Up until a few years ago, medicinal mushrooms were very much a niche item viewed by some as just another fad. However, the market is now riding a wave of interest as researchers continue to release studies highlighting the possible benefits of these remarkable fungi.
According to Transparency Market Research, the global mushroom market could reach $69 billion by 2024! No longer are button, cremini, and portobello mushrooms the only ones familiar to shoppers. Now, mushrooms such as reishi, shiitake, lion’s mane, and chaga, once considered exotic, are becoming household names.
This comprehensive guide outlines 10 of the best medicinal mushroom supplement brands and their products. It also investigates the different scientifically-backed benefits of mushrooms and concludes by describing what we consider when searching for a worthwhile product.
What Are Mushroom Supplements Good For?
Mushroom extracts are associated with many health benefits because they are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other beneficial compounds.
One of the most intriguing compounds is beta-glucan, a type of soluble fiber. It is linked with reducing inflammation and cholesterol, among other things. Beta-glucan slows the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, potentially stabilizing blood sugar levels. There is also research to suggest this fiber can decrease the risk of heart disease.
Some medicinal mushrooms are also high in triterpenes, a class of chemical compounds associated with significant health benefits. Studies describe them as anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiviral, and antitumoral agents.
In general, people use mushroom supplements for the following reasons:
- Improve day-to-day brain function
- Promote a healthier immune system
- Better sleep
- Increased energy
- Reduce inflammation
What Are the Best Medicinal Mushrooms?
While Asian nations have used medicinal mushrooms for millennia, we’re only beginning to see their full potential. However, the mushroom extract industry has taken off in recent years, with a staggering range of products available. Let’s look at four of the most popular mushroom species below.
The chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) has been used in Siberia for hundreds of years, and it is also popular in several Asian nations. Chaga tea is a drink laden with antioxidants and happens to be very low in calories. While there is limited data on its full nutritional profile, it is used to combat digestive disorders.
There is also a suggestion that chaga can reduce long-term inflammation and assist the body in the fight against harmful viruses. However, most research into chaga’s anti-inflammatory properties relates to animal models.
The reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum or Ganoderma lingzhi) thrives in hot and humid regions of Asia. It is rich in polysaccharides, triterpenoids, and peptidoglycans which could be why the mushroom offers such an impressive variety of health benefits.
Known as yamabushitake in Japanese, lion’s mane (Hericium erinaceus) is considered one of the most potent mushrooms around. It is known for its distinct shaggy appearance that makes it look like the mane of a lion as it grows. It is one of the few medicinal mushrooms that may have an appealing taste, with some users likening the flavor to lobster.
One of the main benefits of lion’s mane is its apparent capacity to boost mental functioning. One study involved adults with mild cognitive impairment who consumed 3000mg of lion’s mane each day for four months. They benefited from significantly improved mental functioning, but the benefits stopped once they ceased taking the supplement.
There are hundreds of Cordyceps species, but most supplements contain either Cordyceps sinensis or Cordyceps militaris.
Cordyceps mushrooms have plenty of purported benefits. Indeed, one review of studies concluded that this mushroom species had over 20 clinically approved benefits on human health. These include potential anti-tumor, anti-diabetic, and anti-aging effects.
What Are the Best Mushroom Supplements?
Not only can you benefit from a wide range of mushroom species, but there’s also the opportunity to trial a significant array of consumption methods.
There is no single best way to use mushroom supplements as it depends on personal preference. You might find that powdered extract is better for your budget, or you’re willing to pay extra to enjoy a more palatable experience via gummies.
In any case, we outline 10 of the best mushroom supplements on the market from trustworthy brands. Carefully consider the most suitable option for your needs, and enjoy!
1 – Best Mushroom Pills (NOW Foods)
Even staunch proponents of medicinal mushrooms recognize that the strong bitter and earthy taste isn’t exactly to everyone’s liking! Therefore, many brands sensibly place their extracts in a capsule, enabling you to get all the goodness of mushrooms without the taste!
NOW Foods offers one of the best mushroom pill supplements on the market. Its Rei-Shi capsules are an interesting mix of reishi and shiitake. Each pill contains 150mg of powdered reishi, 75mg of shiitake extract (4:1), and 45mg of reishi extract (10:1).
Therefore, while there is technically only 270mg of mushroom in each pill, the product is significantly more potent than that. NOW Foods is an old hand you can rely on if you’re wary of the slew of new brands in the health supplement industry.
2 – Best Powdered Mushroom Extracts (Mushroom Revival)
If you tolerate or even enjoy the taste of mushrooms, powdered extracts offer versatility. You can sprinkle them on food or create tasty beverages. Moreover, such products tend to be significantly cheaper than pills because you’re not paying for convenience.
Founded by Alex Dorr, Mushroom Revival is on a quest to revive health with the aid of medicinal mushrooms. The brand plants a tree for every product sold and has planted over 53,000 trees! Mushroom Revival’s products are 100% USDA organic, and it limits the number of chemicals, heavy metals, etc., leached into its environment.
With a cast-iron money-back guarantee and third-party lab reports, this is a brand you can trust. Furthermore, it uses 100% mushroom fruiting bodies and is transparent about all labeling.
As a mushroom specialist, it is no surprise that this company sells an impressive array of products. However, we feel that its outstanding array of powdered mushroom extracts deserves special acclaim.
Its lion’s mane extract contains an impressive 2,550mg of mushroom per serving, with the brand electing to combine lion’s mane with its Focus mushroom blend. Mushroom Revival also sells cordyceps energy powder and a mix containing ten mushrooms.
3 – Best Mushroom Blend (Mushroom Design)
If you love medicinal mushrooms but are on a tight budget, you face a quandary. With so many outstanding products available, which one do you choose? Do you stick with reishi or try lion’s mane, turkey tail, or chaga?
Why not have all of them combined in one product? Mushroom blends are now widely available and contain several of your favorites. Indeed, some brands now sell extracts consisting of an incredible ten mushrooms! Consequently, you can benefit from an impressive range of beta-glucans, polysaccharides, and other phytonutrients.
Co-founded by Ashley Southard, Mushroom Design offers a fantastic money-back guarantee. If you don’t feel the benefits, you get a refund! While it only sells one product, it is among the best mushroom blends. It consists of nine mushrooms, including cordyceps, reishi, oyster, and agarikon.
Each serving contains 321mg of the brand’s special mushroom blend and nine vitamins. If you’re looking for more energy, better focus, and improved immune system health, you could find it in these little blue pills!
4 – Best Gummies (Plant People)
If you want a great-tasting mushroom extract, gummies are one of your best options. Typically, manufacturers create gummies using a vegan pectin base mixed with organic flavor additives and mushroom extract. If you want vegan-friendly gummies, make sure the company doesn’t use a gelatin base.
Co-founded by Gabe Kennedy and Hudson Gaines-Ross, Plant People is a huge advocate of plant-based healing. It works with scientists and doctors to use holistic plant power in creating its range of products. Like Mushroom Revival, Plant People plants a tree for each product it sells. It planted over 233,000 trees at the last count.
Its products are research-backed, organically grown, lab tested, and free of contaminants and heavy metals. Although it offers many hemp-based items, Plant People also specializes in medicinal mushroom products.
According to the brand, its WonderDay Mushroom Gummies have sold out twice. The gummies combine ten functional mushrooms, including reishi, chaga, and lion’s mane, and they taste delicious! Each two-gummy serving contains 2,500mg of mushrooms, equivalent to 250mg of a 10:1 extract.
5 – Best Coffee Substitute (Four Sigmatic)
Mushroom coffee is of the most intriguing trends in the industry to date. Proponents of this beverage claim it is a worthy coffee substitute as it kickstarts your day without adverse effects such as jitters and a caffeine crash. We know that mushrooms have been part of Asian cultures for thousands of years, but the mushroom coffee phenomenon is relatively recent.
There’s a suggestion that mushrooms were used as a coffee substitute during World War II in Finland. Soon enough, the creators realized that the unusual drink gave them the energy they craved, not to mention other benefits.
Today, mushroom coffee is a mix of ground coffee beans and mushrooms. Four Sigmatic is a quirky Finland-based brand founded by Tero Isokauppila and brings an immense knowledge of fungi to the table. Four Sigmatic sources the world’s best ingredients and ensures that third-party labs thoroughly test each product.
It sells a variety of coffee substitutes, including Morning Routine, Perform Coffee, and Instant Adaptogen Coffee. The instant option contains ashwagandha and 100mg of chaga per serving. While there is caffeine due to the Arabica coffee beans, Four Sigmatic points out that this product has only half the caffeine of a regular cup of coffee.
6 – Best Energy Boost (Real Mushrooms)
Chronic fatigue is a growing problem in a society where we’re told to work longer and harder. However, rather than attaining success, we’re in danger of working ourselves into early graves.
Fortunately, medicinal mushrooms are here to help! A study published in BioMed Research International in 2017 looked into the antifatigue functions and mechanisms of edible and medicinal mushrooms. According to the researchers, mushrooms contain bioactive constituents such as peptides, polysaccharides, and triterpenoids that contribute to their antifatigue effects.
Founded by the father and son team of Skye and Jeff Chilton, Real Mushrooms offers a terrific range of products, including Real Boost. It is a combination of cordyceps, guayusa, and ginseng. The cordyceps mushroom extract includes over 20% of beta-glucans, and each serving of Real Boost contains 60mg of caffeine from the guayusa. It comes in pill form, so getting that much-desired energy burst in the morning is easier than ever.
7 – Best for Reducing Stress (Om Mushrooms)
According to American Psychological Association research, about 77% of adults say they are stressed due to concern about the country’s future. Add in work pressure, financial hardship, and other factors, and it’s safe to say that a huge percentage of people regularly feel under stress.
As it transpires, adaptogenic mushrooms could help decrease the effects of stress on your body. Examples of such fungi include cordyceps, lion’s mane, and reishi. One study found that the consumption of lion’s mane reduces levels of pro-inflammatory interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha, both of which increase in response to stress.
Another study involved 18 men who engaged in high-altitude training. After combining cordyceps with Rhodiola crenulata in a supplement they took daily for two weeks, the men showed improved fatigue levels and stress response.
Lovers of high-quality medicinal mushrooms need look no further than Om Mushrooms if seeking a brand to champion. Founded by mycologist Steve Farrar and health and wellness expert Sandra Carter, Om is one of the most reputable firms in the entire industry.
Each Om product contains at least 2,000mg of mushroom extract per serving; few brands come close. Its Stress Less Bundle consists of five products plus an insulated tumbler. The products are as follows:
- Reishi Organic Mushroom Superfood Powder
- Sleep Mushroom Capsules
- Gently Zen Mushroom Capsules
- Mushroom Matcha Latte Blend
- Mushroom Hot Chocolate Blend
Om regularly has sales, so check out the site to see if you can get the Stress Less Bundle at a bargain price.
8 – Best for Increasing Focus (FreshCap)
Although several mushrooms are linked to improvements in focus, lion’s mane is considered one of the best. Research shows that this mushroom species contains erinacines and hericenones, two compounds believed to stimulate the growth of brain cells.
Various animal studies also show that lion’s mane could reduce symptoms of memory loss in mice. It could also prevent the neuronal damage that amyloid-beta plaques cause. Patients with Alzheimer’s have elevated levels of these plaques in their brains.
Founded by Tony and Tegan Shields in 2015, FreshCap is another highly-rated industry brand that uses whole fruiting body mushrooms with no grain fillers. Apart from selling a fabulous range of products, FreshCap’s official website provides useful information on cultivating mushrooms and offers delicious recipes.
Although several FreshCap products could help improve focus, its Ultimate Mushroom Complex is arguably the best option. It is a blend of six mushrooms (including lion’s mane) with 1,000mg of extract per two-capsule serving. Best of all, there’s the same amount of each mushroom in the extract.
9 – Best for Improving Sleep (MUD/WTR)
According to the American Sleep Association, between 50 and 70 million American adults have trouble sleeping, with 30% reporting short-term insomnia. Mushrooms could provide a solution to those desperately seeking a good night’s sleep.
One animal study, published in 2007, found that reishi mushrooms helped increase sleeping time and non-REM sleep time while also decreasing sleep latency. Therefore, taking a mushroom supplement before bedtime could help you spend less time tossing and turning and more time sleeping.
Co-founded by Paul Dejoe and Shane Heath, MUD/WTR is another brand making a splash with a limited number of products, including one that could help you sleep. According to Heath, the company’s main product rejects the exhausting Silicon Valley work culture that inevitably leads to burnout. After a brief spell living in Goa, India, where he discovered masala chai, a mix of milk, spices, and tea, Heath returned to California to launch MUD/WTR.
The brand offers Morning Ritual and Evening Ritual Starter Kits. Both contain a variety of mushrooms and other extracts. For instance, the Morning Ritual kit includes chaga, lion’s mane, reishi, cordyceps, masala chai, and other ingredients. The Evening Ritual has turkey tail, reishi, Ceylon cinnamon, and other extracts and contains no caffeine. The morning option has just 1/7 the caffeine of a cup of coffee.
Consider the Evening Ritual product to help you wind down in the evening. According to MUD/WTR, the product can promote a state of calm, enabling you to relax and “get the kind of sleep that will make you wake up and high-five your pillow.”
10 – Best for Boosting the Immune System (ONNIT)
Boosting your immune system is one of the most prominent benefits of medicinal mushrooms, according to their proponents. The prebiotics and beta-glucans in mushrooms ensure they can support immune health. Prebiotics support gut health, while we highlighted the benefits of beta-glucans earlier on.
ONNIT is a health and fitness brand rather than a medicinal mushroom specialist, but it offers some outstanding products to help give your immune system a boost. Co-founded in 2010 by Aubrey Marcus and Joe Rogan, the brand says its mission is to empower as many people as it can with a holistic philosophy. It sells an enormous array of supplements, including medicinal mushrooms.
Its Shroom Tech range primarily features capsules, although it does have powdered greens. The IMMUNE product combines a variety of mushrooms, including shiitake, reishi, maitake, and chaga, in one easy-to-swallow product. According to ONNIT, this product stimulates the immune system, supports healthy gut bacteria, and maintains cellular integrity. Each serving contains 1000mg of ONNIT’s Myco-Immune Blend and 405mg of its Nutri-Immune Blend.
Here Are Our Ranking Factors for the 10 Best Mushroom Supplements
We considered a multitude of factors when investigating the best mushroom supplements on the market. However, we decided that the following five factors are the most relevant from a consumer’s perspective.
1 – Ingredients
There is a suggestion that one should only purchase mushroom extracts consisting of fruiting bodies. However, it is incorrect to suggest that mycelium and fermented substrate are fillers. In reality, both ingredients offer an array of health-supporting compounds.
Fillers such as starch, flavoring agents, and grain, on the other hand, can dilute the quantity and quality of mushroom extract in a product. Also, look for products that are certified organic.
2 – Cultivation & Extraction
Plenty of brands proudly state that their products are cultivated in the United States and even suggest that you should avoid extracts grown in China. In fact, a huge percentage of the world’s mushrooms are grown in China, so it is perfectly possible to get a high-quality extract from brands that source their mushrooms from the Asian nation.
You also want supplements from a brand that uses science in the extraction process. Beta-glucans are water-soluble, whereas triterpenes are alcohol-soluble. Therefore, to get the best out of mushrooms, it is necessary to extract the mushrooms using the right percentage of alcohol and water at the ideal temperature before carefully combining the two.
3 – Concentration
We look at how much mushroom extract a product offers per serving. It is worth considering the extraction ratio too. For instance, if a reishi extract has a 10:1 ratio, it means the brand uses 10 pounds of raw reishi to make a pound of extract. The higher the ratio, the less of the extract you need to meet your daily consumption goal.
4 – Lab Reports
Don’t buy mushroom supplements unless the brand can supply proof of third-party lab testing. While some companies have these reports on their official websites, others send them on request. Third-party testing involves checking for contamination, not to mention the concentration of active compounds such as triterpenes and beta-glucans.
5 – Company Reputation
Finally, what is the brand’s online reputation like? Does it generally have good reviews, or is it renowned for low-quality products and poor customer service?
We investigate all of the above factors before including any brand on our list. Also, for added security, we recommend buying from companies that offer a solid money-back guarantee.
How to Find the Best Mushroom Supplement for Your Needs
First and foremost, don’t obsess over the need for a supplement to consist of fruiting bodies only. The truth is, there are plenty of high-quality mushroom products that use mycelium. Beneficial mushroom mycelium AND fruit bodies could support your immune system and offer a host of benefits.
Apart from following our five criteria listed above, look for supplements that match whatever health benefits you’re hoping to achieve. For example, if you seek better sleep, supplements containing reishi are among the best options.
Those on a budget should look into powdered extracts as they are cheaper than pills or gummies. They are also more versatile, allowing you to add them to food and drink. However, edibles are convenient if you can’t stand the bitter taste of certain mushrooms and don’t mind paying a little extra.
A Quick Guide to Using Mushroom Supplements
It is worth remembering that some mushrooms have sedative effects while others are more likely to boost your energy. For instance, reishi is probably best taken in the evening, whereas cordyceps are among the best “morning mushrooms” due to their energizing effects.
As mushrooms are not approved as medicine by the FDA, there are no clear dosing recommendations. According to Om Mushrooms, however, a daily dose of 2,000mg of whole food mushroom powder is potentially enough to support the balancing of immune functions. That is, as long as the beta-glucans content is 20% or higher, meaning you consume 400mg of polysaccharides.
Nonetheless, the above is NOT a clearly defined dosing recommendation. If you have not used mushroom extract before, begin with a smaller amount to see how it affects you before considering a higher dosage.
Are Mushroom Supplements Safe?
In general, one can consume high-quality mushroom supplements without suffering any adverse effects. However, there is research outlining the potential side effects of different mushrooms.
For instance, a study published in 2014 found that the consumption of shiitake resulted in cases of dermatitis amongst users.
Furthermore, continuous use of reishi for 3+ months could result in:
- Bloody stools
Also, research indicates that mushrooms could reduce the efficacy of immunosuppressive drugs due to their immunostimulatory activity.
Therefore, it is wise to discuss your usage of mushrooms with a physician before proceeding, especially if you’re currently using medication.
Final Thoughts on the Top 10 Mushroom Supplements of 2022
There are thousands of health supplements on the market, many of which make unprovable claims. Sadly, it is a poorly regulated industry, meaning that brands can engage in cash-grabs in the hope of separating people from their money.
Medicinal mushrooms are different. They have been used for thousands of years to help support the immune system. A growing body of scientific research backs many of the benefits linked to these remarkable fungi.
We have included ten brands offering excellent mushroom products in this article. However, if you want to buy from a company not included in this piece, please research diligently to ensure you’re getting a premium-grade product, not something cheap laden with filler. With vitamins, minerals, and a huge amount of antioxidants, medicinal mushrooms could be the best supplement you’ve never tried.