Top ’Shrooms for Being Your Best Self

Mushrooms including shiitake, enoki, and chantarelles
Image by Azlin Bloor

’Shrooms are taking the world by spore.

No, not those ’shrooms.

If you haven’t dabbled in “functional” or “medicinal” mushrooms yet, let me be your guide.

There are tens of thousands of known mushroom species, some of which are toxic, some that are psychotropic, some that go nicely on a salad, and others that facilitate healing. If you’re anything like me, you grew up exclusively aware of the button mushrooms in the grocery aisle. Compared to the holistic mushrooms we’re about to dig into, that variety, also called “commercial mushrooms,” will start to feel like the butter lettuce of the mushroom world.

Functional mushrooms are powerful, adaptogenic superfoods that have been used in traditional medicine for centuries. And for good reason. Fungi provide our bodies with essential nutrients, just as they provide sustenance for the earth through their natural decomposition of organic materials. Plus, adaptogens restore balance and boost our body’s resilience against stressors.

If you’re lucky, you may find functional mushrooms at your local farmers market. However, they’re most available in powder form or extracts. Lately even mainstream stores, like Free People and Sephora, are joining the movement.

Now, let’s talk about the healing powers you can harness.

Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee


What can it do for me?

Turn to this supershroom to fight these villains: inflammation, free radicals, viral infections, and aging skin.

Where can I find it?

Four Sigmatic, a Finnish-founded medicinal mushroom company with a Shroom Room in Venice, Los Angeles, takes all the credit for my fervent foray into the ’shroom world.

This Four Sigmatic sampler pack contains mushroom coffees, hot cacaos, and elixirs. I recommend it to those seeking a delicious introduction to mushroom treats and an opportunity to taste-test what works for you. Plus, “elixir” just sounds magical!

Lion's Mane Dream Pop
Photo by @sn0ei

Lion’s Mane

What can it do for me?

Let’s get scientific for a second. This mushroom is considered a nootropic, contributing to neuroplasticity and mental clarity. That’s because it stimulates production of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF), a neuron-regenerating bioprotein that’s deficient in individuals with degenerative brain diseases. Also worth a try for potential anti-anxiety, memory-boosting, and creativity-sparking benefits!

Where can I find it?

My favorite source of lion’s mane is a 100% plant-based, geometric dessert called Dream Pops. Their Chocolate Lion flavor contains Lithuanian chocolate infused with almonds, coconut milk, and mushrooms (in this case, lion’s mane and porcini). Who knew savory ’shrooms could be such a sweet treat?

Since availability on these suckers is limited, why not make your own lion’s mane indulgences? Next time you whip up some nice cream, throw a little mushroom powder into the mix. I use the micronutrient-focused brand Om. For something simpler, I slip a serving size into my morning coffee alongside a spoonful of maca for extra energy.

Rebbl drink lineup


What can it do for me?

Still doubting the profound powers of fungi? Think of this guy like chamomile. As with calming herbal teas, I enjoy a good reishi elixir before bed. This ’shroom is said to be an immunity booster and inflammation buster. Just call it the “Divine Mushroom of Immortality.”

Where can I find it?

For a quick fix, try Rebbl’s reishi cocoa elixir or cold brew, both MCT-filled and adaptogen-powered. For something munchier, grab Purely Elizabeth’s Grain Free Bars. They’re “Powered by Reishi” and a great edible option without that earthy mushroom flavor (or slimy texture)!

Shiitake Turmeric tea


What can it do for me?

Meet your everyday hero. Because it’s packed with vitamins, shiitake shows evidence of aiding against a ton of ailments, from cancer to cardiovascular concerns to cholesterol. For those reducing or eliminating animal products from your diet, incorporate these fungi to get the same essential amino acids found in meat.

Where can I find it?

No fancy potion needed! Shiitake is a strong yet comfortable choice for the newbie if other mushrooms in this list feel too unfamiliar. You can usually find it in a grocery store. Simply sauté with garlic, parsley, and a medley of veggies, or incorporate it into your favorite recipes for a hint of umami.

The Mushroom Wellness line by Choice Organic Teas is also worth a try. Talk about eco-conscious. Their products are organic, Fair Trade Certified, and use environmentally friendly packaging. Enjoy their soothing Shiitake Turmeric blend, which also happens to contain reishi—bonus!

Moon Dust


What can it do for me?

Legend holds that Himalayan herders observed yaks grazing on a particular mushroom and becoming suddenly spirited. That mushroom is cordyceps. Unlike stimulants such as coffee, this adaptogen helps maintain consistent energy levels by increasing your cells’ ability to absorb oxygen and supporting your adrenals. Use it pre-workout to improve athletic performance and recovery time or as an anti-ager.

Where can I find it?

Love goop or hate it, Gwyneth Paltrow’s natural health company definitely put Moon Juice on the map, and I’m not mad about it. Moon Dust is described as “plant-sourced alchemy to nourish body, beauty, and consciousness.” The Full Moon sachets provide a sampler of the mushrooms in this article plus silver ear (or tremella) in the form of Spirit, Beauty, Brain, Edible Attraction, and Dream Dust. Get Power for your cordyceps fix.

Mushrooms also perform wonders as topical agents. Incorporate them into your skincare routine with this Origins Mega-Mushroom moisturizer. Dr. Weil’s mushroom lineup features cordyceps, reishi, and chaga, among other skin-soothing plant products.

Make sure the cordyceps you buy are cruelty-free. Although wild-harvested cordyceps are notoriously called “caterpillar fungus” and turn ghost moth larvae into corpses, modern brands often choose ethical growing over this parasitic process. Om grows theirs on organic oats, for instance. Note that all products in this article are vegan-friendly!

Farmers market mushrooms including tremella and lion's mane
Photo by @sn0ei

Now that you got the lowdown, go forth and experiment.

And remember: Always talk to your doctor, be aware of potential drug interactions, don’t consume foraged mushrooms without the guidance of an expert, and always, always look deeper to the root of any stressors you’re throwing powders at.

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Jessyca Marie is a publishing professional with editorial experience at the Guggenheim and Rubin Museum of Art. She served as Project Assistant for Bodies in Balance: The Art of Tibetan Medicine and has her poetry published in literary magazines. A triple Aquarius, her natal chart is overwhelmingly represented by the tarot's Star card, which informs her life purpose: creatively inspiring conscious living and soul fulfillment among all sharing the experience of this universe. In alignment with that vision, she serves Self Love Magic as a writer, editor, and QA analyst. Though she occasionally plays with words, she frequently guides others with theirs. Jessyca can be found scrawling the poetry of Sylvia Plath on Los Angeles walls in ultraviolet invisible ink.


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