The Therapeutic Benefits of Mushrooms

The Therapeutic Benefits of Mushrooms

Mushrooms such as Shiitake and Lion’s Mane are a form of fungi that have been used as Chinese medicinal botanicals for centuries.(1) It is estimated that there are over 140,000 species of mushrooms, but only about 10% have been identified.(2) Shiitake and Lion’s Mane mushrooms are two well-researched types of fungi that have quickly grown in popularity due to their ability to enhance adaptive process in the body that target different forms of environmental or biological stressors.(3) Accordingly, their use in healthcare and nutraceutical supplementation is continuing to expand.

Shiitake Mushrooms

Shiitake mushrooms (Lentinus edodes) have been described as a medicinal food for thousands of years in Japan and China.(3) They are an excellent source of protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Essential nutrients in this particular type of mushroom include vitamin D2, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), and B9 (folate). Shiitake mushrooms also contain sufficient amounts of potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, zinc, nickel, and manganese. 

Shiitake mushrooms also contain polysaccharides, which are carbohydrates that support the health of cells throughout the body and provide a source of energy.(4,5) One particular polysaccharide found in this type of mushroom is called lentinan. Research shows that lentinan boosts immune system function and targets invaders that are linked to cell damage.(4-6) It also enhances the activity of white blood cells that fight harmful microorganisms.(5,6) In addition, lentinan appears to heighten the function of various organs, including the liver.(6)

Another active component in Shiitake mushrooms is eritadenine, which disrupts the activity of a specific enzyme that is associated with high levels of cholesterol. Accordingly, studies show that supplementation with mushrooms containing eritadenine support healthier cholesterol levels.(3-5) Furthermore, the active substances in Shiitake mushrooms help lower the risk of blood clot formation.(4) This beneficial mushroom even boosts oral health by lessening irritation, redness, and swelling that may be linked to poor dental hygiene.(7) 

Although shiitake mushrooms are edible, reports have shown that individuals can develop allergic reactions to the mushrooms by eating or inhaling its spores.(3) Complications that may be experienced after exposure to the spores include: fever, headache, congestion, cough, general feelings of discomfort, or a reduced quality of life.(3) - Our formula does not contain spores ;)

Lion’s Mane Mushrooms

Lion’s Mane mushrooms (Hericium erinaceum) are another well-known form of medicinal fungi. They contain a variety of active compounds, including antioxidants that scavenge free radical toxins and other harmful invaders.8 The powerful components in these mushrooms also reinforce healthy cells by lowering the risk of abnormal cell growth.(8,9) 

This particular mushroom is rich in plant-based nutrients such as hericenones and erinacines, which have been shown through research to promote nerve cell growth and support brain health.(8-10) In particular, these two compounds bolster the production of a protein called nerve growth factor that lowers the risk of age-related cognitive decline. Healthy levels of nerve growth factor also help target feelings of sorrow and excessive worrying. 

One study that was conducted in Japan showed that consuming Lion’s Mane mushrooms daily for six months enhanced physical and intellectual abilities in individuals who were experiencing cognitive issues.(8) Overall, the therapeutic properties of Lion’s Mane mushrooms help strengthen the body’s resistance to stress, heighten overall mood, and promote better mental performance. 

In summary, mushrooms such as Shiitake and Lion’s Mane offer beneficial compounds that may help your body function at its best. However, it is important to consume mushrooms that are supported by research and to take them as directed. When taken consistently, you may soon begin to notice improvements in your health and general well-being.

  1. Ukwuru, M. U., Muritala, A., & Eze, L. U. (2018). Edible and non-edible wild mushrooms: Nutrition, toxicity and strategies for recognition. J Clin Nutr Metab2(2), 1-9.
  2. Lindequist, U., Niedermeyer, T. H., & Jülich, W. D. (2005). The pharmacological potential of mushrooms. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine2(3), 285-299.
  3. Wasser, S. P. (2005). Shiitake (Lentinus edodes). Encyclopedia of dietary supplements, 653-664.
  4. Jasrotia, N., Sharma, I., Badhani, S., & Prashar, B. (2012). Incredible shiitake mushroom. Asian Journal of Pharmacy and Life Science ISSN2231, 4423.
  5. Rahman, T., & Choudhury, M. B. K. (2012). Shiitake mushroom: a tool of medicine. Bangladesh Journal of Medical Biochemistry5(1), 24-32.
  6. Friedman M. Mushroom Polysaccharides: Chemistry and Antiobesity, Antidiabetes, Anticancer, and Antibiotic Properties in Cells, Rodents, and Humans. Foods. 2016;5(4):80.
  7. Avinash, J., Vinay, S., Jha, K., Das, D., Goutham, B. S., & Kumar, G. (2016). The unexplored anticaries potential of shiitake mushroom. Pharmacognosy Reviews10(20), 100.
  8. Ghosh, S., Nandi, S., Banerjee, A., Sarkar, S., Chakraborty, N., & Acharya, K. (2021). Prospecting medicinal properties of Lion's mane mushroom. Journal of Food Biochemistry45(8), e13833.
  9. Lai P, et al. Neurotrophic properties of the Lion's mane medicinal mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) from Malaysia. Int J Med Mushrooms. 2013;15(6):539-54.
  10. Cheng JH, Tsai CL, Lien YY, Lee MS, Sheu SC. High molecular weight of polysaccharides from Hericium erinaceus against amyloid beta-induced neurotoxicity. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2016, 16(1):170. 
  11. Kawagishi, H., Zhuang, C., & Shnidman, E. (2004). The anti-dementia effect of Lion's Mane mushroom (Hericium erinaceum) and its clinical application. Townsend letter for doctors and Patients, (249), 54-57.
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