Growing up, mushrooms were strange things growing in the garden that I was warned to stay away from. In college, mushrooms were a psychedelic treat that my parents still warned me to stay away from. 😂 Now having reached adulthood, where everyone is drinking mushrooms, to say I was a little confused is an understatement. I remember going to a rooftop party in LA with friends a few years ago where we were all offered an adaptogenic mushrooms elixir. My three friends quickly grabbed and sipped their concoction as I politely declined and watched them down it in awe. Well, this night is going to go differently than I imagined, I thought. My friends read my ghostly face immediately and burst out laughing. “Do you even know what adaptogenic mushrooms are, Shelby?” they taunted. Feeling a bit relieved that they may not be what I thought they were, I admitted I had absolutely no clue. They went on to explain the benefits of mushroom powder and completely burst my (mushroom) bubble.
- What is mushroom powder?
- What is the difference between medicinal mushrooms and mushroom powder?
- Mushroom powder benefits
- Mushroom powder uses
- 7 most powerful medicinal mushrooms (list)
- Best mushroom powder supplements
What Is Mushroom Powder?
Mushroom powder, as my friends explained, is powdered mushrooms that have superpowers ranging from natural energy to stress-relief, and reduced inflammation to improved immunity. What the…! One of my friends was a registered dietitian, turned doctor! Standing there listening to her share all about medicinal mushrooms was crazy to me. She even recommends it to her clients and patients!
“Don’t they make you… you know, see stuff?” I asked.
They laughed again. “No! They’re not hallucinogenic at all!”
Mushroom powder uses date all the way back to shamanic prescriptions. It’s pretty common, nowadays, as mushrooms have been booming in the health and wellness industry. People take them in their morning coffee or matcha, add them to smoothies and acai bowls, and even put them in desserts, like chaga mousse pudding! The world of medicinal mushrooms was so new to me, I didn’t even know where to begin. All I knew was that my friends were raving about them and I absolutely had to jump on the bandwagon.
Mushrooms vs mushroom powder
Mushroom powder is simply a dried, ground form of mushrooms. The mushrooms undergo a specific heating and cooling process to ensure that all the beneficial fibers and properties of the raw, whole mushroom remain intact. Heat above a certain temperature will break down the fibers and you’ll be left with a useless, dried-up mushroom. I prefer to buy store-bought powder or find supplements that already include adaptogenic mushrooms, but it is possible to make a homemade mushroom powder! All you have to do is simply dehydrate your mushroom of choice, and then blend on high until a powder forms.
Mushroom powder uses are much greater than mushrooms alone, though. When dried, adaptogenic mushrooms are versatile enough to add no whatever your heart desires! My favorite way to use mushroom powder is in my morning coffee or tea. It adds almost no distinct flavor and I get all of the adaptogenic benefits all day long. I notice that I feel calmer, more clear-headed, and that I experience an increased sense of well-being and safety in my own skin. The easiest way for me to get in my mushrooms, though, is a supplement form. Beauty Juice is a delicious juice powder that already packs in a unique adaptogenic mushroom blend. This is not only convenient for its water-solubility, but it also tastes delicious, so I don’t have to worry about masking the mushroom taste or dosing them out properly. I love it!
Mushroom Powder Benefits
1. They are widely available
The number one benefit of medicinal mushrooms is that they offer a natural remedy to many ailments that store-bought medicines treat—without a laundry list of side effects. (1) Mushrooms are fungi, which have the ability to reproduce practically anywhere, and at an amazing rate, too. This is especially important because, with their insanely growing popularity, they don’t require chemically-induced reproduction like a lot of other newly popular ingredients do.
2. Toxin removal
Mushrooms are so much more than backyard wonders. They have the incredible ability to break down… wait for it… plastic! Yes, these incredible little fungi have been found growing on and breaking down all sorts of things, my personal favorite being a bowling ball! (2) Their ability to clean up toxic materials is wildly underrated, and the only reason mushrooms aren’t used more as a form of toxic waste clean-up is because of the lengthiness of the process.
3. Stress adaptability
Adaptogens, such as certain mushrooms, help the body to… you guessed it, adapt! This can be anything from adapting to surrounding environments (think high-altitude) to surrounding stressors (think your in-laws). Often referred to as ‘stress-response modifiers,’ adaptogens famously help us to better go with the flow. For example, they can give you the boost you need to take a few deep breaths instead of anxiously reacting in traffic. (3, 4)
4. Prevents aging
Certain mushroom powders help to prevent aging-related diseases and help with anti-aging side effects. Mushrooms are particularly helpful for fighting oxidative stress, and providing dietary antioxidants to aging bodies. Oxidative stress is a major cause of physical aging, so balancing the body out with natural antioxidants will play a major role in slowing the signs of aging. (5, 6)
6. Improves heart health
As we all know, heart health is so important. Mushrooms’ heart health qualities are proven by their antidiabetic, anticarcinogenic, antimicrobial, and antiviral properties thanks to polysaccharides, homopolysaccharides, and heteropolysaccharides. What I love most about mushroom powders is that anyone can enjoy the benefits of mushrooms, such as heart health, even if they don’t love mushrooms. As a powder, you don’t taste the mushrooms at all! (7)
Mushroom Powder Uses
Since my newfound obsession with adaptogenic mushrooms, there have been very few things I won’t add them to! My medicinal mushrooms list of recipes includes adding medicinal mushrooms to:
- Hot cocoa
- Chia pudding
- Waffles & pancakes
- And more!
7 Powerful Types Of Medicinal Mushrooms (List)
After a hefty amount of research, I compiled the top medicinal mushrooms list. They each offer a unique, unparalleled natural remedy for one ailment or another, and have made their way into mainstream wellness practices after thousands of years of use. I love taking a blend of mushrooms so that I get multiple benefits in one drink. Finding supplements with their own unique blend of mushrooms has been key for getting in my adaptogens because it takes all the work out of it! Here is a breakdown of the top 7 most powerful adaptogenic mushrooms around, and for good reason!
Chaga mushrooms have been touted as the ultimate medicinal mushroom. They are known for their cancer-fighting, liver-protecting, and immune-boosting qualities. Their anti-inflammatory effects also add to their power. One incredible study found that they also help to reduce both cancer cells and tumor cells! The most unique thing about chaga mushrooms, though, is that they have a similar taste profile to coffee. This is why it’s a common adaptogen found in lattes and other coffee-based beverages. (8, 9)
Traditionally known and used for longevity purposes, cordyceps has been used as a remedy for just about everything ranging from energy, appetite, stamina, libido, endurance, and even sleeping patterns. Studies show that cordyceps mushrooms can greatly increase both immunity and antioxidant-rich properties, and back up the age-old saying that cordyceps cures “all illnesses.” (10, 11)
3. Lion’s mane
This powerful ‘shroom has been shown to benefit harmful disorders and diseases such as Alzheimer’s, anxiety, depression, ulcers, and Parkinson’s. A few studies have also supported lion’s mane as having a positive effect on cognitive functions and memory. This is one of my favorite morning drink mix-ins. It helps me feel ready to take on my workday, regardless of how long my to-do list is! (12)
This mushroom powder is the chill one in the fam. Reishi is often found in nighttime teas and drinks for its sleep benefits. It won’t clonk you out or make you drowsy, but its antidepressant effects are helpful for calming the nervous system and helping with both anxiety and stress-induced disorders. I love adding reishi into my nighttime tea or hot cocoa in colder months. (13)
This particular mushroom is my personal favorite for traveling. It helps to prevent high-altitude sickness (which I always get), calm the nervous system, eliminate fatigue, and other physiological functions. Rhodiola mushroom powder uses have been around for centuries, just like many other adaptogenic mushrooms. (14, 15)
These more common medicinal mushrooms are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory powerhouses. What makes them a little more unique, other than their household use, is that they help to fight free radicals. Free radicals, or oxidative stress, need to be balanced out via earthing (skin to earth contact) or via vitamins and minerals, which can be found in foods such as shiitake mushrooms! (16, 17)
7. Turkey tail
This funny mushroom is named after its colorful “turkey” stripes, and is actually an amazing aid for people going through chemotherapy. Chemotherapy suppresses the immune system, and studies have found that turkey tail boosts the immune system, therefore countering the harmful side effects of people dealing with chemo for cancer. This ‘shroom has even gotten approval by the FDA for testing! (18, 19)
Best Mushroom Powder Supplements
If you don’t have a rooftop party to go to in Los Angeles anytime soon, you can still get your medicinal mushroom fix in a few different ways. Dipping my toes into the world of mushrooms was made easy with my favorite adaptogenic supplement, Beauty Juice. It’s a delicious, acai-berry flavored superfood powder that’s easy-to-use, and safe to take every day. I love it so much that it’s replaced my afternoon pick-me-up! Out of the 7 most powerful adaptogenic mushrooms, it contains my favorite 5 in every scoop! The best part? It tastes like a little burst of berries in every sip. There’s no mushroom taste or aftertaste at all! That’s more than a lot of other mushroom mixes can say.
I also love it because of the other benefits and superfoods found in it. It contains anti-aging and skin-transforming superfood fruits like goji berries and acai, gut-renewing probiotics, powerful antioxidants, and of course, an unbeatable adaptogenic mushroom blend. Beauty Juice is perfect for everyday use, but I also love it as a non-alcoholic option at parties. It’s perfect for girl’s nights. Plus, it gives you an excuse to share all the new information you now know about mushroom powders! 😉🍄
READ NEXT: What Are Adaptogen Supplements? Everything You Need To Know (+How To Use!)