What Are Medicinal Mushrooms? – A Detailed Overview

If you’re somebody who struggles with anxiety or depression, then chances are that you’ve heard of the phenomena, that is, medicinal mushrooms.

What Are Medicinal Mushrooms? - A Detailed Overview

Medicinal mushrooms have been heralded as a great form of treatment for those who suffer with their mental health. But, are they really worth all the hype? 

In addition to this question, do they cause any unpleasant side effects which may heighten anxiety, and other associated symptoms? If so, why are they considered to be so useful clinically?

If you’ve been pondering these questions, then don’t worry, you’re not alone. Below, we’ve compiled this handy guide, which we hope will answer all of your questions regarding the subject. 

We cover everything below from legalisation, to side effects, so that you know all there is to know about medicinal mushrooms(see also: Mushrooms For Anxiety – What You Need To Know?). To find out more, simply keep reading below, as we take a closer look.

What Are Medicinal Mushrooms? 

Now, why don’t we just jump straight in and answer the question at hand? What exactly are medicinal mushrooms, and what do they do?

Well, medicinal mushrooms are known medically as ‘psilocybin’, which means that they’re a hallucinogenic drug that can cause a vast array of different symptoms in patients when taken in large enough quantities. 

The reason why mushrooms are considered to be so helpful for those suffering from mental health conditions, depression in particular, is because they act in a similar manner to serotonin.

Serotonin is the hormone that is responsible for elevating our mood, and when this hormone is low in our body, this can lead to anxiety and depression.

Medicinal mushrooms may help to mimic the effects of serotonin in our bodies, causing us to feel happier in the process. 

In addition to this, some mushrooms are known to function as adaptogens, which means they can help patients respond better to stressful situations. 

Finally, medicinal mushrooms have also been known to support and aid gut health. Several studies have been conducted into the relationship between the gut and anxiety, and the findings were very interesting.

It actually found that those who were experiencing good gut health were less likely to go on and develop anxiety and depression, meaning that having a healthy gut could be detrimental in terms of mental health. 

In addition to all of this, medicinal mushrooms have also been found to be extremely good at reducing inflammation in the body, acting as an antioxidant for patients, and supporting cardiovascular health. So, it’s helpful physically as well as mentally. 

How Are Medicinal Mushrooms Taken? 

Some of you reading this list might be wondering how medicinal mushrooms are taken. Do they actually look like dried out mushrooms when they’re prescribed?

The answer to this question is, no. When medicinal mushrooms are prescribed to patients, they’re dried out, then typically formed into a capsule. 

They sometimes come in a powdered form too. In terms of taste, medicinal mushrooms tend to be incredibly bitter naturally, so when the capsules or powder is made, they’re often mixed together with tea to neutralise the flavour. 

In terms of dosage, most of these capsules which are prescribed to patients will be ‘micro dosage’, which means that they don’t have a very high potency level.

Some of you reading this article might be wondering whether micro dosing is actually helpful, considering that the amount taken by patients isn’t highly concentrated. 

Despite not displaying high levels of concentration, mushrooms taken in the form of micro doses have still been found to be helpful and effective for patients. 

Capsules taken in this manner will not cause any changes in perception, or some of the side effects we’ve come to associate with medicinal mushrooms, such as hallucinations.

When mushrooms are taken as a full dose, they can produce some unpleasant side effects, including paranoia, fear, and seeing things that aren’t really there. 

What Are Some Of The Benefits Of Medicinal Mushrooms?

Now that we’ve taken a look at how medicinal mushrooms are typically taken, we can start to take a look at some of the benefits they provide, and why there’s such a buzz surrounding them. 

What Are Medicinal Mushrooms? - A Detailed Overview

Taking medicinal mushrooms on a regular basis is known for helping with a wide range of different ailments.

In fact, it has been suggested that they might be particularly useful for patients who are suffering from ADHD, as they can help to improve focus and concentration. 

As well as this, they’re also known for being helpful when it comes to providing inspiration, and boosting creativity within individuals.

They’re also great when it comes to increasing energy levels, and they can also help to elevate low moods. 

A study conducted in 2021, found that patients who were taking microdoses of medicinal mushrooms saw that it significantly improved their anxiety and depression.

This bodes well for the future, as it may become something which healthcare providers will begin to consider as a form of treatment.

Other studies however, like the one conducted in 2018, found that medicinal mushrooms were not as effective as patients had hoped.

This study took a survey of people who ingested micro doses of medicinal mushrooms regularly, and although the participants said they were helpful, they were nowhere near as effective as taking a full dose. 

Are Medicinal Mushrooms Legal? 

This brings us to our next question.

Considering the number of studies that have been conducted into the use of medicinal mushrooms to treat things such as anxiety and depression, (see also: How To Use Medicinal Mushrooms For Depression)with positive results, does this mean that they’re prescribed regularly? 

As of now, medicinal mushrooms only remain legal in one state – Oregon. This is currently the only state which prescribes medicinal mushrooms as a form of treatment.

Furthermore, it’s actually very difficult to get a prescription for medicinal mushrooms here, because they’re only given to severe cases.

Some of the conditions that are associated with medicinal mushroom prescriptions are PTSD, and end of life anxiety. 

Final Thoughts 

To sum up, medicinal mushrooms are only legal in the state of Oregon currently.

There have been several studies conducted into the benefits of medicinal mushrooms, and they’re known for being highly adept at treating conditions such as anxiety and depression. 

Medicinal mushrooms typically come in the form of capsules or powder. They’re typically taken in ‘micro doses’, which means that they’re not concentrated enough to cause some of the associated symptoms such as hallucinations or paranoia. 

We hope that you found this article helpful today, and that it helped to clear up some of your questions regarding the subject. 

Clare McAfee
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