioner advisory board in place). Co-Founders Gabe Kennedy and Hudson Gaines-Ross found plant-based healing to be the most effective when they experienced traumatic spinal injuries. The latter experience is what led the duo to start Plant People.
What’s interesting about Plant People is that they have invested in regenerative organic, biodiverse farming practices, strive to lead the path towards sustainability, and continue to give back to the community. Above all, they ensure that testing and transparency meet the mark so that consumers know their solutions’ effect on the body (good or bad). Presently, lab results also can be obtained by visiting the official website! Every two gummies contain a 2500mg-Adaptogen Complex + Mood, Immune, Energy, Cardio, Gut Blend of Lion’s Mane, Cordyceps, Reishi, Chaga, Maitake, Turkey Tail, Shiitake, Wood Ear, White Button, and Royal Sun Mushrooms.
MyPure Lion’s Mane
- Company: Pure Essence
- Starting Price: $23.22
MyPure Lion’s Mane is a dietary supplement celebrating 500mg of premium, organic Lion’s Mane Mushroom per serving. As explained by the Pure Essence team, this mushroom has been a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine to support brain and neurological health. After some time, Lion’s Mane was discovered as equally helpful for the stomach and liver function (i.e., promoting healthy digestion), mood, cognitive function, and immune system.
One facet that we found irreplaceable in Pure Essence (at large) is that they’ve provided a different take on transparency. We mean the elaborate explanations for how their source of mushrooms was grown and treated before being compressed into capsules. Our editorial team found this helpful, seeing that people new to taking functional mushrooms are now getting educated in the process and nutrients delivery. Of course, there are also their efforts in community involvement and testing, where the latter resulted in passes for microbial, heavy metal, identity, and potency testings.
- Company: Real Mushrooms
- Starting Price: $29.95
Based in Canada, Real Mushrooms is a family-owned and operated business with over 40 years of mushroom growing experience. The name “Real Mushrooms” was given to place emphasis on the fact that each solution offered carries nothing but “real” mushrooms rather than the root system of mushrooms (i.e., also referred to as the mycelium on grain). With this knowledge, the team at Real Mushrooms decided to devote an entire line of mushroom products so that the public is as aware of the differences as the founder, Jeff Chilton, is.
Regarding products, the source of mushrooms allegedly comes from China, and there’s a reason for that. Exclusively, “China has a rich history of mushroom use and is the birthplace of mushroom cultivation. It is one of the only places you can obtain pure organic mushroom extracts.” Another feature is Real Mushrooms’ Science & Medical Team consisting of Dr. Mason Bresett, ND, and Jeff Chilton. We were surprised to see the duo’s credentials posted, as this is rarely seen (at least not to the level achieved by Real Mushrooms).
The mushroom products include (but are not limited to) Mushroom D2Z, Organic Lions Mane, 5 Defenders Organic Mushroom Blend, Organic Cordyceps, Organic Reishi, Turkey Tail, Organic Siberian Chaga, Vitamin D from Organic Mushrooms, Organic Tremella, and Ergo+Ergothioneine.
Mushroom Extract Gummies
- Company: Shroomy
- Starting Price: $29.99
Shroomy’s Mushroom Extract Gummies have been created to support brain and cognitive function (i.e., nootropic supplement). Additionally, each serving contains three different mushrooms reckoned to clear brain fog and strengthen the immune system. Though we initially thought these gummies were brain-focused only, it should be evident that the trio may go as far as tending to different aspects of the mind, body, and soul. For now, there’s nothing available on the story behind Shroomy, which is disappointing, as transparency is one factor where Shroomy falls slightly under.
This brand seems to go beyond to educate consumers while making their case as to why this same trio out of several mushroom varieties was selected. As for the formula itself, each gummy serving contains a “potent and meticulously tested” 300mg Mushroom Blend combining the likes of Lion’s Mane, Reishi, and Cordyceps. Is this genuinely potent? We wouldn’t say so, mainly when other brands have managed to bring superiority to the table. However, we do believe that this respective dose is likely adequate.
- Company: Spore Life Sciences
- Starting Price: $44.95
Focus Performance is cognitive support that delivers essential brain fuel for optimal performance. Spore Life Sciences landed on the collective effect of functional mushrooms and herbs to enhance cognitive function while balancing the mood to determine the best strategy. In turn, individuals can anticipate improved “working memory, expanded creativity and support for [the] brain’s neurological functioning.” At Spore Life Sciences, the goal is to bring researched and scientifically proven benefits to the table, evidently hinted at in the company’s name.
In addition to targeting the brain, the team attests that Focus Performance can also provide adaptogenic and adrenal supports. In general, Spore Life Sciences took shape because the founder, Mike, wanted nothing more than to shed light on the best of 50,000 species of mushrooms and their respective nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Most importantly, functional mushrooms allegedly helped him relieve his multiple sclerosis-related symptoms, allowing him to live a better life today. Ultimately, each Focus Performance serving delivers Lion’s Mane (500mg), Cordyceps (400mg), Ashwagandha (200mg), and Ginkgo Biloba (160mg).
- Company: TheDrug.Store
- Starting Price: 15 GBP
TheDrug.Store was founded on the ideology that “Wellness is personal.” More specifically, the co-founders insist that there’s no one size fits all approach. Realizing that many mushroom products are made that way, this company was established and continuously provides unique solutions while educating and building long-lasting relationships with customers. To them, connecting is the only way for survival, allowing even some of the more daunting challenges to seem relatively minor. To their promise to educate, the team has since posted their WhatsApp information. Talk about instant clarity, right!
TheDrug.Store currently offers products that contain any combination of Chaga, Reishi, Lion’s Mane, Shiitake, and Cordyceps Mushrooms in various delivery systems (i.e., powders, capsules, tinctures, etc.). Actual products include Wunder Workshop, Glow Bar, Anatome, Apothem, Equi London, The Beauty Chef, Biocol Labs Something, Medterra, Indi, and KIKI Health, to list a few.
- Company: VidaCap
- Starting Price: $24
Based in America, VidaCap specializes in developing medicinal mushroom supplements from all over the world. For instance, their source of Chaga is said to come from Russia, while every other variety was grown in China in closed greenhouses. To ensure quality is up to par, the team considered skilled growers, responsible cultivation and harvesting processes, batch-by-batch testing, ethical measures, and in terms of mushrooms – whether they are fruiting bodies or mycelium (the only mycelium product being their cordyceps).
Founder Jeff Yauck pledges to have reflected upon every possible angle of mushrooms before launching any product. The sheer gap in quality led him to enter this market, and he hopes to continue providing nothing short of perfect. Speaking of solutions, individuals can either go with Pure Mushrooms (i.e., Lion’s Mane, Turkey Tail, Reishi, Cordyceps, and Chaga) or Mushroom Blends (i.e., “Sleep,” which contains Reishi (500mg), Passionflower, and Melatonin (3mg)).
- Company: Vital Plan
- Starting Price: $72
Adaptogen Recovery is an herbal-inspired dietary supplement intended to strengthen the immune system so that stressors of various kinds have little to no impact on the body. Interestingly, the Vital Plan was nothing more than an accident that stemmed from a personal story. Obstetrician Dr. Rawls lived an active lifestyle until his early 40’s where everything started to fall apart. In disbelief of the struggles he faced trying to diagnose his condition, Dr. Rawls – who also happens to love research – realized that herbal therapies need to be embraced aside from modern medicine. Over ten years, he became a modern herbalist and pinpointed the exact issue.
Vital Plan gradually took form in his mind, as Dr. Rawls was continuously exposed to poor formulae, and misinformation to say the least. Losing trust with every product that crossed his path, he decided to regain control over his health, and so he did, through Vital Plan. A facet that allows this brand to stand out is its B Corporation® certification (one that reflects high standards of social and environmental performance, and transparency among others), which only ten supplement companies worldwide have been provided with. Each serving of Adaptogen Recovery embodies the power of Chinese Skullcap (450mg), Cordyceps (450mg), Reishi (175mg), and Rehmannia (50mg).
- Company: Vital Plan
- Starting Price: $48
Another Vital Plan supplement to have made our list is Brain Boost. As hinted in its title, it may support memory and cognitive function, provide mental clarity and focus, ensure the immune and gut functions are maximized, and regulate mood and stress. To achieve such a set of benefits, the Vital Plan team studied five clinical-grade herbs such as Lion’s Mane (500mg), Cat’s Claw (350mg), Bacopa Extract (300mg), Sensoril Ashwagandha (125mg), and Ginkgo Biloba Extract (120mg). We liked this supplement for its ability to promote results using ancient herbs and Vital Plan’s thorough breakdown of what each plant/herb does. Everything has been color-coordinated to help consumers connect the dots between the ingredients and the area of the body being recovered.
- Company: VitaPost
- Starting Price: $13.95
The VitaPost Immune Support has been formulated to deliver everyday nutritional support in herbal extracts and a broad spectrum of antioxidants. Given that our immune system is constantly in battles against pathogens and diseases of different strengths, a supplement like Immune Support can help fortify and recharge it. VitaPost takes pride in introducing thousands of years of wellness practices that meet scientific standards regarding the strategy employed.
In comparison to the brands above, the one factor that sets VitaPost apart is its formula. Rather than simply supplying the body with a mushroom blend, they’ve included a series of vitamins, minerals, and herbs. Specifically, each serving contains Vitamin C (30mg), Vitamin E (30IU), Selenium (20mg), Graviola Leaf (300mg), Raspberry (200mg), Green Tea (200mg), Turmeric (100mg), Beta-Glucans Powder (100mg), Cat’s Claw Bark (20mg), Garlic Bulb Powder (20mg), Panax Ginseng (20mg), Lycopene (2mg), Quercetin (50mg), Pine Bark (100mg), Grapeseed (100mg), Pomegranate (50mg), Herbal Complex (100mg), Mushroom Complex (80mg of Shiitake, Reishi and Maitake), Arabinogalactan (20mg) and Olive Leaf (50mg).
Though unique in a formula, the VitaPost Immune Support is the cheapest and, clearly, one with the lowest concentration of mushrooms. That said, the entirety of the formula needs to be considered here because the goal isn’t so much to shine the spotlight on mushrooms, but generally, antioxidants!
- Company: YourSuper.com
- Starting Price: $34.90
Finally, we have Magic Mushroom, which, believe it or not, is a mushrooms-blend infused in hot chocolate. Made using only six organic ingredients, this supplement supports and strengthens the immune system while helping the body better respond to stressors of all kinds. Co-Founder Michael was diagnosed with cancer and had to learn to rebuild his immune system. To help with his recovery, co-founder Kristel shared all her homemade mixes of superfood powders, which were initially developed to help with her mom’s health. Given the evident importance of the immune system and every other body component, the duo decided to share their journeys with the entire world via YourSuper.com.
Since YourSuper.com’s launch, the brand has been certified by B Corporation, just like Vital Plan. Another mission that the duo is on entails giving back to the community. At present, YourSuper.com is actively partnering with Action Against Hunger to donate a life-saving food bar to those in need. Now, getting back to Magic Mushroom, the formula contains Cacao (Peru), Chaga (China), Ashwagandha (India), Reishi (China), Lucuma (Peru), and Cinnamon (India). Oddly enough, the exact breakdown of ingredients (down to the concentrations) has been hidden, but this information can be obtained by contacting customer service.
The Guiding Framework: How Supplements Made Our List
Typically, consumers tend to choose a supplement based on reviews. The more stars, the better, right? There are two things wrong with this. First, reviews can be fabricated to make a product look and sound effective. Second, regardless of whether the reviews are good or bad, we generally wouldn’t know if a consumer was consistent for at least three months before assessing the results. This is not to say that examining customer reviews to rate a product is wrong, but more so that it might not be enough.
Based on the analysis above, it’s clear to us and hopefully to all readers that many of the listed products have perceived functional mushrooms in unimaginable ways. Hence, comparing each one to every other isn’t applicable here. For these reasons, our editorial team took some time to develop what we call a “guiding framework.” This guiding framework constitutes basic features that companies must check for us to include their supplements in the top 2021 list. Bear in mind that this can be altered to one’s liking; matter-of-factly, we encourage everyone to customize it as they wish. In the meantime, here’s what we sought for:
Company & Transparency
A product is nothing without the creators, and knowledge of the company itself is imperative for decision-making purposes. Does the brand have a story to tell? How does this story resonate with the public? Often, solutions of this nature stem from the need to fill in voids within the market, limit misinformation, and share wisdom from hardship, you name it. Stories are good because it helps (to a certain extent) understand a company’s intentions. Sure, there may be a handful of companies who simply do not have anything heartfelt to share, but they might make up for it by being transparent about the product itself, and that’s perfectly fine!
Unfortunately, transparency is typically overlooked. This shouldn’t be the case since it represents a source of ingredients, supplement fact, growing and manufacturing processes, a company’s knowledge of the market, lab testing (and sharing results), etc. Without substantial background on either the company or level of transparency, looking at any other features becomes meaningless. If a company chooses to mask itself, why should we consider its product first?
Scientific Evidence & Effective Dosing
While functional mushrooms have been an integral part of ancient traditional medicine for thousands of years, scientific backing only further heightens any claims about brain health, energy levels, balancing mood, stress, etc. Many of the mushroom varieties we noticed in the above list of supplements have some scientific evidence, whether preliminary or advanced. Some companies appear to have tested their solutions in clinical studies, which is ideal.
When analyzing a study, individuals need to look at the participants’ demographics and the administered dosage. The first factor tells consumers what population was of interest and whether 1) consumers fit into the box, and 2) results can be generalized. The second factor gives a clear idea of what might be effective and the need for further investigation if a dose differs from what has been considered. Another factor of interest might be sample size because if it is too small and fails to represent the population, the results become meaningless.
Types of Mushrooms
There are several mushroom varieties available on our very earth. Some of them are functional/medicinal mushrooms, whereas others are strictly for culinary purposes. Our goal as a team was to bring to light helpful mushroom supplements, and we believe we’ve achieved exactly that. Though some solutions are similar in approaches, many supplements constitute functional mushrooms that are rarely discussed yet carry many healing properties. In addition to varieties, we were hoping to see whether companies decided to go with fruiting bodies (i.e., whole mushrooms) or mycelium on grain (i.e., the root system of mushrooms). More specifically, we wanted to expose consumers to the companies’ arguments for choosing either one. Being able to distinguish between the two types might help smoothen the decision-making process.
Some supplements decided to include supporting ingredients in vitamins, minerals, plants, herbs, antioxidants, caffeine, etc. When such a strategy is employed, the combination needs to make sense. Were they combined because they carry similar features? Is there a possibility that one might be superior to the other? Generally speaking, the decision to bring together different natural elements stems from scientific studies and research papers that expound on said properties. Hence, we encourage consumers to take the time to do their due diligence before settling on a specific solution.
Uniqueness is a broad feature that can encompass anything one chooses. For us, “uniqueness” was defined as anything that sets a product and its company apart from the rest. This is not always reflected upon, but in reality, it ties in with the company and transparency features, all while relieving a company’s efforts. Some examples of “uniqueness” include doctor/physician-formulated, an advisory board, giving back to the community, educating consumers, rigorous lab testing and availability of results, substantial concentrations, conducting respective clinical studies, money-back guarantee, delivery, etc.
Value for Price
Finally comes value for the price, which is determined after seeing how many boxes within our guiding framework have been checked off. If a company checks a few boxes and, oddly enough, decides to charge a higher price, investing in it is nonsensical. The ideal case is one where a company checks off as many boxes as possible, and if, in this case, the price is equally high as in the former example, it seems more logical. As a rule, we can’t expect a company to pour in their time, money, and effort to gain a small monetary benefit. At the same time, we shouldn’t appreciate a company that does so little yet expects a big piece of the pie!
Looking Back in Time: The History Behind Medicinal Mushrooms
Medicinal mushrooms have made their way across the globe throughout time. For instance, Europeans were supposedly not the only ones to have embraced its properties as its first appearance can be dated back by 4,000 years ago to the Neolithic man’s history, writes one source . Precisely, the oldest human mummy was said to have had a medicine kit, where the mushroom was used for its antibiotic properties.
Interestingly, if one were to analyze Egyptian hieroglyphics closely, mushrooms have been perceived as the “plant of immortality called “sons of the gods.” How did they make it to our very Earth? The story has it that the gods filled the earth with mushrooms through lightning bolts, and at the time, it was only consumed by nobles and pharaohs. Similarly, the Aztecs viewed mushrooms as “the flesh of the gods” and consumed them regularly during holy rituals.
Nevertheless, medicinal mushrooms didn’t spread until they were introduced in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). In the past, the reishi mushroom was valued as a tonic herb and was prohibited for consumption. In a piece that explicitly looked at TCM and mushrooms, this quote was referenced, “In the Chinese culture, mushrooms are often referred to as an “Elixir of Life” and the Romans perceived them as the “Food of the Gods.” ” In addition, it was highlighted that along with reishi, the likes of cordyceps, turkey tail, lion’s mane, and chaga were equally valued.
The above is just a glimpse into the secret life of mushrooms, with over 100,000 species of fungi that grow and fruit. It doesn’t surprise us to see how much importance has been placed on mushrooms, especially knowing that they “are recyclers in their natural environment.” In fact, “to feed itself, a fungus breaks down organic matter and at the same time cleans the earth [and] transforms dead organic matter; if there were no mushrooms, Earth would be densely crowded with dead animals and plants .”
What Mushroom Groups Are Considered Medicinal?
It turns out that while there are over thousands of edible mushroom varieties, there are only some hundreds used for food and as medicine. That’s still a lot, isn’t it? To simplify things further, we discovered some of the commonly used functional mushrooms across all 29 supplements that made a list for 2021. This will help consumers see how one differs from another.
Also referred to as “hou tou gu” or “yamabushitake,” a lion’s mane is a variety of mushrooms that allegedly resembles a lion’s mane during its growing stages. Used for culinary and medicinal purposes, this ingredient has been welcomed by countries like China, India, Japan, and Korea. Its proven benefits have been listed as protection against dementia, relieving symptoms of depression and anxiety, inducing recovery in nervous system-related injuries, preventing digestive tract ulcers, reducing the risk of heart diseases and stress, regulating diabetes symptoms, possibly fighting cancer, and boosting the immune system .
Cordyceps Sinensis is another commonly used mushroom in old Chinese and Tibetan medicines. A team of researchers looking to spread awareness on its entirety went on to describe it as a “rare combination of a caterpillar and a fungus found at altitudes above 4500m in Sikkim.” That said, the people of North Sikkim supposedly recommend cordyceps for 21 ailments, some of which include sexual dysfunction, diabetes (and other wasting diseases), cancer, bronchial asthma, bronchitis, TB, cough, and cold, jaundice, alcoholic hepatitis, etc. .
Chaga is the next mushroom variety under our noses and is mainly found on birch trees in cold climates. This strain has been part of European folk medicine. It remains a top contender for general wellness because of its antitumor, anti-mutagenic, antiviral, antiplatelet, antidiabetic, antioxidant, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and pain-relieving properties. Its purported uses include treating inflammation, cancer treatment, and prevention, treating liver-related health implications, boosting cognitive function, and reversing poor immune function. For people who are on blood thinners, taking chaga might not be ideal, seeing that it might increase the risk of excessive bleeding .
Scientifically known as Trametes Versicolor, the turkey tail is described as a “woody bracket polypore fungus that grows on dead logs.” The name Turkey was given because of the mushroom’s “concentric rings of brown and tan [resembling] the tail feathers of a turkey.” Its uses have a long history as a treatment for pulmonary diseases, cancer, poor immune and gut function, and it is trusted to carry antitumor effects, among others [6,7].
Shiitake mushroom is an easily identifiable fungus because of its increased popularity. Besides its rich, savory touch, this mushroom native to East Asia might stimulate immune function and potentially treat cancer. Naturally found on decaying hardwood trees, compounds including eritadenine (prevents enzymes responsible for cholesterol), sterols (enhancing the gut), and beta-glucans are deemed reliable for their medicinal effects. It should also be noted that shiitakes consumed raw or high in purine levels can give rise to skin rashes and gout, respectively .
The second mushroom variety that is equally popular as shiitake is reishi, as its uses for longevity have been mastered in countries such as China and Japan. With a history of 2000 years, reishi has been associated with therapeutic properties such as tonifying, increased energy levels, memory, strengthened cardiac function, and anti-aging effects. This one takes the longest to grow among all the mushrooms, which might explain why some brands prefer to upkeep supply by resorting to mycelium on grain .
Also referred to as Grifola frondosa, the final of the three widely recognized mushroom varieties is maitake, one that has been suggested as a means of preventing cancer, treating diabetes, high cholesterol, and hypertension, highlighting its immunostimulant nature and promoting weight loss. Its well-rounded list of benefits allegedly stems from its ability to exert its effect on different cells within the body. Regarding side effects, people on hypoglycemic medications are asked to refrain from their uses because of the synergistic enabled impact .
What Story Does Science Tell Regarding the Effects of Mushrooms on the Body?
A list of benefits for each mushroom variety doesn’t suffice (at least not in today’s day and age). While society has the utmost respect for ancient traditional medicines, we’ve evolved to a point where some alignment between tradition and science needs to be established. To what extent does the latter hold regarding medicinal mushrooms? We are about to find out, below is an introduction to the scientific narrative surrounding mushrooms:
According to Cognitive Vitality, lion’s mane has some evidence suggesting that it could improve cognitive function in healthy consumers or those with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). As for its role in the body, the ingestion of Lion’s Mane has increased nerve growth factor (NGF) levels, as it increases the length of nerve cell processes. Moreover, two commonly known brain cell productions, i.e., hericenones and erinacines, heightened as well . It is important to note that existing studies have all been conducted on animals, which led many researchers to claim the promising effects of lion’s mane on easing depression and anxiety symptoms, protection against ulcers, and improved cardiac function .
In 2018, the same team that studied the effects of cordyceps on the brain and succeeded in showing that it could improve learning and memory conducted another study emphasizing the actual mechanism. During this process, mice were allegedly given scopolamine hydrobromide to establish a mouse model of learning and memory impairment. In the end, the team confirmed that three genes were involved in such results (i.e., Pik3r5, Il-1b, and Slc18a2). In other words, cordyceps work by “scavenging oxygen free radicals, preventing oxidative damage, and protecting the nervous system. ”
Another study explored the therapeutic properties and neuroprotective effect of cordyceps on rats with ischemic brain neuronal injury. After administering donepezil (5mg/kg) and cordyceps (100 and 300mg/kg) for seven days, the researchers noticed improvements in memory impairments due to “global cerebral ischemia and scopolamine-induced memory deterioration.” This led them to conclude that cordyceps may be a possible candidate for “neuroprotection of hippocampus and the recovery of various vascular dementia or neuroinflammatory disorders. ”
A 2011 study was conducted to evaluate in vitro anticancer activity of chaga, namely, its effect on the cell proliferation, motility, and viability of cancer and normal cells. In so doing, the researchers discovered that “Chaga fraction elicited anticancer effects which were attributed to decreased tumor cell proliferation, motility, and morphological changes,” further noting that future studies may lead to promising results .
A 2016 study with a similar goal, but emphasizing the effects of continuous intake of aqueous extract from chaga, noticed that it caused significant tumor-suppressive effects in mice with tumors. The latter results stem from three weeks of 6mg/kg/day doses. In addition, ingesting chaga decreased body weight in middle-aged mice and “increased body temperature in response to light-dark switching in mature adult mice.” Hence, the researchers concluded that chaga might be used as a “natural remedy for cancer suppression by promoting energy metabolism. ”
2019 in vitro study aimed to evaluate the immune-regulating properties of turkey tail in two forms: mycelium versus the fermented substrate. In the end, it was mycelium that prevailed, as it demonstrated the “immune-activating bioactivity of a mycelial-based medicinal mushroom preparation.” It was then argued that such a source contains a rich source of beta-glucans and water-soluble components, which could have helped achieve its effects . Polysaccharide K (PSK) is deemed the best-known active compound in this medicinal mushroom. PSK remains an approved adjuvant treatment for cancer in Japan, as animal and human studies regarding gastric, breast, colorectal, and lung cancers led to promising results .
A 2011 study that looked at the effects of shiitake mushroom on obesity markers gave rats low, medium, and high shiitake mushroom powders and their high-fat diets for six weeks. In the end, the rats on high powder concentration and fat diet had the lowest body weight gain compared to both medium and low concentrations. In addition, plasma triacylglycerol (TAG) levels significantly dropped as well, allowing the team to conclude that dietary shiitake mushrooms may prevent fat deposition and lower triglycerides when paired with a high-fat diet .
In a piece by Advanced Orthomolecular Research (AOR), the entirety of shiitake mushrooms was discussed. The key takeaways (as per summarized clinical research) were that ingesting shiitake mushrooms can “improve human immune system functioning due to their anti-inflammatory properties and the plethora of nutrients in each mushroom stalk.” Moreover, it can reduce and prevent tumors, prevent cells from sticking to blood vessels’ walls, and improve cognitive and energy function .
HealthLine summarized existing research on reishi and listed six potential benefits of taking reishi. Despite the uncertainty surrounding test-tube studies, it was reported that this mushroom variety could affect genes within our white blood cells, which are essential for immune function. It was also noted that reishi might go as far as altering inflammation pathways as well. On the topic of the immune system, it is believed that improvements imply bettered mental health symptoms, particularly fatigue and depression. Reishi can kill cancer cells and benefit those with prostate cancer because of its effect on testosterone. Other possible benefits include improved heart health, regulated blood sugar levels, and healthy antioxidant status .
Maitake has been shown to elicit immunomodulatory effects in preclinical studies where mice were subjects. Instead of mice, a 2019 study looked at the oral administration (0.1, 0.5, 1.5, 3, or 5mg/kg twice daily for three weeks) of maitake in 34 postmenopausal breast cancer patients. Consequently, it was discovered that oral administration established an association between “immunologically stimulatory and inhibitory measurable effects in peripheral blood,” however, it was also highlighted that botanical agents of this nature might depress while enhancing immune function . Finally, we have a 2014 study that looked at the combined effects of maitake and shiitake. The researchers were pleased to see that the duo elicited a defense reaction or, simply put, a natural immunomodulating impact on cellular and humoral branches of immune activities .
A large portion of studies has been conducted based on animal models. In cases where human models do exist, they were relatively small. This suggests the need for more research to solidify claims, especially seeing that present claims are based on promising results. Our editorial team does not maintain that functional mushrooms are bad. Their properties have been repeatedly shown to alter different brain areas, immune systems, etc., positively. Clinical studies are necessary to understand mechanisms (based on preliminary results), potential side effects, and the extent to which results can be generalized. Hence, the more, the merrier.
Ultimately, we hope that individuals reflect on the pros and cons before proceeding. Most importantly, the above scientific narrative is a glimpse into what has been done. Therefore, individuals will have to do their due diligence (in considering their health as a factor) before settling on a product of choice.
Frequently Asked Questions About Medicinal Mushrooms
Q: What are adaptogens?
A: Adaptogens are herbal medicines that help the body better respond to stress. Interestingly, existing studies have noticed that certain mushroom varieties have the ability to elicit adaptogenic properties, ultimately helping to increase the body’s resistance to physical, biological, and chemical forms of stress .
Q: What mushroom varieties are popularly used in supplements?
A: Among the thousands that exist on our very earth, the most used varieties include shiitake, maitake, reishi, chaga, turkey tail, lion’s mane, and cordyceps. The reason for this rests in the fact that these strains have been of interest within the scientific community.
Q: How are mushrooms classified?
A: Mushrooms are usually perceived as a vegetable, but it is classified as a fungus.
Q: What are polysaccharides?
A: Polysaccharides are the most abundant carbohydrate sources in food. However, the polysaccharides derived from mushrooms are deemed low-calorie, low-cholesterol, and low-sodium because they primarily contain beta-glucans. Beta-glucans are essential since they have been proven to stimulate an immune response to defend against infections of all kinds [24, 25].
Q: What is the difference between mushroom “fruiting bodies” and “mycelium on grain”?
A: As stated by Nootropics Depot, with mycelium on grain, individuals are receiving ground rice with lower concentrations of mycelium, whereas, with fruiting bodies, individuals are receiving the actual mushroom and nothing less . In terms of superiority, it should be noted that mycelium is not as concentrated, even if it is believed to be equally stimulating as its fruiting body counterpart.
Q: Would medicinal mushrooms be considered a superfood?
A: Yes, researchers generally see mushrooms as a superfood because they are low in almost all the harmful components and carry a significant number of amino acids, antioxidants, and other valuable nutrients.
Q: Where do mushrooms come from?
A: Based on the companies listed above, they can come from China, Russia, parts of Europe, India, and the U.S. Deciding on a country depends on growing seasons, potency, and accessibility, which are not equal across all countries. In addition, it also boils down to whether a solution consists of mycelium or fruiting bodies, and most often, fruiting bodies are found in other countries and rarely within the U.S.
Q: Is ergothioneine important?
A: Ergothioneine is a dietary amino acid. It is highly concentrated in mushrooms and has been found to prevent chronic diseases of aging. The latter belief gave ergothioneine the title of “longevity vitamin” .
Q: How do functional mushrooms differ from the culinary types?
A: Functional mushrooms are generally more bitter than the culinary types, and due to consumers’ lack of knowledge on functional mushrooms, they are rarely considered. Fortunately, the dietary supplements industry has helped fill in the voids in consumer knowledge, as seen in our top picks for 2021.
Q: Is there a specific timeframe in which mushrooms elicit the best results?
A: No, medicinal mushrooms elicit the same results regardless of when they are ingested.
Q: Are there side effects to taking medicinal mushrooms?
A: Yes, but it comes down to one’s health, medication intake, and medical history. For a healthy person, the side effects are very scarce, if not camouflaged. Therefore, we always encourage the combination of research and discussions with health practitioners before implementing a supplement into one’s routine.
Q: Are medicinal mushrooms hallucinogenic?
A: No, at least not the supplements recommended in our top picks. Magic mushrooms can elicit a hallucinogenic experience because of their dominating compound called psilocybin.
Q: Are medicinal mushrooms beneficial?
A: They can be helpful under the right conditions (i.e., consistency in administering serving sizes and doses). At least, that’s what researchers are declaring based on existing preliminary results.
Q: Is psilocybin legal?
A: It is currently classified as a Schedule I drug in the U.S. With time, this may change, seeing the growing interest in preliminary research and the evidence supporting psilocybin’s medicinal properties.
Q: Can medicinal mushrooms be taken alongside prescription medications?
A: Yes, medicinal mushrooms can be taken alongside prescription medications. However, this is a discussion with one’s respective health practitioners, as certain medications may interfere with mushrooms’ properties. For instance, it has been found that high doses of reishi might slow blood clotting and increase the chances of bruising and bleeding .
The Top Medicinal Mushroom Supplements of 2021 Final Verdict
Ultimately, functional mushrooms appear to carry value when it comes to different areas of the body. Based on preclinical studies, certain varieties can support our immune system, energy production, brain health, brain health, and mental health. More studies are needed to validate existing results on some mushroom varieties over others. Still, one thing we noticed that was consistent is the understanding obtained regarding the mechanisms of mushrooms. Simply put, they have the potential to alter markers and cells for better health. With time, our editorial team is confident that a more considerable collection of studies will be available.
Nevertheless, ingesting mushrooms can be tricky if the right products aren’t selected. As seen above, the process of elimination is no small feat, as a guiding framework had first to be employed to decipher a solid and helpful solution from a possibly weak and useless one. Of course, this ranking system of sorts can be altered according to one’s needs, wants, and health conditions, which we are actively encouraging. The 29 supplements that made the cut have satisfied the basic requirements for utmost wellness. It is important to stress that wherever clarity is missing, we want people to go out of their way to ask appropriate questions because one’s health must be of immense priority at the end of the day.
Until we revisit functional mushroom supplements, we hope that everyone is content with the process laid out in this guide. Forget buying something based on popularity, as quality protection usually comes from rigorous analysis, which should be conducted for anything new!
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Please understand that any advice or guidelines revealed here are not even remotely a substitute for sound medical advice from a licensed healthcare provider. Make sure to consult with a professional physician before making any purchasing decision if you use medications or have concerns following the review details shared above. Individual results may vary as the statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.