When I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue is also when I first learned about adaptogenic herbs and mushrooms. I took them in supplement form to help regulate my body's response to stress and to help restore homeostasis (balance). As I have learned more about the benefits of various mushrooms, I found that they can do so much more! Everything from energy levels, to focus, and even boosting athletic performance and immune function.
Fortunately, they are now extremely easy to integrate into your diet. Thanks to Four Sigmatic, they are easy to add to your morning coffee or post-workout smoothie (Note: this post is not sponsored, the nice folks at Four Sigmatic have no idea who I am or that I'm even writing this).
Even just a few years ago you used to have to order your mushrooms from random places off Amazon and you'd get a bag labelled in Chinese (mushrooms are big in Chinese medicine). But now you can order them in nice packets, premixed for maximum benefit. Four Sigmatic offers their mushrooms in single serving elixir form as well as mixed with instant coffee and hot cocoa. They come in awesome and convenient packets, and are combined with other herbs that complement the function of each elixir. If you want to learn more about how magic mushrooms can be, check out their Mushroom Academy.
Also, let's be clear that adaptogenic and medicinal mushrooms are not the same thing as magic mushrooms, even though I think these mushrooms are pretty magical. These mushrooms have no psychedelic effects, which means you can use them daily and still keep your job.
Here are four mushrooms to add to your life that will help supercharge your magic powers:
CHAGA for your immune system
Chaga mushrooms (also known as the king of the mushrooms) are rich in B vitamins, vitamin D, potassium, zinc, iron, and magnesium. Chaga mushrooms also support immune function by potentially helping the cells in your immune system communicate better with each other. They also may help lower cholesterol, decrease inflammation, control blood sugar, and slow the growth of cancer.
How to use it: Add Chaga Elixir into your coffee, or drink it instead of your coffee (the flavor of these elixirs is mild so you'll hardly notice it).
REISHI TO RELAX & SLEEP DEEPER
The Reishi mushroom supports hormonal balance, contributes to better energy levels, improves sleep quality, and improves the function of the endocrine and central nervous systems. Reishi can be stimulating to the immune system, so if you have an autoimmune disease, you need to use caution (i.e. if you have an increase in symptoms when you incorporate reishi into your routine, it's probably not for you). It also can help to prevent all four different types of allergic reactions.
If you have trouble with occasional stress or difficulty sleeping, Reishi mushroom might help you relax and get a better night's sleep. And remember how important sleep is?
How to use it: Make Reishi a part of your bedtime routine to help you wind down both emotionally and physically. I like to mix mine with a little cocao for "dessert."
CORDYCEPS FOR AN ENERGY BOOST & RECOVERY
Cordyceps is an adaptogen (which functions differently than a stimulant) which can help enhance endurance and increases resistance to fatigue. It can help you maintain a steady level of energy rather than artificially boosting them so there are no jitters or crashes like you might get with coffee. I like to drink this one in the morning with my coffee if I have a late morning workout planned, or whenever I feel like I'm just going to need an extra kick in the pants to get through the day.
How to use it: Try using Cordyceps before a workout or physical activity for an extra boost without the caffeine jitters.
LION'S MANE FOR BRAIN POWER
Lion's Mane boots your brain power and enhances cognitive function. It has been shown to support both memory and concentration. It may also help alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression, inhibit HIV activity, has beneficial effects on the skin, increase bone density, and can help support healthy circadian rhythms.
How to use it: Blend up some Lion's Mane elixir before activities that require extra focus or attention.
The best thing about these mushrooms is that while they each have something that they excel at (such as Lion's Mane for brain power), they all have so many other beneficial properties that will enhance your overall health. Also, mushrooms and humans share some components of their DNA (mushrooms are actually more closely related to humans than they are to plants).