Adaptogenic Mushrooms 101

Learning Leaf | Mushrooms
September 16, 2023

Why are mushrooms so popular right now?

Mushrooms seem to have been growing in popularity recently, with many new products hitting the market that claim overall benefits to your wellness. Let’s dig into some mushroom facts to understand some of the commonly heard buzzwords, like: functional, adaptogenic, psilocybin, nootropic and psychoactive. And, why should you care about them?

What is the difference between Psychoactive & Adaptogenic mushrooms?

Let’s start by clearing up the main differences between mushroom types. The key difference between adaptogenic mushrooms and psychoactive mushrooms is the presence or absence of mind-altering compounds. Understanding the distinction between these two categories is important for obvious reasons, make sure to use mushrooms appropriately and responsibly based on their intended purposes. Legal regulations regarding psychoactive mushrooms vary by location, so it’s smart to be aware of local laws.

Psychoactive Mushrooms

Psychoactive mushrooms have hallucinogenic effects and are used for their psychoactive properties, such as “magic mushrooms” like psilocybin, psilocin, or Amanita Muscaria

  • Mind-Altering Properties: These substances can induce altered states of consciousness, hallucinations, and changes in perception, mood, and thought processes.
  • Psychotropic Effects: When ingested, psychoactive mushrooms can lead to profound psychological experiences, including heightened sensory perception, introspection, and sometimes spiritual or mystical experiences.
  • Potential Risks: The use of psychoactive mushrooms carries certain risks, including the potential for adverse psychological reactions, impaired judgment, and the risk of accidents while under the influence. These mushrooms are often regulated or illegal in many countries due to their mind-altering properties.
  • Traditional and Recreational Use: In some cultures, psychoactive mushrooms have been used in traditional shamanic or spiritual practices. In other contexts, they are used recreationally for their hallucinogenic effects.

Adaptogenic Mushrooms

Adaptogenic or Functional mushrooms are non-psychoactive and are primarily used for their potential health-promoting properties. These mushrooms have gained massive popularity in the US. 

  • Non-Psychoactive: Adaptogenic, also known as Medicinal or Functional, mushrooms do not contain psychoactive compounds. They do not produce hallucinations or altered states of consciousness when consumed.
  • Health Benefits: Adaptogenic mushrooms are valued for their potential health benefits. They may support various aspects of physical and mental health, including immune function, stress management, energy levels, cognitive function, and more.
  • Safety and Wellness: Adaptogenic mushrooms are generally considered safe when consumed as part of a balanced diet or in supplement form. They are used to promote overall well-being and may be integrated into daily wellness routines.
  • Common Examples: Some functional mushrooms include: Reishi, Chaga, Cordyceps, Lion’s Mane, and Turkey Tail, among others. Each of these mushrooms is believed to offer specific health benefits based on their unique compounds and properties, see list below.

Adaptogenic Mushrooms + Herbs

Adaptogenic mushrooms and herbs are natural substances known for their adaptogenic properties, which means they can help the body adapt to stress, maintain balance, and support overall well-being. These substances are often used in traditional medicine systems and herbal remedies to promote resilience to various stressors. 

Adaptogens are considered Nootropics. Nootropics often referred to as “smart drugs” or “cognitive enhancers,” are a class of substances that people use to improve cognitive functions such as memory, concentration, creativity, and motivation. Nootropics can include a wide range of natural and synthetic compounds, that fall into six categories: Prescription Medications, Herbs/Natural Supplements, Racetams, Cholinergics, Adaptogens, and Nutrients. 

Here’s some examples of common Adaptogenic Mushrooms and Herbs:

Adaptogenic Mushrooms:

  • Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum): Reishi mushrooms are renowned for their immune-boosting properties and their ability to reduce stress. They are often used to support overall health and longevity.
  • Cordyceps (Cordyceps sinensis): Cordyceps are known for their energy-boosting effects. They may improve physical endurance, support respiratory health, and enhance immune function.
  • Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus): Lion’s Mane mushrooms are believed to support cognitive function and brain health. They may enhance memory, concentration, and nerve regeneration.
  • Chaga (Inonotus obliquus): Chaga mushrooms are rich in antioxidants and may help reduce inflammation. They are often used to support immune function and overall health.
  • Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor): Turkey Tail mushrooms are known for their immune-boosting properties. They contain polysaccharides that can enhance immune function.
  • Shiitake (Lentinula edodes): Shiitake mushrooms are used to support immune health and may help lower cholesterol levels. They are also a good source of vitamins and minerals.

Adaptogenic Herbs:

  • Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera): Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb known for its stress-reducing properties. It may help lower cortisol levels, improve sleep, and enhance overall well-being.
  • Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea): Rhodiola is used to boost energy and reduce fatigue. It can improve mental and physical performance, enhance mood, and support the stress response.
  • Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum): Holy Basil, also known as Tulsi, is considered a sacred herb in Ayurvedic medicine. It is used to reduce stress, promote mental clarity, and support immune function.
  • Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus): Siberian Ginseng is known for its energy-boosting and immune-supporting properties. It is often used to combat fatigue and improve stamina.
  • Schisandra (Schisandra chinensis): Schisandra is an adaptogenic herb that can enhance endurance, mental clarity, and physical performance. It may also help reduce stress.
  • Maca (Lepidium meyenii): Maca is an adaptogenic root known for its potential to increase energy and stamina. It may also support hormonal balance and sexual health.
  • Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus): Astragalus contains immune-boosting compounds and is used to strengthen the immune system, improve vitality, and combat stress.

How do you take Adaptogenic Mushrooms?

We offer many forms of Adaptogen Mushroom products at Turning Leaf. We feature Mushroom Grow Kits by North Spore, BLNCD Functional Cannabis Elixirs, Odyssey Mushroom Elixirs, Verdant Leaf supplements and tinctures. Or, if you’re looking for a “magic” mushroom experience, we carry Foundry Nation Boomers gummies that contain Amanita Muscaria

Adaptogenic mushrooms and herbs can be consumed in various forms, including as dietary supplements, beverages, gummies, tinctures, or incorporated into recipes and culinary preparations. While these products are generally considered safe, it’s always good to consult with a healthcare professional before use, especially if you have specific health concerns, are pregnant or nursing, or are taking medications. The appropriate dosage can vary based on individual needs and desired outcomes.

Your Special, Specialty Store

Turning Leaf is a one-stop shop for all functional mushroom products, cannabis, wellness, cigar, and vape. We have an extensive selection of products and accessories for any occasion. Our team participates in ongoing training & education, so we can provide reliable information for our products, so you can feel confident making the right decision for your needs. Our motto is: education first, sales second.

Contact us, or stop at your local Turning Leaf for more information on how we can help you find the quality alternative lifestyle products.