Discover the Top 6 Health Benefits of Medicinal Mushrooms

Top 6 Health Benefits of Superfood Medicinal Mushrooms Extract Powder

Functional mushrooms, also known as medicinal mushrooms, such as Reishi, Chaga, Cordyceps, and Lion's Mane, have been identified by Wholefoods market as one of the leading health trends today.

While mushrooms have long remained in the shadows of the Western world, they are now stepping into the limelight!

These ancient immune-boosting mushrooms have been revered for centuries in Eastern traditions as the original superfoods, renowned for their exceptional nutritional value and their ability to promote optimal health and longevity.

Functional mushrooms are making their presence felt in various forms, including superfood latte drinks, smoothies, soups, coffee, tea, and even the cosmetic and beauty care industry. Their unique bitter and earthy flavours complement popular food and beverages like chocolate and coffee.

Mushroom-infused foods and drinks have become increasingly common in favourite restaurants and cafes.

The surging popularity of functional mushrooms brings forth astonishing levels of abundant health that were once unimaginable.

Teelixir recently conducted a poll revealing the top 6 most favoured health benefits of superfood mushrooms, as chosen by you, in no particular order.


Superfood Mushrooms Boost Weak Immune Systems

1. Mushrooms Enhance the Immune System of those with Weak Immunity

Regrettably, many individuals tend to neglect their immune system until they fall ill. Instead of actively developing a robust immune system, we opt for quick fixes such as immune-boosting pills, fast-acting pain relievers, and antibiotics that merely mask the symptoms without addressing the underlying causes. This approach may seem convenient in the short term, as we are too busy to be sick in our modern society.

Why is the immune system often overlooked?

While topics like increasing energy, enhancing brain power, nourishing the skin, and supporting gut health may be more captivating, it is important to recognize the direct connection between all of these areas and the immune system if we truly want to thrive. Strengthening the immune system is crucial for long-term health, energy, and vitality. One of the most notable benefits of consuming superfood mushrooms is their remarkable ability to significantly improve immune system health.

Mushrooms contain various compounds and nutrients that are beneficial for human health, with polysaccharides (essential long-chain sugars) and triterpenes being the most extensively studied. Human-based studies have demonstrated that these compounds can stimulate and greatly enhance our immune system. In nature, mushrooms have developed a robust defence mechanism against the same pathogens, bacteria, and viruses that humans encounter. This natural defence system of mushrooms has proven to be highly effective for humans.


Humans share 50% of the same DNA with mushrooms!

What's even more intriguing is the presence of specific immune-cell receptor sites in our bodies that are designed to exclusively receive the unique polysaccharide compounds found in fungi. This remarkable fact, along with other evidence, has led some scientists to believe that humans may have developed alongside mushrooms, possibly through co-evolution. After all, humans and mushrooms share approximately 85% of the same ribosomal RNA and nearly 50% of the same DNA.

So, in a way, we are linked to mushrooms by around half of our DNA.

"Mushrooms contain various types of polysaccharides, with the most extensively researched and commonly found ones being the beta-glucans. These natural complex sugars possess remarkable immune-boosting properties by specifically binding to receptors in the immune system and triggering their healing abilities, thereby enhancing immune responses.

What is the functioning mechanism of the immune system?

The immune system comprises diverse cell types, including lymphocytes, macrophages, T-cells, natural killer cells (NK), neutrophils, and cytokines. These cells, which support the immune system, are distributed throughout the body and encompass all vital systems, guarding against invading pathogens, viruses, and bacteria. This defence mechanism clears harmful intruders, enabling the body to function optimally and perform at its best.

Mushrooms aid in increasing the activity of T-cells, NK cells, macrophages, and neutrophils, which are integral components of the immune system.

It is worth noting that different mushroom species target specific aspects of the body's immune system. Therefore, consuming a variety of mushrooms can promote a comprehensive and intelligent immune response.

That is why we developed Mushroom Immunity, our certified organic blend of eight different mushrooms, offering a synergistic combination to support overall immune health."


Teelixir Certified Organic Maitake Mushroom

What is the most effective mushroom for enhancing immunity?

While all functional mushrooms have their own benefits for the immune system, emerging scientific research suggests that Maitake mushroom (Grifola frondosa) may be the top choice when it comes to boosting immunity.

Maitake is a natural powerhouse of polysaccharides, containing distinct fractions such as D-fraction and MD-fraction. It has been shown to activate macrophages, NK cells, T-cells, and interleukin-1, making it highly beneficial. Additionally, in vitro studies conducted in the United States and Japan have demonstrated its potent anti-HIV properties.

The significance of mushrooms in supporting the immune system is so significant that we have dedicated an entire blog post to the topic titled "5 Powerful Immune-Boosting Mushrooms to Prevent Sickness.

BLOG - 5 Powerful Immune Boosting Mushroom to Prevent Sickness

Top mushrooms for enhancing immune system function

As previously discussed, medicinal mushrooms provide various advantageous effects on the immune system. Nevertheless, the following mushrooms have been subjected to extensive scientific research:

  • Maitake Mushroom
  • Chaga Mushroom
  • Reishi Mushroom
  • Turkey Tail Mushroom
  • Agaricus blazei Mushroom
  • Shiitake Mushroom
  • Cordyceps Mushroom

Extra Immunity Tip: Pairing mushrooms with vitamin C can be beneficial. Vitamin C reduces the molecular weight of beta-glucans (polysaccharides) present in medicinal mushrooms, enabling them to easily and effectively penetrate cells.

Superfood Mushrooms Reduce Stress and Anxiety

2.The Stress and Anxiety-Reducing Effects of Mushrooms

The detrimental impact of chronic stress on the body is well-documented. It leads to accelerated skin ageing, cognitive decline, weakened immune system, hormonal imbalances, weight gain, mood disorders, and more.

Every day, we encounter various stressors, and our bodies strive to adapt, maintain equilibrium, and promote overall well-being.

The Role of the HPA Axis

To manage stress, the body employs a sophisticated system called the HPA axis. The HPA (hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal) axis comprises essential glandular components responsible for the body's stress response.

When faced with a stressful situation, such as someone threatening you with a gun, the emotional centre of the brain, known as the amygdala, triggers the hypothalamus to send alarm signals to the pituitary gland. Consequently, the pituitary gland releases hormonal messages to the adrenal gland, prompting the release of stress hormones (such as adrenaline, cortisol, and others). This swift response readies the body for fight or flight, equipping it to handle the imminent stressor(s).

The HPA axis, functioning as an intelligent feedback loop, serves as an excellent survival mechanism during stressful events.

However, in our modern society, where stressors abound—be it a traumatic incident or the accumulation of multiple stressors throughout daily life—the problem lies in the constant activation of this feedback loop.

If we remain under chronic stress, continuously producing stress hormones like cortisol, the adrenals gradually lose their ability to signal the hypothalamus that the stressor has subsided and it is time to recuperate.

Under persistent chronic stress, the HPA axis loses its proper functionality. To restore balance to the HPA axis, we can turn to "adaptogens" such as Reishi, Chaga, and Cordyceps, which offer valuable assistance.

Changbai Mountain, China

Introducing Mushroom Adaptogens: Exploring the Benefits

Functional mushrooms have gained recognition as "adaptogenic herbs" due to their unique properties.

Adaptogens are currently a popular topic of discussion because of their significant relevance in our society today. Moreover, they have proven efficacy, producing excellent outcomes.

Adaptogens are extraordinary substances that have been utilised for centuries to assist the human body in adapting to stress, promoting normal metabolic functions, and restoring equilibrium.


Teelixir Certified Organic Reishi Mushroom

In their natural environment, adaptogens grow under extreme and challenging conditions, acquiring distinctive phytonutrients with adaptogenic properties that enable them to endure high temperatures, extreme cold, high altitudes, and other adverse circumstances.

When we consume adaptogens, we gain similar advantages.

Research has shown that adaptogens enhance the body's resilience against physical, biological, emotional, and environmental stressors while supporting normal physiological functions.

The use of adaptogenic herbs is safe and does not overstimulate the body. On the contrary, they have demonstrated the ability to harmonise the body's energy, regulate hormones, modulate the immune system, and facilitate the body's innate healing process to maintain optimal health.

Engaging in healthy stress reduction practices is crucial for maintaining balance. Just as we employ activities such as yoga, meditation, massage, and deep breathing to restore equilibrium, functional mushrooms (adaptogens) can serve as valuable tools in combating daily stress and promoting a grounded state.

Mushrooms Can Even Enhance Our Stress Management Practices

For centuries, monks and spiritual sages have incorporated Reishi and Lion's Mane mushrooms into their routines to deepen their meditative practices.

Both Reishi and Lion's Mane mushrooms offer profound stress-relieving and calming effects.

"The Reishi mushroom, scientifically known as Ganoderma lucidum, is widely regarded as the ultimate adaptogen and is renowned for its exceptional ability to combat stress.

In ancient China, Reishi was extensively used by Taoists to cultivate spiritual energy, alleviate stress, and promote mental tranquillity.

Lion's Mane, scientifically referred to as Hericium erinaceus, possesses remarkable properties in soothing the nervous system, enhancing cognitive function, and relieving stress. Its capacity to stimulate the production of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) has been shown to have positive effects on calming the mind, enhancing mood, improving memory, concentration, and focus.

Scientific research provides substantial evidence to support Lion's Mane's capacity to strengthen the nervous system and counteract the impacts of stress.

Furthermore, the Maitake mushroom is beneficial in promoting adaptability and resilience against stress. Individuals struggling with chronic fatigue syndrome may find relief from stress and fatigue by incorporating Maitake into their dietary regimen.

Mushrooms have the remarkable ability to reverse the effects of stress. It is widely recognized that chronic stress adversely affects brain function, impairs memory, cognitive processing, reasoning, and judgement skills. Stress can also contribute to mood disorders, depression, and accelerate the onset of neurodegenerative conditions and diseases. Chronic stress induces prolonged inflammatory states in the brain, which have been observed through studies on various proinflammatory markers.

Research indicates that the consumption of Cordyceps mushroom (Cordyceps sinensis) can mitigate inflammatory markers in the hippocampus of the brain caused by chronic stress.

Here are the top mushrooms known for their stress-reducing properties:

  • Reishi Mushroom
  • Maitake Mushroom
  • Lion's Mane Mushroom
  • Cordyceps Mushroom
  • Chaga Mushroom


Superfood Mushrooms Increase Energy and Reduce Fatigue

3. Mushrooms Enhance Energy Levels and Combat Fatigue

With their adaptogenic properties, all types of superfood mushrooms contribute to boosting energy levels within the body. Among these mushrooms, Cordyceps stands out for its remarkable energising properties that have been highly valued in Eastern cultures for centuries.

The rise in popularity of Cordyceps in the Western world began in 1993, following the exceptional performance of the Chinese National Athletics Championships' women's track and field team. They achieved remarkable success, breaking numerous world records. Subsequently, it was revealed that their secret weapon was a special herbal blend containing Cordyceps mushroom as the primary ingredient.

Consequently, Cordyceps has gained recognition as an outstanding tonic for athletes.

Cordyceps acts as an excellent rejuvenating tonic, replenishing the profound energy expended during strenuous activities, challenging situations, and the ageing process. It is utilised to enhance athletic performance, build physical strength and endurance by improving energy metabolism efficiency. Scientific studies have demonstrated that Cordyceps boosts energy production, enhances oxygen utilisation, and increases resistance to fatigue. It can elevate cellular energy, ATP (adenosine triphosphate), by 20-30%.


Teelixir Certified Organic Cordyceps Mushroom CS-4

Cordyceps also serves as a potent lung tonic, strengthening respiratory capacity, optimising oxygen utilisation, promoting muscle development, and enhancing endurance and stamina. Regular usage contributes to fortifying the skeletal structure, particularly the lower back, knees, and ankles.

Cordyceps mushroom is renowned for its ability to enhance the rate of recovery from fatigue, energy depletion, and physical injury.

Moreover, Chaga mushroom has gained recognition as a formidable mushroom for improving endurance and stamina, as substantiated by numerous online testimonials. Consistent consumption of Chaga mushroom has been shown to elevate energy levels and enhance endurance.

The adaptogenic properties of Chaga mushroom facilitate the maintenance of sustained energy levels without excessively stimulating the body. Additionally, Chaga mushroom augments our fundamental life-force energy, referred to as Jing by Taoists.

To delve deeper into the concept of Jing energy, you can explore the following two blog posts:

BLOG - What is Jing energy?

BLOG - Ways you are leaking your Jing

Top mushrooms for boosting energy levels

  • Cordyceps Mushroom
  • Chaga Mushroom
  • Reishi Mushroom

Additional Energy Tip: According to Chinese medical theory, individuals experiencing low energy and fatigue are often identified as having a Yin deficiency.

What does Yin mean?

Yin symbolises the physical and fluid aspects of the body. Yin plays a crucial role in nourishing various complex physiological processes within the body, such as blood circulation, hormone regulation, and the lubrication of muscles, tissues, and joints.

From the Chinese perspective, the Yin aspect is highly significant as it enables the body to receive and retain energy.

Excessive stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system or an abundance of Yang activity can lead to burnout, exhaustion of the body's systems, and accelerated ageing.

When experiencing low energy levels, we often tend to rely on energising herbs (Yang tonics) under the assumption that boosting our energy is the solution, rather than supplementing and replenishing our depleting Yin levels.

The most effective remedy for Yin deficiency is not a mushroom or any herbal supplement, but something often underrated as a "nutrient" in our society—sleep!

Sleep is a crucial time for the body to rest, recover, and rejuvenate itself. Insufficient sleep and sleep deprivation cause a range of physiological disruptions in the body, far surpassing the inconvenience of feeling low on energy.

Discover more about the sleep-related benefits of Lion's Mane.

If you're experiencing low energy and fatigue, before resorting to pills or natural remedies, try prioritising adequate sleep first. You'll be amazed at how quickly your energy levels can be restored with just a few extra hours of shut-eye.

For a healthy approach to replenishing energy levels, give this latte mix with Cordyceps a try."


Superfood Mushrooms Boost Brain Power, Memory, Focus, Concentration

4. Mushrooms Enhance Brain Power, Memory, and Concentration

In our daily lives, we all desire increased focus, improved memory, and better concentration. Given the constant influx of stimuli in our society, along with factors like excessive overstimulation, decision fatigue, environmental pollution, and the consumption of food filled with toxins, it's no wonder that our healthy brains are deteriorating at a rapid pace.

Lion's Mane mushroom serves as a potent tonic for brain health. It has earned the nickname of the "smart mushroom" and is widely recognized as one of the top natural "nootropics" in the smart drug community. Scientific research has provided evidence that Lion's Mane effectively enhances brain function, boosts memory, aids in recall, and enhances concentration.


Teelixir Certified Organic Lion's Mane Mushroom Extract Powder

Furthermore, regular consumption of Lion's Mane has been found to yield significant neurological benefits and cognitive improvements. There is even a possibility that it promotes neurodegeneration in the brain, which could be valuable in addressing neurological conditions like dementia, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's disease.

Lion's Mane health benefits have a significant impact on stimulating Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) within the brain.

NGF, a small protein-like molecule, plays a vital role in the growth, development, maintenance, and survival of nerve cells. If NGF is lacking, it can lead to neuronal death and result in severe cognitive and motor issues.

Furthermore, NGF supports the growth, maintenance, and survival of axons, which transmit electrical impulses to other neurons, muscles, and glands. It achieves this by aiding in the repair of the myelin sheath, which coats the axons.

The Blood-Brain Barrier and NGF

However, a challenge arises when considering the blood-brain barrier.

The blood-brain barrier acts as a filter in the capillaries that supply blood to the brain and spinal cord tissues. Its purpose is to protect the brain cells by preventing the entry of disease-causing pathogens and toxins from the bloodstream. Only a few compounds are capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier.

Lion's Mane mushroom possesses a clever mechanism to bypass the blood-brain barrier and stimulate NGF synthesis.


Lion's Mane mushroom bypasses blood-brain barrier

This mushroom contains two unique diterpene compounds, erinacines and hericenones, named after its Latin name, Hericium erinaceus. These compounds exhibit strong antibacterial activity and contribute to the stimulation of NGF production.

Hericenones specifically stimulate NGF production in the brain, while erinacines are small enough to penetrate the blood-brain barrier. Together, these compounds promote NGF production within the brain.

Lion's Mane's remarkable ability to enhance NGF production within the brain has a positive impact on cognition by reducing inflammation, stimulating neural development, and improving overall brain health.

NGF is also a crucial protein nutrient for enhancing and repairing neurological disorders.

Additionally, Cordyceps mushroom, as mentioned in the section about reducing stress, has been researched extensively and has powerful benefits for maintaining healthy brain function. It enhances blood flow to the brain, reduces inflammatory markers in the hippocampus caused by chronic stress, and increases brain-derived neurotrophic growth factor and 5-HTP, which contribute to improved mood and memory.

The following mushrooms are recommended for enhancing brain power:

  • Lion's Mane Mushroom
  • Cordyceps Mushroom
  • Chaga Mushroom
  • Reishi Mushroom

Superfood Mushrooms Improve Digestion and Gut Health

5. Enhancing Digestion and Gut Health with Mushrooms

Currently, gut health is a highly discussed subject in the field of health and wellness. Perhaps this is due to the fact that our bodies' delicate ecosystems, specifically the intestinal flora, are being adversely affected by the toxic environment we reside in, along with the consumption of contaminated food and polluted water.

In our bodies, we coexist with both beneficial and harmful microorganisms. However, when we maintain good health, the friendly bacteria outnumber the harmful ones, resulting in a happy and healthy gut.

Throughout history, mushrooms have been utilised to promote digestion and improve gut health.

For instance, in Siberia, Chaga mushroom has been traditionally employed to support the digestive system. It possesses substantial quantities of polysaccharides, immune-modulating compounds, antimicrobial triterpenes, and melano-glucan complexes that aid in addressing both inflammatory and infectious digestive disorders.


Teelixir Certified Organic Wild Chaga Mushroom

Chaga's anti-inflammatory properties can alleviate inflammation in the stomach and intestines, while also stimulating the liver to produce digestive bile, thereby enhancing the breakdown of food. Additionally, Chaga is an excellent source of digestive enzymes and other beneficial constituents like manganese and thiamin.

Indulge in this gut-healthy beet latte mix infused with Chaga mushroom.

Another valuable mushroom for maintaining digestive health is Lion's Mane mushroom. It is rich in beta-glucan polysaccharides, which are complex long-chain sugars that contribute to the improved functioning of stomach mucosa—a crucial component of the digestive system.

Lion's Mane exhibits strong antimicrobial and immunological activity, displaying positive effects in supporting gastric and duodenal ulcers, chronic gastritis, and aiding in stomach and oesophagus cancer treatment.

Since medicinal mushrooms promote gut health, they can also provide natural allergy relief when consumed over an extended period.

Mushrooms as Prebiotic Foods

Medicinal mushrooms like Reishi and Turkey Tail act as prebiotics in the gut, facilitating the establishment of beneficial flora in the body.

Research studies have revealed that mushroom polysaccharides, the essential long-chain sugars present in mushroom cell walls, exert a prebiotic effect on the gut microbiome.

Prebiotics are substances that nourish probiotics, which, in turn, stimulate and foster the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. This is crucial for maintaining a healthy gut flora.

Mushrooms heal candida and support gut and digestive health

Can Mushrooms Treat Candida?

Ironically, contrary to popular belief, the most effective way to combat fungus is with another type of fungus!

Mushrooms contain antifungal substances such as polyenes and other compounds that specifically inhibit or eliminate fungi responsible for fungal infections. They also help alleviate the discomfort associated with fungal conditions. Interestingly, this is how fungi protect themselves in nature from other fungal species.

Candida is a naturally occurring organism in the human body and usually not problematic. However, an overgrowth of candida can lead to various bodily disturbances.

The immune cells, including neutrophils, T-cells, and other microbes, generally keep the candida population under control. However, when the balance is disrupted, issues arise.

Mushrooms not only boost the immune system but also increase the presence of beneficial bacteria, suppress harmful bacteria, and aid in managing yeast and fungal overgrowth conditions like candida.

If you are experiencing candida-related problems, incorporating medicinal mushrooms into your diet can be beneficial. The following mushroom species are particularly recommended.

However, it is advisable to avoid other common varieties of culinary mushrooms found in supermarkets, such as portobello and crimini, as they may exacerbate or contribute to candida overgrowth.

Top Mushrooms for Improving Gut Health

  • Chaga Mushroom
  • Lion's Mane Mushroom
  • Reishi Mushroom
  • Turkey Tail Mushroom
  • Agaricus blazei Mushroom

Superfood Mushrooms Nourish Beauty and Protect Skin

6. The Role of Mushrooms in Enhancing Skin Health and Beauty

For countless generations, mushrooms with their abundant natural bioactive compounds have been highly esteemed as a valuable resource for maintaining and supporting beautiful skin.

Deterioration in skin health serves as a clear indication that there is an underlying imbalance within the body.

When all bodily systems and organs harmoniously operate and function efficiently, the body flourishes and rewards us with resplendent, radiant skin, a glowing complexion, lustrous hair, and vibrant, luminous eyes.

Numerous skin benefits can be derived from mushrooms, and among them, Tremella fuciformis extract stands out as an exceptional superfood for nourishing skin well-being.

Dubbed the "beauty mushroom," this gelatinous fungus resembles a loofah shower sponge, which is apt considering its extraordinary beauty-enhancing properties.

Tremella possesses the natural ability to rejuvenate and hydrate the skin. It contains distinctive polysaccharide compounds that exhibit remarkable water-retention properties, with its water-holding capacity reaching nearly five hundred times its own weight.

Moreover, Tremella mushrooms stimulate the production of superoxide dismutase (SOD), a crucial antioxidant enzyme in the body. SOD aids in safeguarding and regenerating the skin.

For a more in-depth exploration of the Tremella mushroom, delve into the fascinating realm of the 'Ancient Beauty Secrets of Tremella Mushroom' here.

Chaga mushroom comprises various active constituents that contribute to the maintenance and protection of skin health in several ways. Abundant in antioxidants, Chaga may enhance circulation, reduce inflammation, and combat infections, all of which benefit skin well-being.

Research has demonstrated the significant benefits of Chaga in improving psoriasis. A study conducted in Russia involving 50 psoriasis patients reported a 76% cure rate, with an additional 16% experiencing considerable symptom improvement over time.

Chaga mushroom acts as an internal sunscreen and protects the skin from UV radiation from sunlight

Furthermore, Chaga mushroom possesses the highest known concentration of melanin among all foods. Melanin is the same pigment found in human skin, and its internal production within the body is challenging, requiring specific nutrients to activate melanogenesis (the synthesis of melanin).

Chaga facilitates a more rapid increase in the body's melanin supply, offering enhanced protection against UV radiation from sunlight, which is a common cause of sunburn.

Reishi mushroom is also renowned for its ability to alleviate skin issues.

Reishi contains antihistamine, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and anti-allergenic properties, as evidenced by numerous studies, which contribute to the treatment and relief of various external skin problems such as wounds, sunburns, rashes, psoriasis, and insect bites.

Additionally, Reishi promotes improved blood circulation, which enhances skin elasticity and tone, resulting in a more youthful and revitalised appearance.

Top mushrooms for nourishing your skin:

  • Tremella Mushroom
  • Chaga Mushroom
  • Reishi Mushroom

To Sum Up

Superfood mushrooms offer numerous remarkable health advantages. Additionally, medicinal mushrooms can aid in enhancing sleep quality, regulating hormonal balance, boosting mood and overall happiness, as well as providing support to vital organs such as the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, and more.

We would love to hear about your preferred mushrooms for promoting health and well-being. Please share your thoughts in the comments below.


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