Can You Eat Cordyceps, Lion’s Mane, and Other Mushrooms Raw?

Published on May 01, 2024

By Gaia Herbs

Gaia Herbs

Mushrooms of all kinds are featured in kitchens and dishes throughout the world, but there is still a persistent question that many people have: Can you eat all mushrooms raw? 

Each of the mushrooms mentioned below, as well as Chaga and Shiitake mushrooms, can be eaten raw. However, it’s generally recommended to cook them before eating or to use processed mushrooms instead. There are a few reasons why. 

For starters, it's important to consider the unique life cycle of fungi like Cordyceps, which involves insect hosts. Raw Cordyceps could potentially carry harmful pathogens, bacteria, or contaminants. The same is true for the other options, but it’s especially concerning with Cordyceps. 

Another reason against eating raw mushrooms is that their benefits won’t have as strong of an effect. Heating or processing mushrooms increases the bioavailability of the various beneficial compounds in each mushroom. In other words, your body will more easily absorb and utilize them. 

Lastly, eating raw mushrooms can provide an unpleasant taste. The texture of these mushrooms is often described as tough and chewy with an often bitter and woody taste. Even the Shiitake, arguably the tastiest option in its raw form, is more enjoyable when cooked. 

Of course, seeing that eating raw mushrooms comes with a risk for pathogens and yields fewer benefits, there’s no reason to experience such an undesirable taste for your mushrooms. 

How Are Mushrooms Used in Herbal Supplements?

Mushrooms are a highly versatile food that can be easily added to various dishes. However, when it comes to certain mushrooms, it’s often much easier to seek them out as a supplement instead. Here is a list of several different mushroom-based supplements that can be used to support your health in multiple ways:


Cordyceps are a fascinating and unique species of fungi. Originating from the high mountain regions of China, they have a distinctive life cycle. Cordyceps grow by invading insect larvae, eventually taking over the host tissue and sprouting from the body in a manner reminiscent of a blade of grass. This results in a peculiar, elongated fungus that is intriguing and peculiar.

Cordyceps have held a place of high regard in traditional Chinese and Tibetan medicine for centuries, lauded for their potential benefits.REF#3934 They were often utilized to support overall vitality and health, with the belief that they could invigorate the body's natural energy. 

Our Cordyceps capsules are a testament to the adaptogenic power of this unique mushroom. With a rich history of supporting our body’s natural ability to fight off feelings of fatigue and exhaustion, Cordyceps is a valuable addition to your wellness routine. 

Gaia Herbs harnesses the potential of this prized mushroom in our Cordyceps Mushroom supplements to provide energy, endurance, and stamina support. Its adaptogenic properties help your body properly cope with stress, making it a daily essential for managing life's challenges.

Lion’s Mane

Lion's Mane, scientifically known as Hericium erinaceus, is a unique mushroom closely resembling its namesake. With cascading, icicle-like spines, this mushroom looks less like a typical cap-and-stem fungus and more like a glorious white mane.

Lion's Mane holds a special place in Asian cultures, revered as a highly respected herb in holistic wellness. Ancient practitioners believed in the mushroom's ability to support cognitive health and overall well-being, incorporating it into their daily routines for its potential benefits.REF#3935

Experience the traditional benefits of Lion's Mane with our convenient capsule form. Lion's Mane, known for supporting brain and neurological health, is captured in our capsules to promote overall cognition, focus, and mental performance. 

Crafted using organically grown and sustainably sourced mushrooms, our Lion's Mane capsules are a one-a-day solution to integrating this powerful mushroom into your wellness routine.


Reishi, also known as Ganoderma lucidum, is a type of mushroom that has been a cornerstone of traditional Eastern medicine for centuries. Known as the "mushroom of immortality" in ancient China, Reishi is notable for its impressive, glossy appearance that varies in color from reddish-orange to black.

In traditional medicine, Reishi has been used to encourage overall health and longevity. It was believed to support the body's natural defenses, helping us to maintain a sense of calm and balance. 

Its significance in herbal medicine is profound, with centuries of use underscoring its revered status. Today, the Reishi mushroom continues to be respected for its potential to support a range of health benefits.REF#3936

In our Reishi capsules, we’ve harnessed beneficial compounds to support immune and heart health specifically. Each capsule is crafted with 100% Reishi mushroom extract, providing adaptogenic support for your wellness journey. 

As an adaptogen, Reishi supports your body's resilience to stress and maintains a healthy immune system. Incorporating our Reishi capsules into your daily routine can support critical aspects of your overall health.

Turkey Tail

The Turkey Tail mushroom, scientifically known as Trametes versicolor, is a visually striking fungus that gets its name from its colorful, fan-like appearance, reminiscent of a turkey's tail. This mushroom grows on dead logs worldwide, making it as common as it is aesthetically appealing.

In traditional herbal medicine, Turkey Tail has been employed for centuries due to its potential wellness benefits.REF#3937 It was often brewed into a soothing tea or incorporated into soups. One of the key attributes that make Turkey Tail highly valued is its high content of polysaccharides.

Turkey Tail, known for supporting healthy liver function, is brought to you by Gaia Herbs as a convenient capsule. Our Turkey Tail capsules are designed to maintain optimal liver function and provide cleansing support. They are crafted from 100% mushroom extract and are free of fillers, starch, grains, or mycelium, ensuring you receive the purest form of this beneficial mushroom.

Use High-Quality Supplements to Safely Experience the Benefits of Mushrooms

While it's possible to eat raw mushrooms like Cordyceps, Lion's Mane, and others, cooking them or using processed forms like those provided by Gaia Herbs is generally recommended. This is not only for safety reasons but also to increase the bioavailability of the beneficial compounds they contain. 

At Gaia Herbs, we offer a range of mushroom-based supplements, each designed to support various aspects of your health. We believe in the power of nature and the importance of understanding where our ingredients come from. That's why we use only organically grown and sustainably sourced mushrooms in our products, ensuring you reap the maximum benefits these remarkable fungi offer.

We invite you to explore our range of mushroom-based supplements and take our Product Recommendation Quiz. This personalized tool can guide you toward the herbal solutions that best meet your specific needs. 


  • 1. Panda, A. K., & Swain, K. C. (2011), "Traditional uses and medicinal potential of Cordyceps sinensis of Sikkim ", Journal of Ayurveda and integrative medicine, 2(1), 9–13.
  • 2. Li, I. C., Lee, L. Y., Tzeng, T. T., Chen, W. P., Chen, Y. P., Shiao, Y. J., & Chen, C. C. (2018), "Neurohealth Properties of Hericium erinaceus Mycelia Enriched with Erinacines ", Behavioural neurology, 2018, 5802634.
  • 3. Wachtel-Galor S, Yuen J, Buswell JA, et al , "Ganoderma lucidum (Lingzhi or Reishi): A Medicinal Mushroom. In: Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor S, editors. ", Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2011. Chapter 9..
  • 4. Benson, K. F., Stamets, P., Davis, R., Nally, R., Taylor, A., Slater, S., & Jensen, G. S. (2019) , "The mycelium of the Trametes versicolor (Turkey tail) mushroom and its fermented substrate each show potent and complementary immune activating properties in vitro", BMC complementary and alternative medicine, 19(1), 342.