Adaptogenic mushrooms have been all the rage in holistic medicine for a while now, thanks to the many benefits they can have on physical and mental health.
But, how do medicinal mushrooms stack up against inflammation?
Here are the best mushrooms for inflammation and how they can ease both acute and chronic inflammatory processes.
What is Inflammation?
In recent years, inflammation is one of the most talked-about health topics, due to its link to many autoimmune illnesses. Inflammation is the immune system’s response to a perceived threat or danger. Unfortunately, it can get out of control and cause chronic health issues.
Your body releases special cells and substances into your bloodstream when it senses a threat. These threats can be from foreign invaders such as viruses and bacteria; they can also be damage to the body, such as a splinter, wound, or burn.
What is the Fastest Way to Get Rid of Inflammation in the Body?
When it comes to acute inflammation, nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs, for short) are the most common inflammation treatment options. These drugs include ibuprofen, high-dose aspirin, and diclofenac.
While NSAIDs can be helpful for acute inflammatory processes, chronic inflammation often requires a different course of treatment, such as a lifestyle change and the inclusion of foods with anti-inflammatory properties into your diet.
What is the Strongest Anti-inflammatory Food?
Many foods are thought to reduce inflammation and are an integral part of any anti-inflammatory diet. For instance, consuming mushrooms, especially adaptogenic fungi, was shown to reduce chronic inflammation, which is why they are a staple in integrative medicine. Leafy greens, tomatoes, fatty fish, and many other foods can also have antiinflammatory effects.
Best Mushroom for Inflammation
Anti-inflammatory activities are among the many health benefits of mushrooms. Several medicinal fungi—such as turkey tail mushroom, the oyster mushroom, and chaga mushrooms—were shown to contain potent antiinflammatory compounds and aid in your immune system’s ability to fight acute inflammation while reducing symptoms of chronic inflammation.
Cordyceps Mushroom for Inflammation
Cordyceps mushrooms appear to benefit men’s health and sexual health by increasing testosterone levels. These fungi also aid in exercise performance, maintain heart health, and improve immune function.
Both Cordyceps sinensis and Cordyceps militaris appear to be quite effective when it comes to treating inflammation.
A 2020 study examined the effects of cordycepin, one of the bioactive compounds found in cordyceps cultured mycelia, on inflammation. Results show that the ethanol extracts that contain cordycepin inhibit processes that cause inflammation in chronic illnesses, such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, and asthma.
Reishi Mushroom for Inflammation
The reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) is among the healthiest mushrooms you can consume. This mushroom species is known for its many health benefits, including the ability to lower blood sugar levels and aid in diabetes treatment.
According to a 2017 study, polysaccharides found in reishi appear to regulate inflammatory cytokine production, at least in animals. This fungus also seems to regulate gut microbiota composition, which could aid in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease and similar auto-immune digestive issues.
Chaga Mushroom for Inflammation
The health benefits of chaga mushrooms (Inonotus obliquus) range from lowering blood pressure and blood glucose levels to keeping your skin healthy and aiding in cancer treatment. But, did you know that this skin care staple can reduce inflammation, as well?
In a 2019 animal study, phenolic compounds found in chaga fruit bodies were found to attenuate histamine-induced microvascular inflammation. On a microvascular level, inflammation can negatively impact cell-to-cell communication and even cause cardiovascular illnesses if prolonged.
This edible mushroom contains several compounds that appear to alleviate microvascular inflammation. These results are promising and warrant further research into the exact mechanisms of chaga mushroom extracts and their effects on inflammation.
White Button Mushroom for Inflammation
White button mushrooms come in many varieties, with Agaricus bisporus, Agaricus blazei, and Agaricus brasiliensis being the most popular. According to a 2011 study, polysaccharides found in these mushrooms can have immunomodulatory effects and ease inflammation.
These fungi appear to regulate human monocytic THP-1 cell cultures, which play a major role in inflammatory processes. Still, more research is needed to get a deeper understanding of this mushroom species and its effects on inflammation.
Another study that examined the effects of mushrooms on inflammatory markers and the production of TNF-α and other antiinflammatory agents, as well as proinflammatory mediators.
The effects of the mushroom Agaricus bisporus on TNF-α production was significant, as it increased the production of this agent in microphage cell walls. This mushroom also appeared to aid in the reduction of mediators that promote inflammation.
Lion’s Mane Mushroom for Inflammation
Hericium erinaceus, better known as lion’s mane, is a miracle mushroom for mental health, as it appears to ease symptoms of depression and provide a slew of spiritual benefits. Lion’s mane can also aid in weight loss and weight management, improve sleep issues, and provide antioxidant and antiinflammatory effects.
Research shows that lion’s mane mushroom extract can have incredible anti-inflammatory properties. For example, the results of a recent study on the anti-inflammatory effects of Hericium erinaceus (higher basidiomycetes) indicate that lion’s mane caused significant inhibition of TLR4-JNK signaling, thus producing potent anti-inflammatory effects.
The TLR4-JNK pathway is a mediator of inflammation, according to a 2019 study. By inhibiting TLR4-JNK signal pathways, lion's mane seems to lessen inflammation levels in adipose tissue, which is associated with obesity and generally prone to chronic inflammation.
Maitake Mushroom for Inflammation
Maitake mushrooms (Grifola frondosa) are among the best mushrooms to slow down the growth of cancer of the bladder, and the medicinal properties of these functional mushrooms also include fighting inflammation.
A 2021 animal study examined the influence of a maitake mushroom extract on inflammatory processes related to hepatitis.
Results show that the mice that were given maitake mushrooms had lower levels of inflammation than the control group, leading to the conclusion that this mushroom does possess anti-inflammatory properties.
Shiitake Mushroom for Inflammation
Lentinus edodes (shiitake mushrooms) can affect oxidative stress and inflammatory responses in the body, according to a study published in the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms.
This mushroom contains a compound called lenthionine, which seems to be responsible for shiitake’s anti-inflammatory properties. More research into lenthionine is needed to understand the underlying mechanisms of its effects on inflammation, particularly in people.
Mushrooms for Autoimmune Disease
Many medicinal mushrooms can aid in the treatment of autoimmune inflammatory diseases.
For instance, a study published in the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms suggests that shiitake crude extracts could regulate your body’s immune responses, thus easing some symptoms of autoimmune illnesses.
Hericium erinaceus is also a great choice for autoimmune disease management. Lion’s mane can benefit people with multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease caused by demyelination that can have debilitating effects on the body.
Do Mushrooms Cause Inflammation?
No, mushrooms do not cause inflammation. All mushrooms are rich in antiinflammatory compounds such as polysaccharides, indolic, and phenolic compounds, and can only help you in your fight against inflammation
Interested in Taking Medicinal Mushrooms for Inflammation?
If you’re interested in trying medicinal mushrooms for inflammation, it’s best to combine the benefits of a few fungi. And, what better way to do so than with a bowl of cereal?
Our mushroom granola contains hyperconcentrated extracts of lion’s mane, chaga, and cordyceps mushrooms.
The granola is vegan, gluten-free, and delicious. You can choose from one of our three amazing flavors, or go with a bundle if you can’t decide on a favorite.
Mushrooms for Inflammation FAQ
How many adaptogenic mushrooms are in Forij granola?
Forij granola uses a high-quality extract made from whole medicinal mushrooms. Our dual extraction method extracts both water-soluble beta-glucans as well as alcohol-soluble triterpenes. Our decoction process breaks down indigestible chitin cell walls of the mushroom to get much more of these compounds out than ordinary processes do.
One serving of our granola provides 250 mg of hyperconcentrated mushroom extract, which is eight times more concentrated than a regular supplement. Therefore, you get as much lion's mane, cordyceps, and chaga as you would if you were taking a 2000 mg mushroom powder supplement, all in one bowl of granola.
What is the best mushroom for gut health?
Many medicinal mushrooms, such as lion's mane, turkey tail, and chaga, possess benefits that aid in gut health. Lion's mane mushrooms have anti-inflammatory properties and may alleviate symptoms of inflammatory bowel diseases. Many use chaga mushrooms for constipation, as they appear to support healthy digestion.
What is the best mushroom to fight cancer?
Cancer prevention and treatment are among the many benefits of mushrooms. For example, lion's mane was proven to aid in the treatment of cancer, especially leukemia, lung cancer, and breast cancer. Aromatic compounds found in lion’s mane were shown to cause apoptosis of cancer cells, meaning that they encourage the death of cells affected by cancer.
Which mushroom is best for healing?
For holistic healing, it’s best to combine various types of mushrooms. Beneficial properties of edible mushrooms range from those that primarily affect physical well-being to those that promote mental and spiritual health. Thus, it’s best to combine a fungus that eases your mind (such as lion’s mane) with ones that aid in physical healing (such as chaga or cordyceps).
What mushroom is best for arthritis?
Research on the effects of medicinal mushrooms on arthritis is still in its infancy and is mainly done ex-vivo or on animal models. Still, the results seem promising and warrant further research into the topic. For example, a 2010 clinical trial suggests that a white mushroom and shiitake dietary supplement can reduce the severity of arthritis, at least in mice.
Is there a mushroom that helps with pain?
Many medicinal mushrooms can ease pain, whether it's a result of a chronic illness, related to women's health, or related to cancer treatment. One of the most widely researched fungi that aid in pain relief is lion's mane. Hericium erinaceus can ease symptoms of neuropathic pain, an often debilitating symptom of illnesses such as diabetes, nerve injury, and diabetes.
What foods are good for digestive inflammatory diseases?
Chronic diseases that cause inflammation of the digestive system, such as ulcerative colitis and IBS, can be difficult to manage.
Luckily, foods such as green tea, matcha, olive oil, dark chocolate, omega-3 fatty acids, fruits, and vegetables seem to offer a potential natural treatment.
Additionally, medicinal mushrooms seem to aid in the treatment of digestive inflammatory diseases, with the medically reviewed effects of lion's mane on the digestion being particularly impressive.
Lion's mane was shown to aid in reducing digestive issues caused by inflammation, as well as prevent gastric ulcers caused by Helicobacter pylori.
What is the best mushroom for cardiovascular disease?
All medicinal mushrooms aid in the prevention and treatment on heart disease due to their ability to lower blood pressure and provide potent antioxidant compounds. However, reishi appears to be particularly beneficial in the treatment of cardiovascular risk factors, according to a recent study.
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This article was written strictly for informational purposes and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease. The statements contained herein are not evaluated by a healthcare professional or the FDA advisory board and are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment information. For more information on adaptogenic mushrooms, talk to your doctor.