In a fast-paced world filled with stress and uncertainty, findingeffective and natural ways to manage anxiety has become a top priority for many. One intriguing avenue lies within the realm of mushrooms.
With their diverse array of bioactive compounds, mushrooms have garnered attention for their potential in promoting calmness, reducing stress, and soothing anxious minds. Discover how these remarkable fungi might offer a natural path towards tranquility in the face of modern-day challenges.
Does Mushroom Extract Help with Anxiety?
Medicinal mushrooms, specifically adaptogenic mushrooms, have been studied for their potential positive impacts on anxiety and stress symptoms.
These types of mushrooms help the body adapt to various stressors and promote overall well-being, and may aid in your nervous system’s ability to calm down. While research is ongoing, some studies suggest that these mushrooms may have a calming effect on the mind and body, potentially reducing symptoms of anxiety and stress.
This adaptogen mushrooms benefit stems from these mushrooms’ ability to modulate stress. According to a 2018 study, adaptogens “can prevent and resist stress because these substances can activate the secretion of cortisol…allowing the body to adapt.”
What Are the Best Legal Mushrooms for Anxiety?
According to research, the best mushrooms for anxiety are cordyceps, reishi, lion’s mane, and chaga. Let’s take a look at the anxiolytic benefits of each adaptogenic mushroom.
Cordyceps Mushrooms for Anxiety
Cordyceps mushrooms can increase energy levels, help protect against cancer and diabetes, and are among the best mushrooms for stress and anxiety. Their anti-anxiety properties were researched in a 2020 animal study.
The study used a rat model of unpredictable chronic mild stress (UCMS) to induce depression and anxiety-like behaviors in these animals. The results showed that supplementation with cordyceps mushrooms improved behavioral deficiencies caused by UCMS, such as body weight loss and reduced sucrose preference. Rats treated with cordyceps also spent more time in the open arm of the elevated plus maze, indicating reduced anxiety.
The extract formula also had positive effects on neurotransmitters, reducing glutamate levels and modulating serotonin and dopamine metabolism. Additionally, cordyceps reduced inflammation markers and protein expression related to inflammation.
The study concluded that cordyceps could be used as a functional food to prevent depression and anxiety by modulating inflammation and neurotransmitter levels. This warrants further human research to uncover the underlying mechanisms of the anxiolytic properties of cordyceps mushrooms in humans.
Want to try cordyceps for anxiety? Our mushroom matcha tea is just the thing!
Lion’s Mane Mushrooms for Anxiety
Available research suggests that lion’s mane mushrooms (Hericium erinaceus) may alleviate symptoms of anxiety thanks to their beneficial neurotrophic properties.
According to a recent study, the lion’s mane mushroom contains compounds called hericenones and erinacines in its fruiting bodies, which aid in the protection and improvement of cognitive functions by stimulating nerve growth factors. This, in turn, promotes the production of new brain cells via a process called neurogenesis.
An animal study found that anxiety-like behaviors in mice were “associated with decreased hippocampal neurogenesis and with down regulation of the NGF expression in the prefrontal cortex.” Stimulating NGF could aid in anxiety reduction, though more research is needed to fully understand this mechanism.
Some human studies seem to confirm the beneficial effects of lion’s mane on anxiety as well. A Japanese study examined the effects of Hericium erinaceus on anxiety and depression in menopausal women. After taking the mushroom, the women reported feeling less anxious and exhibited fewer symptoms of anxiety during testing.
Reishi Mushroom Supplements for Anxiety
Research suggests that the reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) , known as the mushroom of immortality due to its many benefits, is incredibly beneficial when it comes to reducing anxiety.
A recent study investigated the potential benefits of Ganoderma lucidum triterpenoids (GLTs) in alleviating anxiety and depression-like behaviors caused by early life stress (ELS). The study used a combined model of childhood maternal separation and adulthood sub-stress in mice.
A reishi mushroom powder was administered to the mice, and the results showed that treatment with reishi mushrooms mitigated the anxiety and depression-like behaviors induced by maternal separation.
Ganoderma lucidum also reduced inflammation markers in the body and brain, and reversed the activation of microglia in specific brain regions. The study suggests that reishi could be a promising therapeutic option for treating anxiety and anxiety-related disorders and warrants further human research.
Chaga Mushroom Anxiety Benefits
The chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) reduces inflammation and oxidative stress in the body, which could be behind its ability to improve mental health and alleviate anxiety.
Though the adaptogenic properties of this mushroom have not been studied in regards to anxiety as of yet, the beneficial effects this mushroom can have on chronic stress certainly warrant more research.
For example, a recent study found that chaga mushrooms protect against cell-destruction caused by oxidative stress. A 2018 study cites that “anxiety disorders may be characterized by lowered antioxidant defenses and increased oxidative damage to proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids.” Therefore, since oxidative stress has been linked to anxiety, one could assume that this chaga benefit can extend to anxiolytic properties.
Do You Want to Take a Mushroom Supplement for Anxiety?
Are you interested in taking medicinal mushrooms for anxiety disorder? Try our cordyceps and matcha powder blend, designed to help you find peace and calm in the midst of daily challenges.
We have carefully crafted a unique blend of adaptogens, including cordyceps mushrooms, matcha, and l-theanine, all known for their remarkable properties in promoting relaxation and reducing anxiety.
Cordyceps mushrooms support your body's stress response, helping you find balance in chaotic moments. Matcha brings a sense of clarity and focus to your mind while providing a gentle energy boost. To enhance this synergy, we've added l-theanine, an amino acid that promotes a state of relaxation without drowsiness.
Together, these natural ingredients work harmoniously to provide a soothing and grounding experience. Say goodbye to anxiety and embrace serenity.
FAQ on Mushrooms for Anxiety
What is the strongest herb for anxiety?
The strongest herb for easing anxiety is believed to be passionflower (Passiflora incarnata). This herb has been used traditionally to promote relaxation and alleviate anxiety symptoms. According to a 2010 study, passionflower contains compounds that may enhance the activity of a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which helps reduce stress and anxiety.
Is reishi similar to Xanax?
While reishi is known for its potential to support mental and physical health and promote relaxation, it is not similar to Xanax.
Xanax is a prescription medication that belongs to a class of drugs called benzodiazepines, which are specifically designed to treat anxiety disorders.
Reishi can help calm the mind and support a sense of relaxation, but it does not have the same mechanism of action or potency as Xanax.
Is cordyceps a good mushroom for anxiety and depression?
Yes, taking cordyceps mushrooms for mental health is beneficial, as they seem to alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety. A recent study found that Cordyceps militaris reduced anxiety and depression in animals by stimulating serotonin and dopamine production. To learn more about this benefit, read our article on the effects of cordyceps mushrooms on depression.
Does lion’s mane affect GABA?
Lion's mane may stabilize GABA levels and promote GABAergic activity, which could have positive implications for stress, anxiety, depression, and cognitive function. However, more human studies are needed to fully understand the mechanisms and extent of lion's mane's effects on GABA.
Who should not take reishi?
Reishi is generally considered safe for most people when taken in appropriate amounts. However, there are a few groups of people who should exercise caution when taking reishi. These include people with low blood pressure, individuals taking anticoagulant medications, and those with bleeding disorders.
Which is better—ashwagandha or lion’s mane?
Ashwagandha and lion's mane are both popular natural supplements with different potential benefits. Ashwagandha is known for its adaptogenic properties, helping with stress reduction and promoting relaxation, which can alleviate anxiety and improve sleep quality.
On the other hand, lion's mane is a medicinal mushroom that may have neuroprotective and cognitive-enhancing effects and may also improve mood disorders such as depression.
Ultimately, the choice between the two would depend on your specific needs and preferences. Both ashwagandha and lion's mane are available in various forms, including tinctures, mushroom powders and ashwagandha or lion’s mane mushroom capsules, making them convenient options for supplementation.
What is the best mushroom supplement for depression?
In Chinese medicine, reishi, lion’s mane, and cordyceps are often considered top choices for addressing depression and promoting improved mood. These functional mushrooms have been traditionally used for their calming and grounding properties, and modern research suggests that supplements with these mushrooms may provide antidepressant effects by modulating neurotransmitters and reducing inflammation.
What is the best mushroom for gut health?
When it comes to promoting gut health, edible mushrooms such as shiitake (Lentinula edodes) and maitake (Grifola frondosa) are considered beneficial. These mushrooms contain dietary fibers, beta-glucans, and other bioactive compounds that can support gut microbiota balance, improve digestion, and enhance overall gut health. Incorporating these mushrooms into your diet may contribute to a healthy gut and its associated benefits.
What is the best mushroom supplement for brain health?
The best mushroom supplement for a healthy brain should consist of adaptogenic mushrooms that are known to promote brain function, such as lion’s mane and cordyceps. Our cordyceps mushroom blend also contains matcha, which also has an abundance of benefits for the brain. Learn more about matcha benefits, including the benefits it can have for the brain and mental health, on our matcha benefits page.
Can magic mushrooms alleviate anxiety?
Psilocybin mushrooms, also known as magic or psychedelic mushrooms, have shown potential for reducing symptoms of anxiety when used in controlled settings with proper guidance.
Research on psychedelic therapy, which includes the use of psilocybin mushrooms, suggests that it may help alleviate anxiety by promoting a sense of interconnectedness, enhancing emotional well-being, and facilitating introspection.
However, these therapies should only be conducted under the supervision of trained professionals in a safe and controlled environment. Note also that mushrooms containing psilocybin are a controlled substance.
What are the best mushrooms for cancer patients?
Medical reviewers agree that you should eat mushrooms of many varieties during cancer treatment due to the abundance of benefits they provide. Mushrooms such as turkey tail, cordyceps, lion’s mane, and shiitake mushrooms were all proven to slow down the growth of cancer cells. Read more about this benefit in our article on cordyceps and cancer.
What is the ultimate mushroom complex for anxiety?
While individual experiences may vary, mushroom supplements that are often regarded for their potential benefits in reducing anxiety are a blend of multiple adaptogenic mushrooms that include varieties such as reishi, cordyceps, lion's mane, and chaga.
This combination of various types of mushrooms offers a diverse range of bioactive compounds that may support stress reduction, promote a sense of calm, and enhance overall well-being.
Our matcha blend consists of cordyceps mushrooms and matcha, which also appears to help reduce anxiety. Learn more about matcha’s anxiety-relieving properties here.
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- Huang, H. S. (2020). The Antidepressive and Anxiolytic Effects of Formula Consisted of Poria cocos and Cordyceps militaris Waster Medium Extract in Unpredictable Chronic Mild Stress Animal Model. Current Developments in Nutrition, 4, nzaa057_028.https://doi.org/10.1093/cdn/nzaa057_028
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- Elsas, S. M. (2010). Passiflora incarnata L. (Passionflower) extracts elicit GABA currents in hippocampal neurons in vitro, and show anxiogenic and anticonvulsant effects in vivo, varying with extraction method. Phytomedicine, 17(12), 940–949.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phymed.2010.03.002
- Kvam, T. M. (2018). Psychedelic drugs in the treatment of anxiety, depression and addiction. Tidsskrift for Den Norske Legeforening.https://doi.org/10.4045/tidsskr.17.1110
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