How medicinal mushrooms keep you strong even if you’re constantly stressed
12/16/2018 // Ellaine Castillo // Views

Mushrooms have a long and well-documented history when it comes to their use in alternative medicine. The first people to acknowledge their therapeutic potential were the Chinese, who used them as natural remedies for diseases such as cancer, infertility, and post-traumatic stress disorders. Recently, more people are recognizing their use in keeping the body healthy in times of stress.

Something that all medicinal mushrooms have in common is that they possess adaptogenic properties, which primarily involves regulating cortisol levels. This stress hormone is helpful in the short-term, but if it's produced for extended periods, it can start wreaking havoc on your body.

The following are ways through which stress affects a person's health and how medicinal mushrooms can help:

One of the main problems that people experience when they're feeling stressed or anxious is the inability to fall asleep. This often happens because the brain is working on overdrive, so it's unable to provide a sense of peace and calmness that's essential not just to fall asleep but to stay asleep as well. A lack of sleep will make a person more stressed since it interferes with their health and their daily activities. This contributes to a cycle that can only be broken if you reduce your stress levels or achieve better sleep. We recommend that you address this issue with the medicinal mushroom called reishi.

Reishi, also known as "the mushroom of immortality," is commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine utilize to improve spiritual potency, well-being, and longevity. To enjoy these benefits, they often consumed the mushroom in tea form due to its bitter and woody taste. Recently, studies have shown that these applications are possible due to the presence of nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and antioxidants that calm and support the nervous system by reducing oxidative damage. Because of its benefits on the nervous system, reishi is also recommended for those who want to achieve better sleep quality, calm the mind, and treat insomnia. So if you've been under a lot of stress and it's been interfering with your sleep then try drinking a cup of reishi tea a few minutes before bed so you can sleep like a baby.


When the body is always under stress, an increase in inflammation is also observed. This leads to an increased risk of health problems, such as depression, neurodegenerative disease, obesity, diabetes, and cancer. One way to address systemic inflammation is by using medicinal mushrooms since most of these have anti-inflammatory properties. The chaga mushroom, which is rich in fiber and antioxidants, is especially helpful since it is effective against stress-induced systemic inflammation. It works by reducing the production of the stress hormone cortisol and reducing inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. These show that chaga is great for people who are stressed, especially if they suffer from irritable bowel syndrome.

Another way through which stress can affect your everyday life is by interfering with cognitive functions. This leads to problems like memory loss, brain fog, mental exhaustion, and poor concentration, which is why it's important to stay calm during exams or intense work weeks. To avoid these problems, you can make use of cordyceps mushrooms which can reduce cortisol levels and consequently lower stress response. Moreover, it also increases oxygen uptake so that the body, especially the brain, gets an adequate supply for it to perform its normal functions.

Alternatively, lion's mane mushrooms can also be used to improve overall cognitive function during periods of stress. This medicinal mushroom works by stimulating the production of nerve growth factor (NGF). This neuropeptide plays a role in the maintenance and growth of neurons that relay information to and from the brain. Because of this, researchers also looked at the potential use of lion's mane as a natural remedy for Alzheimer's and dementia. Studies showed that to maximize the cognitive boosting effects of this mushroom, you have to take it regularly for a long period, so it's not something that you take only in times of stress.

With the help of these medicinal mushrooms, you can easily find relief from the stress of daily life. (Related: Battling Stress with These 8 Super Foods that Nourish the Brain.)

For more articles about medicinal mushrooms, visit

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