mushrooms for immunity

Mushrooms For Immunity: The Best Mushrooms To Bolster Your Immune System

Every winter, it happens. The weather gets colder, the sunshine wanes, people spend more time indoors - and as a result, we see an increase in cold and flu cases. This year, we have COVID-19 to worry about in addition to the usual illnesses that afflict us annually. The stakes are higher than ever when it comes to protecting our health and strengthening our immune systems, and we should all be taking measures to do these things.

You may already know the basics of immune support - good sleep, vitamin intake, exercise, stress reduction. But did you know that adding mushrooms to your diet could also contribute to keeping you healthy?

A number of medicinal mushrooms have been shown to support immune system function. According to the research, these are some of the best mushrooms for immunity.

Reishi Mushroom

Reishi mushroom is believed to have a number of health benefits, including:

  •  immune support [1]
  •  mood elevation [2]
  • antiviral and inflammatory properties [3, 4]
  • promotion of relaxation and sleep [5]
  • possible antitumor and anticancer effects [6, 7]

Studies have shown that reishi mushroom has extensive immunomodulating effects, promoting innate immune function as well as humoral and cellular immunity [8]. Not only does it support the immune system directly, but its apparent ability to reduce stress and improve sleep can also have a positive impact on immune function. Stress and poor sleep weaken our immune systems and make us more prone to getting sick; therefore, reishi’s relaxing and adaptogenic effects (as found in NIH studies) may help you elude illness or recover more quickly. Reap the benefits with our Reishi Delight blend!

Chaga Mushroom

According to the research, another of the best mushrooms for immunity is chaga. The chaga mushroom may promote health in the following ways:

  • immune support [9]
  • stress reduction due to high antioxidant content [10]
  • increased energy [11]
  • anticancer properties [12
  • lowered blood sugar [13]  

Chaga contains an abundance of vitamins and minerals, a number of which support immune system function. These include B-complex vitamins, vitamin D, zinc, iron, selenium. Chaga is also considered an adaptogen that helps to reduce the negative effects of stress, including susceptibility to sickness. Get your chaga fix with our Chaga Chai.

Maitake Mushroom and Lion’s Mane Mushroom

Research suggests that the maitake mushroom also has immunomodulatory effects [14]. One study showed significant stimulation of both cellular and humoral immunity from oral administration of maitake [15]. This mushroom contains high levels of antioxidants, which are known to bolster the immune system [16]. Additionally, research has also pointed to maitake having the ability to:

  • inhibit tumor growth [17]
  • lower cholesterol and blood glucose levels [18]

Lion’s mane mushroom also plays a role in supporting immune system function [19]. Polysaccharides in lion’s mane have been shown to reduce immunosuppression in ducklings by decreasing injury to immune organs and improving levels of immune-supporting substances [20]. In addition to immune support, lion’s mane is also known to benefit:

  • cognition, memory and focus [21]
  • mood [22]
  • reduction of inflammation [23]

Mushrooms For Immunity 

Research has shown that reishi, chaga, maitake and lion’s mane may all have immune-supporting benefits. Each of our all-natural and organic tea blends is made with one or more of these functional mushrooms. Our teas also contain other herbal ingredients that are thought to support immune system function, including ginger and elderberry [24, 25].

Though these mushrooms and herbs may help to strengthen your immune response, you still need to practice proper hygiene and other forms of self-care in order to maximize your resistance to illness. However, utilizing mushrooms for immunity and drinking medicinal mushroom tea can be a wonderful way to bolster your immune system through the winter months and beyond!