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9 Best Mushroom Adaptogens for Your Health

Six different kinds of mushroomsMushrooms became well-known in the ’60s for their psychedelic properties. However, for centuries oriental and other countries used mushrooms as medicine. This article will cover nine of the best mushroom adaptogens proven by research to promote your good health.

You can see mushrooms every day in just about any supermarket. Button mushrooms and portobellos can add variety to your recipes.

But in a kingdom with over 1.5 million varieties of mushrooms and fungi, there’s a completely new world for you to explore. This world can promote confusion in a lot of minds because some of the varieties can harm or even kill you. So, the importance of knowing the right varieties to use grows immensely.

The best mushroom adaptogens can improve your health and help you deal with a number of illnesses and conditions that you might encounter.

What Are Adaptogens?

Basically, adaptogens consist of natural materials, non-toxic, and often plant extracts used in herbal medicine. The purpose of these materials includes helping you deal with the effects of stress and regain normal body functioning.

Conventional Western medicine does not recognize the power and effectiveness of adaptogens. However, more and more researchers spend time investigating their use in the form of the best mushroom adaptogens.

Findings from this research support the use of the best mushroom adaptogens in dealing with many illness conditions. In addition, this research shows adaptogens effectively promote good health without the side effects so often seen in prescription medications.

A variety of ways exist for the consumption of adaptogens. They find use as whole foods, in capsule form, as powders, or as drinks.

Examples of adaptogens include:

  • Ginseng
  • Ashwagandha
  • Astragalus root
  • Licorice root
  • Rhodiola

Health Benefits of the Best Mushroom Adaptogens

A image of various diffrent adaptogensMushrooms make up one of the most scientifically studied of superfoods. These scientific studies show the health benefits of the best mushroom adaptogens. They bring great benefits for your brain, energy levels, immune system, mood, hormones, mental acuity, and other areas of your functioning.

Reishi Mushrooms

One of the best mushroom adaptogens, reishi mushrooms contain high amounts of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. Sometimes called the ‘queen of mushrooms’, they lead to strong adaptogenic effects on mind and body.

They help regulate your hormonal system and can lower cortisol levels to help you slow down, relax, and sleep better. On the other hand, while slowing down and getting better sleep can help if you suffer from Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS), lowering cortisol can become a negative aspect of this mushroom. With AFS, cortisol can already decrease to unacceptable levels, so consuming mushrooms that lower it further would not be wise.

In addition, research indicates reishi mushrooms can help lower blood sugar in diabetics and inhibit the storage of fat. With the increasing epidemic of obesity in our country, this property can bring great benefits. The polysaccharides and triterpenes contained in this type of mushroom help reduce the storage of excess fat.

In addition, research evidence shows the complex sugars in reishi mushrooms can also relieve kidney problems and fight viral infections due to their antiviral properties.

Chaga Mushrooms

Another of the best mushroom adaptogens, Chaga contains strong anti-inflammatory properties. The antioxidants in these mushrooms help you fight inflammation as they also scavenge free radicals.

Chaga works to help control your immune system. Research indicates it can help fight off viral infections and potentially help you deal with cancer, especially cancer of the lungs, brain, and liver.

In addition to fighting inflammation, you can use Chaga to support your immune system and provide sustained energy.

Research studies show Chaga can provide anti-cancer effects specifically targeting tumor cells while creating low or no toxicity in normal cells. In addition, research indicates Chaga works to support and stimulate your immune system.

Part of the reason for these strong effects comes from the powerful antioxidants and beta-glucans contained in the mushroom. Both of these properties fight free radicals that can cause so much damage.

Of interest, Chaga grows in a different type of environment from most fungi and mushrooms. An outlier, Chaga grows in cold climates. Likewise of interest, Chaga was used as a coffee substitute in Finland during World War II. Its tea tastes similar to medium roast coffee. Generally, with Chaga the older the mushroom, the better. It takes between 15 and 20 years to fully mature.


Yet another of the best mushroom adaptogens, cordyceps works to provide sustained energy for your body. It does this by supporting your adrenal glands to help your body provide the consistent energy needed.

And cordyceps works to improve the absorption of oxygen by your cells. This makes it effective for those suffering from asthma as well as athletes. Likewise, it increases strength and stamina, boosts exercise performance, helps in recovering from workouts, and fights fatigue.

Further, cordyceps helps you fight the effects of aging. Several animal studies back this up.

Many of these effects come from the polysaccharides contained in the mushroom. Also, its ability to produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the molecule that brings energy to your muscles. Cordyceps is also great for kidney health and gut and immunity.

Lion’s Mane

This one of the best mushroom adaptogens stimulates the production of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF). A bioprotein, NGF plays a major role in maintaining and regenerating neurons in the brain as well as promoting their health.

Lion’s Mane works to boost creativity, improve memory, increase your ability to concentrate, and increases the clarity of your thinking. The polysaccharides in Lion’s Mane contribute to neuronal differentiation and survival.

Studies show its ability to help improve mild cognitive impairment. Other studies indicate its properties can help alleviate depression and anxiety.


Another of the best mushroom adaptogens, Asiatic people take shiitake mushrooms for longevity. This practice has lasted for over 6,000 years.

Your grocery store likely keeps these mushrooms in supply. They contain large amounts of B vitamins, vitamin D, and zinc. Their properties serve to inhibit the growth of tumors, fight cancer, and boost your immune system. In addition, some evidence supports their ability to lower cholesterol, thus improving your cardiovascular system.

Research indicates one of the polysaccharides contained in these mushrooms, lentinan, works to inhibit the growth of some cancer cells.

Turkey Tail

In spite of its strange name, this one of the best mushroom adaptogens contains strong antiviral and antimicrobial properties. It helps prevent and treat colds and the flu.

Two powerful polysaccharides contained in turkey tail, PSP and PSK, figure prominently in research investigating their effects on improving immune function in people going through chemotherapy. Research shows it to help improve the recovery rate for people who suffer from colorectal, gastric, or breast cancers. Beta-glucans found in this mushroom also plays a part in your immune functioning.

In addition, this mushroom contains prebiotics that can promote beneficial bacteria in your microbiome. It helps in healing your gut.


This one of the best mushroom adaptogens originally came from Brazil but came to use in China and Japan to help with diabetes, liver disease, hepatitis, high cholesterol, and other health conditions.

Research shows the polysaccharides in these mushrooms contain properties that fight cancers, work on reducing tumors, and fight viruses. In addition, they serve to boost immune system functioning.


Another of the best mushroom adaptogens, this mushroom comes from China, Japan, and Korea. In addition to its taste, enokitake contains a great number of nutritional benefits. One cup of these mushrooms yields a large amount of niacin.


The last of the best mushroom adaptogens, maitake contains beta-glucans, a powerful antioxidant. Beta glucans are key in helping boost immunity and heal the gut.

Properties of Mushrooms and the NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress Response

A woman holding her shoulder or lower neck in painThe NEM stress response becomes active when stress becomes chronic and severe. Its main purpose lies in its ability to help your body handle this kind of ongoing stress. Made up of six circuits with three organs or systems in each circuit, the NEM circuits are inter-related. What affects one, affects others.

Inflammation and Detoxification Circuits

The polysaccharides in the best mushroom adaptogens work to support and boost the immune system which forms the shared boundary between the inflammation and detoxification circuits. With all of the research which shows inflammation to play a role in many chronic illness conditions, properties that boost the immune system will benefit the functioning of this circuit. In addition, the functioning of the detoxification circuit proves vital for ridding the body of toxins. Boosting this essential part of this circuit will serve to improve overall health.

Inflammation and Neuroaffect Circuits

The gut-healing properties of mushrooms can work to improve your gut and microbiome. These organ systems comprise part of the inflammation and neuroaffect circuits. Healing your gut of conditions such as leaky gut will help in dealing with hyperactive immune responses that can lead to chronic illness conditions. In addition, this mushroom contains prebiotics to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in your microbiome. This can work to re-establish a balance in the bacteria of the microbiome and help prevent small intestine bacterial overgrowth or SIBO.

Likewise, the microbiome comprises part of the neuroaffect circuit, along with the brain. Through the gut-brain connection, a healthy gut leads to a healthier brain. In addition, Lion’s Mane provides stimulation of NGF to promote better neuron health in your brain. It also helps improve concentration and clear thinking. And, Lion’s Mane works to alleviate depression and anxiety.

Cardionomic Circuit

Shiitake mushrooms work to improve cardiovascular functioning by lowering cholesterol, thereby helping the work of the cardionomic circuit. In addition, himematsutake mushrooms help reduce cholesterol, improving the functioning of the circulatory system.

Bioenergetics Circuit

Cordyceps contributes to providing energy for muscles and other cells, thus assisting the bioenergetics circuit in its functioning. For centuries Chaga mushrooms have been used to help liver functioning.

Conclusions Regarding the Best Mushroom Adaptogens

In addition to their use as nutritional supplements, mushrooms contain amazing health properties. The best mushroom adaptogens provide polysaccharides that serve to fight inflammation and work as antioxidants.

These mushrooms work to slow the aging process, as well.

Boosting the immune system makes these mushrooms very effective in both protecting your health and improving it. Some of them lower cortisol levels and regulate hormones.

Other mushrooms help lower blood sugar levels, a definite plus if you suffer from diabetes, but potentially a negative if you suffer from hypoglycemia. This latter condition often occurs with people who suffer from AFS, so you should use caution. Consulting with your healthcare professional becomes essential.

Still others of the best mushroom adaptogens work to relieve depression and anxiety. Some of them likewise help alleviate the effects of stress.

One of the more important benefits of mushrooms is their ability to inhibit the storage of extra fat. Considering the current epidemic of obesity in this country, this property gains in value.

Likewise, the cancer-fighting properties of several of the best mushroom adaptogens make their use something to consider if you suffer from cancer.

Therefore, it becomes important to consider the possible effects of each of these best mushroom adaptogens and choose the ones that contain the most benefits for you.

Suggested Supplements

There are three adaptogenic supplements I would suggest that will help boost your health.

BGM is a blend of Beta glucan and maitake mushrooms. Beta glucan, a bioactive carbohydrate from the cell wall of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, supports immune function. This it does due to its ability to stimulate macrophage activity. Saccharomyces cerevisiae is commonly known as Bakers yeast while activated macrophages have anti-microbial properties and support your immune response.

Adrenal Cordyzyme is a holistic blend of cordyceps, a parasitic fungus, and the digestive enzymes lipase and amylase. Although we have looked at the various benefits of cordyceps, it is worth noting that Chinese herbalists have traditionally used this fungus in their preparations for hundreds of years.

 Lipase, needed by your body for breaking down lipids, has health benefits that include:

  • Supporting pancreatic health
  • The absorption of certain nutrients
  • Immune support and the targeting of inflammation
  • Promoting digestive health

Amylase, commonly seen as a digestive enzyme, has its own set of health benefits. It may:

  • Promote digestive health
  • Reduce inflammatory triggers and thus support immune health
  • Provides your body with energy by breaking down starch into more easily digested components
  • Helps maintain normal blood sugar levels
  • Help with stress management

Adrenal Sleep contains a variety of adaptogens and other ingredients that provide adrenal support while encouraging healthy sleeping habits:

  • Niacin (vitamin B3) increases the effectiveness of tryptophan and may help reduce depression.
  • Pyridoxine (vitamin B6) raises serotonin and dopamine levels, thereby helping to improve your quality of sleep.
  • Melatonin helps with sleep cycle regulation.
  • Magnesium, with its calming effect and ability to aid in the regulation of diverse chemical reactions throughout your entire body.
  • GABA calms your brain after a stress-induced neurotransmitter release and may help fight anxiety, depression, and mood disorders.
  • L-theanine is an amino acid known for its ability to help improve cognitive function while promoting relaxation and better sleep.
  • 5-HTP, which supports brain and central nervous health by enhancing the production of serotonin.
  • Herbals like passionflower, lemon balm, and valerian. These adaptogens have a calming, relaxing effect on your body, thereby promoting sleep.

What Can You Do?

If you are considering consuming the best mushroom adaptogens, here are some things you can do to make sure you get the benefits.

A image of the best mushroom adaptogens

  1. Educate yourself regarding the effects of each of the best mushroom adaptogens.
  2. Make certain you buy only the best types of the ones you choose to use.
  3. Consult with your healthcare professional.

Whichever mushroom you decided to use, be sure to consult with your healthcare professional who understands the benefits to be derived from them. He or she can help you decide on the ones that will provide you with the most benefits for you.

If you would like to know more about or need assistance with choosing the best mushroom adaptogens, the team at Dr. Lam Coaching can help. We offer a free** no-obligation phone consultation at +1-626-571-1234 where we will privately discuss your symptoms and various options. You can also send us a question through our Ask The Doctor system by clicking here.

© Copyright 2021 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.

Dr. Lam’s Key Question

The best mushroom adaptogens work to provide antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and immune-boosting properties. They also help prevent the storage of excess fat as well as reducing blood sugar levels. Many of them show research evidence indicating they help fight cancers of various kinds. Some work to help heal your gut.

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