The largest living organism in the world is a fungus: the almighty mushroom. At the cell level, mushrooms have more in common with humans than any other plant. Maybe that is why they seem so helpful to human health?
Adaptogens are a class of herb that are thought to help us cope with stress. Types of stress range from general inflammation to fight-or-flight response. The thought is that they aid in the ability of our bodies to cope and adapt to physical, biological, and chemical stress. Consuming adaptogenic herbs can possibly help reduce physical fatigue along with depression and anxiety, enhance mental performance and immunity, and generally help you thrive under pressure.
Medicinal mushrooms have been used for thousands of years in Eastern Medicine. The adaptogen class of these mushrooms have shown to reduce the effects of stress on the body. Cordyceps (Cordyceps sinensis), Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) and Lions Mane (Hericium erinaceus) are the three types most frequently used for stress relief.
These fungi thrive on caterpillars, you read right, caterpillars. The fungi are grown in a lab where the controlled environment allows for the mushroom to be Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) by the FDA. When used for fatigue, cordyceps are often combined with another herbal adaptogen to aid in effects. When mixed with Reishi mushroom or Rhodiola, the person is better protected from physical fatigue and improvement in stress response.
Frequently used in traditional Chinese medicine, Reishi is thought to help strengthen immune system response and stress reduction. There are consistent research results that show patients perceive better wellbeing with various disease states from infections to cancer.
Lions Mane looks exactly like its namesake. It grows on trees as a mass of white string-like appendages resembling the large mane of a male lion. There is no consistent research to show evidence of efficacy in humans. It is believed to be promising for cognitive enhancement and inflammation.
For more information about the consumption of herbs, vitamins, minerals, and mushrooms, please visit the Natural Medicine Database. Be Well Solutions must CAUTION that most research for mushrooms has been performed on cells or animals and not humans. Only consume medicinal mushrooms under the direction of a qualified medical practitioner. If herbal supplements are efficacious enough to help, then they can also harm.