Mushroom Adaptogens 4 Stress
Medicinal mushroom supplements have long been used for their health benefits, they are beneficial for immune health, and have adaptogenic properties that help the body to cope and adapt to stress. Given the current climate we could all do with being a little more zen, and mushroom adaptogens are a great addition to bring a little more balance back to your life.
Mushrooms powders are highly nutrient rich, containing good amounts of B-vitamins which are known as the anti-stress vitamins and help the nervous system to function correctly. Mushroom supplements contain differing compounds which means they offer unique health benefits and many mushrooms are classified as adaptogens, or having adaptogenic qualities.
Adaptogens are a group of plants which possess adaptive properties, meaning in nature they respond and adapt well to harsh conditions, and they support us in a similar way. Adaptogens help to balance, restore and protect the body, supporting our hormonal health, energy levels and immune system. They are non-toxic, help your body to achieve balance and reduce your body’s stress response.
There are around 20 plants that qualify as adaptogens, a term coined in 1947 by a Russian pharmacologist who was investigating the stress-busting and energy-enhancing herbs used in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. Many medicinal mushrooms are classified as adaptogens, and Reishi mushroom and Cordyceps mushroom are both considered to be some of the original adaptogens.
Cordyceps is highly regarded for its energizing effects and ability to reduce fatigue as well as support the adrenal glands. Researchers found that Cordyceps acts like an adaptogen, helping people struggling with fatigue increase their levels of energy and endurance. It’s not a stimulant, but instead an adaptogenic mushroom which supports your adrenal glands and helps the body produce and maintain consistent energy levels.
Known as the ‘mushroom of immortality’, Reishi has been used for 4,000 years in China and Japan. It has traditionally been used as an adaptogen, to balance and support the endocrine system, and to promote healthy sleep. Reishi mushroom powder helps the body to cope and adapt to the challenges it may be facing, and brings the body and it’s systems back into balance with its wide-ranging effects, including supporting stress response, immunity and protecting against inflammation. Reishi powder is considered to be calming, and relaxing, helping us to unwind and supporting deeper restful sleep which can be hard to come by when chronically stressed.
Though not one of the original adaptogens, Chaga mushroom has many adaptogenic qualities. It has high amounts of the antioxidant enzyme Superoxide dismutase (SOD) which neutralizes damage done by free radicals which we face in our environment, and from our diet and lifestyle choices on a daily basis. Chaga has benefits for helping the body deal with everyday stress as well as protecting it from damage and disease. It is a highly prized tonic mushroom and was traditionally used in Siberia to help people cope with the effects of the harsh winters.
Adaptogenic herbs and mushroom adaptogens including Reishi powder and Cordyceps powder can help our body to cope during stressful times and improve our resilience to the damaging effects of stress. We need to optimize our diet, sleep and stress management to support overall health and we can turn to these ancient mushrooms for a little bit of extra support along the way.