Lion’s mane, chaga, cordyceps. All three of the functional mushrooms in our granola are awesome and provide a plethora of benefits. Adaptogens have been shown to help with everything from providing essential brain nutrients to boosting cognition and reducing inflammation (among many other things).
However, if you’re looking for a particular benefit or effect, or management of a certain condition, some adaptogenic mushrooms may be more effective than others. So which mushroom is best? While there is no one hard and fast answer, we do have some research and information to suggest which mushrooms might be more beneficial in a number of situations.
Many adaptogenic mushrooms can helpfight inflammation. In fact, lion’s mane, chaga, and cordyceps have all been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. Cordyceps in particular seems to help prevent inflammation. A study conducted in 2020 looked at the effects oninflammation of cordycepin, which is the major bioactive component extracted from Cordyceps militaris. Researchers found that cordycepin has protective effects against inflammation in chronic illnesses, like rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and asthma.
For skin and hair health
When it comes to skin and hair, you cannot deny the positive effects of thechaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus). Chaga helps with everything from slowing the aging process to treating acne, and even preventing skin cancer. The high concentration of kojic acid in this mushroom reduces skin sensitivity, and can reduce the severity of acne. Inonotus obliquus can protect your skin from sun damage and slow the aging process. Chaga has also been an ingredient in certain shampoos for centuries and has been shown to have anti-alopecia effects on human hair follicles.
When it comes to cognitive benefits, look no further than lion’s mane, or Hericium erinaceus. Lion’s mane and the brain go hand in hand. Lion’s mane mushrooms canboost memory, increase focus, exertanti-anxiety and anti-depression effects, andslow down cognitive decline.
Lion’s mane mushrooms have also been shown to help treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. It has been proven that these fungi promote neurogenesis (brain nerve cell growth). They haveneuroprotective and neuroregenerative properties that can counteract some of the damage caused to nerves by Parkinson’s.
Now this is an area that could use some more research, but the anecdotal evidence suggests that lion’s mane can havepositive effects on cognition for those with ADHD. As was mentioned above, lion’s mane has been shown to increase focus and can help to combat brain fog as well. Since these are a couple of common symptoms of ADHD, there is reason to believe lion’s mane, in tandem with traditional treatment methods, can help ease symptoms of ADHD.
To lower blood sugar
Another of the many benefits you can gain by taking adaptogenic mushrooms is lowered blood sugar levels. Chaga, cordyceps, and lion’s mane mushrooms can all help to lower or stabilize blood glucose levels. This is beneficial in day to day life for many people, but especially those who are diabetic or pre-diabetic. These mushrooms have been shown to help in both theprevention and management of diabetes.
For reproductive function
The benefits of adaptogens just keep coming! Reproductive function is yet another area of life that can be improved by consuming adaptogenic mushrooms. Cordyceps in particular have beneficial effects on testosterone production.Cordyceps mushrooms can enhance sex drive and improve reproductive health.
Cancer is a very scary and serious word for just about everyone. The prevention and treatment of various cancers is the focus of innumerable researchers, clinical trials, and medical studies every year. So if there was a holistic way to help prevent or treat cancer, wouldn’t that be exciting? Enter,adaptogenic mushrooms for cancer prevention and treatment. Cordyceps, chaga, and lion’s mane all exhibit anticancer properties. They have the potential to help with many types of cancer, from breast cancer to leukemia to melanoma and lung cancer.
The 8 conditions above are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the ways adaptogenic mushrooms can benefit health. There is lots of research still to be done and much to be learned about the specific benefits of adaptogens, but it is clear that they are helpful to the mind and body in a number of ways.