What Are Mushroom Extract Supplements? Do They Work?

Published on March 27, 2024

By Gaia Herbs

Gaia Herbs

As you dive into the world of health and well-being, you may discover that mushrooms are an important element for overall wellness. We're not talking about the familiar button mushrooms that top our salads and pizzas — we're here to discuss functional mushrooms, which are powerhouses of potential health benefits

What’s so special about mushrooms that it’s made them the gems of modern health aficionados? Let’s dive deep into mushrooms and shine some light on these fungi. 

Why Have Mushrooms Become a Health Trend?

Particularly in revered ancient cultures like China and Japan, edible mushrooms have been cherished as herbs with therapeutic power. These fungi have been woven into traditional therapies for centuries, and their health benefits have been passed down through generations.REF#3690

Fast forward to today, where the modern world is experiencing a renaissance of these ancient practices. With so many people embracing holistic health and natural wellness, mushroom dietary supplements are gaining momentum, especially among Americans.REF#3691

However, as with all health trends, it's important to approach with knowledge and discernment, understanding the nuances of what makes these mushrooms unique.

What are Mushroom Extract Supplements?

Mushroom extract supplements are a common avenue to get these fungi into your daily diet. Derived from the fruiting bodies of specific mushrooms, these extracts are the result of meticulous production processes. 

Hot water extraction is used to distill and concentrate the beneficial components. Then, the concentrated essence of these fungi, rich in polysaccharides, antioxidants, and beta glucans, is captured into supplements.

The key to understanding is differentiating whole mushroom products from their extract counterparts. While whole mushroom products encompass the entire mushroom, extracts provide very concentrated benefits. 

Which Mushrooms are Commonly Used in Supplements?

When learning about mushroom supplements, you may encounter many fungi, each boasting unique potential health benefits. Let's dive deeper into the stories and properties of some of the most common types of mushroom species.


Ganoderma lucidum, most often referred to simply as the reishi mushroom, is a species that stands out for its adaptogenic traits. It supports the body in keeping healthy stress levels, offering a serene haven amidst your busy day. 

Beyond its adaptogenic properties, the reishi mushroom also contains essential elements like selenium, known for its natural ability to support our body’s defenses against oxidative stress.

Lion’s Mane

This distinctively shaped mushroom doesn't just resemble a mane in appearance but also has a royal standing in the world of wellness. 

Lion's Mane is celebrated for its potential to support cognitive function. Compounds such as erinacines and hericenones in this mushroom can encourage brain health, making it a favorite for those seeking clarity and cognitive support.

Turkey Tail

Displaying a color palette reminiscent of the popular bird, Turkey Tail is much more than just a spectacle for the eyes. It’s packed with antioxidants, supporting the body's defenses and maintaining proper immune function. 

Additionally, this mushroom offers a good dose of vitamin D, which is important for bone health maintenance and immune support.


The Cordyceps species, a fungus, grows nestled in high-altitude regions and is synonymous with vitality. Cordyceps invigorates the body and upholds natural energy, making it a popular supplement for athletes.


Chaga mushroom is often called “The King of Mushrooms” for a few reasons. With an impressively high content of antioxidants, chaga mushrooms are a renowned ingredient in supporting your natural immunity. 

These mushrooms, dark and distinctive in appearance, have been used for centuries in traditional practices for their multitude of health benefits.


Also known as “Dancing Mushrooms,” maitake mushrooms have a long-standing reputation in traditional medicine. They’re recognized for their potential to maintain healthy blood sugar levels and blood pressure. Full of essential nutrients, maitake mushrooms can also be a valuable addition to your health regimen.


Shiitake mushrooms are most popularly known as a culinary delight. Beyond their taste, shiitake mushrooms play a significant role in encouraging healthy cholesterol levels. Coupled with essential nutrients like vitamin D, shiitake mushrooms are a treat for the taste buds and a haven for overall wellbeing.

How Can Mushroom Extracts Benefit Our Health?

Mushroom extracts have long held an important place in traditional medicine. Yet, as we get deeper into the modern age, they continue to impress us with their potential health benefits. 

Contemporary clinical trials and meticulous research provide a deeper understanding of these humble fungi, revealing insights into their implications for well-being. Let's explore some of the most celebrated benefits of mushroom extracts. 

Immune System Support

The body's immune system protects against external adversities, and mushroom extracts may support your body’s natural shield.

Species like Turkey Tail and the regal Chaga are a reservoir of beta-glucans. These naturally occurring polysaccharides may support immune function, acting as sentinels that keep health disruptions at bay.REF#3692

Cognitive and Neural Brain Benefits

Maintaining cognitive health becomes increasingly important as we encounter life’s stressors. This is where Lion's Mane mushroom emerges as a potential source of cognitive support. 

These fungi have been linked to supporting our natural brain function, paving the way for overall neural wellness.REF#3693

Supports Liver Function

The liver may need a gentle nudge toward optimal function. 

With their intricate network of nutrients, some mushroom types have shown promise in supporting liver health, ensuring the efficient purging of toxins, and maintaining its important functions.REF#3694

Natural Energy Maintenance

Often likened to nature's charger, Cordyceps are known for their potential to maintain healthy energy levels.REF#3695 This makes them a great supplement for those seeking to keep their energy up without resorting to artificial stimulants.

Healthy Stress Level Support

In the ever-accelerating pace of modern life, moments of tranquility can seem few and far between — enter Reishi mushroom. With its various calming compounds, this mushroom can support stress management, offering serenity amidst your daily life.REF#3696

Are There Any Side Effects of Mushroom Supplements?

Mushroom supplements, though beneficial, should be taken with caution. Many individuals may have no issues, but some might find themselves experiencing digestive discomfort or allergic reactions. 

Some mushroom varieties also have the potential to cause blood thinning. They might also interfere with certain medications, potentially creating an unpredictable situation. 

Because of this, it’s important to do your research and consult a health professional before incorporating certain mushrooms into your daily regimen.

What are the Different Methods for Taking Mushroom Supplements?

When considering mushroom supplements, it is important to know the avenues to incorporate these into your daily life.

The capsule form is often taken for convenience, while tinctures provide more power in a small dose. Mushroom powders offer versatility, as you may consume these powders in foods or beverages. You can also take mushroom gummies for a tasty yet concentrated dose.

Whichever way you choose to take mushroom supplements, the health benefits remain intact.

A Final Word

Utilizing mushrooms for wellness has long been embraced by many cultures but still holds its place in modern wellness practices. Understanding each type of mushroom and how they benefit you can help you make the most of these incredible fungi.


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