First Things First...

Get familiar with some fungi words and concepts...

Functional mushrooms are a category of mushrooms that are prized for their unique health benefits, such as immune support, cognitive enhancement, energy and stamina, antioxidant properties, and cardiovascular health.

These mushrooms contain specific micronutrients and bioactive compounds that can aid with various health goals and ailments.

Unlike regular culinary mushrooms, which are primarily consumed for their taste and nutritional value, functional mushrooms are used for their medicinal properties.

Some functional mushrooms, like Lion's Mane & Maitake fit into both categories, making them both delicious and medicinal.

Other varieties like Reishi and Chaga dont have much culinary value (often because of their woody/tough texture) so they are considered medicinal only. These mushrooms are typically only consumed as tea, ground into powder, or incorporated into snacks like gummies for regimental use.

All of the mushrooms listed here are legal worldwide and will not cause hallucinations.

Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum)
Lion's Mane (Hericium erinaceus)

Cordyceps (Cordyceps militaris)
  • Verywell Health: Increases ATP production and improves oxygen utilization, enhancing physical performance and respiratory health.
  • Healthline: Enhances physical performance and respiratory health.
Shiitake (Lentinula edodes)
  • Healthline: Contains eritadenine, which lowers cholesterol, and lentinan, which boosts immune function by enhancing the activity of immune cells.
  • WebMD: Supports cardiovascular health and immune response.
Chaga (Inonotus obliquus)
  • Healthline: Rich in antioxidants like melanin and superoxide dismutase (SOD), which reduce oxidative stress and enhance immune function by neutralizing free radicals.
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH): Reduces oxidative stress and enhances immune function.

The 5 Most Popular Medicinal Fungi

  • 1. Lion's Mane

    Hericium erinaceus

    Benefits: Cognitive function, nerve regeneration, mental clarity, mood improvement

    Lion's Mane promotes nerve regeneration and cognitive function by stimulating the production of nerve growth factor (NGF), enhancing brain health and neurological functions​

    Micronutrients: Hericenones, erinacines, polysaccharides

  • 2. Reishi

    Ganoderma sp.

    Benefits: Immune support, stress relief, anti-inflammatory, liver health

    Reishi mushrooms contain beta-glucans and triterpenes that enhance immune cell activity and modulate the immune system, making it effective at fighting pathogens and reducing tumor growth​.

    Micronutrients: Polysaccharides, triterpenes, peptidoglycans, ganoderic acids

  • 3. Cordyceps

    Cordyceps militaris

    Benefits: Energy boost, athletic performance, respiratory health, anti-aging

    Cordyceps improves energy levels and stamina by increasing ATP production and oxygen utilization, which enhances physical performance and respiratory health​

    Micronutrients: Cordycepin, polysaccharides, adenosine

  • 4. Chaga

    Inonotus obliquus

    Benefits: Antioxidant, immune support, anti-inflammatory, skin health

    Chaga mushrooms are rich in antioxidants like melanin and superoxide dismutase (SOD), which help reduce oxidative stress and enhance immune function​.

    Micronutrients: Betulinic acid, polysaccharides, melanin

  • 5. Shiitake

    Lentinula edodes

    Benefits: Immune support, cardiovascular health, anti-inflammatory

    Shiitake mushrooms support cardiovascular health by lowering cholesterol levels and boost immune function through the action of lentinan, a powerful polysaccharide​.

    Micronutrients: Lentinan, eritadenine, beta-glucans