Subscribe Today & Receive 15% Off

< class="article__title title 6-best-mushrooms-for-inflammation"> 6 Best Mushrooms For Inflammation>
6 Best Mushrooms For Inflammation
Nov 15, 22
This article has been vetted by the Onnit Advisory Board. Read more about our editorial process.
Author: Sony Sherpa

6 Best Mushrooms For Inflammation

  • by Sony Sherpa
  • |
  • 12 min read

The immune system's natural response to injury caused by pathogenic, chemical, and physical factors is inflammation. It is the reason for wounds swelling up, turning red and hurting, or your runny nose when you have a cold. But several inflammatory diseases, and we are talking about persistent inflammation where the body cannot return to its healthy state, are more than an uneasy sore throat.

In diabetes, inflammation causes a vicious cycle of insulin resistance, whereas inflammation in joints leads to rheumatoid arthritis. Likewise, airway inflammation in asthma causes difficulty in breathing, while Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is the chronic inflammation of the gut. Other diseases like obesity, Alzheimer's, and cancer are also inflammation-related.

Mushrooms And Inflammation

Mushrooms have been used extensively for thousands of years due to their nutritional and medicinal value. According to recent studies(1), edible mushroom extracts have positive therapeutic and health-promoting effects, especially in the case of diseases linked to inflammation. The phenolic and indolic compounds, polysaccharides, mycosteroids, carotenoids, vitamins, fatty acids, and biometals are just a few of the anti-inflammatory substances abundant in mushrooms.

Medicinal mushrooms like Lion's mane, Reishi, Chaga, Turkey tail, Cordyceps, and Maitake have been all the rage in holistic medicine for a while now. This is because the compounds in these functional fungi stack up against inflammation and provide benefits to many inflammatory diseases.

So, let's unearth the scientific evidence of medicinal mushrooms for inflammation and the best six fungi that help fight inflammatory diseases

Best Mushrooms For Inflammation

Several bioactive compounds in medicinal mushrooms are known to impart anti-inflammatory effects. For example, polysaccharides such as beta-glucans, isolated from Chaga, Turkey tail, and Reishi, represses proinflammatory proteins and prevent DNA damage in inflammation. These fungal components also stimulate the growth of protective bacteria in the gut.

Likewise, triterpenoids inhibit inflammatory signaling as well as inhibit proinflammatory proteins. These are the main constituents of Reishi mushrooms.

Here are the six best medicinal mushrooms for inflammation, backed by scientific research:

Lion's Mane For Inflammation

Lion's Mane For Inflammation

Hericium erinaceus, or Lion's mane mushroom, is renowned for its brain-boosting effects but also has notable anti-inflammatory benefits.

A research paper published in the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms evaluated(2) Lion's mane mushrooms anti-inflammatory effects on fatty tissues. It is thought that obesity-related chronic low-grade inflammation in the adipose tissue is a primary initiator of metabolic diseases. 

The mushroom extract significantly suppressed interleukin (IL)-6 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α production. The results suggested that Lion's mane may inhibit signaling pathways to have anti-inflammatory effects on macrophages and prevent or decrease adipose tissue inflammation linked to obesity.

Lion's mane mushroom polysaccharides function as probiotics. It strengthens host immunity and encourages the growth of beneficial bacteria. These results(3) have been shown in animals with IBD, where the mushroom extracts have led to clinical improvements. Additionally, using the mushroom extract is linked to a lower incidence of colon inflammation and indigestion.

Inflammation in the brain is linked to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. In this 2019 study(4), the extracts of Lion's mane were investigated for their neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory activities.

The fungi showed potent neuroprotective activity, and results indicated an anti-inflammatory action. These findings demonstrated Lion's mane might be a potential neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory agent in the brain.

Reishi For Inflammation

Anothermushroom for inflammation is Reishi or Ganoderma lucidum.  It has anti-inflammatory effects, and studies(5) have also shown Reishi helps alleviate asthma symptoms.

One of the things that cause asthma to develop is chronic airway inflammation. In adults with asthma, an herbal remedy containing 62.5% Reishi mushroom was found to be well-tolerated and safe.

The mushroom helps people with asthma breathe more easily and thus strengthens their respiratory systems. Additionally, it was discovered that Reishi mushroom was just as successful at controlling asthma as systemic steroids.

Eczema, or dermatitis, is another chronic inflammatory condition of the skin that affects millions worldwide. Reishi mushrooms have the potential to help with eczema because they have been shown to improve immunity and reduce inflammation.

In a 2011 Japanese study(6), researchers assessed the effectiveness of Ganoderma lucidum in treating severe atopic dermatitis (ADE). Physical symptoms, blood antibody levels, and other factors were evaluated three months after the mushroom administration. Out of the five patients, 4 displayed a noticeable improvement in clinical parameters and symptom relief. 

Likewise, in another research(7), Triterpene ganoderic acid isolated from Reishi decreased TNF-α production and other proinflammatory proteins in people with IBD. It also inhibited the mucosal inflammatory pathways implicated in the development of the disease.

Chaga For Inflammation

Chaga For Inflammation

Next on our list of the best anti-inflammatory mushrooms is Chaga or Inonotus obliquus.

Chaga mushrooms have been shown to produce cytokines(8), vital molecules with anti-inflammatory effects. As a result, it can fight several inflammatory diseases like colitis and

In a study(9) from the Republic of Korea, oral administration of Chaga mushrooms ameliorated acute inflammation in mice with colitis. Biopsies of the colon were taken after the mice were given the mushroom for a week.

Chaga extracts suppressed tissue swelling and mucosal damage and markedly decreased the levels of inflammatory markers.

The phenolic compounds in the fruit bodies of Inonotus obliquus were discovered to reduce histamine's ability to cause microvascular inflammation in an animal experiment conducted in 2019(10). On a microvascular level, inflammation can impair cell-to-cell communication and, if left unchecked, may even result in cardiovascular diseases. Several ingredients in this delectable mushroom seem to reduce microvascular inflammation.

Turkey Tail For Inflammation

Traditional uses of Turkey tail mushrooms or Trametes versicolor include treating(11) inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, hepatitis, and airway inflammation (bronchitis). The Turkey tail mushroom inflammation benefits were explored in this 2018 study(12). The fungus is rich in bioactive substances like triterpenoids, phenols, and sterols that have been shown to inhibit both the inflammation process and the chemicals that trigger it.

It has been demonstrated that the mushroom's mycelium significantly increases the proinflammatory cytokines, which the body uses to fight inflammation. In addition, the Turkey tail mushroom was also said to produce virus-fighting chemicals, according to the same study.

A study in the Indian Veterinary Journal(13) described how polysaccharide krestin isolated from Turkey tail works to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The foot diameters of six groups of male Wistar rats were measured with calipers. The findings revealed a noticeable reduction in foot diameter.

Cordyceps For Inflammation

Cordyceps For Inflammation

Cordycepsmushrooms inflammation-fighting abilities are well-known. Due to this quality, the mushroom has become popular in traditional and modern medicine.

In this 2019 study(14) published in Scientific Reports, polyadenylation, a process occurring in the joint fluid in osteoarthritis (OA), was investigated, and the potential of the polyadenylation inhibitor cordycepin was studied. The goal was to examine how cordycepin affects inflammation, pain, and OA progression while also inhibiting those three things.

The polyadenylation factor CPSF4 and inflammatory markers were compared in joint tissues from individuals with OA (with high- or low-grade inflammation) and normal tissue. In rats with OA, the effects of cordycepin on joint pathology and pain were also investigated.

Increased levels of inflammatory factor expression were found in the synovia of OA patients with severe inflammation. In addition, researchers discovered that cordycepin decreased joint pathology, synovial inflammation, and pain behavior in rats and people.

A 2009 study in the journal Rheumatology(15) looked into the effects of cordycepin on rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The expression of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP), a crucial enzyme in the breakdown of extracellular matrices, is vital in inflammatory diseases like RA.

Twelve patients' synovial tissue was obtained, isolated, and cultured, and the expression of MMP was assessed. Results showed that cordycepin inhibited inflammatory markers and induced MMP expression in synovial cells.

Maitake For Inflammation

Maitake or Grifola frondosa is also one of the best mushrooms for inflammation. In a 2021 experiment on animals(16), the effect of a maitake mushroom extract on hepatitis-related inflammatory processes was investigated.

Results indicate that maitake mushrooms have anti-inflammatory properties because the mice who received them had lower levels of inflammation than the control group.

The anti-inflammatory properties of o-orsellinaldehyde, a naturally occurring substance found in Grifola frondosa, were investigated in a 2021 study(17). Primary astrocytes and microglia from mouse brains were extracted and cultured in vitro.

By reducing nitrite formation, the results demonstrate that o-orsellinaldehyde significantly inhibits the inflammatory response in astrocytes and microglia. Additionally, o-orsellinaldehyde prevents NF-B activation in microglia cells.

Together, these findings may help explain the anti-inflammatory benefits of Grifola frondosa.


Which Mushroom Is Best For Inflammation?

Several medicinal mushrooms are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. These include Lion's mane, Turkey tail, Chaga, cordyceps, Maitake, and Reishi mushrooms.

Is Lion's Mane Good For Inflammation?

Evidence from several scientific studies has shown that Lion's mane mushroom has potent anti-inflammatory effects. The mushrooms are good for tackling inflammatory diseases such as Inflammatory bowel disease, colitis, and brain inflammation in Parkinson's and Alzheimer's

Which Mushroom Is Best For Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Reishi, Turkey tail and Cordyceps are some of the best medicinal mushrooms for rheumatoid arthritis. Many scientific studies have backed the anti-inflammatory benefits of these mushrooms.

Final Thoughts

Functional mushrooms can help with inflammation in the body. Reishi, Lion's mane, Turkey tail, Chaga, Cordyceps, and Maitake are the six best mushrooms for inflammation that have been backed by numerous scientific studies. Just scoop and add the mushroom powder to water, juice, or your favorite snack and help the fungi ease inflammation in your body.

We Would Love To Hear Your Comments Leave A Comment


  1. Anti-inflammatory properties of edible mushrooms: A review, (1) 
  2. The Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Lion's Mane Culinary-Medicinal Mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) in a Coculture System of 3T3-L1 Adipocytes and RAW264 Macrophages, (2) 
  3. Extracts from Hericium erinaceus relieve inflammatory bowel disease by regulating immunity and gut microbiota, (3) 
  4. Lion’s Mane Mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Bull.: Fr.) Pers. Suppresses H2O2-Induced Oxidative Damage and LPS-Induced Inflammation in HT22 Hippocampal Neurons and BV2 Microglia, (4) 
  5. Safety and tolerability of an antiasthma herbal Formula (ASHMI) in adult subjects with asthma: a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, dose-escalation phase I study, (5) 
  6. Useful Treatment of Severe Atopic Dermatitis with Ganoderma lucidum (reishi): A Multiple-Case study, (6) 
  7. Anti-inflammatory Effects of Ganoderma lucidum Triterpenoid in Human Crohn's Disease Associated with Downregulation of NF-κB Signaling, (7) 
  8. Inonotus obliquus extracts suppress antigen-specific IgE production through the modulation of Th1/Th2 cytokines in ovalbumin-sensitized mice, (8) 
  9. Orally administered aqueous extract of Inonotus obliquus ameliorates acute inflammation in dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis in mice, (9) 
  10. Inonotus obliquus attenuates histamine-induced microvascular inflammation, (10) 
  11. Anti-inflammatory activities of the chemical constituents isolated from Trametes versicolor, (11) 
  12. The mycelium of the Trametes versicolor (Turkey tail) mushroom and its fermented substrate each show potent and complementary immune activating properties in vitro, (12) 
  13. Effect of Polysaccharide Krestin on MMP3 Expression and Foot Diameter in Rheumatoid Arthritis in Rat, (13) 
  14. The polyadenylation inhibitor cordycepin reduces pain, inflammation and joint pathology in rodent models of osteoarthritis, (14) 
  15. Cordycepin inhibits IL-1β-induced MMP-1 and MMP-3 expression in rheumatoid arthritis synovial fibroblasts, (15)
  16.  Influence of thick extract from maitake mushrooms on signs of inflammatory process in experimental toxic hepatitis, (16) 
  17. Anti-Inflammatory and Immunomodulatory Effects of the Grifola frondosa Natural Compound o-Orsellinaldehyde on LPS-Challenged Murine Primary Glial Cells. Roles of NF-κβ and MAPK, 17)

Let Us Know Your Comments