Mushrooms may not be the first ingredient that comes to mind when it comes to ingredients that fight wrinkles, boost memory, and even extend your life span. We’re not talking about the mushrooms on your pizza. Medicinal mushrooms including lion’s mane mushrooms and less known ones like antrodia mushrooms are the hot new ingredient in many beauty and health products.

Here are five medicinal mushrooms you should be using to fight aging:

1. Antrodia Mushrooms
Antrodia shows great promise as an ingredient in wrinkle creams or facial sunscreens. When applied topically to the skin, antrodia can reduce inflammation, breakdown of collagen in the skin, and water loss in skin exposed to the sun. [1] Antrodia can also be taken as a supplement, and has been used in Chinese medicine for fighting many types of cancer including lung, liver, and breast cancer. [2,3]

2. Reishi Mushrooms
Known as the “Queen of mushrooms” reishi can be applied to the skin topically or eaten as a supplement. Reishi skincare products are full of antioxidants including ergothioneine and glutathione that stop free radial formation and prevent premature aging from sun exposure.

Reishi has another nickname, the “mushroom of immortality,” and for good reason. Reishi is known to increase the length of your lifespan, as well as the quality of life in your senior years. Reishi contains many unique chemicals including polysaccharides and triterpenes that protect your DNA from oxidative stress, preventing aging and cancer. [4] Reishi even turns on the gene called daf-16 that increases lifespan in species from worms to humans. [5]

3. Lion’s Mane Mushrooms
Lion’s mane is world-renowned for its effects on the brain and its ability to boost cognitive function in seniors. Two chemicals in lion’s mane, erinacines and hericenones, boost production of nerve growth factor (NGF) in the brain, which boosts brain cell growth and repair. Numerous polysaccharides and triterpenes in lion’s mane improve memory and even motor function in aging mice. [6]

4. Cordyceps Mushrooms
Cordyceps mushroom is revered in Chinese medicine as an anti-aging herb. It contains numerous chemicals that act as antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, which keep the brain healthy as it ages. Cordyceps reduces oxidative stress in the brain and improves memory [7]. These mushrooms also improve the way the body and brain use oxygen during exercise, which can help you stay fit and mobile as you get older. [8,9]

5. King Trumpet Mushrooms
King trumpet mushrooms are also known as king oyster mushrooms, and are a great addition to soups, pastas, and even salads. King trumpets can also be taken as a dietary supplement in the form of powders and capsules. They contain a protein called PEP that reduces inflammation and growth of colon cancer cells. [10,11]

King Trumpet are also full of ergothioneine, a master antioxidant that can fight free radical damage and oxidative stress, making it a potent mushroom for fighting aging and inflammation. While all mushrooms, including white button mushrooms, have some levels of ergothioneine, king trumpet mushrooms have much higher levels than other varieties.

Mushrooms are an amazing way to fight aging. To get the full health benefits of medicinal mushrooms like lion’s mane and reishi, it’s best to use a supplement like Spore’s Mike’s Mushroom Mix that includes ten of the most powerful medicinal mushrooms.

1. Kuo YH, Lin TY, You YJ, Wen KC, Sung PJ, Chiang HM. Antiinflammatory and Antiphotodamaging Effects of Ergostatrien-3β-ol, Isolated from Antrodia camphorata, on Hairless Mouse Skin. Molecules. 2016 Sep 10;21(9):1213.
2. Long, Huei; Hu, Chi-Tan; Prijatelj, Vesna Weng, Ching-Feng. Antrodia cinnamomea is a potentially effective complementary medicine for adjuvant therapy against breast cancer with bone metastasis, Medicine: July 02, 2020 – Volume 99 – Issue 27.
3. Huang, TT., Lan, YW., Chen, CM. et al. Antrodia cinnamomea induces anti-tumor activity by inhibiting the STAT3 signaling pathway in lung cancer cells. Sci Rep 2019;9:5145.
4. Wang J, Cao B, Zhao H, Feng J. Emerging Roles of Ganoderma Lucidum in Anti-Aging. Aging Dis. 2017;8(6):691-707.
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9. Yi, X., Xi-zhen, H. & Jia-shi, Z. Randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial and assessment of fermentation product of Cordyceps sinensis (Cs-4) in enhancing aerobic capacity and respiratory function of the healthy elderly volunteers. Chin. J. Integr. Med. 2004;10:187–192.
10. Yuan B., Ma N., Zhao L., Zhao E., Gao Z., Wang W., Song M., Zhang G., Hu Q., Xiao H. (2017). In Vitro and In Vivo Inhbitory Effects of a Pleurotus eryngii Protein on Colon Cancer Cells. Food and Function. 10.
11. H Q., Yuan B., Xiao H., Zhao L. Wu X., Rakariyatham K., Zhong L., Han Y., Muinde Kimatu B., Yang W. (2018). Polyphenols-Rich Extract From Pleurotus eryngii with Growth Inhibitoru of HCT116 Colon Cancer Cells and Anti-Inflammatory Function in RAW264.7 Cells. Food and Function. 9(3): 1601–1611.