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Often confused with psychedelic mushrooms, medicinal mushrooms are in fact a different category of holistic remedy entirely. Rather than producing psychotropic effects, these fungi (of which there are roughly 270) instead offer a range of more traditional health benefits and nootropic properties.


A nootropic is a supplement or substance that boosts an individual’s cognitive functions beyond their normal limits. It can improve memory, creativity, cognitive processing, motivation and more. There are plenty of artificial nootropics on the market, such as Adderall, Ritalin and Provigil; medicinal mushrooms are, however, a completely natural alternative.


One of the most common medicinal mushroom species is lion’s mane, a distinct mushroom with a look which resembles, as the name suggests, a lion’s mane. It has been linked to protection against dementia, heart disease and digestive tract ulcers. Plus, it can provide relief from mild depression and anxiety, inflammation and diabetes. Some studies even support the idea that it can help fight cancer.


Another medicinal mushroom worth paying attention to is reishi. It has been lauded for its immune system-boosting properties and links to fighting cancer—particularly breast, prostate and colorectal. Reishi is also recognized as an antioxidant and can help regulate blood sugar levels.


Cordyceps is also a significant fungus species and the subject of rigorous research among researchers. In addition to supporting heart health and helping people manage diabetes, it has garnered much attention for its performance boosting properties for athletes. It does this by stimulating the production of a molecule known as adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which enhances the body’s capacity for delivering energy to the muscles.  


Every species of medicinal mushroom has different properties and benefits. With so many species out there, it’s important to know exactly which will be right for your needs.

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