What Are Adaptogenic Mushrooms?

What Are Adaptogenic Mushrooms?

Americans consume about 3 pounds of fresh mushrooms every year. Not many people realize that the type of mushroom you eat can make a difference to your health, though. By consuming adaptogenic mushrooms, you could give your overall health a boost.

What exactly are adaptogenic mushrooms and how can they support your health?

Keep reading to find out! In this guide, we’ll review everything you need to know before you start shrooming. Read on to discover the benefits of a vegan diet full of mushrooms today!

What Are Adaptogenic Mushrooms?

First, let’s answer the question that’s likely on your mind: what exactly are adaptogenic mushrooms?

Chinese and Ayurvedic medical practices use adaptogens for their amazing health benefits. These mushrooms can help cure ailments by providing nutrients that aren’t available in other foods. However, mushrooms aren’t a cure-all.

Adding these magical fungi to your diet could help improve your:

  • Immune function
  • Energy levels
  • Brain function
  • Hormone levels

They’re now available in different forms, including capsules, extracts, drinks, and powders. You can consume these mushrooms as whole foods, too.

Immune Support and Stress Relief

Also known as medicinal mushrooms, these fungi have become a trend in many health circles. Their antioxidant and immune system-support properties can help with a number of conditions. Some have antiviral and antitumor properties as well.

Others provide support for inflammatory or metabolic conditions like cholesterol and hypertension.

Things to Know

First, let’s answer the question that’s likely on your mind: what exactly are adaptogenic mushrooms?

Don’t rush into making mushroom lattes just yet. Before you do, there are a few things you should know about using mushrooms in your meat-free diet.

First, it’s important to avoid eating mushrooms raw.

Raw mushrooms contain agaritine. This anti-nutrient can have unexpected toxicological effects. Cooking mushrooms deactivates the agaritine.

The cell walls that surround mushrooms are made of chitin. That’s the same material found in shrimp cells. Chitin isn’t digestible when it’s raw.

Instead, cook your mushrooms to unlock their nutritional properties.

Some mushrooms are toxic when you eat them raw. Others can give you a stomach ache or skin rash.

If you plan on working with raw mushrooms, you should also know extraction is an important part of the process. Otherwise, you might not experience the full range of benefits.

These mushrooms include turkey tail, chaga, and reishi. You can extract them using water and alcohol.

Then, add the extract into a latte and you’re good to go!

Mushrooms contain a complex carb called beta-glucans. This carb stimulates the immune system. It could also help suppress tumor growth.

You can break adaptogenic mushrooms into two categories: immune tonics and immune stimulants.

Immune tonics strengthen the immune system, including your white blood cells and bone marrow. Immune stimulants, on the other hand, fight viruses and bacteria.

These mushrooms could help your body adapt to physiological and environmental stressors as well. Certain herbs, including maca, tulsi, and ashwagandha are known as adaptogens. Adaptogens support the:

  • Adrenals
  • Nervous system
  • Endocrine system
  • Immune system

Your adrenals are responsible for managing your stress levels.

By adding mushrooms to your plant-based diet, you could improve your overall health and reduce your stress.

6 Types of Adaptogenic Mushrooms

Now that you know a little more about adaptogenic mushrooms, let’s talk about a few of the popular ones and their health benefits. Here are six mushrooms you can consider adding to your vegan diet.


Reishi mushrooms can help support your lung and immune health. They can also help you sleep by easing stress levels. Some studies indicate it could help with cancer, diabetes, and other health concerns as well.

Popular for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, reishi is used in longevity and immunity tonics.

The analgesic effects could help soothe you after a long day. If you need to rest and relax, consider having a reishi latte before bed. Reishi could help improve the quality and quantity of your sleep.

This mushroom could also lower your blood sugar levels and decrease excessive fat storage.


The chaga mushroom supports immune health and antioxidant protection. Its strong antioxidant properties could protect you from oxidative DNA damage. This mushroom is also:

  • Anti-bacterial
  • Anti-allergic
  • Anti-inflammatory

The antioxidant effects can help protect your body from free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause aging, illness, or damage to your cells.

This mushroom could help you fight the common cold. It can also support skin and hair health.

In addition to offering immune support, it could also help prevent heart muscle aging.


Cordyceps can support your immune health. As an adaptogen, it’s also used for stamina, endurance, and energy. Athletes might benefit from its ability to increase energy levels.

This mushroom supports your adrenal glands to help your body maintain consistent energy levels. It also increases cellular oxygen absorption, which can help if you easily lose your breath.

By boosting your strength and stamina, cordyceps could improve your overall workout performance as well.


Shiitake mushrooms provide antioxidant support, which can give your immune system a boost. It’s also ideal for your liver and skin. This mushroom contains antitumor, antiviral, and immune-supporting properties.


Lion’s mane can give your brain a boost. It’s used for memory and cognition development.

This mushroom boosts nerve growth factor production. This bioprotein plays an important role in keeping neurons in the brain healthy. With that in mind, it could help prevent Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and other neurological conditions.

Adding lion’s mane to your routine could boost your concentration, memory, and creativity.


Concerned about your liver or stomach? Turkey tail could improve your digestion, liver health, and immune health. It’s also used for cholesterol and to fight off acute infections.

Turkey tail mushrooms offer gut-healing benefits as well. These mushrooms contain prebiotics, which could enhance the healthy bacteria in your gut.


Want to give your plant-based diet a boost this year? Consider adding adaptogenic mushrooms to the mix. By adding mushrooms to your vegan diet, you can experience these health benefits and more!

Looking for more healthy ways to improve your diet this year? We can help.

Explore our latest recipes today to get started.