Numerous studies have supported the capacity of mushrooms to battle depression. And no, we are not talking about magic mushrooms that contain the hallucinogen psilocybin!
Functional superfood fungi, like Reishi, Chaga, Cordyceps, and Lion’s mane, are the best mushroom supplements for depression without getting your high. Traditional practices have used them for centuries due to their healing properties.
Medicinal mushrooms have anti-inflammatory effects, which are linked to the development of depression. In addition, some mushrooms are adaptogens, helping the body balance stress and anxiety and improving sleep.
Let’s look at the four best mushroom for depression and how they help uplift your mental health.
Four Best Mushroom Supplement For Depression
Medicinal mushrooms contain the dietary fiber beta-glucan, which helps combat inflammation. It has also been found to improve the structural integrity of some parts of the brain in humans.
Superfood fungi also help fight the effects of oxidative stress in the body, which is also implicated in depression. Additionally, medicinal mushrooms are known to increase happy hormones in the body. Thus, they can be used as complementary medicine to support the conventional treatment for depression.
Let's look at the four best mushrooms for mental health, the ones that help with easing the symptoms of depression.
Lion’s Mane Mushroom Supplements For Depression
One of the best mushrooms for depression and overall brain health is Lions’ mane or Hericium erinaceus. Known as “nature’s brain juice,” Lion’s mane mushroom can help ease depressive symptoms by various mechanisms.
Lion’s mane is most renowned for its ability to stimulate the production(1) of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF), a tonic for nerve growth. This protein increases the development of new neurons therein and helps repair the damaged ones.
This is particularly useful in depression as mushrooms can increase the growth of neurons in the areas of the brain affected by depression.
Studies have shown that long-term administration of Lion's mane has shown an antidepressant-like effect precisely due to this ability to enhance neurogenesis(2) in brain regions that shrinks in depression.
Reishi Medicinal Mushrooms For Depression
Another best mushroom for depression is Reishi or Ganoderma lucidum. The antidepressant-like effects of Reishi have been the subject of many studies. More recently, in 2021, Reishi polysaccharides and their effects on depression were explored(3).
From Reishi mushroom spores, a protein known as 28-kDa polysaccharide-peptide (PGL) was isolated that displayed antidepressant-like properties. In the tail suspension and forced swimming test, a single treatment with PGL reduced the time that mice remained immobile.
Additionally, long-term PGL therapy reversed the mice's declining norepinephrine and serotonin levels. These findings show that Ganoderma lucidum spores have an effect that is similar to an antidepressant.
Chaga And Anti-Depressant Effects
Inonotus obliquus, or Chaga, is an adaptogen mushroom that supports emotional well-being, mental health, and mood. Chaga's adaptogenic properties make it a fantastic way to boost your body's capacity to fend off the harmful effects of stress-related depression.
Adrenaline, cortisol, and other hormones are released whenever the human body is stressed. As a result, the immune system is suppressed, metabolism is boosted, and all available energy is directed toward brain and muscle performance due to these hormones' stimulation of the stress response.
Chaga mushroom acts on the brain-adrenal axis, thus helping the body and the brain adapt to stress by inducing the necessary physiological reactions. As a result, it balances the body again and makes you feel less worn out. Even in clinical studies, Chaga has been proven to have an anti-fatigue effect on the body. All of this can improve mental capacity even in trying and stressful situations.
Depression And Cordyceps
Cordyceps is a mushroom that helps counteract the effects of both physical and mental fatigue. Mental exhaustion and depression go hand in hand, and because this mushroom extract stimulates energy production(4), it works wonders for both types of exhaustion.
A 2022 study(5) explored the mechanism of Cordyceps sinensis for the treatment of depression. Researchers found that the active ingredient in the mushroom may exert antidepressant-like effects by acting on pathways and targets linked to depression. They concluded that Cordyceps mushrooms might play a vital role in treating depressive patients in the future.
Mushrooms for Depression Video
FAQs Best Mushroom For Depression
What Mushroom Is Good For Mental Health?
Medicinal mushrooms like Chaga, Reishi, Cordyceps, and Lion's mane are known to improve mental health. These mushrooms help alleviate inflammation and oxidative stress and enhance the levels of happy hormones.
What Mushroom Is Good For Anxiety?
Reishi, Lion's Mane, and Cordyceps are among the best mushrooms for anxiety. These fungi have been studied in several animals and human research for their anti-anxiety effects.
Does Chaga Help Depression?
Consuming Chaga mushrooms may help with depressive symptoms because depression and chronic inflammation appear related. Additionally, Chaga's high antioxidant content aids in the fight against oxidative stress.
What Mushroom Helps With Brain Fog?
Lion’s mane mushroom stands out as the mushroom to improve brain fog. The fuzzy-looking fungi stimulate the brain and improve focus, mood, and cognition.
Lion’s mane, Chaga, Reishi, and Cordyceps are the top four best mushroom for depression. Relax your mind, feed your brain, and help alleviate depression with these magnificent mushroom supplements. But remember, these are not replacements for your prescription medications, and speaking with a healthcare provider should be considered.
- Neurotrophic properties of the Lion's mane medicinal mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) from Malaysia, (1)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24266378/
- Therapeutic Potential of Hericium erinaceus for Depressive Disorder, (2)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6982118/
- Antidepressant-like effect of Ganoderma lucidum spore polysaccharide-peptide mediated by upregulation of prefrontal cortex brain-derived neurotrophic factor, (3)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34716786/
- Enhancement of ATP generation capacity, antioxidant activity and immunomodulatory activities by Chinese Yang and Yin tonifying herbs, (4)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1847515/
- Exploring the mechanisms of action of Cordyceps sinensis for the treatment of depression using network pharmacology and molecular docking, (5)https://atm.amegroups.com/article/view/91340/html
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