Health Supplements : Mushroom Complex Adaptogens

Health Supplements : Mushroom Complex Adaptogens

Mushroom Adaptogens

Mushrooms are unique due to their incredible properties, but mostly because they belong to the class of edible fungi. It's not every day you come across a species that's neither from an animal nor plant source. But because of the plethora of minerals and vitamins present in mushrooms, the scope for these foods as highly nutrient-dense foods is vast.

What Are Mushroom Adaptogens?

Mushroom adaptogens help in lowering stress levels in the body. These influence the HPA axis which we will discuss in detail. Taking them in a diet may have beneficial effects on the mind and the body due to their stress-reducing effects.

Maitake mushroom supplement for well being

How Do They Lower Stress?

It is known that many external factors and behavioral patterns act inter-connectedly to increase stress in the body. The sympathetic nervous system gets a green light, which makes it almost impossible for the individual to remain in a calm state. As a result, the cortisol hormone is produced which keeps the body in fight or flight mode. For example, we feel the tension in our muscles, there is difficulty in concentrating on tasks, we feel tired, and the list goes on.

The adaptogens work to take the body back to its normal state. Although there are not many dietary sources that uniquely act as adaptogens, there are foods with a nutrient content that makes them heal from such kind of stress state. These work by influencing the hypothalamus-pituitary axis (HPA), which is the primary contributor towards stress-producing stress hormones.

When these mushroom adaptogens influence the HPA axis, they tend to soothe the body by driving it back to its homeostasis or stability.

What Are Common Examples?

There are different mushroom types that act as adaptogens.


Cordyceps are a class of mushrooms with adaptogenic properties. Clinical trials on the mushrooms have shown them to be not only helpful in reducing fatigue related to stress but also decreasing stress-related biomarkers.

Lion's Mane mushroom for well being

Lion’s Mane

Lion’s Mane is scientifically tested to reduce interleukin 6 and TNF alpha or tumor necrosis factor alpha, which are inflammatory markers as a response to stress. Furthermore,  it also helps in inhibiting the negative expression of BDNF or brain-derived neurotropic factor in lab mice.


Reishi is known to be among the most nutrient-dense mushrooms to be available. Clinical trials have shown that these mushrooms help in fighting damage related to stress and also reduce the inflammatory markers of stress in the body. Also, stress-related anxiety and muscle fatigue are also shown to be reduced by the use of these mushrooms.

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Final Words

Adaptogen mushrooms are gaining all the limelight in the mental health world for the right reasons. Most adaptogen mushrooms are not exclusively used for their adaptogenic properties. So, in future research, they may be used in the form of concentrations and extracts. However, as there are only pilot studies and most indicate the use of mushrooms in a combined form with other mushrooms, there is a need for more research to understand the exclusive effects of these mushrooms on stress.

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