Functional mushrooms are very different from the typical mushrooms found at your local supermarket or garden. Some functional species like lion’s mane and shiitake are edible as a culinary mushroom, others may be less palatable in their fresh form. They are sold in several forms, as a powder, a tincture, or an extract, so they are generally incorporated as dietary supplements.
Functional mushrooms often grow in dense green forests, on fallen logs, in controlled environments, or on the head of a caterpillar (yes, Cordyceps). These types of mushrooms are known to be packed with antioxidants and have high nutritional value, with a plethora of health claims (anecdotal & clinically verified) for each. Functional mushrooms have been utilized for thousands of years in various cultures around the world due to their medicinal properties and many health benefits.
Benefits & Expectations
Beyond basic nutrition, functional mushroom products can contain Polyphenols, Antioxidants, Cartenoids, Tocopherols, Polysaccharides, Pre-biotic Fibers (Chitin, Glycogen, Trehalose & Mannitol), Proteins, Psychoactive Psilocybin/Psilocin, Peptides, Proteoglycans, Terpenes & more. All of these compounds can have an affect on your overall well-being and homeostasis.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
- Type of Extraction? (Hot water is preferred to break down the Chitin)
- Health-Promoting Polysaccharides (β-glucans (1-3), (1-6)
- Extracts of Fruiting Body or Fruiting Body w/ Mycelium
- Grow Medium (Nature, Rice, Sorghum, Coconut)
- Labeled Polyphenols & Carotenoids
- Labeled Amino Acids (Ergothioneine)
- USA Grown?
- No Heavy Metals
- Organically Grown?
Hericium erinaceus is an edible mushroom mushroom belonging to the tooth fungus group. Native to North America, Europe and Asia, it can be identified by its long spines, occurrence on hardwoods, and tendency to grow a single clump of dangling spines. Lion’s Mane is a potent cognitive enhancer that contains a plethora of beneficial compounds to improve working memory, mental clarity and acuity, and overall brain health. Studies have also shown Lion’s Mane to be effective at protecting against dementia, reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression, and helping repair nerve damage.
- Brain Health
- Memory & Recall
- Anxiety Support
- Immune Support
- Cholesterol Support
Inonotus obliquus, commonly called Chaga, is a fungus in the family Hymenochaetaceae. It is parasitic on birch and other trees. The sterile conk is irregularly formed and resembles burnt charcoal. Used for centuries to support longevity, immunity, and overall health, Chaga reduces inflammation, and helps regulate blood sugar and cholesterol. Chaga’s fruiting bodies are loaded with polysaccharides which have proven to support immune function and overall health. Chaga has high levels of antioxidants; promotes anti-aging and youthfulness; helps to balance the metabolic system and is a natural adaptogen.
- Metabolic Balance
- Adaptogenic Response
- Immune Support
Tremella is a genus of fungi in the family Tremellaceae. All Tremella species are parasites of other fungi and most produce anamorphic yeast states. Basidiocarps, when produced, are gelatinous and are colloquially classed among the “jelly fungi”. Over 100 species of Tremella are currently recognized worldwide. Tremella’s ability to absorb into the deeper layers of the skin works to enhance skin elasticity and helps plump & smooth out fine lines and wrinkles. Tremella mushrooms also have an incredible ability to break down free radicals – which prevents fine lines and wrinkles from forming.
- Absorbs Moisture
- Promotes Healthy Hair
- Keeps Skin Looking “Plump”
- Improves Skin Elasticity
Laricifomes Officinalis, also known as Agarikon, or the quinine conk, is a wood-decay fungus that causes brown heart rot on conifers native to Europe, Asia, and North America, as well as Morocco. The fungus is in the order Polyporales, as the fruiting bodies grow in large conks on the trunks of trees. Its primary use is as an antimicrobial agent, with potential antiviral and antibacterial properties. It may also be effective against some parasites. Traditionally, people used the mushroom to treat various infectious diseases, including tuberculosis.
- Parasite Removal
Lingzhi, Ganoderma lingzhi, also known as Reishi, is a polypore fungus belonging to the genus Ganoderma. Its reddish brown varnished kidney-shaped cap with bands and peripherally inserted stem gives it a distinct fan-like appearance. Well known as the “Queen of Mushrooms” Reishi is a powerful adaptogen with a rich antioxidant profile. It’s history dates back at least 2,000 years, where Chinese healers used it to treat a wide range of health conditions.
- Immune Boosting
- Alleviating Fatigue
- Lowering Blood Pressure. …
- Cholesterol-Lowering Compounds.
- Stimulating Nerve Growth
Cordyceps is a genus of ascomycete fungi that includes about 600 species. Most Cordyceps species are endoparasitoids, parasitic mainly on insects and other arthropods; a few are parasitic on other fungi. Some people use cordyceps as a stimulant, a tonic, and an adaptogen, which is used to increase energy, enhance stamina, and reduce fatigue – one study showed that supplementation of Cordyceps directly enhances the levels of serum LH and testosterone in men.
- Strengthen the Kidneys and Lungs
- Reduce Inflammation in the Airways
- Alleviating Fatigue
- Stimulating the Libido
- Complementary Medicine for (COPD)
Grifola frondosa is a polypore mushroom that grows at the base of trees, particularly old growth oaks or maples. Loaded with beneficial polysaccharides, triterpenes, and bioactive chemicals, Maitake is an impressive adaptogen that provides superb immune-boosting power and a natural dose of energy. This mushroom was once so highly valued in Japan that it was known as the ‘Dancing Mushroom’ because commoners would dance for joy when they found it!
- Rich in Vitamin D
- May Reduce Cholesterol
- May Improve Cardiovascular Health
- High in Antioxidants & Beta Glucans
- Supports Immune Function
Trametes versicolor – also known as Coriolus versicolor and Polyporus versicolor – is a common polypore mushroom found throughout the world. Meaning ‘of several colors’, versicolor reliably describes this fungus that displays different colors. Turkey Tail has a long, valued history and is one of the most researched functional mushrooms for its immune-boosting properties and support for a healthy gut microbiome. It contains high concentrations of protein-bound polysaccharides, which work to activate and inhibit specific immune cells and decrease inflammation throughout the body.
- Rich in Polysaccharides
- Healthy Gut Bacteria
- Reduces Inflamation
- Supports Immune Function
- Supports a Healthy Liver
Agaricus blazei Murill (also known simply as Agaricus blazei) is a type of medicinal mushroom grown in Brazil, Japan, and China. It is related to both the common mushroom and field mushroom, but contains compounds that some believe can exert antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-tumor, and hypoglycemic effects. Because of this, it has been used in folk medicine for centuries to prevent or treat a wide range of diseases and conditions, including infections, diabetes, allergies, and cancer.
Many alternative practitioners believe that compounds in the Blazei mushroom (including isoflavonoids and plant-based steroids) can prevent or treat certain health conditions.
- Rich in Isoflavonoids
- Asthma Support
- Diabetes Support
- High Blood Pressure Support
- High Cholesterol Support