Let’s start from the top – adaptogenic mushrooms, also known as functional mushrooms, are mushrooms with adaptogenic properties. Simply put, they help your body fight the negative effects of stress and improve your overall health.

See, stress releases free radicals in your body. When free radicals run amok, they can lead to a range of health issues – for instance, they may contribute to inflammatory and cardiovascular diseases, cataract and cancer. Apart from chronic health issues, free radicals are also behind most of the changes in our bodies as we age, such as aging skin.

So what do adaptogens do? They neutralize the free radicals in your body, by taking care of the ones that have already formed and preventing more from releasing. You can think of them as a defense that complements your natural immune system in the fight against free radicals and stress-related health issues. Your body can’t produce them on its own, just like it can’t produce the vitamins that boost your immune system.

Now, adaptogens are not limited to mushrooms – you can find them in many foods and beverages, such as coffee, blueberries, turmeric, nettle and many more.

But adaptogenic mushrooms have grown increasingly popular as we start to understand how little we previously knew about how mushrooms can help our health. There are a ton of different mushrooms, each with a range of adaptogens that can be harnessed to boost your health in many different ways – and since they are quite concentrated, they have been proven especially powerful.


No – not all mushrooms are adaptogenic. The white caps you chop up for your pasta, for instance, are not adaptogenic.

Whether or not a mushroom is considered adaptogenic depends on whether it contains the specific stress supportive compounds that are beneficial for your health. Some of the most common ones include lion’s mane, reishi, cordyceps, chaga, turkey tail, shiitake and maitake.


The benefits of adaptogenic mushrooms are many, and depend on which mushroom you are consuming. Reishi mushroom, for example, boosts your immune system and according to some studies may even offer cancer-fighting properties. Lion’s mane is another well-known functional mushroom, that may help protect against mild or severe cognitive issues, heart disease, and may also help reduce anxiety.

Because there’s such a range of functional mushrooms, a comprehensive list of the benefits would be very long. But some benefits of adaptogenic mushrooms may include:

  • Lowering cortisol levels
  • Alleviating the effects of stress
  • Protecting the liver
  • Lowering the risk of cancer
  • Protecting against cardiovascular conditions
  • Supporting brain health
  • Lowering cholesterol
  • Supporting natural, healthy energy levels

In short, functional mushrooms are a great way to be proactive about your health, and lower the chances of a range of chronic health issues down the line – as well as improving your overall health, mood, and energy levels right now.

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