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April 02, 2021 3 min read

Mushrooms have been used in traditional Asian remedies for hundreds of years, as well as in Ayurvedic practices, which originated in India. They are believed to  offer a wide range of health benefits, vitamins and minerals, but what does adaptogen really mean? Are all mushrooms adaptogens? ReishiChagaand Lion’s Mane are all mushrooms known as adaptogens, each containing unique functions such as helping to maintain a healthy functioning immune system, digestive system and overall body support.


What are adaptogens?

An adaptogen is a category of select herbs and mushrooms that are known to help the whole body to adapt and respond to stress in a healthy, balanced way. They help to reduce the physical changes which stress can cause in the body in an organic way. In doing so, adaptogens also help support a healthy immune system.

Adaptogens can be compared to a thermostat, adapting the body’s stress response like a thermostat controls temperature, because the compounds they contain can possess opposing qualities, such as being relaxing or energizing. The response is dependent upon the body’s specific needs. How amazing is that? 

 Adaptogens will support and balance the body the most, when taken routinely and over time. Just like brushing and flossing your teeth, you have to develop a routine everyday in order for these practices to provide the best protection.

 

Types of adaptogen mushrooms

So, what are adaptogen mushrooms? Are all mushrooms adaptogens? In short, adaptogens and adaptogenic mushrooms aren’t exactly a new concept or ingredient. They’ve been traditionally used and researched throughout history as a means of improving the body’s ability to respond to stress, fight fatigue and increase attention span. Not all mushrooms are adaptogens, but there are a select group that we feel are worth highlighting. Three of which are part of our Rritual collection of enhanced elixirs.

 

Reishi

Reishi  is widely consumed as a nourishing mushroom with adaptogen properties, known to help the body adapt to stress. The Rritual Reishi Relax Elixir is enhanced with Ashwagandha root, an adaptogen herb long revered to help bring balance to vital bodily functions that are commonly disrupted by stress including difficulty falling or staying asleep. 

 

Chaga

Chaga has been traditionally consumed for centuries for maintaining overall vitality and health. This charcoal-looking superfood grows on birch trees in the Northern hemisphere (notably Europe and Russia), where they believe drinking chaga steeped in warm or cold water would release and enhance its nourishing and body-strengthening properties.Rritual’s Chaga Immune is an adaptogen source, blended withEleuthero root,known to be a rich source of polysaccharides and other compounds which are known to support the body’s natural immune defenses and maintain a healthy response to stress.


Lion’s Mane

Lion’s Mane is an adaptogen mushroom with a long white shag rug-like appearance. It has been consumed as a delicacy and revered for centuries in Eastern cultures for the beneficial and enlightening effects it may have on cognitive health. Today it has gained popularity as a nootropic, which means it helps to bring focus and mental clarity, even to a restless, or foggy mind, and does so without containing any stimulants.Rritual’s Lion’s Mane Focus is enhanced with Rhodiola rosea root: an adaptogen herb well-known to support a healthy response to stress, as well as, to help promote mental agility, focus and overall cognitive performance.

 

Cordyceps, Shiitake, Turkey Tail

Other types of well known adaptogen mushrooms include Cordyceps, Shiitake and Turkey Tail. Each with their own set of benefits, while also contributing to helping your body achieve an overall improved level of functioning. Cordyceps are traditionally used in China for stamina and energy, as they help to fight fatigue. Shiitake's most popular use as described in this Pharmaceutical Journal is in maintaining healthy immunity due to their potency of immune-supporting antioxidants. Meanwhile, Turkey Tail has been used in traditional Japanese rituals for hundreds of years to help with liver function and to aid healthy digestion. While the short answer to ‘are all mushrooms adaptogens?’ is no, there are still six unique and fascinating mushrooms listed above for you to try.


Benefits of adaptogen mushrooms

Overall, adaptogen mushrooms can help your body adapt to stress, and can help keep your immune system in balance. They offer great support, although they are best consumed alongside a holistic approach to health, wellness, and stress management. We recommend enjoying your superfood mushroom formulae as a hot tea or latte, mixed in with 6 oz of hot water or heated dairy or non-dairy milk. As a fantastic addition to a balanced diet, exercise and mindful approach to your health.



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