Society has undergone a great deal of change, and as a result, we are rushing around to fit everything in, always on the go, dependent on our smartphones, and sacrificing our precious sleep. Our health and well-being can be impacted when our bodies are constantly stressed and anxious due to our jobs, lifestyles, eating habits, and living environments.
We know mushrooms are good for our physical health. But recently, we have also realized that they are suitable for our mental health too! Research has shown that mushrooms can help alleviate anxiety and depression and help us live a fulfilled and happier life.
But how do mushrooms help with anxiety? Medicinal mushrooms support neurogenesis and can act similarly to some neurotransmitters linked to anxiety. They also support healthy inflammatory responses and help ease chronic fatigue.
Mushrooms such as Lion’s mane, Reishi, Chaga, and Cordyceps are the best medicinal mushrooms that help balance the immune system, promote sleep and boost energy.
Let’s uncover the best mushrooms for anxiety and how mushrooms help our mental health!
Four Best Mushroom For Anxiety
The health benefits of medicinal mushrooms have been known for a long time. They support immune function and have adaptogenic qualities that make it easier for the body to handle and adapt to stress.
The B vitamins, also known as the anti-stress vitamins and supporting nutrients for the nervous system, are abundant in mushroom powders. Because mushrooms have various compounds, their supplements provide distinct health advantages.
Let's look at the growing body of research on medicinal mushrooms for anxiety.
1. Lion’s Mane Mushroom Supplements For Anxiety
Lion’s mane, or Hericium erinaceus, is a mushroom most well-known for its ability to act as a brain tonic. Two bioactive compounds in the mushroom, erinacines, and hericenones, stimulate(1) the synthesis of proteins(2) that help neurons' growth, differentiation, and maturation.
Nerve Growth Factor, or NGF, repairs and build the neuron supporting cognitive functions like memory and learning. The protein plays a crucial role in anxiety, emotions, and other behavioral changes. NGF levels are lower in mental health disorders in several clinical studies.
In a study(3), 30 females were randomly assigned to receive a placebo or Lion's mane cookies for four weeks. The effectiveness of the research was evaluated using many clinical parameters.
The women who consumed the mushroom cookies displayed less focus, irritability, and anxiety than those who did not. The study's findings suggested that Lion's mane mushrooms might lessen anxiety and depression.
The "happy hormones" serotonin and dopamine are essential for controlling your mood, appetite, and other bodily functions. Conversely, anxiety and other mood disorders are linked to low serotonin and dopamine levels.
A 2018 study(4) investigated the impact of Lion's Mane on anxious mice. After repeated stress exposures, the mice who weren't given Lion's Mane experienced significant drops in dopamine and serotonin levels. However, those who received Lion's Mane mushrooms experienced the opposite effect.
The study's research team also observed that the mice given Lion's Mane displayed a more favorable inflammatory response. After being exposed to stress, the mice who weren't given Lion's Mane showed increased inflammation.
2. Reishi Mushrooms And Anxiety
Ganoderma lucidum or Reishi is an adaptogen mushroom that can support the body and its overall resistance to stress. By assisting in the balancing of vital systems like the nervous and immune systems and bringing our body closer to homeostasis, adaptogens help us handle stressful situations as they arise and before they accumulate. The mushroom also has impressive anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and sleep-promoting benefits.
Reishi contains over 400 compounds, including polysaccharides and triterpenoids. These two substances, which in a study(5) improved the symptoms of emotional disturbance, fatigue, and irritability, and increased the sense of well-being, may be responsible for the mushroom's ability to reduce stress.
In one study, researchers looked(6) into whether Reishi could help anxious mice. Reishi extract-infused mice could stay in the elevated plus maze much longer than control mice (EPM). EPM is a frequently employed indicator of rodent anxiety.
The Reishi extract demonstrated a sedative effect on the central nervous system in a different mouse study(7). In addition, researchers noticed that mice who received reishi extract displayed less anxious behaviors than mice who didn't.
Anxiety and sleep are mutually dependent. It can be challenging to fall asleep when you're always anxious. However, sleep deprivation can affect your emotions, including anxiety. Reishi mushroom may be able to lengthen your periods of sleep by speeding up the process of falling asleep.
According to a mouse study, Reishi mushrooms may affect a pathway connected to serotonin and gut bacteria(8). Additionally, it appears that Reishi has GABAergic activity(9), which controls sleep. Reishi may reduce occasional anxiety and stress by encouraging better sleep.
3. Chaga For Anxiety
Inonotus obliquus, or Chaga, is an adaptogen that supports the body's systems in regaining stress-related imbalance. Over time, it strengthens resistance to stress by promoting adrenal function and the HPA axis.
Even in clinical studies, Chaga has been proven to have an anti-fatigue effect(10) on the body. All of this can improve mental capacity even in trying and stressful situations.
4. Cordyceps Mushroom Supplement For Anxiety
We often experience that nearly incapacitating sense of fatigue after periods of extreme stress. This is because our nervous system goes into overdrive due to anxiety and stress. This increases our heart rate, muscle tension, and blood pressure, in addition to releasing toxins into our system that may result in inflammation. This is where Cordyceps excels.
Adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the central energy-carrying molecule in our cells, are made more available by Cordyceps(11). But more importantly, recent research(12) has indicated that maintaining healthy ATP levels and cellular energy is essential for controlling and preventing stress and anxiety.
A healthy inflammatory response is linked to decreased anxiety and stress. Early human and animal research indicates that the Himalayan mushroom(13) supports a healthy inflammatory response.
Other animal studies imply that cordyceps may influence the brain's stress-related neural pathways. According to 2021 research(14), rats given cordyceps didn't exhibit abnormal behavior after exposure to stress. According to another study(15), Cordyceps may affect significant protein targets and their signaling pathways. The study team proposed that these targets and their pathways' regulation could promote mood stability.
Does Mushroom Reduce Anxiety?
Medicinal mushrooms like Reishi, Cordyceps, and Lion’s mane help reduce anxiety symptoms. They combat inflammatory responses, increase happy hormones, and improve insomnia, all of which are linked to anxiety.
Which Mushroom Is Good For Mental Health?
Lion’s mane, Chaga, Reishi, and Cordyceps are the top medicinal mushrooms for mental well-being. The ability of fungi to support mental health can be naturally utilized by including mushroom supplements in your diet.
What Type Of Mushroom Is Good For Depression?
Reishi, Cordyceps, and Lion's mane are well known for easing anxiety and depression. Some of these mushrooms are also adaptogens, which help the body become more resilient to stress and improve mood.
Look no further than Lion’s mane, Reishi, Chaga, and Cordyceps, the best mushrooms for anxiety. Use the power of fungi to naturally support your mental health by incorporating mushroom supplements into your wellness routine or drinking beverages that contain mushroom powder. But make sure to speak with your healthcare provider before using mushrooms for anxiety.
- Hericium erinaceus mycelium ameliorate anxiety induced by continuous sleep disturbance in vivo, (1)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8643634/
- Hericium erinaceus mycelium and its small bioactive compounds promote oligodendrocyte maturation with an increase in myelin basic protein, (2)https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-85972-2
- Reduction of depression and anxiety by 4 weeks Hericium erinaceus intake, (3)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20834180/
- Erinacine A-Enriched Hericium erinaceus Mycelium Produces Antidepressant-Like Effects through Modulating BDNF/PI3K/Akt/GSK-3β Signaling in Mice, (4)https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/19/2/341
- A randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled study of a Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharide extract in neurasthenia, (5)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15857210/
- Evaluation of Antianxiety Potential of Four Ganoderma (Agaricomycetes) Species from India in Mice, (6)https://www.dl.begellhouse.com/journals/708ae68d64b17c52,07a0495239bddf76,09cface64fd6cf48.html
- CNS anti-depressant, anxiolytic and analgesic effects of Ganoderma applanatum (mushroom) along with ligand-receptor binding screening provide new insights: Multi-disciplinary approaches, (7)https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2405580821001564?via%3Dihub
- Ganoderma lucidum promotes sleep through a gut microbiota-dependent and serotonin-involved pathway in mice, (8)https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-92913-6
- Extract of Ganoderma lucidum potentiates pentobarbital-induced sleep via a GABAergic mechanism, (9)https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S009130570700086X?via%3Dihub
- Effects of Adaptogens on the Central Nervous System and the Molecular Mechanisms Associated with Their Stress—Protective Activity, (10)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3991026/
- Enhancement of ATP generation capacity, antioxidant activity and immunomodulatory activities by Chinese Yang and Yin tonifying herbs, (11)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1847515/
- Multi-omics analysis identifies mitochondrial pathways associated with anxiety-related behavior, (12)https://journals.plos.org/plosgenetics/article?id=10.1371/journal.pgen.1008358#sec018
- Anti-inflammatory and related pharmacological activities of cultured mycelia and fruiting bodies of Cordyceps militaris, (13)https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0378874104005148?via%3Dihub
- Antidepressant-like effects of water extract of Cordyceps militaris (Linn.) Link by modulation of ROCK2/PTEN/Akt signaling in an unpredictable chronic mild stress-induced animal model, (14)https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0378874121004219?via%3Dihub
- Exploring the mechanisms of action of Cordyceps sinensis for the treatment of depression using network pharmacology and molecular docking, (15)https://atm.amegroups.com/article/view/91340/html