There are lots of vitamins and supplements you can take during this time but there’s one that might surprise you: mushrooms. Mushrooms are recognised for many medicinal functions, including immune-enhancing and antioxidant properties.1 This isn’t a new discovery, either. The benefits of mushrooms when it comes to immunity have stood the test of time for centuries. They gave strength to Ancient Greek warriors and are treasured as an “elixir of life” in traditional Chinese culture. 1 Here are six of the best mushrooms for your immune system.
The “mushroom of immortality”, most commonly known as reishi (Ganoderma lucidum), has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years to improve health and longevity.1 It is one of the most studied and widely used of all the medicinal mushrooms and a popular remedy for chronic illness in Asia. Over 30 years of clinical research has confirmed that reishi mushrooms help boost immunity.
Maitake (Grifolia frondosa) means “dancing mushroom” in Japanese. As an adaptogen, maitake increases the body’s resistance to stress. It is known to modulate the immune system and increase the activity of immune system cells.
Shiitake (Lentinula edodes) is one of the most popular edible mushrooms with big health benefits. It has been used for hundreds of years to relieve symptoms of the common cold and has both antioxidant and antimicrobial activities. Current research is focused on shiitake’s benefits for immunity and recurrent colds and flu.
The “caterpillar fungus” called cordyceps (Cordyceps sinensis) is found at high altitudes in the Himalayan mountains. Traditional healers use this unique fungus for its adaptogenic properties and to support natural stress relief.3,4
Why are mushrooms good for immunity?
One of the biggest reasons for mushrooms’ immune-enhancing properties is a group of compounds called beta glucans. These are the main type of polysaccharides (long chain carbohydrates) found in mushrooms. Beta glucans are not made by our bodies, but they are able to trigger both our innate and adaptive immune responses1
It contains maitake, shiitake, reishi, cordyceps, silver ear, zhuling and wolfiporia mushrooms to support immune function and support general health and wellbeing. It also works as a great natural stress relief supplement.