How to take adaptogenic mushrooms: Lion's Mane and More

If you’ve been curious about adaptogenic mushrooms but aren’t sure where to start, here’s a handy guide for how to consume them.  


Adaptogens can have powerful positive effects on the mind and body, and adaptogenic mushrooms like lion’s mane, chaga, and cordyceps are a great addition to your daily diet. They have been shown to be completely safe to consume, and have been used medicinally in East Asia for many centuries. 


Their history of use is much shorter in the United States, so people tend to have questions or concerns about adaptogenic mushrooms. This is understandable, so we’re here to answer some of these questions and ease some worries about the best ways to add adaptogenic mushrooms to your diet. 


What forms can I consume adaptogenic mushrooms in? 

Adaptogenic mushrooms are just that: mushrooms.  They are fungi that grow in the wild and can be foraged and consumed in their purest form. However, that is not how most people consume adaptogenic mushrooms. For these fungi, like lion’s mane and chaga, it is much more common to consume them as anextract, a powder, or in foods fortified with adaptogenic mushrooms (like our delicious granola).  


So which is better?  That depends what you’re looking for. All can be great ways to incorporate adaptogens into your diet. 


Mushrooms extracts tend to be more highly concentrated and potent than powder.  Most scientific research about mushrooms like lion’s mane uses mushroom extracts because of their potency.  Because of their strength, extracts can also be useful for preventing or combatting progressive illnesses. Mushroom extracts can be mixed into just about any food or drink to incorporate these fungi into your diet.  


Powders are less potent than extracts, so tend to be less expensive and easier to include in your diet.  They can be mixed into drinks, smoothies, or foods like baked goods.  They do, however, have a more overpowering taste. 


And finally, foods fortified with mushrooms are a truly delicious option.  When made well (like our granola is)  you likely won’t taste the mushrooms at all, yet will still be receiving all the benefits these adaptogens offer.  If you’re not sure about the taste or concerned about the best ways to work adaptogenic mushrooms into your diet, Forij granola can be a great place to start. 



What dosage of adaptogenic mushrooms should I take? 

The perfectdose of adaptogenic mushrooms can vary quite a bit from person to person and situation to situation.  In general, it is best to start with a lower dose and work your way up. For general health maintenance, starting with 250-750 mg per day should be plenty.  If the mushrooms are being used to treat symptoms of diseases like ADHD, Alzheimer’s, or depressions, a higher dose may be called for. These doses can range from 1000-5000mg per day.    


It is important to note that no matter how large or small of a dose you’re consuming, it is EXTREMELY unlikely that you could ever overdose on adaptogenic mushrooms. If you are not used to adaptogens and immediately begin taking a very large dose, it is possible you could experience mild side effects like nausea or upset stomach.  So, it is always advised to start with a small dose, and work your way up. 



When should I consume adaptogenic mushrooms? 

There’s no wrong time to eat adaptogenic mushrooms: they are safe to consume any time of day.  However, based on the benefits they provide, it is likelybest to eat them in the morning. Lion’s mane, for instance, is a mushroom that can have a stimulating effect on the brain.  It improves focus and memory, so can be a super beneficial way to start your day. 



What can I expect after consuming them? 

First and foremost, one of the biggest concerns people have about functional mushrooms is that they will get high.  This is FALSE:adaptogenic mushrooms like the ones in our granola are NOT psychoactive, so you will NOT experience any type of high when consuming lion’s mane, chaga, or cordyceps.  


What you may experience, however, is a wide range of benefits, especially over time if you consume adaptogenic mushrooms regularly.  Each mushroom offers its own unique benefits: 


Lion’s mane 

  • Increased mental clarity and focus 
  • Decreased anxiety and depression
  • Neuroregenerative and neuroprotective benefits 
  • Reduced risk of sleep disorders
  • Prevention of memory loss and cognitive impairment 
  • Boosted immunity 
  • Anti-inflammatory effects 
  • Lowered blood sugar levels 

Chaga 

  • Improved skin health, reduced severity of acne 
  • Anti-inflammatory effects 
  • Improved hair growth and health 
  • Anti-cancer activity 
  • Lowered blood sugar levels 
  • Improved reproductive function for men 

Cordyceps 

  • Anti-cancer activity 
  • Anti-aging effects 
  • Enhanced sex drive 
  • Lowered blood sugar levels 
  • Improved digestive health 
  • Relieved chronic kidney disease symptoms 
  • Antioxidant properties 

Some of thebenefits of adaptogenic mushrooms are short-term and some are long-term.  Within just a few days of consuming lion’s mane, you can expect to feel more energized and increased mental clarity.  Some of the other benefits can take longer to appear, and will surface only after you have been taking adaptogenic mushrooms consistently for months. 



We hope this guide has provided useful information about consuming lion’s mane, chaga, and cordyceps mushrooms.  These adaptogens are safe and can help treat a variety of symptoms and illnesses, improving the health of both the mind and body. 

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