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Debunking 15 Myths about Functional Mushrooms


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There are plenty of functional mushrooms out there, with reishi, lion’s mane, and cordyceps being three of the most common ones. These adaptogenic functional mushrooms are all known for having various health benefits, both mental and physical. 

The right mushrooms can help increase problem-solving abilities, energy levels, focus and concentration, and even help you sleep better at night. However, there are a lot of myths out there about functional mushrooms and false pieces of alternative information that we are here to debunk. 

Let's take a look at 15 myths about functional mushrooms and why they're completely false.


Key Takeaways

  • Functional mushrooms don't have to be extracted or cooked for you to reap their benefits.
  • Functional mushrooms aren't addictive or toxic, and in fact are shown to have various health benefits.
  •  Keep reading to find out what 15 of the biggest myths surrounding functional mushrooms are.

Why is There So Much Confusion Surrounding Functional Mushrooms?

There seems to be a good bit of confusion surrounding functional mushrooms. When people hear the word mushrooms, they automatically assume that psychedelic mushrooms are being discussed, or in other words, magic mushrooms.

The reason why there's so much confusion between magic mushrooms and functional mushrooms is quite simply because there isn't enough literature on the matter yet. Functional mushrooms have only been popular for a few years, with academic research on them being not limited, but not very widely dispersed or available.

As you'll see further below, plenty of research shows that a variety of functional mushrooms can have beneficial effects for both the mind and the body. However, there seems to be this prevailing sentiment that mushrooms are drugs that are psychoactive in nature and will adversely affect your mental state. However, this simply isn't true.


Medicinal Mushrooms vs. Magic Mushrooms

To be clear, medicinal mushrooms or functional mushrooms are not the same as magic mushrooms. Medicinal mushrooms contain a variety of substances that are found in mushrooms, as well as in other adaptogenic foods, that may have physical and mental health benefits. 

When it comes to functional mushrooms, this is especially the case as far as cognitive abilities are concerned.

However, medicinal mushrooms are not the same as magic mushrooms. Magic mushrooms contain a psychoactive substance known as psilocybin.

This is both a psychoactive and hallucinogenic substance that alters your state of mind, causes both visual and auditory hallucinations and produces a notable psychedelic high. 

Regular medicinal or functional mushrooms do not produce a psychedelic high. If you're taking functional mushrooms for your health, you don't need to be worried about getting high and tripping out for the rest of the day!


15 Myths about Functional Mushrooms

Illustration of a forest with mushrooms and trees.

There are 15 myths about functional mushrooms that all too many people believe, and we will debunk all of them.

Functional Mushrooms are Only for People with Health Problems

While some people may assume that functional mushrooms are only for people who already have existing health problems, this really couldn't be any further from the truth.

The simple fact of the matter is that functional mushrooms aren't just ideal as reactionary substances to already existing problems but may also be able to prevent future problems from arising. Functional mushrooms are well known for supporting general health and well-being.

For instance, they have the potential to balance blood sugar levels, help you sleep better, improve your athletic performance, improve gastrointestinal health, and so much more. They also happen to be super anti-inflammatory.

Functional Mushrooms are “Magic Pills” That Will Solve All of Your Health Problems

There are two sides to the debate, with some people claiming that functional mushrooms are useless and don't do anything at all and others claiming that functional mushrooms are like little magic pills that will solve all of your health problems.

Neither of these is the case. As you'll see from all of the evidence that we'll provide here today, there are many different health benefits, both physical and mental, that functional mushrooms can provide you with.

That said, they are not the answer to all of your issues. For instance, functional mushrooms won't automatically make you lose all that extra weight and bring your cardiovascular system back to perfect health.

They also can't cure various terminal diseases, and so on. The reality here is that functional mushrooms do have some benefits, but they aren't a one-stop solution for all of your health problems.

You Need to Cook Functional Mushrooms to Release Their Benefits

There is a theory that functional mushrooms need to be cooked for them to release all of their benefits. However, this isn't true. While some mushrooms may have tough cell walls that don't allow the human body to digest the essential substances, this is not always the case.

Furthermore, although cooking mushrooms may provide the human body with an increased ability to absorb all of the major nutrients, it's really not necessary.

Even if you don't cook functional mushrooms, you'll still be able to absorb a lot of the nutrients in them, including many different vitamins, minerals, and other compounds that aren't found in regular foods.

Many of the beneficial substances contained in functional mushrooms may actually be destroyed by heating them. If you have fresh mushrooms, the best way to cook them while still preserving their maximum nutrient density is to grill them.

All Functional Mushrooms are the Same

Another myth that all too many people believe for whatever reason is that all functional mushrooms are the same and that they all have the same effects. 

Of course, this really couldn't be any further from the truth. For instance, the lion’s mane may be able to regulate blood sugar, reduce high blood pressure, promote healthy energy levels, protect heart health, and combat brain fog.

On the other hand, we have cordyceps, which are well known for improving immunity, boosting strength and energy, enhancing kidney function, and possibly even being able to improve sexual dysfunction.

Even just these two functional mushrooms alone are quite different from each other. You can just imagine how much difference there is between all of the functional mushrooms out there. For the record, over 12 different types of functional mushrooms are known so far.

Functional Mushrooms are Addictive

Some people think that functional mushrooms are addictive, which is not the case at all. 

Functional mushrooms do not contain any addictive substances such as nicotine, caffeine, alcohol, or anything else of the sort. At this time, there appears to be no evidence that would indicate that functional mushrooms are in any way addictive.

All Mushrooms are Psychoactive or Psychedelic

Although functional mushrooms may provide the human mind with some benefits, such as improved cognitive abilities and higher levels of energy, they are not known for being psychedelic or psychoactive. 

What people seem to get confused about is that functional mushrooms are not the same as magic mushrooms. Magic mushrooms contain psilocybin, which is a hallucinogenic that causes people to experience both visual and auditory hallucinations. 

However, functional mushrooms just contain vitamins, nutrients, minerals, and other beneficial substances, but don't contain anything that will significantly alter your state of mind or cause a notable psychedelic or psychoactive high.

Wild-Harvested Mushrooms are Not Sustainable and Harm the Environment

Many people claim that mushrooms harvested in the wild are not sustainable and are harmful to the environment. However, this is also false. The actual process of gathering mushrooms should be totally sustainable. Of course, this depends on how people harvest the mushrooms.

If people go into a forest and clear it out of every single mushroom, then no, it would not be sustainable. However, many retailers and groups out there harvest functional mushrooms in sustainable ways, thus ensuring that there are always future generations of these mushrooms to go around.

It might not be ecologically friendly to go around trampling on plants and disturbing a natural environment. Still, wild-harvested mushrooms themselves are generally quite sustainable and not harmful to the environment. It all comes down to sustainably harvesting them.

As long as you don't over-harvest them, it should be just fine.

You Need to Take Large Doses of Functional Mushrooms to See Results

Some people assume that it takes very large doses of functional mushrooms to see any kind of results, whether this has to do with physical or mental health benefits. However, this also is not true.

Plenty of functional mushrooms can provide people with a variety of cognitive and physical health benefits, all without having to consume great quantities of them. Some of the substances contained in these mushrooms are quite potent and provide the human body with benefits even when only minimal amounts are ingested.

For instance, reishi mushrooms can provide big benefits with just 1,400 mg per day. Let’s not forget that even a small dose of our VYU TUNE IN supplement contains more than enough adaptogens and functional mushrooms for you to reap dozens of possible rewards.

Mushrooms Must Be Extracted to Reap Their Benefits

Although the main substances from the functional mushrooms are often extracted and turned into liquids, pills, powders, and everything in between, this technically isn't necessary. The reality is that these extracts are just concentrated versions of the original.

Sure, it means that you'll need less of the extract to reap the same benefits when compared to the fresh mushrooms, but it doesn't mean that the fresh functional mushrooms themselves do not produce any benefits. 

The same substances that are in the concentrates and extracts are also in the original mushroom.

All Mushroom Supplements Contain Mushrooms

Okay, this one has less to do with the actual mushrooms than with the retailers selling them. The simple reality is that you need to be careful because plenty of scammers are out there. Not all mushroom supplements actually contain mushrooms.

Therefore, you want to do a bit of research into the retailer or manufacturing question to see how legitimate they really are. Not all of them are legitimate, and some of them might try to scam you.

Functional Mushrooms Have a High Toxicity Level

Some people think that functional mushrooms have a lot of poisonous toxins in them. 

However, out of the 14,000 mushroom species known to man, well over 2,000 of them are totally safe to eat, with over 700 having pharmacological properties, or in other words, possible health benefits, with adaptogenic mushrooms being some of them. 

Generally speaking, adaptogenic mushrooms are non-toxic and well-tolerated when consumed by human beings.

You Can Trust All Companies Selling Functional Mushrooms Online

Just like you can't trust every mechanic or beauty product salesperson out there, you can't trust every company selling functional mushrooms online.

Always make sure that you choose a company that features GMP or Good Manufacturing Practices Certification, uses organic ingredients, and uses third-party laboratory testing to ensure that all products are pure and safe.

We're trying to say here that, obviously, you can't trust everybody out there, and everything you hear online must be taken with a grain of salt.

Medicinal Mushroom Use is a New Trend

Some people might think that using functional and medicinal mushrooms is a new trend, but this really isn't true. Although people have become more health-conscious in the last couple of decades, functional mushrooms have been used for centuries.

In fact, one of the earliest documented cases of medicinal mushroom use was as early as 202 BC in Traditional Chinese Medicine. That's right, functional mushrooms have been used for their medicinal purposes for well over 2,000 years at this point.

There is No Proof That Medicinal Mushrooms are Actually Effective

To say that there is no proof that medicinal mushrooms are actually effective is completely absurd. We can pull up pieces of research about virtually every functional mushroom out there, with conclusive evidence that they do work as intended.

For instance, here's a piece of research that suggests that the reishi mushroom is able to modulate the immune system, control blood glucose levels, and more. Here's a great study that suggests that the lion’s mane mushroom has the potential to promote a better mood and prevent sleep disorders.

Here is yet another study that shows that the cordyceps mushroom has antifungal, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-diabetic, and even more benefits. These are just a few pieces of research demonstrating that functional mushrooms can be beneficial.

Medicinal Mushroom Products Taste Yucky

While tastes are individual, to say that functional mushrooms don't taste good in general is also wrong. Many people enjoy the taste of various functional mushrooms, with many of them tasting similar to the regular cooking mushrooms that we might be familiar with. 

Furthermore, there are also some great ways to consume these functional mushrooms, such as the TUNE IN drink supplement, which has a very enjoyable and fruity taste!


Final Thoughts

The bottom line is that as far as health benefits are concerned, both mental and physical, functional mushrooms should be at the forefront of your mind. 

Although they may not be able to replace all other conventional medicines, they certainly have a place in your kitchen and medicine cabinet.


Functional Mushrooms: FAQs

Can Functional Mushrooms Help with Focus?

Yes, there are functional mushrooms that can help with focus.

Can Functional Mushrooms Help with Sleep?

Yes, functional mushrooms like reishi can help promote sleep.

Can Functional Mushrooms Help with Energy?

There are studies that suggest that mushrooms such as chaga can help promote energy levels.

How Much Functional Mushrooms Can I Take Daily?

The recommended dose for daily functional mushroom consumption is 2,000 mg.

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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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