Do Reishi Mushrooms Help With Adrenal Fatigue?
Reishi mushrooms are a type of apoptogenic functional mushroom that supposedly has several benefits. Can they be used to reduce and prevent symptoms of adrenal fatigue?
Updated April 14, 2023.
Your adrenal glands produce a variety of hormones that are functional to healthy living. Although the term "adrenal fatigue" is not an accepted term to be diagnosed with, it can help describe the possible situation that some experience called "adrenal insufficiency."
It's important to understand that the theory behind adrenal fatigue is not proven as subtle changes in the capabilities of the adrenal glands are not so easy to be picked up by blood tests. Essentially, the theory suggests that repeated exposure to stress causes elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can reduce the adrenal gland's capabilities. This causes cortisol levels to be lower than is necessary for normal bodily function, resulting in symptoms such as:
- Depression and anxiety
- Overuse of caffeine and other stimulants
- Poor stress response
- Brain fog
How Can Reishi Mushrooms Affect Cortisol?
Reishi mushrooms, and many other functional mushrooms, are referred to as adaptogenic, which means that they can help the body deal with stress responses. In fact, research has shown that adaptogens can help with adrenal fatigue in a number of ways:
- Adaptogens can increase the effectiveness of adrenal gland secretion, which can prevent excess cortisol production.
- Adaptogens can increase the rate at which cortisol is broken down into inactive compounds.
- Adaptogens can "increase cellular energy levels and prevent oxidative damages, leading to the maintenance of normal adrenal function."
A Final Thought
Functional mushrooms are often revered for their benefits to the immune system, but as more research is being carried out, scientists are finding more and more benefits. Even though the term "adrenal fatigue" is a controversial diagnosis without much proof behind the theory, the symptoms that can manifest due to excessive stress are very real. It appears that the adaptogenic capabilities of Reishi and other functional mushrooms can be very beneficial in dealing with the symptoms associated with depleted adrenal functioning, as well as in the prevention of these symptoms.