Many conditions, such as autoimmune diseases, the effects of aging, accidents resulting in mechanical injury, and non-inflammatory (often age-related) arthritis (osteoarthritis), can result in chronic joint pain and discomfort.
Medicinal mushrooms may support the immune system, reduce inflammation, and relieve pain, among other health benefits. People typically think of the type you add to tasty recipes or the fungus that appears to sprout anywhere there is a dead tree when they hear the word "mushroom." However, some types of mushrooms, including Reishi, Chaga, Cordyceps, and Shiitake, have anti-inflammatory qualities and may be a natural treatment for arthritis.
Finding a treatment that would reduce chronic joint pain to a manageable level can be challenging, and many pharmaceutical drugs have a high risk of unpleasant side effects. However, continuous pain may be much easier to manage with additional therapies, and medicinal mushrooms for joint pain have shown promise. Continue reading to learn about the top mushrooms for arthritis for treating chronic joint pain.
What Causes Arthritis?
Many factors can cause arthritis. However, the leading causes of arthritis include:
- Age, especially beyond 50 years of age.
- Muscle weakening.
- Wear and tear brought on by excessive use or training.
- Immune system diseases (Autoimmune diseases).
- Obesity, especially in cases of knee or foot arthritis.
Now, let’s explore the best medicinal mushrooms for arthritis.
Best Mushroom For Arthritis
Eating mushrooms might be able to minimize some of the effects of arthritis. Researchers claim that chemicals found in mushrooms can potentially treat gouty and rheumatoid arthritis. Enzymes in the body regulate the inflammation of tissues and joints in several prevalent disorders. The researchers assert that the substances they have discovered can inhibit the specific enzymes responsible for inflammation.
Vitamin D, which is necessary to maintain bone calcium levels, is frequently found deficient in people with arthritis. Humans obtain most of our vitamin D from sunlight, but sun-exposed mushrooms are among the finest food sources, along with oily fish and egg yolks.
Including more sun-dried mushrooms in your diet may be beneficial if you have poor vitamin D levels and are prone to arthritis. Here are the four best mushrooms for arthritis.
1. Chaga Helps Decrease Pain And Stiffness
More than 200 bioactive chemicals and compounds found in Chaga have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. It can be seen on various trees, including alder, spruce, and birch. Its beta-glucans, terpenes, melanin, chitin, and content—the very thing that gives it its charcoal-like color—are thought to be responsible for its therapeutic effects.
Researchers(1) contend that it can help decrease the symptoms of arthritis, particularly pain and stiffness because it contains compounds that contribute to anti-inflammation.
2. Cordyceps Decreases Inflammation
The parasitic fungus Cordyceps develops on insect larvae. The mushroom has earned a reputation as one of the costliest mushrooms in the world due to its unusual cultivation style. However, a synthetic variation known as Cordyceps militaris makes mass manufacture for dietary supplements more feasible and cost-effective while maintaining the same level of medical efficacy.
A substance found in Cordyceps called cordycepin, which has been researched for its distinct anti-inflammatory characteristics, has been used to treat arthritis. Cordycepin(2)has been demonstrated in animal experiments to decrease pain and discomfort and halt the progression of arthritis.
In osteoarthritis, the specific protein CPS4 that causes inflammation is blocked by cordycepin. According to researchers, it differs from most anti-inflammatory drugs in that it attacks the same target from a different direction by blocking cps4 rather than the more common cytokines and interleukin proteins. Because of this, the mushroom may be an effective supplemental therapy for inflammatory disorders.
3. Shiitake Reduces Arthritis Severity
Shiitake mushrooms are among the most well-liked since they are frequently used in various dishes. The mushroom is low in calories, high in fiber, and loaded with B vitamins and a few minerals. In addition, this fungus species contains beta d-glucans, which lower cholesterol absorption and inflammation.
Shiitake mushrooms(3) were found to reduce the severity of arthritis in animal participants in a study. In addition, inherent alkalizing properties may decrease the formation of uric acid crystals in the joints, according to a 2018 study(4). It does this by increasing the uric acid the body excretes through urination.
4. Reishi Reduces Inflammatory Mediators
Reishi is also on our list of best mushroom for rheumatoid arthritis. Peptidoglycans, triterpenoids, and beta d-glucans, all found in this medicinal mushroom, are known to have anti-inflammatory qualities. Reishi(5) works by reducing cytokine-induced inflammation, the primary cause of arthritic diseases.
Should You Use Mushrooms For Arthritis?
Mushroom extracts are not advised if you have a mushroom allergy. Likewise, exercise caution if you take blood-thinning medicine and mushrooms together.
Although there are numerous prescription therapies for arthritis, some of them have adverse side effects. Suppose you want to combine your current anti-inflammatory medication with something well-tolerated and natural, or you’re interested in lowering your risks for arthritis. In that case, mushroom supplements may be of interest to you. In addition, they provide other health benefits too.
FAQs About Mushrooms For Arthritis
Are There Any Side Effects Of Using Mushrooms For Arthritis?
Aside from itchiness, stomach discomfort, nosebleeds, and bloody stools, medicinal mushrooms may cause mouth, throat, and nasal dryness. In addition, antihypertensive and anticoagulant/antiplatelet medications may also be affected by it.
How Should Mushrooms Be Consumed For Arthritis?
While you can consume medicinal mushrooms raw or cooked, the best way to take them is as supplements. Taking functional fungi such as capsules, powders, and tinctures is the most convenient and effective way to help reduce arthritis symptoms.
How Long Does It Take For Mushrooms To Work For Arthritis?
Medicinal mushrooms for arthritis do not work overnight. These superfoods need to build up in the body, which takes at least two weeks of consistent use.
Mushrooms for arthritis, such as Chaga, Cordyceps, Shiitake, and Reishi, help reduce pain, inflammation, and the associated mediators and severity of arthritis. If you are struggling with chronic pain, swelling, and joint discomfort, talk to your healthcare provider about adding medicinal mushroom supplements to your routine.
- Antiinflammatory and immunomodulating properties of fungal metabolites, (1)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16030389/
- Cordycepin for Health and Wellbeing: A Potent Bioactive Metabolite of an Entomopathogenic Medicinal Fungus Cordyceps with Its Nutraceutical and Therapeutic Potential, (2)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7356751/
- White Button and Shiitake Mushrooms Reduce the Incidence and Severity of Collagen-Induced Arthritis in Dilute Brown Non-Agouti Mice, (3)https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/141/1/131/4630584
- Antimicrobial, Cytotoxic, Anti-Inflammatory, and Antioxidant Activity of Culinary Processed Shiitake Medicinal Mushroom (Lentinus edodes, Agaricomycetes) and Its Major Sulfur Sensory-Active Compound-Lenthionine, (4)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29773008/
- Anti-inflammatory activities of Ganoderma lucidum (Lingzhi) and San-Miao-San supplements in MRL/lpr mice for the treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus, (5)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27134645/