What are Medicinal Mushrooms?* Get to Know 10 of Our Favorites

Mushrooms are having a “moment” right now, with previously rare varieties popping up at farmers markets, in supermarkets, and in the supplement aisle. (What a wonderful time to be a fan of fungi!) But mushrooms actually have been part of herbalism and cooking for millennia — all the way back to 450 BC. There are so many ways to describe the mushrooms used for health and in the kitchen: edible mushrooms, culinary mushrooms, functional mushrooms, and medicinal mushrooms.* This blog post will break down that last term as well as share 10 of our favorite medicinal mushrooms with you.*

What are Medicinal Mushrooms?*

Mushrooms that are used in herbalism, traditional health-care systems (like TCM from China), and other health modalities are sometimes called “medicinal mushrooms.”* They’re also called “functional mushrooms” since they cross over from providing nourishment and nutrition to providing support for health and well-being.* Medicinal mushrooms were traditionally consumed as a tea (simmering the mushrooms in water, creating an extraction), but today you can find them as powders, tinctures, capsules, and more. Our mushrooms are always processed twice — in a dual extraction of water, known as decoction, and alcohol, known as tincture. While most commonly used to offer support to the immune system, the modern and traditional uses of medicinal mushrooms are quite diverse.* Here’s a look at the medicinal mushrooms we use.*

Chaga (Inonotus obliquus)

  • An adaptogenic mushroom that is traditionally used to support the skin, immune system, healthy digestion, and the body's natural cleansing processes.*

Cordyceps (Cordyceps militaris)

  • Cordyceps is an adaptogen, meaning it supports a healthy response to stress.*
  • Traditionally used to support healthy stamina and energy levels (including at the cellular level), lung health, sexual health, and kidney health.*

We are the largest Cordyceps mushroom farm (and only Certified Organic one) in the Western Hemisphere. Check out our Organic Cordyceps tincture for more info.

Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus)

  • Traditionally used to support memory and cognitive function.*
  • Also used to support the digestive system.*
  • Offers nourishment for the brain and supports the production of nerve growth factor.*

Maitake (Grifola frondosa)

  • Traditionally used to maintain nervous system health, healthy digestive function, immune health, and cardiovascular health.*
  • Also supports liver health and healthy blood sugar levels already within normal ranges.*

Meshima (Phellinus linteus)

  • A medicinal mushroom traditionally used to support women's health, healthy immune function, and cellular health.*
  • It also provides antioxidant support.*

Poria Cocos (Wolfiporia extensa)

  • Traditionally used to promote healthy sleep, normal and healthy hydration levels, healthy sleep and relaxation, nervous system health and memory, and normal stomach function.*
  • It promotes healthy immune function, too.*

Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum)

  • Reishi is an adaptogenic mushroom that helps support your body’s natural stress response.*
  • It’s one of the medicinal mushrooms traditionally used to support the immune, cardiovascular, and nervous systems; liver and kidney health; and healthy sleep and relaxation.*

Shiitake (Lentinula edodes)

  • Traditionally used to support immune, liver, and cardiovascular health.*

Tremella (Tremella fuciformis)

  • Traditionally used to promote healthy skin, support memory, a healthy metabolism, and bone health.*
  • It supports healthy bones, the immune system, cellular health, lungs, kidneys, and liver.*

Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor)

  • Traditionally used to support the immune system and liver health.*
  • The most-studied mushroom for the immune system.*
All 10 of these medicinal mushrooms are included in our best-selling Mush 10. It comes in both tincture and powder form. Both are made with 100% organic mushroom fruiting bodies — no fillers, grains or fluff!