7 Mighty Medicinal Mushrooms for Optimal Health

7 Mighty Medicinal Mushrooms for Optimal Health

Nature has always been a reliable source of healing, and the world of mushrooms holds incredible treasures when it comes to promoting optimal health.

From boosting our immune system to providing potent anti-inflammatory properties, medicinal mushrooms have been used for centuries in traditional medicine.

In this article, we will explore seven of the most popular medicinal mushrooms that can work wonders for your overall well-being.

1. Reishi Mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum)

Reishi Mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum)

Starting off our list of powerful medicinal mushrooms for health and longevity, we have Reishi!

Reishi Mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum), is also popularly known as the “Mushroom of Immortality”, due to its impressive array of health benefits.

Packed with bioactive compounds like triterpenes, polysaccharides, and antioxidants, Reishi mushroom has been found to support the immune system, reduce inflammation, improve sleep quality, and promote heart health.

Its adaptogenic properties help the body adapt to stress, and studies even suggest it may possess anti-cancer properties.

A systematic review published 2016 evaluated the clinical effects of G. lucidum on long‐term survival, tumour response, host immune functions and quality of life in cancer patients, as well as adverse events associated with its use.

The review found:

Our results found that patients with G. lucidum extract in their anticancer regimen were 1.27 times more likely to respond to chemotherapy or radiotherapy than those without.

G. lucidum could be administered as an alternative adjunct to conventional treatment in consideration of its potential of enhancing tumour response and stimulating host immunity.[1]

2. Shiitake Mushroom (Lentinula edodes)

Shiitake Mushroom (Lentinula edodes)

Aside from their culinary benefits, Shiitake mushrooms boast remarkable medicinal properties.

Packed with beta-glucans, they enhance the immune system, reduce cholesterol levels, and exhibit anti-cancer activity.

Shiitake mushrooms have a rich nutritional profile, providing B vitamins, minerals, and even vitamin D when exposed to sunlight.

A study published 2015 aimed to determine whether the consumption of whole, dried Lentinula edodes (shiitake) mushrooms could improve human immune function in healthy young adults.

The study concluded:

Regular L. edodes consumption resulted in improved immunity, as seen by improved cell proliferation and activation and increased sIgA production.

The changes observed in cytokine and serum CRP levels suggest that these improvements occurred under conditions that were less inflammatory than those that existed before consumption.[2]

3. Lions Mane (Hericium erinaceus)

Lions Mane (Hericium erinaceus)

This unique-looking mushroom resembles a lion’s mane and is renowned for its cognitive benefits.

Lion’s Mane stimulates the production of nerve growth factor (NGF), promoting brain health, memory, and focus.

It is believed to protect against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression.

A review of the literature published 2020 on Lion’s Mane Mushroom’s potential for treating depressive disorders found:

The pre-clinical and clinical studies have demonstrated that H. erinaceus significantly ameliorates depressive disorder through monoaminergic modulation, neurogenic/neurotrophic, and anti-inflammatory pathways, indicating the potential role of H. erinaceus as complementary and alternative medicine for the treatment of depression. [3]

4. Chaga Mushroom (Inonotus obliquus)

Chaga Mushroom (Inonotus obliquus)

Chaga (Inonotus obliquus), also known as the “King of Medicinal Mushrooms” may be one of natures most potent natural anti-viral remedies.

To the untrained eye, Chaga might be mistaken for a clump of burnt wood sitting on a tree trunk.

However, appearances can be deceiving. Buried beneath its dark, charred exterior lies a treasure trove of valuable medicinal compounds such as betulin and betulinic acid.

Betulinic acid is a triterpenoid, which has shown diverse therapeutic properties, including potent broad-spectrum anti-viral activity to anti-inflammatory and antitumor effects.

Numerous recent studies have identified Chaga mushroom and its bioactive compounds such as Betulinic acid as a potential anti-viral agent for the novel coronavirus (SARS‐CoV‐2). – [4] [5]

5. Turkey Tail Mushroom (Trametes versicolor)

Turkey Tail Mushroom (Trametes versicolor)

Named for its vibrant appearance, Turkey Tail mushroom has been extensively studied for its immune-stimulating effects.

Full of polysaccharides and antioxidants, Turkey Tail mushroom enhances the body’s defences against infections and can be a valuable ally during cancer treatments.

Tv contains precursors to the proteoglycans polysaccharide peptide (PSP) and polysaccharide-K (Krestin, PSK), the latter of which is frequently prescribed to gastric cancer patients in Japan.[6]

A Phase 1 Clinical Trial published in 2012 confirmed the immune supportive benefits of Turkey Tail mushroom in women with breast cancer.

The study concluded:

These findings show that up to 9 grams/day of a Tv preparation is safe and tolerable in women with breast cancer in the postprimary treatment setting.

This Tv preparation may improve immune status in immunocompromised breast cancer patients following standard primary oncologic treatment.[7]

6. Maitake Mushroom (Grifola frondosa)

Maitake Mushroom (Grifola frondosa)

Maitake mushrooms, also known as “the dancing mushroom,” in Japan, has been revered in Asian cultures for centuries.

Much like many of the other medicinal mushrooms on our list, Maitake is an excellent source of polysaccharides such as β-glucan.

This polysaccharide and glycoprotein fractions of Maitake have shown to possess diverse therapeutic activity.

Some of these include antioxidant, anti-diabetic, anti-hypertensive, anti-hyperlipidemic, anti-viral, immunomodulation, anti-inflammatory and antitumor effects.

7. Cordyceps Mushroom (Cordyceps sinensis)

Cordyceps Mushroom

Cordyceps has long been valued in traditional Chinese medicine for its adaptogenic, energy-enhancing and tonic benefits.

As a potent adaptogen with mitochondrial support properties, Cordyceps increases stamina and endurance, making it a favorite among athletes.

Cordyceps has been shown to support respiratory health, enhance libido, and can potentially improve kidney and liver function.

Cordyceps also exhibits potent anti-inflammatory effects, supporting overall vitality.

Cordyceps has many bioactive constituents with important therapeutic applications such as nucleotides, polysaccharides, cyclic peptides, sterols, and fatty acids.

A study published 2018 aimed to determine whether a mushroom blend containing Cordyceps Militaris could improve exercise tolerance in high-intensity exercise.

The study concluded:

Acute supplementation with a Cordyceps Militaris containing mushroom blend may improve tolerance to high intensity exercise; greater benefits may be elicited with consistent chronic supplementation.[9]

Recommended Product:

Magic Myke Magic Mix Total Mushroom Blend Capsules Medicinal Mushroom Supplements

Magic Myke are one of the latest brands of medicinal mushroom supplements.

Their Magic Mix Total Mushroom Blend is packed with the goodness of a variety of shrooms including Lions Mane, Cordyceps, Reishi, Chaga, Turkey Tail, Shiitake, Maitake and Termella.

SHOP LINK: Magic Mix Total Mushroom Blend 60 Capsules – Magic Myke


[1] Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi mushroom) for cancer treatment

[2] Consuming Lentinula edodes (Shiitake) Mushrooms Daily Improves Human Immunity: A Randomized Dietary Intervention in Healthy Young Adults

[3] Therapeutic Potential of Hericium erinaceus for Depressive Disorder

[4] Chaga Medicinal Mushroom Inonotus obliquus (Agaricomycetes) Terpenoids May Interfere with SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein Recognition of the Host Cell: A Molecular Docking Study

[5] Targeting SARS‐CoV‐2 with Chaga mushroom: An in silico study toward developing a natural antiviral compound

[6] The mycelium of the Trametes versicolor (Turkey tail) mushroom and its fermented substrate each show potent and complementary immune activating properties in vitro

[7] Phase 1 Clinical Trial of Trametes versicolor in Women with Breast Cancer

[8] Bioactive Ingredients and Medicinal Values of Grifola frondosa (Maitake)

The information in this article has not been evaluated by the FDA and should not be used to diagnose, cure or treat any disease, implied or otherwise.

Always consult with a qualified healthcare professional before making any significant dietary or lifestyle changes including supplements and herbs.


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