How To Use Medicinal Mushrooms For Depression

It is no secret that mushrooms are great for our physical health as they can fight against cancer, slow down ageing and support immune function. 

How To Use Medicinal Mushrooms For Depression

In recent years, though, it has been discovered that mushrooms can help to alleviate anxiety and depression symptoms. They can even reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, help reduce symptoms of PTSD, and aid recovery from addiction. 

So, if you’re wondering how to use medicinal mushrooms for depression, you’ve come to the right place.

We have compiled an ultimate guide to using medicinal mushrooms for depression, including lots of information on the different types of medicinal mushrooms out there that can help your mental well-being.

What Are Medicinal Mushrooms?

Medicinal mushrooms have lots of different health benefits. They are great for easing the symptoms of depression as well as improving your blood sugar levels. They also have many other positive effects on health.

Medicinal mushrooms are also great at boosting immunity. They contain beta-glucans which are found in medicinal mushrooms, helping to reduce inflammation in the body. 

The ability that these mushrooms have in reducing inflammation in the body also reduces the risk of cancer, heart disease, and arthritis. 

Mushrooms also provide a natural source of vitamin D, and they are the only natural source of this vitamin. Vitamin D helps to strengthen your bones and improve your immunity. 

Mushrooms are also very important when it comes to managing the symptoms of depression. 

Mushrooms For Mental Health 

Mushrooms are very versatile when it comes to their benefits and uses. They are great for both your physical and mental health. 

With mental health challenges increasing all over the world, we are seeing a rise in depression. Depression counts for 4.3% of the global burden of disease. It is one of the largest causes of disability all over the world, especially for women. 

Eating mushrooms is a simple way to compliment medicine to treat things like anxiety and depression(see also: How To Overcome Depression Using Functional Medicine). While it does not address the problem, it can help when it comes to helping people to feel better.

Types Of Mushrooms For Depression 

Studies have shown that medicinal mushrooms have properties that can help to manage depression. They will often have other health benefits that run alongside these. 

Medicinal mushrooms have anti-neuroinflammatory and neuroprotective effects. They also contain antioxidants. 

How To Use Medicinal Mushrooms For Depression

Culinary Mushrooms 

Culinary mushrooms are white or brown mushrooms that you can purchase in any grocery store. They are mushrooms that you can eat in large quantities without experiencing any side effects. 

There are 300 edible species of mushroom, but we have controlled the growth of just 30. 10 of these species are commonly grown, and these include portobello, oyster, white butter, cremini, and some others.

Culinary Mushrooms To Treat Depression

Culinary mushrooms are some of the best foods out there for the brain. They are a good source of antioxidants which are thought to be neuroprotective. These are ergothioneine and glutathione. 

Research has shown that a large amount of mushroom consumption is associated with better performance on cognitive tests. 

Another study found that those who ate a large number of mushrooms were less likely to report symptoms of depression. 

Ergothioneine And Glutathione In Treating Depression

These two antioxidants have been found in mushrooms, and they have been associated with treating depression. 

Mushrooms are a very rich source of ergothioneine. They protect against cell and tissue damage in the body and brain, which helps to prevent cognitive decline. This can help with things like depression. 

Glutathione is another antioxidant present in mushrooms. This is thought to contribute to oxidative stress. Low levels of glutathione have been found in the urine of people who are suffering from depression.

The high levels of glutathione in mushrooms were a recent discovery, and white button mushrooms contain the highest levels of both of these.

Beta-Glucans In Treating Depression

Mushrooms also contain beta-glucan fibres. These fibres help to fight inflammation, helping with the healthy running of both the gut and the brain. 

Foods such as oats also contain this type of fibre, and research has discovered that the beta-glucan fibre in these mushrooms helps to increase the integrity of the prefrontal cortex.

Adaptogenic Mushrooms 

Lots of varieties of mushrooms contain adaptogenic properties. This means that they help the body to maintain or regain balance when the person is experiencing external or internal stress. 

The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis is a pathway that responds to these mushrooms. This helps to regulate mood and stress and improve memory. 

Reishi Mushrooms 

How To Use Medicinal Mushrooms For Depression

Reishi mushrooms have been found to reduce anxiety and fatigue that is cancer-related. They were tested on breast cancer (see also: Is Inflammatory Breast Cancer Hereditary?)patients, and they were found to have antidepressant potential. 

Lions Mane Mushrooms 

How To Use Medicinal Mushrooms For Depression

Lion’s mane mushrooms have been found to help to alleviate symptoms of menopause, as well as being able to help reduce anxiety and depression. 

They were also found to have improved the mood disorders of those with depression, and help people get better sleep. 

These mushrooms have been found to help restore a healthy balance and improve mental health and cognitive health. 

Cordyceps Mushrooms

How To Use Medicinal Mushrooms For Depression

Cordyceps mushrooms are also known as caterpillar fungi. It is a rare composite of fungus and dead caterpillars. This is not a mushroom taxonomically, but it is considered a medicinal mushroom in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).

These mushrooms were found to help those who were experiencing mild stressors deal with the anxiety and depression that came alongside this. 

Cordyceps mushrooms can indirectly alleviate depression. They can also stop the growth of lots of different cancer cells including colon, skin, and liver cancer.


How To Use Medicinal Mushrooms For Depression

Studies have highlighted that chaga extract will help with the prevention of cytokines in the body. They cause inflammation, so these mushrooms can help to reduce inflammation.

Depression symptoms have been linked to chronic inflammation in lots of ways, so reducing inflammation should help relieve (see also: How Acupuncture Relieves Inflammation)depression symptoms. 

The high antioxidant content in these mushrooms will help to combat oxidative stress. This helps to keep your skin looking younger and improves your immune system.

How To Consume Mushrooms For Medicinal Reasons

You can either eat mushrooms in your meals or drink beverages that contain mushrooms to utilise the power of mushrooms. Consuming mushrooms in either of these ways will ensure that your mental health is supported naturally.

Certain mushroom shakes are great for improving your symptoms of depression, and dishes that contain lots of mushrooms.

Some studies suggest that combining mushrooms with other super foods will increase your ability to treat depression even further.

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it! After reading this article, you should now have all the information you need on the use of medicinal mushrooms for depression.

Research has shown that mushrooms are very useful when it comes to treating depression, and certain mushrooms are more effective in this way. 

Mushrooms are a very versatile food and they have many different health benefits. They have shown potential for positive impacts on mental health conditions such as PTSD, depression, and anxiety.

Clare McAfee
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