6 Medicinal Mushrooms You Should Know + 3 Awesome Recipes

It seems like everyone these days is on ‘shrooms, but not like they were in the 70’s! Medicinal mushrooms like reishi and chaga have made a resurgence in the last decade or so, and more and more people are discovering the benefits of using mushrooms on a daily basis. With wide-reaching effects on immunity, digestion, athletic performance and brain health, medicinal ‘shrooms are making a comeback, and we’re here for it!

Why We Made Medi-Shrooms

Mushrooms are fascinating for so many reasons. They have an entire biological kingdom to themselves, and are neither plants nor animals (although, are more closely related to animals). There are thousands of different fungi in the world; some are edible, some glow in the dark, some are used for medicine, and some will kill you almost instantly. But the mushrooms most of us are interested in are in the elite 3-4% of edible species with documented health benefits.

Not only are mushrooms essential for the ecological balance of our planet, but they carry a deep intelligence that is truly quite astounding. Mushrooms are attached to a living, breathing, underground network, called the mycelium, sort of like the “world wide web” of the forests. From the mycelium comes the fruiting body, which is what most of us think of when we hear the word “mushroom”- the above-ground part with the stem and cap. This is where the healing powers are most concentrated, but they wouldn’t exist without the symbiotic web of biochemical communication under the surface.

Whether you are trying to boost your immune system, lower your cholesterol, improve your cognitive abilities or aerobic capacity – medicinal mushrooms, like those found in our Medi-Shrooms supplement, should be a staple in your home! Let’s meet some of the star players:

1. Lion’s Mane Benefits (Hericium erinaceus)

A popular nootropic in Chinese medicine, Lion’s Mane is thought to boost neurological function in many ways. It has been shown to protect against dementia, ease mood disorders, banish brain fog, and improve memory. Additionally, it is a strong antioxidant and immune booster that may balance gut health and fight cancer.

2. Cordyceps Mushroom Benefits (Cordyceps Sinensis)

Researchers are still learning about this incredible fungus, but so far, it has shown tremendous benefits for reducing fatigue and improving cardiovascular performance. Cordyceps has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-aging effects. It is sometimes used to treat asthma and allergies, and improve fertility and libido.

3. Reishi Mushroom Benefits (Ganoderma Lucidum)

Two areas where Reishi really shines is in immune modulation and cancer prevention. This powerful fungi has been shown to inhibit tumor growth and reduce inflammation. It also has shown benefits for liver detox support, hormone balancing, and reducing symptoms of allergies and asthma.

4. Chaga Mushroom Benefits (Inonotus obliquus)

Long used in Russia as a vitality tonic, Chaga mushroom has been shown to halt cancer progression, boost white blood cell activity, and reduce inflammatory molecules in the body. It also has antiviral properties, may reduce cholesterol levels, and may improve physical endurance. Chaga modulates the immune system to attenuate the response to allergens, and is used to treat autoimmune disorders.

5. Shiitake Mushroom Benefits (Lentinula edodes)

Packed with phytonutrients and sterols, Shiitake mushrooms are well-loved in culinary recipes and for their cholesterol-lowering effects. They are extremely high in many nutrients like B and D vitamins, selenium, and other compounds that can boost energy, protect the heart, and could potentially help with weight loss. Shiitake mushroom extract is prized for protecting the DNA from further damage, due to its antioxidant content.

6. Maitake Mushroom Benefits (Grifola frondosa)

Also known as “hen of the woods,” this popular culinary ‘shroom is often used to balance blood sugar levels, and boost the immune system, particularly during chemotherapy or other cancer treatments. It’s naturally antiviral and anti-bacterial, and also has some mild adaptogenic actions, boosting the body’s resilience in the face of stress.

While some of these mushrooms are great eaten fresh or sauteed in recipes (maitake, shiitake, and lion’s mane), it’s super easy to get all their healing benefits with a good quality, well-rounded supplement. Just pop a couple of capsules every day, and you’ll soon wonder why you haven’t been on ‘shrooms this whole time!

Besides the usual swallowing of capsules, you can also get creative with how you use your Medi-Shrooms supplement. Here are some of my favorite recipes to get you thinking:

Cozy Mushroom Hot Cocoa

  • Serves 2
  • 3 cups nondairy milk of choice- coconut, almond, or oat work well
  • 3 Tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 4 capsules of Medi-Shrooms, opened
  • 2 tsp smooth almond butter
  • Sweetener of choice (I recommend maple syrup, date syrup, or honey)
  • Pinch of cinnamon, cardamom, or nutmeg
  • In a small saucepan, warm milk over medium heat until hot to touch, but not boiling. Whisk in the cacao powder until smooth.
  • Then, whisk in remaining ingredients (you can use an immersion blender or pop everything into a bullet blender for an ultra-creamy cocoa).
  • Pour into two mugs and serve!

Immune-Boost Smoothie

  • Serves 2
  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 1 thumb fresh ginger
  • 1 inch fresh turmeric (or appx 1.5 tsp ground turmeric)
  • 4 capsules Medi-Shrooms, opened.
  • 2 scoops hemp protein powder (or other clean protein of choice)
  • Water or nondairy milk to desired consistency
  • Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender, and blend until smooth.

Note: you may also use 3-4 capsules of a quality turmeric supplement if you’d prefer, like this one from Tranquility Labs.

Glowing Skin Face Mask

  • 1 Tbsp raw honey
  • 2 tsp gentle clay, like kaolin, rhassoul, or French green clay
  • 1 tsp oil, like argan, rosehip seed, or pomegranate seed
  • 1 capsule of Medi-Shrooms, opened
  • Combine all ingredients in a glass or ceramic bowl, and mix together (use any non-metal utensil to do this).
  • Add tiny bits of water, to thin to desired consistency- you’re aiming for a smooth paste.
  • Apply to freshly cleaned skin, and allow to sit and absorb for 10-20 minutes.
  • Wash off with warm water, and follow with a light moisturizer.

There are lots of great ways to work with medicinal mushrooms, and I think you’ll have fun playing with these recipes and coming up with your own too! No matter how you get them in, these power ‘shrooms can offer amazing health benefits, and should be a staple in your household. Give them a try- your brain, heart, and immune system will thank you!