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We Discovered The 3 Best Mushrooms For Memory
Aug 15, 23
This article has been vetted by the Onnit Advisory Board. Read more about our editorial process.
Author: Sony Sherpa

We Discovered The 3 Best Mushrooms For Memory

  • by Sony Sherpa

    Medically reviewed by

    Sony Sherpa

    Dr. Sony Sherpa is a board-certified Clinical Doctor and dedicated advocate for holistic medicine, specializing in functional mushrooms. Her blend of medical expertise and passion for alternative wellness lends authenticity to her role as a contributor for Natures Rise.

  • |
  • 9 min read
We Discovered The 3 Best Mushrooms For Memory

Cognitive decline is the true epidemic of the modern era, affecting over a billion people in some capacity, with 40% of adults over 60 coping with acknowledged impairments. The implications for society, the economy, and, mainly, so many people's daily lives are enormous.

Are you looking for natural solutions to improve your memory and brainpower? Take a look at mushrooms! But how are mushrooms good for memory?

Mushrooms are not only beautiful additions to your meals, but they are also strong brain health allies. They include several bioactive chemicals that have been demonstrated to aid cognitive function and memory.

In this post, we'll look at the best mushrooms for memory loss and how they can help you reach your full cognitive potential.

The Science Of Memory And Mushroom's Role

The Science Of Memory And Mushroom's Role

Humans rely on their memories for various reasons, including the ability to organize activities,  learn, and prepare for the future. The incredible flexibility and capacity of the brain's nerve cells and the interaction of brain chemicals all contribute to memory research. Health experts are researching memory science and gaining significant insights.

Discoveries about memory

When we learn something, even something as simple as someone's name, we build neural connections in the brain. These synapses form new circuits between nerve cells, remapping the brain. The brain's unfathomable flexibility is due to the sheer amount of possible connections—more than 10,000!

Those conenctions get stronger or weaker depending on how frequently we are exposed to an event. The more we engage in an activity (for example, a golfer practicing a swing hundred times), the stronger the connections get. However, the weaker the connection, the more difficult it is to remember things like people's names after the first introduction.

What are Nootropics?

Nootropics are substances that promise to improve cognitive function and brain functioning. They are also known as "memory enhancers," "smart drugs," or "cognitive enhancers."

They may contain prescription drugs and non-prescription substances such as medicinal mushrooms. Nootropics claim to boost cognitive abilities such as thinking, mood, memory, attention, motivation, and creativity.

Nootropic mushroom products are made from various species, including Lion's mane, Cordyceps, and Reishi. These fantastic mushrooms have a long history of boosting memory, focus, and nerve function. Mushroom nootropics' cognitive benefits drive their rising use in supporting various health benefits.

Mushroom Varieties for Memory Enhancement

There is growing evidence that what you eat can benefit brain health. And of them:  eating mushrooms may be the best superfood for your brain!

Mushroom for memory: What the science tell us?

Our top three mushrooms for memory and brain health are backed by science.

Lion’s mane stimulates neurogenesis

Lion’s Mane Stimulates Neurogenesis

Good for:

  • Supporting memory and focus.
  • Improving nerve health.

Lion's mane is considered one of the best mushroom nootropics due to its potential to improve cognitive performance and memory and encourage the formation of new brain cells. It also contains many anti-oxidants, making it a popular choice for overall brain health.

Hericium erinaceus, also known as Lion's mane, is a distinctive fungus with a long history of usage in traditional Chinese medicine. It is well-known for its ability to boost the production of nerve growth factor (NGF)(1), which is essential for brain health and memory development.

In animal(2) and human research(3), Lion's mane extract has been proven to boost cognitive function and memory. It may have neuroprotective properties, aiding in preventing age-related cognitive deterioration.

Reishi calms the mind

Reishi calms the mind

Good for:

  • Supporting healthy immune function.
  • Managing stress.
  • Adaptogenic potential.

Ganoderma lucidum, or Reishi, is a prominent medicinal mushroom used in traditional Asian medicine for millennia to relieve stress and anxiety. Reishi contains anti-oxidants that may benefit overall brain health. It may potentially have anti-inflammatory properties.

Reishi is well-known for its adaptogenic qualities, aiding stress adaptation and overall well-being. According to research, Reishi may have neuroprotective properties(4) and boost cognitive function. It includes chemicals that help improve memory and learning, making it a valuable memory mushroom.

Cordyceps enhances energy

Cordyceps enhances energy

Good for:

  • Supporting natural vitality.
  • Improving endurance and recovery.

Cordyceps (Cordyceps sinensis) is a fungus that develops on insect larvae. Its energizing(5) and rejuvenating effects have made it popular in traditional Chinese medicine.

Cordyceps are well-known for their ability to improve athletic performance. The mushroom has been found in studies to increase cognitive function and memory. It may have anti-oxidant(6) and anti-inflammatory(7) properties that can benefit brain function.

How Mushrooms Support Brain Health

How Mushrooms Support Brain Health

Neuroplasticity is the brain's ability to alter and adapt due to experience. It is an umbrella term for the ability of the brain to remodel, rearrange, or expand neural networks. This can include functional alterations due to brain damage or anatomical changes due to learning.

This is a never-ending process. And there are things you can take at any age to encourage your brain to adapt and change. One of these is promoting the creation of new brain cells, which medicinal mushrooms like Lion's mane can do.

According to researchers, neuroinflammation has been associated with decline in cognitive fucntions and an increased risk of age-related cognitive impairment. Similarly, oxidative stress can impair memory via many routes. Mushrooms such as Reishi and Cordyceps have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties that can benefit brain function.

Memory-Enhancing Compounds in Mushrooms

Memory-Enhancing Compounds in Mushrooms

Triterpenes, ergothioneine, beta-glucans, hericenones, and erinacines are among the compounds responsible for mushrooms' significant memory advantages. For example, one study discovered that Hericerin(8) derivatives stimulate neuronal circuits in hippocampal neurons.

The hippocampus is vital in the creation and retrieval of long-term memories. It also helps with spatial memory, allowing people to remember where objects are and where their bodies are concerning the objects around them.

Beta-glucan(9) is a polysaccharide in the form of fiber that is found in medicinal mushrooms. According to research, chronic treatment with beta-glucans from mushrooms improved memory in mice. These data imply that beta-glucans may help to improve cognition and delay neurodegeneration.

Integrating Mushrooms into a Memory-Boosting Lifestyle

Integrating Mushrooms into a Memory-Boosting Lifestyle

Supplements are one of the most convenient ways to reap the benefits of mushrooms. Look for high-quality memory supplements, like mushroom powder for memory.

In addition, mushroom supplements come in various forms, including capsules, tinctures, and teas. You can select the supplements that best fit your needs.

Mushroom supplements can be used with lifestyle changes to boost their effectiveness. Natural strategies to boost memory include eating less added sugar, taking fish oil supplements, meditating, and maintaining a healthy weight.

FAQs About mushrooms for memory

Are There Any Side Effects Associated With Memory-Enhancing Mushrooms?

Mushrooms are generally safe to consume and have few adverse effects. However, before adding new supplements to your routine, talk to a healthcare practitioner, especially if you have any underlying health concerns or are taking other medications.

How Long Does It Take To See The Effects Of Memory-Enhancing Mushrooms?

The time it takes to see benefits can vary based on several factors, including the individual's overall health and lifestyle. It's crucial to note that natural supplements can take some time to work their way through your system, so consistency is essential.

Are There Any Age Restrictions Or Specific Dosages For Memory-Enhancing Mushrooms?

Even though medicinal mushrooms are safe, there isn’t enough research on children. It is, therefore, best to avoid use. The recommended dosages for the medicinal mushrooms are 2000 mg daily.

Key Takeaway

Medicinal mushrooms are incredible and have been used in traditional medicine for centuries for their myriad health advantages, including memory enhancement.  So, are you ready to improve your brainpower naturally? The best mushrooms for memory are Lion's mane, Reishi, and Cordyceps, which are incredible for strengthening brain function and improving memory.

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  1. Nerve growth factor-inducing activity of Hericium erinaceus in 1321N1 human astrocytoma cells, (1) 
  2. Dietary Supplementation of Hericium erinaceus Increases Mossy Fiber-CA3 Hippocampal Neurotransmission and Recognition Memory in Wild-Type Mice, (2) 
  3. Improvement of cognitive functions by oral intake of Hericium erinaceus, (3) 
  4. Neuroprotective effects ofganoderma lucidum polysaccharides against oxidative stress-induced neuronal apoptosis, (4)
  5. Cordycepin for Health and Wellbeing: A Potent Bioactive Metabolite of an Entomopathogenic Medicinal FungusCordyceps with Its Nutraceutical and Therapeutic Potential, (5) 
  6. Antioxidant activity of the extracts from fruiting bodies of cultured Cordyceps sinensis, (6) 
  7. Anti-inflammatory effects of cordycepin: A review, (7) 
  8. Hericerin derivatives activates a pan-neurotrophic pathway in central hippocampal neurons converging to ERK1/2 signaling enhancing spatial memory, (8) 
  9. Three Different Types of β-Glucans Enhance Cognition: The Role of the Gut-Brain Axis, (9)

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