Feeling like your brain just isn’t working anymore? The effects of daily stress and Zoom call burnout are enough to zap your brain power and your energy. If you’re looking for a solution that won’t leave you wired and tired like slamming 4 cups of coffee will, nootropic mushrooms are for you.
What are nootropics?
A nootropic is any substance that boosts brain performance. These cognitive enhancers are used to boost focus, improve memory, foster creativity, and decrease mental fatigue at work. While some nootropics are synthetic and have been made in a lab, the safest nootropics come from nature. Some of the most effective and safe nootropics are medicinal mushrooms.
Are magic mushrooms nootropic mushrooms?
There’s been a lot of buzz about magic mushrooms, which are any mushroom that contains the active ingredient psilocybin. When used at low doses, called microdosing, these normally psychedelic mushrooms are used more in a more subtle way as a nootropic for focus and creativity. However, psilocybin mushrooms or microdosing with them remains illegal to use in most countries because they can cause hallucinogenic experiences.
Best nootropic mushrooms
So what are the best nootropic mushrooms then, and more importantly what are the legal nootropic mushrooms, which are ones you can buy and consume without risk of jail time. In this article, we’ll focus on the best nootropic mushrooms extracts that are safe to use and lab-tested for any impurities. The most popular and effective nootropic mushrooms include lion’s mane, cordyceps, and chaga mushrooms.
Lion’s mane mushroom benefits
Lion’s mane mushrooms are eaten as both a popular food and medicine in Asian countries such as China and Japan. Lion’s mane has numerous health benefits as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, which may help promote healthy blood flow in the brain, enhance cognitive function, and reduce memory loss. Lion’s mane mushroom contains two chemicals, erinacines and hericenones, that can stimulate the production of nerve growth factor (NGF) to promote brain cell growth and potentially repair brain injury. Finally, lion’s mane extract may promote changes in the brain that reduce the neurological effects of depression.
Cordyceps mushroom benefits
Cordyceps mushrooms have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries for everything from increasing sex drive to improving fatigue. They are packed with antioxidants that protect the brain from inflammation and memory loss due to aging. Cordyceps may even boost mood, but through a different pathway than traditional antidepressants. This is likely due to the cordyceps mushrooms containing a chemical called cordycepin that can activate AMPA receptor signaling in the brain, improving focus and memory.
Chaga mushroom benefits
Chaga mushrooms are found naturally growing on birch trees in countries with cold weather such as Canada, Russia, and Alaska. These mushrooms have been used in traditional indigenous medicine for boosting immunity and improving overall health, but recent research suggests they have many benefits for brain health. Learning and memory may be boosted by taking chaga mushrooms due to increasing levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Chaga mushrooms contain a chemical called DBL which is a powerful antioxidant that may protect brain cells against Parkinson’s disease or other types of cellular stress.
Other herbs that support brain health
When using medicinal mushroom extracts to support brain health, you’ll get an even bigger boost by using natural herbs that work on different pathways to improve memory, focus, and health aging. Several herbal supplements stand out as nootropics include ginkgo biloba, ashwagandha, and rhodiola rosea, which all work to reduce the negative effects of stress on the brain.
One of the easiest ways to support brain health is by taking a supplement that contains multiple nootropic mushrooms extracts and herbs. Our Focus Performance blend features cordyceps and lion’s mane extracts, ashwagandha, and ginkgo biloba, intelligently formulated to help you perform at your highest level.
International Journal of Molecular Science, Protective effects of Hericium erinaceus mycelium and its isolated erinacine A against ischemia-injury-induced neuronal cell death via the inhibition of iNOS/p38 MAPK and nitrotyrosine