The Ultimate Guide to Medicinal Mushrooms

Medicinal mushrooms have been used in traditional treatments in the eastern culture for many centuries. While the eastern culture has already established the benefits of medicinal mushrooms in curing and preventing illnesses, the west has only just started being introduced to it.

Since the introduction of medicinal mushrooms in western culture, it has started trending as a renowned medical treatment as well.

Various mushrooms are popular for different reasons, each accounting for their own list of medicinal benefits. But it is important to remember not to rely on them entirely and forfeit your treatment plan.

They do add a kick to your immunity, but they should be taken side by side along with your medicines and/or treatments prescribed by the doctor.

Here’s a list of the most trending medicinal mushrooms currently:


Reishi is widely known as “the mushroom of immortality”, and for all the right reasons. Reishi has been used for medical purposes for over 2000 years, especially in China by monks that refer to it as Lingzhi mushroom.

It is considered one of the most superior herbs, a type of royalty due to its common use within royal families as symbolism to long life due to its numerous benefits.

Reishi contains high levels of ganoderic acid that is beneficial in reducing bad cholesterol and blood pressure levels. This mushroom is known to be a natural Xanax that relaxes the body which ultimately helps in falling asleep.

It also helps for people who’re trying to lose weight as well as in killing cancerous cells and preventing cancer, due to its property to kill damaging free radicals.

Not only does the compound triterpene in Reishi help with better sleep, but also various mental health problems including depression and anxiety.

Lion’s Mane

Lion’s Mane, Hericium Erinaceus in scientific terms, is a mushroom that attracts you immediately with long spines that look like waterfalls. Lion’s Mane grows on the hardwood tree’s bark in the forests of Asia, North America, and Europe. It is known for being used in traditional Chinese medicines for benefitting cognitive functions.

The natural components present in this mushroom promote cognitive function due to the presence of high levels of antioxidants. If you’re someone who has problems focusing their concentration, Lion’s Mane can help by increasing your natural clarity. Similarly, it’s beneficial as an anti-aging compound since eating it increases the production of bioprotein in the body.

One of the main aspects of Lion’s Mane is that it helps prevent neurodegenerative diseases with the stimulation of myelin production. So if you want to make sure you don’t get a disease such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s, Lion’s Mane should be your go-to.


The use of Chaga mushrooms in history dates back to the 16th century where it was recognized as a cure for stomach illnesses.

Chaga is mainly seen as a black substance with a resemblance of burnt charcoal growing on birch trees in areas with cold climate. The black color on the mushroom is due to a high presence of myelin, which is beneficial to human skin on ingestion.

With the increase in Chaga’s popularity, the mushroom is now being cultivated inside labs that provide similar medicinal benefits to the Chaga growing on birch trees.

The most famous method of using Chaga in daily routine is to grind it into powder and add it to your drinks. On the other hand, it is also available in the form of capsules.

The growing use of Chaga mushrooms is due to its antioxidant powerhouse which helps in fighting free radicals that cause cancer, as well as in healing chronic inflammation that causes long-term problems.

It is also known to reduce cholesterol levels in the body, thus reducing the risk of heart diseases.


Shiitake is one of the most common cooking ingredients found in the culinary arts due to its versatile and meaty flavor that heightens the richness of the food. Shiitake is mostly found in East Asian countries. It isn’t specific to one tree but grows on numerous types of trees including beech tree, oak, maple, poplar, etc.

It’s role as a medicinal mushroom has been utilized for many years by health professionals.  As more and more research comes forward, it has been discovered that the various benefits of Shiitake grow beyond the culinary field.

Shiitake has many benefits, the major one being its immunoprotective abilities. Additionally, it is also considered beneficial for the cardiac system by lowering cholesterol, regulating blood glucose, inhibiting cholesterol in the liver, and maintaining blood pressure.

It’s a great source of Vitamin-B. All in all, it is recognized as one of the mushrooms that increase the longevity of life and improves the circulation system in the body.

Turkey Tail

Turkey Tail strives on decaying logs of hardwood trees, basically feeding on dead wood. It is one of the most researched mushrooms in the world.

Turkey Tail gets its names due to its wide range of colors including red, green, and brown, that form rings resembling a turkey’s tail.

It has been used in China in traditional medicine for many centuries to improve health functions such as treating respiratory problems, increasing immunity, and preventing cancer.

Turkey Tail has high levels of polysaccharide-K (PSK) which helps in strengthening the natural immune system of the body.

Studies suggest that it can be an essential ingredient for fighting cancer in medicines to the point that Japan has already introduced approved anti-cancer medicines that include PSK quantities. The anti-viral ability of this mushroom helps fight viral infections such as human papillomavirus (HPV).


Cordyceps is a type of mushroom that preys on insects, in other terms parasitic fungi. It can be found in places that are at high-altitudes such as China, Tibet, and Japan.

Cordyceps have been extremely hard to cultivate throughout history due to the fact that they emerge from a caterpillar’s body after infecting it.

However, recently the commercial cultivation to produce the fruiting body of Cordyceps has started due to the increasing demand of this superfood.

Cordyceps are extremely beneficial for someone who’s an athlete, or generally into exercising and working out.

Cordyceps are identified as the prime mushrooms that increase libido and energy production in the body which enhances the performance and recovery of an individual.

Hence, if you’re looking into an addition to your diet to help you perform better in athletics or to recover more quickly after an injury, Cordyceps should be at the top of your list.

Combined or Separate?

The next question that arises is whether these mushrooms can be taken together for their individual health benefits to maximize immunity against diseases, or if they’d react against each other.

The answer is that it is completely safe to take these mushrooms together in the manner that you can use them as whole, powder, or capsules.

However, it is important that you don’t take too much since the quantity ingested of anyone mushroom above the safe limit can cause mild to severe symptoms. Take little amounts, and enjoy adding these delicacies to your daily routine without overdoing it!


In conclusion, there’s nothing better than mushrooms to add to your lifestyle to enjoy the flavors and health benefits. These were just some of the most famous medicinal mushrooms, there are plenty more available such as Maitake. You can experiment with this superfood ingredient and find the ones that suit your tastebuds and provide the health benefits you’re looking for.


12 Medicinal Mushrooms You Will Want To Try. (2020, January 06). Retrieved May 10, 2020, from

Activate, V. (2020, March 28). Top 10 Medicinal Mushrooms and How We Can Benefit from It. Retrieved May 10, 2020, from