I'm not exactly a square but if you asked me if I do mushrooms, up until a few weeks ago I'd probably reply, "Fried or sautéed?" Now that's a joke answer of course (kind of...) but the question is a lot tamer than it used to be. Much like the world harnessed the non-psychoactive elements of cannabis plants to yield CBD, there's a new fungi-based wellness craze you're about to see everywhere: mushroom supplements promising everything from taking the edge off after a long day to strengthening your immune system, warding off colds, and giving your daily energy a boost. The mushrooms in question aren't the magic kind that may come to mind when you think, "put mushrooms in your tea" but the effects can feel heaven-sent anyway.
Just like herbs and oils, mushrooms come in hundreds of different breeds and varieties with different properties supporting different functions. Though there's nothing mind-altering or trippy about any of the mushrooms below but it's a field still in flux. Psilocybin, the compound that makes a mushroom hallucinogenic, is absent from mushroom supplements—at least in 2021. As it's decriminalized in Denver, CO, more experiments on the benefits of microdosing are conducted. For now, though, we can reap the benefits of many mushrooms without any mind-altering effects. And benefits abound.
Read on for our list of the best mushroom supplements out there:
For a one-and-done comprised of nine essential vitamins and nine mushroom types, there's the electric blue and all-natural Mushroom Design daily vitamin. The mushrooms are meant to support immune health while the vitamins (ones you're already familiar with like B5 and folic acid) are meant to regenerate cells. Full disclosure, I have been taking these for about a week now and can feel the effects mostly my sleep patterns already—waking up in particular feels significantly easier and lighter. Carbon neutral and plastic-free, the brand also comes with one confident guarantee: feel the promised effects or your money back. If you're a beginner looking for a true all-rounder with minimal guess work, MD's your pick.
Delightful name, packaging, and logo? Check. Tincture formula with dropper for easy use? Check. Antioxidant, energy booster, and immune strengthener? Uh, check. You might have seen Rainbo supplement bottles featured on the Instagrams of some seriously cool people. Thanks to a blend of humanely and sustainably-cultivated mushrooms including reishi and lion's mane (more on those later), this liquid tincture can be consumed daily alongside your multivitamin. Either drop the recommended amount directly under your tongue or mix it into a drink like your morning matcha, water, or cereal milk. For more concentrated or specific benefits, Rainbo also offers tinctures formulated for different needs.
Daoists regard reishi mushrooms as a divine one, documenting its positive effects and revering it as medicine that acts as a bridge between heaven and earth. That's more than enough to convince me, but just couple that with studies pointing to reishi mushrooms stimulating white blood cells and more anecdotal evidence suggesting that it can seriously chill you out. There were more than a few testimonials I read that called reishi-based tinctures "liquid Xanax." However, if you're looking to harness these benefits but not to that extreme, try out the WelEssentials reishi supplements. The prepackaged pills means no need to experiment with doses the way you might with a tincture.
"Everyday magic" is Four Sigmatic's tagline, and it's for very good reason. One of their signature products, a mushroom blend powder, can seamlessly (and tastily) be mixed into everything from coffee and smoothies to soups and baked goods. Made to deliver immune assistance and general wellbeing with caffeine or other additives, "Four Sigmatic foods are the most nutrient dense, most studied foods on the planet," their site explains. "Only 100 foods fall into this category and those are the foods you’ll find in our products." Mushrooms included.
If the benefits you're seeking are more mental and cognitive than physical, you might be into The Nue Co's Nootro-Focus supplement capsules. While many popular mushroom-based products focus on the immune system and more physical wellbeing, this blends lion's mane mushrooms with citicoline and gingko biloba to cut brain fog and stimulate mental acuity. In fact, according to the brand, clinical studies show improved memory and recall after just six weeks of use. Lion's mane, the mushroom star of the show, is so-named for its shaggy-fluffy appearance and often used for promoting nerve growth while preventing cognitive decline.
If you're just dipping a toe in the shroomy waters, these supplements might be a good place to start. Of course, as with all dietary and wellness supplements, consider consulting your doctor before adding them into your daily routine. Then, you're ready to start having some fungus. Alright, I'll see myself out.
Guggenheim AG, Wright KM, Zwickey HL. Immune modulation from five major mushrooms: application to integrative oncology. Integr Med (Encinitas). 2014;13(1):32-44.
Li IC, Lee LY, Tzeng TT, et al. Neurohealth properties of hericium erinaceus mycelia enriched with erinacines. Behav Neurol. 2018;2018:5802634. doi:10.1155/2018/5802634