The Benefits of Mushrooms – Nature’s Original Superfood!

A few years ago only a handful of places sold culinary mushrooms. I used to buy my favorites from a local Asian market.

Enter one of these markets and you’ll be greeted with all sorts of colors and smells you would've never experienced before! UMAMI BABY!

The manager once revealed that mushrooms were her top sellers and that she sold dozens of varieties. She used to brag often that Japanese people live longer and healthier because their diet includes plenty of mushrooms!

While mushrooms are only entitled to part of the credit, it cannot be denied there is growing interest among scientists to study the medical benefits of edible fungi.

There is good reason for that. Several studies have reported promising results that indicate mushrooms can reduce inflammation, strengthen the immune system, have anti-cancer properties, reduce cholesterol, and so on and so forth.

A peek into the past and a brief look at the current research on mushrooms indicates that some fungi are indeed nature’s original superfood.   

Edible Mushrooms with Medicinal Properties

The practice of using mushrooms as medicine goes back thousands of years.

Hippocrates – the Greek physician – studied the amadou mushroom and found the edible fungus to possess anti-inflammatory properties. He used the mushroom for closing and healing wounds.

In Asia, it was common to use mushrooms to heal wounds and treat ailments. Medical texts from China reveal that traditional healers often prescribed tea made using Reishi and other herbs as an anti-aging tonic.

At the mushroom research center in Kuala Lumpur, the scientist in charge Vikineswary Sabaratnam, says that the fruiting body of mushrooms is a nutrient powerhouse.

Scientists are interested in mushrooms for the compounds in these fruiting bodies. Mushrooms store beta-glucans, potassium, vitamin D, copper, selenium, and scores of other elements that fight oxidative stress and inflammation in the body.

Researchers studying mushrooms have reported positive impacts from boosting immunity to fighting cancer, and more.

There is no doubt that mushrooms possess nutritional and therapeutic potential. There are more than 2000 species that have shown the potential to improve health and overall well-being.

The benefits and degree of positive impact of mushrooms depend on the species, where they grow, and how they are cultivated.  

Here is a list of 7 super mushrooms! Each medicinal mushroom on the list has something unique to offer. Plus, there is evidence to back all their claims. Let’s get started:

  1. Cordyceps militaris


  • Improves energy and stamina
  • Increases exercise capacity and after workout muscle recovery
  • Boosts libido and fertility

researcher holding corydceps

In Chinese traditional medicine, Cordyceps serves as the vitality elixir often prescribed to improve energy, stamina, and libido.

As a daily supplement, this interesting-looking mushroom acts as a natural pick-me-up, helping users meet the energy demands of their daily toils.

Cordyceps – taken alone or in combination with other supplements helps athletes train harder and longer.1 In addition, the mushroom also speeds up post-workout muscle recovery.

This incredible mushroom improves energy levels by supporting healthy blood circulation. Furthermore, it works at the cellular level to support the efficient use of oxygen.2

Cordyceps role as a workout support was put to test in an experiment. Some participants were given cordyceps, whereas others received a placebo. After six weeks, researchers observed a significant increase in exercise capacity in the mushroom group!3

Cordyceps contains cordycepin, beta-glucans, and several other compounds. These bioactive substances are known for their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antiaging, and immunomodulatory properties.

Cordyceps also helps manage diabetes and in doing so reduces fatigue and boosts energy. In the body, the mushroom mimics insulin. It clears glucose from the blood and transports it to the cells for energy production.4

Cordyceps is also an aphrodisiac that can improve fertility and sexual health in both men and women. Ooo la la!

In one animal study, cordyceps increased serum testosterone levels and epididymal sperm parameters in male rats. Higher sperm and testosterone numbers also improved the copulatory behavior of the subjects.5 All of these amazing benefits can be found in our Mushie ENERGY gummies. We sourced the best quality USDA Certified Organic Cordyceps militaris in our gummy formula, delivering you 2,000mg of dual extracted cordyceps in each serving!

  1. Reishi


  • Alleviates stress, anxiety, and depression
  • Improves mood and sleep quality
  • Fights infection and can inhibit cancer cell growth
  • Controls blood sugar levels and LDL cholesterol

reishi mushrooms up close

In this fast-paced world with daily stressors affecting mood, behavior, and overall well-being, a regular dose of Reishi can do wonders for our physical and psychological health!

Reishi is one of the most important natural remedies for anxiety and depression. In traditional medicine, the mushroom is used as a Shen tonic which is a concoction believed to open the spiritual heart and impact the nervous system. 

Triterpenes – the active compounds in Reishi are mood-boosters and potent adaptogens. Its calming effect is well documented in multiple studies. It improves mood by easing depression, alleviating anxiety, and improving sleep quality.6,7

Reishi calms the body and mind without causing drowsiness and fatigue. Taking the mushroom on a consistent basis reduces fatigue, irritability, pains, and aches.

In one study, taking Reishi for 8 weeks improved energy, focus, and quality of life in participants with neurasthenia.8

In another study, cancer patients who took the mushroom for 4 weeks reported more energy and less anxiety and depression.9

Reishi is also known for its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Several studies found that the anti-inflammatory effect on white blood cells helps the body to fight infection and tumor cells in both ill and healthy people.10,11

The health benefits of Reishi are also due to its active compounds such as peptidoglycans and polysaccharides. These molecules also influence how our body manages blood sugar levels and cholesterol levels.

In addition, the fight against diabetes and heart ailments is augmented by antioxidants which reduce oxidative stress. No wonder Reishi is known as the “mushroom of immortality.” We’ve formulated our UNWIND gummies with 1,000mg of dual extracted Reishi from USDA Certified Organic whole fruiting bodies in each serving!

  1. Lions Mane Mushroom


  • Increases memory, mental clarity, and concentration
  • Improves mood and alleviates anxiety and depression
  • Delays onset of Alzheimer’s and similar conditions

Lions Mane mushroom up close

This soft, hairy mushroom is a brain food that helps the young and the old alike. Lion’s Mane is packed with antioxidants and beta-glucans like other mushrooms in our list. But this “smart mushroom” is best known for its cognition-enhancing and neuroprotective properties.

This nootropic superfood contains erinacines and hericenones – compounds that stimulate the release of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF).12

NGF is a protein that supports the growth and maintenance of brain cells. In addition, the protein is crucial for other neurological activities such as neuron plasticity, differentiation, and neuronal migration.

The cognition-enhancing properties of the lion’s mane are further strengthened by its ability to protect myelin which is an insulating layer around nerve cells.13

As a nootropic, the mushroom clears mental fog, boosts memory, and improves focus and attention. The mushroom also improves how the hippocampus process memories and emotions. The mushroom’s ability to improve hippocampus function helps the users deal with anxiety and depression.14

Lion’s Mane is regularly added to nootropic stacks that fight age-related neurodegeneration. As we age, the body’s ability to produce new brain cells and repair damaged neurons gradually decreases. This neurodegeneration results in cognitive decline characterized by memory loss, irritability, difficulty concentrating, mood changes, confusion, etc.

In animal studies, the mushroom prevented damage to neurons caused by amyloid-beta plaques that form in Alzheimer’s disease.15

Studies show that the active compounds in Lion’s Mane stimulate neurogenesis and protect and repair existing brain cells. We can’t go a day without Lion’s Mane so we’ve sourced 2,000mg of dual-extracted, USDA Certified Organic Lion’s Mane in each serving of our BRAINY gummies! What better way to incorporate this powerful mushroom into your daily routine!

  1. Turkey Tail


  • Inhibits the growth of cancer cells
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Improves gut health and promotes weight loss

Turkey Tail mushroom up close

Turkey Tail is the leader of the pack when it comes to fighting cancer. It’s among the most studied and researched mushrooms with powerful antioxidant properties.

We won’t recommend Turkey Tail as a standalone treatment for cancer. In Japan, the mushroom is prescribed as an adjunct treatment to certain patients.16

The mushroom houses an impressive array of compounds that provide wide-ranging benefits. The flavonoids and phenols in the mushroom fight oxidative stress and boost immune function.

According to one study, the flavonoid quercetin stimulates the release of interferon-y – an immunoprotective protein – and at the same time inhibits LOX and COX which are pro-inflammatory enzymes.17

Its immunity-boosting credentials are further increased by the presence of Peptide (PSP) and Krestin (PSK) which are two potent types of polysaccharopeptides.

There is evidence to prove that beta-glucans in this mushroom boost fat metabolism, especially in those who consume a high-fat diet. Hence, supplementation of Turkey Tail can help manage cholesterol levels.18

The mushroom also has probiotic properties that support a healthy gut microbiome.19 Turkey Tail’s ability to metabolize fat and improve gut health can help prevent weight gain.20

  1. Chaga


  • Inhibits cancer cell growth
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Maintains healthy cholesterol levels

Chaga mushroom up close

Chaga is a nutrient-rich mushroom that’s packed with all types of antioxidants. In addition to polysaccharides, polyphenols, and sterols that are normally found in most medicinal mushrooms, Chaga also contains triterpenes, betulinic acid, superoxide dismutase, and melanin.

In Russia and other countries with cold climates, Chaga is consumed as a tea to boost vitality, immunity, and overall good health.

Its powerful antioxidant properties have a positive impact on the immune system. In addition, the active compounds in the mushroom stimulate WBC and boost the production of cytokines which are immunity-regulating proteins.

Studies show, by strengthening the immune system, Chaga helps fight infections, both viral and bacterial.21,22

The antioxidants in Chaga mount an effective fight against oxidative stress. Studies show the compounds in Chaga not only slow the growth of cancer cells but also reduce the size of tumor growth by as much as 60%. Researchers also found that Chaga extract has an impact on cancer cells in the liver, colon, prostate, breast, and lungs.23,24,25,26,27,28

The antioxidants present in the mushroom are credited for managing cholesterol levels. Studies show Chaga reduces the risk of heart disease by lowering bad (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides, and increasing good (HDL) cholesterol.29

  1. Shiitake


  • Controls cholesterol levels to improve heart health
  • Reduces inflammation and fights cancer
  • Contains antimicrobial properties

Shiitake mushroom up close

Shiitake is quite popular worldwide for its savory taste and health benefits. These brown-capped mushrooms are rich in vitamins (mainly B complex), minerals, and fiber. Plus, the mushroom also contains amino acids that are mainly found in meat.

The mushroom has multiple health-promoting compounds including sterols, terpenoids, and polysaccharides.

Shiitake is one of the best mushrooms to promote heart health. The beta-glucans in the mushroom decrease bad cholesterol, sterols reduce cholesterol absorption from the intestines, and eritadenine lowers cholesterol by inhibiting enzymes that produce cholesterol.

In one animal study, mice fed with Shiitake had lower bad cholesterol, less plaque in the artery, and less fat in the liver.30

In another study, researchers administered Shiitake powder to rats with hypertension. They found a significant reduction in blood pressure number.31  

Similar to other mushrooms on our list, Shiitake contains antioxidants that fight inflammation. In a study, taking the mushroom for just a month reduced inflammation levels in the participants.32

In their latest studies researchers are focusing on the anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties of Shiitake.33,34 Scientists believe the antimicrobial properties of mushrooms could pave the way forward in dealing with antibiotic-resistant bacteria.35

  1. Maitake


  • Fights anxiety and depression
  • Lowers cholesterol and blood glucose levels
  • Can inhibit growth of cancerous cells

Maitake up close

Maitake or hen-of-the-wood is a wild perennial fungus with incredible healing properties. This nutrient-rich mushroom can help fight cancer, anxiety, high cholesterol, and other health conditions.

Maitake is considered a powerful adaptogen. In people suffering from depression, scientists notice the poor expression of AMPA receptors. The mushroom helps fights depression and other mood problems by activating the receptors.36,37

The active compounds in this mushroom promote cholesterol metabolism. They help release energy from fatty acids. In one study, Maitake helped reduce cholesterol in mice.38 Scientists believe Maitake can keep arteries clean and healthy.

Studies show the compounds in Maitake have a positive impact on glucose levels in animals.39 Scientists hypothesize the same effect can be mimicked in humans to treat type 2 diabetes.

Maitake extract has also been studied to treat cancer in humans. In one study, Maitake extract administered along with a cancer-fighting protein augmented the impact of the protein.40

In another study, researchers found that the mushroom extract reduced the multiplication of cancer cells in the breasts.41 Turkey Tail, Chaga, Shiitake, and Maitake are so great at defending our immunities, we formulated our DEFEND gummies to include these mushrooms plus Reishi!

Final Thoughts

Keeping yourself strong, physically and psychologically, can be an uphill battle given the innumerable stressors of modern life. Mushrooms - nature’s original superfood will fit perfectly into the current lifestyle.

These 7 mushrooms are super nutritious and loaded with vitamins, antioxidants, fiber, and more. As you know by now, these mushrooms are associated with health benefits such as higher immunity, better brain function, improved cardiovascular health, and more!

Try them all now in our Mushie Power Bundle and keep ailments and expensive treatments away!



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  41. Genes Related to Suppression of Malignant Phenotype Induced by Maitake ...