What are functional mushrooms?

What Are Functional Mushrooms?

In honor of last weeks podcast episode with Alex Dorr, I will be discussing what functional mushrooms are, how to use them, and 6 different kinds that I incorporate in my wellness routine. 

"Vitamin D from mushrooms is not only vegan and vegetarian friendly, but you can prepare your own by exposing mushrooms to the summer sun."

- Paul Stamets

What are functional mushrooms?

Functional mushrooms are not the typical white button mushrooms that you can find in any grocery store. Functional mushrooms provide a health benefit beyond the mushroom food. These have powerful medicinal properties and are more rare in nature. 

How can I incorporate functional mushrooms in my day to day life?

I love making tonics with my mushrooms powders. One of my favorite combinations is 1/2 tsp chaga, hot water, and raw honey. I also like making little mushroom shots with the droppers from Mushroom Revival. There are other companies that make latte mixes and coffees with the functional mushrooms already in them. Some people like taking them in supplement form. There are also some that taste good in savory dishes, such as shiitake mushrooms. Adding around 1/2 tsp of the powders is great for smoothies and you usually can’t taste them, but receive all the benefits.

"Lion’s mane may be our first ‘smart’ mushroom. It is a safe, edible fungus that appears to confer cognitive benefits on our aging population."

– Paul Stamets

6 incredible functional mushrooms 

1. Lion’s Mane

Lion’s mane is amazing for the brain and cognitive functioning. It is the perfect mushroom to take before doing work or studying. It helps significantly with concentration and focus. 

2. Chaga 

Chaga is known as the king of mushrooms. It is extremely high in antioxidants and amazing for the immune system. It has also been found to lower LDL cholesterol. I think it tastes the best. It’s great in coffee and cacao beverages. 

"Chaga is significant in ethnomycology, forest ecology, and increasingly in pharmacognosy. Its long-term human use and cultural eastern European and Russian acceptance should awaken serious researchers to its potential as a reservoir of new medicines, and as a powerful preventive ally for protecting DNA."

- Paul Stamets

3. Reishi

Reishi is known as the “Mushroom of Immortality”. Reishi is an adaptogen that helps adapt to mental and physical stressors. It is great for boosting the immune system. Taking reishi before bed or whenever you are ready to wind down the day is a beautiful practice. Reishi has been used for over 2,000 years in traditional Chinese medicine. It has a more bitter taste, so it is great with cacao. 

"Today, reishi stands out as one the most valuable of all polypore mushrooms in nature for the benefit of our health. Many naturopaths and doctors prefer organically-grown reishi from pristine environments because they are more pure."

- Paul Stamets

4. Tremella

Tremella is the beauty mushroom. Many people report a noticeable difference in their skin after using tremella regularly. Tremella is high in antioxidants, has anti inflammatory properties, and is loaded with Vitamin D.

5. Cordyceps 

Cordyceps is the best functional mushroom  to take before working out or whenever you need an extra boost of energy. It also helps increase circulation in the body. 

6. Turkey Tail 

Turkey tail mushrooms are incredible for immunity and contain a variety of antioxidants. Some studies have shown that they have anti-cancer properties as well. 


Tune into The Synchronicity Show episode 46 with Alex Dorr to learn more about functional mushrooms! Some other useful resources to learn more are: the movie Fantastic FungiHealing Mushrooms by Tero Isokauppila, and the Ted Talk 6 Ways Mushrooms Can Save the World. If you loved this article please share it with a friend and tag us on Instagram @Synchronicityllc.  

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