Updated: May 28, 2022
Functional mushrooms have long been revered in ancient Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for their potent health benefits including nervous system health, immune-boosting, digestive support, cognitive support, and even as an effective treatment for some types of cancer to name a few.
I utilize a variety of functional mushrooms for my personal health, as well as supportive and balancing supplements for the Personalized Microdosing Protocols and Integrative Mental Health Protocols I design for clients in my practice. Last year, I conducted an experiment with a hand full of microdosing clients; some microdosing with only psilocybin and others supplementing functional mushrooms in addition, at the end of the 4-month long protocol, those who were supplementing functional mushrooms reported more profound and lasting changes ranging from moderate reduction to complete elimination of fatigue, anxiety, OCD, substance use, and depression. Although this is far from a credible scientific study, the anecdotal evidence has been consistent. I now recommend functional mushrooms supplementation to all my clients as a foundation for their physical and mental health.
Here are my top 3 recommendations:
Lion's Mane Mushrooms
Lion's Mane is an ancient healing mushroom from Asia with reported medicinal uses dating thousands of years back. Lion's Mane has a distinct white "pom-pom" look that resembles a lion's mane!
Lion's Mane is known as a "brain boosting" supplement. Chinese Buddhist monks used Lion’s Mane powder in their tea, claiming it helped them focus on their meditation and increase overall brain power. Contemporary scientific studies are beginning to validate these claims.
Some of the reported benefits of LLion's Mane include:
Mood & Mental Health
Focus, Memory, Cognition, and Sleep
Additional Lion’s Mane Mushroom Health Benefits
Lion's Mane mushrooms are my #1 choice for supplementation while microdosing. Their healing effect on the nervous system and brain functions makes them an ideal candidate for enhancing and supporting your microdose practice. In fact, the proprietary blend that I personally utilize in microdosing contains the maximum daily dose of Lion's Mane!
Reishi mushrooms are known as "The King Of Mushrooms" and for good cause. Evidence of the medicinal use of Reishi dates back to 4000 years ago. Reishi is also known as the "Immortality Mushroom" for its superb antioxidant qualities. This fungus contains over 400 different bioactive compounds helping the bodily systems function best on a cellular level. It is one of the world’s most effective adaptogens because it helps the body and mind adapt fluidly to health stressors and maintain allostasis.
Some of the reported benefits of reishi include:
Alleviating occasional stress and restlessness
Supporting restful sleep and a calm mind
Supporting lung and respiratory health
Supporting balanced blood sugar levels
Supporting the immune system
Supporting lower urinary tract
Reishi mushrooms are a great addition to your microdosing practice because of their soothing, balancing, and calming qualities on the nervous system.
Cordyceps mushrooms are in fact parasitic fungi! They are formed when spores land on an insect and begin to germinate eventually devouring the insect and turning it into a mushroom! I am forever fascinated by this incredible transformation although it sure is creepy!
Cordyceps are used in many traditional medicines since AD 620; they are especially celebrated in Chinese medicine as "nerve tonic", and "peak performance" mushrooms in the west. They are predominantly known for boosting vigor and vitality.
Some of the reporter benefits of cordyceps include:
Traditional Chinese Medicinal Uses (nourishing yin, boosting yang, and supporting kidneys)
Increase Exercise & Cognitive Performance
Support Healthy Inflammation Response
Support Healthy Testosterone Levels
Maintain Blood Sugar Balance
Maintain Heart Health
Soothe Everyday Worry
Cordyceps supports your microdosing practice by boosting vitality, cognitive functions, and their superb stress-mitigating qualities.
A Word On Sourcing
With the rise in popularity of functional mushrooms, unfortunately, there are many questionable and even dangerous products on the market. Aside from inaccurate dosage, heavy fillers, and inaccurate ingredients, cheap functional mushrooms often also mean lax production standards with the potential for toxic mold in your product.
Another common challenge in sourcing is that many companies market "mushroom blends" with little to no transparency about the actual quantities of each type in the blend making effective dosage control practically impossible.
When choosing a functional mushroom brand, the following simple precautions are recommended:
Purchase from reputable suppliers only
Ethical producers provide easy access to 3-rd party lab testing results
Avoid "blends" that do not specifically outline every ingredient and its quantity
Follow the link above to thoroughly vetted and trusted sources.