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Are All Mushrooms Adaptogens?


In the world of dietary supplements, adaptogenic mushrooms have recently risen to great fame in a short amount of time. And that’s no wonder, considering their innumerable proven health benefits. 

Popular adaptogenic fungi such as the maitake, shiitake, cordyceps, and lion’s mane mushroom provide many beneficial compounds that can improve both physical functioning and mental well-being.

But with so many different kinds of adaptogenic mushrooms available and new ones constantly hitting the market, the question arises: which mushrooms aren’t adaptogens? 

Are all mushrooms adaptogenic by definition?


Key Takeaways

  • Adaptogenic mushrooms are those that help relieve the body of stress and its adverse effects. They are not the same as “magic” or psychedelic mushrooms and do not alter our perception.
  • The types of adaptogenic mushrooms include cordyceps, lion’s mane, and reishi, each with its unique benefits. For instance, cordyceps is known to improve athletic performance, while lion’s mane is believed to promote brain health.
  • The benefits of adaptogenic mushrooms are numerous and vary from boosting the immune system and promoting weight loss to improving heart health and cognitive functioning. While many mushrooms have adaptogenic properties, it is not a hard and fast rule that all mushrooms are adaptogens.


What are Adaptogenic Mushrooms?

First, let’s back up a bit. What makes a mushroom an adaptogen to begin with?

In simple terms, an adaptogen is any substance that helps relieve the body of stress's adverse effects and impacts. Because stress can affect us in so many different ways, a mushroom being an adaptogen does not by itself imply much about its impact on our health apart from providing stress relief in some form. 

This could be by interacting with the brain somehow or by lessening inflammation in certain internal organs, for example. Adaptogenic mushrooms are also often good detoxifiers, as high blood toxicity is often correlated with symptoms of stress.

It is important to note, however, that adaptogenic mushrooms are not the same thing as “magic” or psychedelic mushrooms. Adaptogens do not alter our perception in this way, and they do not carry psychotropic properties.


Types of Adaptogenic Mushrooms

Not every adaptogenic mushroom is the same. In fact, in most cases, adaptogenic effects are but one of the various benefits that each type of mushroom may provide, in addition to plenty of other nutritional and medicinal goodies. 

Let’s look at some of the most important types of adaptogenic mushrooms and compare.


The cordyceps mushroom has been consumed for its medicinal properties in the far east for many centuries. It is a crucial ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine, and its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits are widely studied.

As a dietary supplement, cordyceps has caught on more recently in the West due to its ability to amplify and improve athletic performance. Particularly for competitive athletes, this has made cordyceps an excellent choice to add to an existing meal plan. 

But you don’t need to run marathons every day to appreciate the health benefits of cordyceps. As a strong adaptogen, it fights physical markers of stress while reducing fatigue and improving mental clarity and focus.

Lion’s Mane

The lion’s mane is a mushroom denoted by its unique fluffy, often white appearance. Like many others, it too has been used as a medicinal herb for generations. However, unlike many medicinal mushrooms, the lion’s mane also enjoys great popularity as a culinary ingredient thanks to its unique and pleasant taste. 

In scientific studies, lion’s mane has been shown to prevent decreased dopamine and serotonin levels from stress-related changes in brain chemistry. These and other effects of lion’s mane have made it a promising alternative treatment for clinical depression and anxiety. 

The lion’s mane mushroom also boasts many anti-inflammatory benefits, in addition to supporting nervous system health and lowering the risk of heart disease.


The reishi is a type of mushroom native to humid regions of Southeast Asia. Particularly in Japanese and Chinese medicine, its use has continued for millennia. Today, it is one of the most common medicinal mushrooms sold worldwide in the form of supplements.

The adaptogenic benefits of reishi are some of the most well-documented within the mushroom kingdom. It stimulates the adrenal glands, thus promoting healthy cortisol levels within the body. As you might already know, cortisol is one of the hormones most intimately linked to the body’s natural stress response.

Besides that, the reishi mushroom is also a potent immunomodulator, strengthening the body’s ability to fight infections. 


Benefits of Adaptogenic Mushrooms

While the individual properties and benefits of different adaptogenic mushrooms vary quite a lot, it is still possible to generalize a bit in trying to give an overview of just what adaptogens can do for you and your health.

  • Adaptogenic mushrooms boost the immune system, preventing infections from taking hold and relieving the body by encouraging the production of white blood cells, for example.
  • Adaptogens can help some individuals maintain or lose weight by stimulating the metabolism and the gastrointestinal tract.
  • They are also beneficial to those suffering from cardiovascular problems, as they improve heart health and lower blood pressure.
  • As mentioned previously, adaptogenic mushrooms play an essential role in lowering stress by moderating cholesterol levels.
  • Adaptogens also aid in brain functioning and are linked to reduced anxiety, better focus, concentration, and overall cognitive functioning.
  • In physical exercise, adaptogens boost recovery times and can help increase stamina.


Are All Mushrooms Adaptogens?

In a word: no. While many mushrooms have adaptogenic properties, and while a big chunk of the medicinal mushrooms known worldwide does carry some degree of adaptogenic benefits, this is not a hard and fast rule. 

There is no correlation between a mushroom being healthy, much less being edible, and it also being an adaptogen. For example, most psychedelic mushrooms are neither strongly medicinal nor adaptogenic in any way. 


Best Mushroom Adaptogens

If you’re curious enough to try some mushroom adaptogens yourself, you’re in luck! These days, many high-quality mushroom supplements are available online, leaving the entry bar fairly low. 


When it comes to adaptogens, mushrooms are some of the most powerful and effective ingredients out there. That's why our TUNE IN powdered drink is such a great choice - it combines two of the best mushroom adaptogens, lion's mane and cordyceps, into one delicious and convenient drink.

Lion's mane is a type of mushroom that has been shown to support cognitive function and improve focus and clarity. It's rich in compounds called hericenones and erinacines, which have been shown to stimulate the growth of new brain cells and protect against age-related cognitive decline.

Cordyceps, on the other hand, is a mushroom that has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries to support physical performance and endurance. It's believed to work by increasing oxygen uptake in the body, which can help improve athletic performance and reduce fatigue.

By combining these two powerful mushroom adaptogens, TUNE IN provides a comprehensive solution for anyone looking to improve their cognitive and physical performance. And because it's available in two delicious flavors - Pink Lemonade and Tropical Punch - it's an easy and enjoyable way to support your health and well-being.


VYU Blog Disclaimer

The information provided on the VYU blog is intended solely for informational and entertainment purposes. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new healthcare regimen. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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