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Reishi Mushroom for Anxiety & Stress

young girl, troubled by anxiety, sitting on sill embracing knees looking at window

Written by Emily Spring 

Life’s stressors can easily pile up, leading to feelings of anxiety and stress that can impact how you go about your day-to-day responsibilities. While yoga, meditation, and deep breathing can help you manage the symptoms of stress, there are also a variety of natural solutions that can ease your mind and body into relaxation bliss.

One such solution is reishi mushrooms.

Reishi mushrooms have been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years, thought to support full-body health and promote peace of mind. This guide will walk you through what’s known as the best functional mushroom for anxiety, and how it can help you improve your mood and your health.

Which Mushroom is Best for Anxiety?

While several mushrooms can help support your mental health, there is only one medicinal mushroom that is dubbed as “the king of all mushrooms.” Reishi mushrooms are packed with ingredients that target the nervous system, helping to sedate anxious sensations in the body.

Some other stress-inhibiting mushrooms that can help you tackle your anxious thoughts include:

  • Lion’s Mane – Lion’s mane contains terpenes that directly interact with nerve growth factors (NGF) in your brain. These NGF’s have a direct correlation to your neurons, helping to improve memory and stabilize moods.
  • Chaga – While not traditionally considered a mushroom for anxiety, the chaga mushroom is rich in antioxidants and immune-boosting powers. Chaga mushrooms don’t directly impact your mind, but they may improve your gut health, which impacts full-body wellness. This relationship is commonly known as the gut/brain axis. 
  • Cordyceps – Cordyceps support the transfer of oxygen around the body through the bloodstream. This can help provide necessary oxygen to your brain and better circulate your blood to regulate blood sugar levels, which may support an elevated mood. 

Can Reishi Calm You Down?

Oftentimes, the stress you feel is due to an increase of cortisol within your body. Cortisol is your stress hormone, which, among other neurotransmitters, gives you feelings of nervousness, discomfort, and anxiety.

After a particularly stressful day, your cortisol levels may be elevated. Luckily, reishi mushrooms possess sedentary effects, which can help ease your mind and body.

Reishi mushroom extract is packed with antioxidants and compounds that interact with your body to help manage stress in a variety of ways. In addition to alleviating high cortisol levels, reishi mushrooms may also help manage your stress responses through polypeptides.

These polypeptides inform the endorphins and neurotransmitters in your brain, and they may also have a relaxing effect on the central nervous system (CNS), forming a natural depressant on your body’s nerves. When your CNS is relaxed, you’ll be able to feel more ease in your joints and muscles.

Does Reishi Improve Mood?

Reishi mushrooms may also help you level out your emotions. While reishi mushrooms are often noted for their immune-boosting capabilities, they also have been found to help fight fatigue and depression.

One study found that reishi mushrooms improved the quality of life in certain chronic conditions, helping to rid the body of general aches and dizziness. If you’re prone to feeling grumpy when dealing with physical discomfort, reishi mushrooms may provide a comforting mood lift. 

Researchers have also found a correlation between reishi mushrooms and sleep. One study found that individuals who took reishi powder for 4 weeks experienced less fatigue daily. And as you know, when you wake up each day more rested, you are less prone to mood swings and more prepared to start your day.

In addition to relieving aches and supporting sleep, reishi mushrooms may also improve your mood and full-body health by:

  • Boosting your immune system
  • Protecting your body from cancerous cells
  • Supporting your heart health
  • Controlling your blood sugar
  • Providing extra antioxidants

Ways to Consume Reishi

If you’re wondering how you should incorporate reishi into your diet, then look no further. Known as Língzhī in China, reishi mushrooms would be ground into soup or tea during traditional Chinese medicine practices. 

You can also turn these mushrooms into powder using a boiling and filtering technique to concentrate certain medicinal compounds, like triterpenes, which may have medicinal and immune-boosting properties.

Unfortunately, the triterpenes don’t help reishi mushrooms in the flavor department. Evolutionarily, these compounds help give the mushroom a bad taste to prevent animals from eating them. So if you find yourself trying to make homemade reishi recipes, you might end up with the common “tree bark” taste many people describe.

Instead, you can try any number of products containing reishi on the market. Not only are they formulated for you but they won’t have the traditional unpleasant reishi taste:

  • Wonderday Mushroom Gummies – These gummies are great for those looking to fill experience daily homeostasis or balance. The gummies are packed with 10 adaptogenic mushrooms, including reishi mushrooms, to support mood, energy, gut health and stress relief. The best part? They taste like a juicy wild raspberry.
  • Advanced Immune Power – For those looking to build a strong foundation of immune support, this is a must. Featuringreishi mushrooms, along with four additional functional mushrooms plus astragalus and Vitamin C —Immune Power provides vital energy to help fend off disease and reduce your cortisol stress response.
  • Nightlight Mushroom Cacao Mix – Looking for a late-night beverage to help you slip into a restful slumber? Wind down from the stresses of the day with this cacao mix blended with reishi mushroom and magnesium to help you nod off when the time is right.

Additional Ways to Reduce Stress

Supplements are many things, but they are not a one-stop solution. Think of them as an element you can incorporate into your daily routine to bolster your systems with the power and energy to move forward. When our daily lives become stressful, we can sometimes forget to do the activities that help lighten the load.

To help you on the journey to stress less, here are some ways you can reduce your anxiety and stress, in combination with taking reishi supplements:

  • Exercise – Exercising can be a great way to manage stress while taking supplements. Similar to how a reishi supplement works, physical movement helps manage the cortisol stress levels in your body, whether it’s running, biking, or walking, or anything. And with great exercises comes more confidence, which can help better your mood in the long run.
  • Treat yourself – Sometimes the day can get away from us and we forget to take time for ourselves. When you get home, why not treat yourself to a spa night? Begin by dry brushing your entire body to improve circulation and, over time, reduce cellulite. Then, treat yourself to a warm bath. Take things a step further and infuse your spa night with essential oils (or reishi spore oil) to help reduce feelings of nervousness and welcome in better sleep. The more you pamper yourself, the more you’ll find your stress levels fading. 
  • Practice mindfulness – To help combat negative thoughts that accumulate in your head by the end of the day, try to practice mindfulness. Mindfulness, such as breathwork and meditation, can stimulate similar parts of the body as reishi mushrooms. When you perform activities like breathwork, you send signals to your central nervous system to relax, causing you to feel more at ease.
  • Spend time with family or friends – Loneliness is another factor that can contribute to unwanted stress and anxiety. If you’re feeling stressed in your daily life, try reaching out to friends and family. They can help offer you a mental safety net to ensure that the day's stresses don’t stay bottled up inside.
  • Take supplements – There are plenty of adaptogens that can provide benefits similar to Reishi mushroom benefits, like reducing anxiety and stress. For natural remedies to help you manage your stress, try things like ashwagandha, albizia bark and flower, holy basil, avena sativa, and CBD.

CBD to Help Reduce Stress

If you’re looking for other ways to help calm down, CBD can also provide some relief. The compound is naturally occurring within hemp plants and can be harvested for things like full-spectrum oil—which contains many compounds of the hemp plant to promote full-body wellness. 

CBD may have a variety of beneficial effects on the body, including:

  • Creating a relaxed state of mind and body
  • Reducing exercise-induced inflammation
  • Supporting better sleep

Like reishi mushrooms, CBD affects our nervous systems to help mitigate discomfort and stress. But a lot of this interaction is indirect. When consumed, CBD actually interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for maintaining your body’s homeostasis. 

Within the vast network of the endocannabinoid system, there are receptors that are known as CB1 and CB2—which are present within the nervous system, too. These receptors can help alter the serotonin levels in the brain to help alleviate feelings of sadness or nervousness.

Invoke Calm With Plant People

A regular intake of reishi mushrooms may reduce feelings of anxiety and support full-body stress relief. With Plant People, you can explore a variety of natural solutions to help you achieve your optimal state of mind, body, and spirit—from our reishi-packed Advanced Immune Power supplements to our Be Calm CBD capsules.

Our supplements are doctor-formulated, with regenerative plant and functional mushroom supplements that help you unlock your potential each and every day. We strive to lead the way, developing powerful, unparalleled products backed by holistic science.

If you’re tired of feeling fatigued from stress, let Plant People lead the way toward better health with our reishi mushroom anxiety solutions. 

 

Written by Emily Spring 

Emily Spring is the Director of Marketing at Plant People. A longtime proponent of balanced living, she has enjoyed over 8 years driving growth in the lifestyle, health and wellness sectors with deep experience in functional solutions for optimizing anyone's everyday life.

 

Reviewed by Gabe Kennedy

 Co-Founder of Plant People, Gabe Kennedy is an acclaimed chef and entrepreneur. Growing up in a house of healers and herbalists, he is passionate about the power of food as a tool for health, and actualized this passion and belief system into his company, Plant People. Named to Forbes 30 under 30 Gabe has shaped menus and cooked his way around the world with his mission to promote a more communal, green and healthy world.

 Gabe is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. You can learn more about his work at his website.


Sources: 

  1. Hifas da Terra. Anxiety Disorders. https://hifasdaterra.co.uk/clinic/anxiety/ 
  2. Pubmed. A randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled study of a Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharide extract in neurasthenia. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15857210/ 
  3. Healthline. 6 Benefits of Reishi Mushroom (Plus Side Effects and Dosage). https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/reishi-mushroom-benefits#TOC_TITLE_HDR_6 
  4. Time. Reishi Mushroom Hot Cocoa Is Now a Thing. https://time.com/4206719/reishi-lingzhi-mushroom-hot-cocoa-elixir-four-sigmatic/ 
  5. Healthline. 16 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress and Anxiety. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/16-ways-relieve-stress-anxiety#_noHeaderPrefixedContent 
  6. Lovebyolivia. Best Mushrooms for Mental Health. https://www.lovebyolivia.com/blog-1/best-mushrooms-for-mental-health 
  7. Healthline. Using CBD Oil for Anxiety: Does It Work?. https://www.healthline.com/health/cbd-for-anxiety 



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