Food is information in the body, and food that shines for overall information is mushrooms.
Within that context, mushrooms of all kinds may exert some remarkable effects to help support thyroid health, immune health, gut health, and more.
Medicinal mushroom supplements are a way to add variety to your diet because it can be almost impossible to find some varieties of mushrooms in your supermarket.
So, how do you begin? Quality, form, and type of mushrooms can impact the effects that these mushrooms have on your health. In this post, find the best mushroom supplements for you and your patients.
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Are all Edible Mushrooms Medicinal?
There are over 14,000 species of mushrooms on the planet and probably many more yet to be discovered. We don’t need to limit ourselves to the select few that our grocers carry. It is our belief that a broader variety of foods, including mushrooms, may benefit our health the most.
Here are some types of mushrooms that have a good amount of research to support their use.
- Agaricus blazei
- Lions mane
- Turkey tail
Mushrooms are rich in nutrients and functional compounds. These compounds include [R]:
- α- and β-glucans
- Other polysaccharides
- Vitamin D (ergocalciferol)
- B Vitamins
- Amino acids
Each type of mushroom varies slightly in its nutritional profile and functional compounds, but one thing is true: edible mushrooms are all healthy.
A good medicinal mushroom supplement will have a combination of mushrooms to increase their health profiles.
A Mushroom for Thyroid Function?
There are many types of mushrooms that people eat today. Individual mushroom varieties may have some distinct health benefits for the thyroid directly and indirectly and benefits for the whole body [R].
Thyroid Health and Mushrooms
A good example of a mushroom good for thyroid is cordyceps mushrooms.
In a clinical trial of people with newly diagnosed Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Graves disease, cordyceps supplements helped to restore the thyroid balance because it increased helper T cells and cytotoxic T cells.
Cordyceps also reduced thyroid antibodies in both conditions, so the mushroom was beneficial to thyroid without side effects [R].
Other ways that medicinal mushrooms, such as maitake mushrooms, may improve thyroid function is by [R]:
- Increasing natural killer cell response
- Increasing macrophage and cytotoxic T cell activity
- Improving antibody response
- Activating immune complement pathways
Best Mushrooms for Gut Health
By supporting gut health, mushrooms can help support immune function and therefore, the thyroid function.
Medicinal mushrooms all contain polysaccharides, such as beta-glucan, which may improve the gut microbiome.
While we need more human trials, animal research shows that shiitake mushrooms, for example, increase the biodiversity of the gut [R].
Chaga mushrooms have the most research data in regard to how they help with gut health.
For example, one clinical study found that Chaga improved immune function and reduced DNA damage in Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis cells in an ex vivo study [R].
- Reduce allergies
- Reduce fatigue
- Improve memory
- Dampen inflammation
- Improve skin conditions
Best Mushrooms for Immunity
The National Cancer Institute now suggests that mushrooms help support immunity.
One good example of this is a mushroom called turkey tail. In clinical studies, turkey tail mushrooms:
- Reduce the risk of infections [R]
- Supports a healthy gut and immunity by improving innate immune response, including natural killer cells [R]
- Is a prebiotic and reduced harmful bacteria like e.coli [R]
- Boost antioxidant activity [R]
Best Mushrooms for Energy and Endurance
Cordyceps acts to increase ATP levels in the body, so this is likely the mechanism of energy support.
Reishi mushrooms may also promote energy in the body as well [R].
Best Mushrooms for Weight Management
By helping balance immunity and gut health, some types of mushrooms may support healthy weight as well.
While it is too early to say in people, Chaga mushrooms helped to decrease body weight as well as reduce cancer by promoting energy metabolism in mice [R].
Best Mushrooms for Stress Reduction
Mushrooms may act like adaptogens in the body, meaning they help adapt to the stress responses we have in our lives.
An example of this in research was for patients undergoing cancer treatment.
While receiving reishi mushroom supplements, these patients had less anxiety and depression, as well as improved quality of life compared to placebo [R].
Women taking Lion’s mane mushroom were found to have better results than when taking a placebo. They experienced the following [R]:
- Reduced symptoms of depression
- Reduced irritability
- Improve brain function
Best Mushrooms to Reduce Inflammation
Rich in antioxidants, mushrooms like mesima mushrooms help modulate the immune system and have anti-histamine, anti-inflammatory effects [R].
Medicinal mushrooms are also rich in selenium, a key antioxidant mineral for thyroid function too.
By increasing antioxidant enzymes in the body, mushrooms like lion’s mane may increase longevity as well [R].
Best Mushrooms for Pain Reliever
Some medicinal mushrooms may have pain-relieving properties, such as reishi, although research is still early in this area [R].
Best Mushrooms for Nerve Health
Mushrooms like lion’s mane and tremella may help nerve health by supporting nerve growth factors.
Although it is too soon to tell from research, many people do feel a lifting of brain fog when eating medicinal mushrooms.
In people with mild memory loss, Lion’s mane was able to improve memory over a 16 week period compared to placebo [R].
Best Mushrooms for Liver Health
Best Mushrooms for Skin Health
Skin conditions are common in people with thyroid conditions, such as dry skin. Mushrooms like tremella mushrooms help support healthy skin and hydration in research.
Tremella Mushrooms For Skin Health
Other Benefits of Mushrooms
Other benefits of mushrooms include the following:
- Improved immunity
- Improved memory
- Lung function
- Fertility health
- Kidney health
- May be cancer preventing
Best Mushrooms for Brain and Immune Health
One recent clinical study found that tremella extract also improved memory in people with mild memory loss [R].
Best Mushrooms for Lung Health
Reishi and cordyceps mushrooms may improve lung function in asthma [R].
Cordyceps may reduce symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) [R].
Best Mushrooms for Kidney Health
Best Mushrooms for Fertility
- Caffeic acid
- Interfungins A
- Inoscavin A
Best Mushrooms for Possible Cancer Prevention
Various mushrooms have been researched for their potential cancer properties.
Reishi and Chaga Mushrooms
Reishi and Chaga are mushrooms that may reduce cancer risk and help with cancer treatment [R].
Another example of potential cancer reduction is with shiitake mushrooms. Patients with advanced stomach cancer given shiitake extract had a longer survival rate than those who didn’t receive the extract [R]. This could be because shiitake may reduce metastasis [R].
Take Precautions When Using Mushrooms
Mushrooms are safe in quantities that you can eat. Bear in mind, there is generally not enough evidence to make broad health claims.
Quality Can Be Difficult to Determine
Quality is difficult to determine in mushroom supplements. (We help break down how to choose the best quality mushrooms in this post).
Cultured Mushrooms Are Not Wild Mushrooms
Culturing mushrooms isn’t always the same as wild mushrooms- we also help you sort this out
There Are No Standardized Dosing Recommendations
No standardized dosing recommendations for various types of mushrooms-remember they are safe, however.
Don’t Forage Unless You Are An Expert
You shouldn’t try to forage for mushrooms. Picking mushrooms should only be done by experts because you could risk eating poisonous mushrooms if you are not careful.
If you are allergic or develop allergies to mushrooms, please avoid eating them.
How to Use Medicinal Mushrooms
There is no wrong way to incorporate edible mushrooms into your diet. You really can eat them liberally with very little risk.
You can even add them to your favorite recipes for thyroid health.
There is no consensus on the dose of various mushrooms at this time.
We generally recommend following the label instructions unless you are targeting a specific health condition. At this point, you should consult your doctor.
If you do forage mushrooms with an expert, make sure to cook your edible mushrooms as some raw mushrooms can have toxic effects. Never forage for mushrooms without a mushroom expert.
Choosing the Best Mushroom Supplements
When looking for mushroom supplements, quality, and potency matters. We recommend using the following criteria so that you know you are getting the best possible mushroom products.
Eating organic mushrooms prevents you from ingesting any pesticides or herbicides, which may be harmful to thyroid function.
When possible, choose full-spectrum mushrooms. This means that the product will contain ALL parts of the mushroom. These are the mycelium, the fruiting body, primordia, and the spores.
Get Mushrooms Without Fillers
The best mushroom extracts and supplements won’t have any fillers or artificial ingredients, such as magnesium stearate or gluten.
Choosing products with independent testing of cordyceps assures potency of cordyceps, the safety of cordyceps, and consistency of quality. This is called 3rd party testing or GMP certification.
Grown in the United States
- Brands here all are both grown and harvested in the United States. This is because the USDA has strict organic certifications.
Look for Good Reviews
Is there strength in numbers? Yes. The more positive reviews from people with verified purchases is another predictor of effectiveness. While anecdotal, it’s hard to argue with 5-star reviews. In this post, we give our personal reviews, where needed too.
Thyroid Nutrition Educators Mushroom Review
Some of these links are affiliate links which means that we will earn a percentage of any sales, at no extra cost to you
Mushroom Supplements for Coffee Substitutes
A great way to get some healthy mushrooms into your diet is by choosing a coffee substitute. While there are many on the market today, Coffee Break is the only full-spectrum blend out there.
*Author favorite. This blend is the only full-spectrum mushroom coffee that is organic and third-party tested.
- Medicinal Foods Coffee Break mushroom coffee substitute
- USDA Certified organic
- Get 15% off first order too, making it more affordable than Amazon
- GMP and 3rd party tested and verified
- Gluten-free, no fillers, no additives
- Full Spectrum
- Contains, Chaga, Reishi, Maca, Chicory root, Dandelion
Best Mushroom Powder Supplements
The best part about mushroom powders is that you can mix them into any food, like soup, stews, stir-fry sauces, coffee, tea, smoothies, and more.
Medicinal mushroom recipes are simple: mix a little into anything your want!
Cordyceps Mushroom Powder Organic Performance Mushroom
*I use this one daily: a quarter teaspoon in my coffee gives me sustained energy and alertness.
This strain of mushrooms may reduce thyroid antibodies
Of all the mushrooms out there, this one checks all the boxes for quality:
- USDA organic cordyceps
- Most research for thyroid health
- Highest amount of cordyceptin, an active compound in cordyceps
- Grown to simulate wild cordyceps, making them the most potent
Organic Mega 10 Mushroom Complex Powder
*Blend of 10 types of medicinal mushrooms, economical
Micro-ingredients Mega Mushrooms 10
- A blend of USDA Organic Mushrooms
- Includes chaga, reishi, cordyceps, mesima, turkey tail, maitake, shiitake.
- Contains added beta-glucan (mushroom derived)
- No additives
- Good for mood and anxiety
Reishi Mushroom Powder Organic & Maximum Potency
*Personal favorite for calming the nerves, known as the Mushroom of Immortality. Add to soups, broths, teas, coffee, and more.
Medicinal Foods Reishi Maximum Potency Mushroom Powder
- USDA certified organic reishi mushroom powder
- No fillers
- 3rd party tested, uses the purest Aloha Medicinals source from Hawaii
- Over 100 servings per bag
- Can get 15% off your first order
Best Mushroom Capsules Supplements
Not everyone is comfortable mixing a mushroom powder into their foods. Mushroom capsules are for you then!
While many brands are on the market, these select few meet quality standards.
Host Defense, Stamets 7 Capsules, Daily Immune Support
*Almost 500 positive reviews for immune health.
Made popular by Paul Stamets, founder, and famous mycologist
- Certified USDA organic
- Mushroom capsules for people who prefer to not taste mushrooms.
- Contains the species royal sun blazei, chaga, reishi, lion’s mane, mesima, and maitake mushrooms
- Gluten-free with no fillers
- 3rd party certified
Aloha Medicinals Cordyceps Capsules
*Great choice for people who don’t want to eat mushrooms
The strain that helped reduce thyroid antibodies
A highly rated brand for quality and effectiveness
- USDA Organic Cordyceps Mushrooms
- Full-spectrum for high potency
- Grown to have the highest concentration of cordycepin
- 3rd party certification
- Great for energy, lung, kidney health
The Genius Brand Mushrooms
Over 5000 reviews which are highly rating this mushroom blend.
- Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) facility with strong regulatory commitment and compliance to international GMP standards
- Veggie capsules with no fillers
- Contains Organic mushroom species: Lions Mane, Cordyceps, and Reishi
- Immune System Booster & Nootropic Brain Supplement
- Natural Energy, Stress Relief, Memory & Liver Support
Didn’t Make the Cut
There are several brands that appear on the best mushroom supplement lists, but they didn’t meet our criteria for quality. Those are:
- Shroom Tech (no third-party testing, not organic, not a mushroom-specific company)
You can support overall health by including mushroom powders or capsules in your daily routine. Many research studies find that adding mushrooms can help improve energy, and mood, support immune function, and may even reduce autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto’s and Graves’s disease.
As always, check with your healthcare provider before making any changes to your healthcare routine.
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