Mushrooms have been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years, and for good reason. Many types of mushrooms contain unique compounds that offer a wide range of health benefits, including the ability to help with anxiety and depression.
Anxiety and depression are one of the leading causes to bad health and unfortunately one off the leading proponents to a shorter life span. It is estimated that over 39% of the population in Canada and the United States deal with an anxiety disorder and over 8% have depressive periods. The treatment of mental health in North American society is also extremely broken, often times resorting to unsustainable, short term solutions.
In this blog, we will explore which medicinal mushrooms are best for those dealing with anxiety or depression, including Reishi, Lion's Mane, Turkey Tail, and Chaga mushroom.
Reishi Mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum)
Reishi, also known as the "Mushroom of Immortality," has been used for its medicinal properties in Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years. This mushroom is considered to have a calming effect on the mind and body, making it an excellent option for those dealing with anxiety and depression.
Of all the medicinal mushrooms for anxiety, Reishi is the best mushroom supplement for anxiety and other stress related issues. Reishi has a long history of use in ancient China by Taoist monks and sages for cultivating spiritual energy, reducing stress, calming the mind, and transforming negative energy in the body.
Reishi contains compounds called triterpenoids, which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-anxiety effects. It also contains compounds called beta-glucans, which are thought to have a positive impact on the immune system, as well as enhance mood and improve sleep quality.
In a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Reishi Mushroom was found to significantly reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression in a group of participants with these conditions. This highlights the potential of Reishi for those looking for natural ways to manage their mental health.
In addition, Reishi is also believed to have adaptogenic properties, which means it can help the body to better cope with stress. This is important for those with anxiety and depression, as chronic stress can worsen symptoms and contribute to the development of these conditions.
Reishi has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects, which are important for mental health as inflammation has been linked to depression and anxiety. By reducing inflammation, Reishi may help to reduce symptoms of these conditions and improve mental health.
Reishi is also a good source of antioxidants, which help to protect the body from oxidative stress. This type of stress has been linked to depression and anxiety, so consuming Reishi may help to reduce symptoms of these conditions by protecting the brain from oxidative damage.
Finally, Reishi has been shown to have a positive impact on the immune system, which is important for mental health as a weakened immune system has been linked to depression and anxiety. By boosting the immune system, Reishi may help to improve mental health and reduce symptoms of these conditions.
Shop Reishi Mushroom Powder here.
Lion's Mane Mushroom (Hericium Erinaceus)
Lion's Mane is a type of edible mushroom that has been used for medicinal purposes for hundreds of years. This mushroom has gained popularity in recent years due to its unique properties, including the ability to support brain health and improve cognitive function.
Lion's Mane contains compounds called hericystin and erinacines, which are thought to stimulate the growth of nerve cells and improve communication between these cells. This is particularly relevant for those dealing with anxiety and depression, as research has shown that these conditions are associated with changes in brain structure and function.
In a study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, Lion's Mane was found to improve cognitive function, reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and enhance overall mood. This suggests that lion's mane may be a useful option for those seeking natural ways to improve their mental health.
Shop Lion's Mane Mushroom Powder here.
Turkey Tail Mushroom (Trametes Versicolor)
Turkey Tail is a type of mushroom that is commonly used in traditional medicine to support the immune system. However, this mushroom also contains compounds that have been shown to have a positive impact on mental health.
Turkey Tail contains a compound called PSK, which has been found to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. It has also been shown to improve symptoms of anxiety and depression in some studies. This is likely due to the ability of PSK to affect neurotransmitter levels, which play a key role in regulating mood and anxiety.
In a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Turkey Tail was found to have a positive impact on symptoms of depression and anxiety in a group of participants. This highlights the potential of Turkey Tail as a natural option for those seeking to improve their mental health.
Shop Turkey Tail Mushroom Powder here.
Chaga Mushroom (Inonotus obliquus)
Chaga mushroom is a type of medicinal mushroom that is commonly used to support the immune system and overall health. However, it is also believed to have a positive impact on mental health, including anxiety and depression.
Chaga contains compounds called polysaccharides, which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. It also contains compounds called betulinic acid and triterpenoids, which have been shown to have a positive impact on mood and mental health. These compounds are believed to affect neurotransmitter levels, which play a crucial role in regulating mood and anxiety..
Lastly, Chaga is also a good source of B-vitamins, which play a crucial role in brain function and mental health. For example, a lack of vitamin B6 has been linked to depression, while low levels of vitamin B12 have been linked to anxiety. By providing the body with a good source of these vitamins, Chaga may help to improve mental health and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Shop Chaga Mushroom Powder here.
It is important to note that medicinal mushrooms are not the end all solution to anxiety and depression. There are many important other steps that must be taken and it is often a long, evolving journey. For myself personally, I try to approach my mental health holistically and take care of my body through exercise, healthy eating, medicinal mushroom supplements, and journaling. We encourage you to do as much research as you can and to find a professional health care advisor who can support you.