Knowing where to begin when using medicinal mushrooms can seem daunting, but with a few considerations to keep in mind, you’ll be able to enjoy all the benefits that medicinal mushrooms can offer you.
First, consider what benefits you are hoping to get from medicinal mushrooms. Most, if not all, medicinal mushrooms provide an immune system boost, and some are better for their benefits on improving cognitive functioning.
Lion’s Mane Mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) is a medicinal mushroom which has many cognitive benefits. Lion’s Mane is usually supplemented from dried mushrooms and then extracted and is available in either a capsule or a powder. Lion’s Mane Mushroom contains a high amount of beta-glucans, a type of polysaccharide. Beta-glucans stimulate the immune system and promote the activity of antioxidants in the body. However, Lion’s Mane’s main benefits are related to supporting overall cognitive health.
Cordyceps Militaris Mushroom is a medicinal mushroom which excels at providing immune boosting benefits and athletic performance benefits. Like Lion’s Mane, Cordyceps is usually sold as a dried extract powder that is already encapsulated or sold in bulk powder form. Cordyceps’ main claim to fame is its ability to boost athletic performance. Cordyceps’ main ingredients are also polysaccharides, but its polysaccharides contain a constituent called cordycepin and an acid called cordycepic acid.
Secondly, determine if you are going to be taking your medicinal mushrooms in capsules, or if you want to mix the mushroom powder into beverages or foods. If you’ve found a company that has reputable mushroom sources but only offers capsules, you can open the capsule and break it open, mix the powder into your beverage or food, and enjoy.
Medicinal mushrooms are becoming popular additions to foods and beverages, but it likely won’t affect the absorption rate. Whether you prefer to add in a capsule to your daily supplement routine or mix the powder into a smoothie is purely your own preference.
Remember that medicinal mushrooms have been used all over the world in traditional and folkloric medicine, and that only recently have their benefits been investigated and studied with scientific trials. Some of the larger claims about the benefits of medicinal mushrooms have been conducted in animals, so be sure to do your own research if you find a particular benefit that interests you but is only substantiated by animal research.
Medicinal mushrooms can be an easy way to get cognitive, athletic, and immune system benefits. Despite their exotic-sounding names, medicinal mushrooms can provide you with specific holistic health benefits, and once you know how to use them, they are a great way to supplement your diet.