Culinary vs. Functional Mushrooms

What is the difference?

For the modern consumer, mushrooms can be broadly categorized into two main types: culinary and functional (medicinal), some, like Lion’s Mane and Maitake, are both!

Culinary Mushrooms: These mushrooms are prized for their flavor, texture, and nutritional value. Common culinary mushrooms include:

  • blue, pink, and gold oyster
  • coral tooth
  • lions mane
  • chestnut
  • shiitake
  • button/ portobello
  • maitake
  • chanterelle
  • morel
  • lobster

Culinary mushrooms are not only delicious but also packed with essential nutrients, like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These mushrooms come both fresh and dried. Learn more about cooking culinary mushrooms with our blog post:

The Basics of Cooking Fresh Mushrooms


Functional (Medicinal) Mushrooms: These mushrooms are renowned for their health-boosting properties but are usually unpalatable due to flavor, texture, or both. Some popular functional mushrooms include:

  • Reishi: Known for its immune-boosting and stress-reducing properties.
  • Chaga: Rich in antioxidants, believed to support overall health and vitality.
  • Lion's Mane: Often used to enhance cognitive function and nerve health.
  • Cordyceps: Valued for its potential to improve energy levels and athletic performance.

Functional mushrooms are typically consumed in the form of teas, extracts, and are celebrated for their potential to promote wellness and address specific health concerns. Read more about these functional varieties in this blog post:

5 Functional Mushrooms and Their Benefits