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Mushroom: a new wellness vogue

Dec 11 2018 • Written by Smriti Mishra

~ Smriti Jha


Research studies alarm us with a healing fact that Mushrooms can be used as treatments for anxiety, depression and addiction.


The extensive research evidence mounts “regular” mushrooms are magical particularly as a stress and inflammation fighters. Adaptogenic varietals of Mushrooms like reishi, cordyceps, and chaga are being used to make powders, lattes, cocoas, chocolate and tea. Food developers are planning to infuse it in all kind of food stuffs one can imagine.



Global use

Mushrooms apart from just a vegetable, are at the root of present pharmaceuticals. It has been used right from penicillin to many anticancer drugs. They are a nutritional super food that just doesn’t get enough credit.


The Mushroom species, Psilocybin mushrooms AKA magic mushrooms, or shrooms have a long history of use for spiritual and religious rituals. The United States and Europe use this magic shrooms to treat a wide variety of ailments and disorders including cluster headaches, obsessive-compulsive disorders, anxiety, depression, and addiction.


Studies unveiling the fact


The Penn State Mushroom Research Center (MRC) is one of the few research facilities in the world dedicated to mushroom research. Their study reveals that all mushrooms but especially delicious wild ceps or porcini are the #1 source of two important anti-aging antioxidants, ergothioneine and glutathione, that protect the body against cancer, coronary heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease.


Researchers speculate that that’s why countries like Italy and France (who eat more mushrooms) have much lower rates of neuro-degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s than countries like the United States and others.


Uniform of Wageningen University & Research has an experimental climate controlled growing facility for small scale production of edible mushrooms. The design allows cultivation comparable to commercial production, and reliable phenotyping a.o. resistance to diseases, quality, yield, etc. The rooms are also designed for contained cultivation of genetically modified strains.


How Mushrooms are innovating in and as Food




Companies are busy developing technologies that help to add more mushroom magic into foods. Innovating mushroom infusion into food and drinks variant is going as mainstream.


  1. M&S has developed Ireland-grown Active Health mushrooms with a 100 percent daily dose of Vitamin D and vitamin B5 to fight fatigue.
  2. MycoTechnology’s new vegan mushroom protein PureTaste is a new pick in food industry.
  3. Food brand Soylent has launched Coffiest, a caffeinated alternative for the breakfast skipper packed with vitamins and L-theanine which is a stress-relieving, brain-enhancing nootropic.
  4. Mushrooms variety especially the stress-effect-fighting adaptogenic breeds like reishi, cordyceps, chaga and maitake – are being infused and brewed into everything imaginable.
  5. Mushroom-mad company Four Sigmatic serves up a whole range of adaptogenic mushroom-packed coffees and hot chocolates.
  6. Gaia Herbs recently rolled out a whole line of mushroom supplements targeting everything from brain to liver health.
  7. Mushrooms are the star ingredients in Choice Organic Teas’ Wellness Teas collection.
  8. Freaky and Wild Alaska both a famed chocolate brands, are infusing a host of healing mushrooms.



Mushroom species:  Skin super-food


  1. Chaga mushroom is a natural antioxidant and anti-irritant with zinc and melanin that helps repair skin cells and eliminates free radicals that cause wrinkles.
  2. Chinese cordyceps is known for creating cellular energy necessary for the skin’s protective barrier
  3. Tremella mushrooms are known for their antioxidant and deep hydrating benefits.
  4. Widely known skin products of Dr. Andrew Weil’s, “Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief Collection” blends chaga, reishi and more to get maximum benefits.
  5. Korean beauty companies have been pioneers in the use of mushrooms as a skin elixir, and tremella extract is found in skin lotion.
  6. Kerstin Florian’s Correcting Brightening Facial Treatment is loaded with Chinese mushrooms to attack skin inflammation and hyperpigmentation – and there is an entire “Mushroom Collection” from Prana Spaceuticals.
  7. To care your hair, companies like ANUVA’s Tonifying Shampoo with reishi, Annanda chaga Mushroom shampoo bar, Ganoderma Lucidum for hair loss etc are the big names and widely known for the hair treatments.



Future of umbrella food


Fungi fashion has emerged many heroes. Microsoft’s Artist Erin Smith grew her own stunning wedding dress out of tree mulch and mycelium. Not only her, this fashion fever led a lighting designer Danielle Trofe, to create biodegradable light fixtures. Another hero Jillian Silverman, a University of Delaware fashion and apparel graduate student focused on environmental sustainability, recently crafted a prototype shoe that combines mushrooms, agriculture waste and fabric scraps.


More experimentation for magical Mushroom wellness is underway. Designers and developers are making eco-friendly clothing out of this magical fungi and also working on how mushrooms could create the light, biodegradable homes of our future.



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