6 Chaga Mushroom Benefits for Wellness

Mushrooms are a delicious addition to many meals but they aren’t only touted for flavor. Chaga mushroom has been used for centuries in Russia, Northern Europe, and Asia to help improve wellness. The dark, woody-appearing fungus is mostly found on the back of birch bark in cold-climates. Typically ground in powder and consumed as a tea or in capsules, chaga has been growing in popularity in Western culture especially among health-conscious consumers.

Rich in antioxidants, chaga is considered a nutrient-dense superfood with many unique properties. What are some of the top chaga mushroom benefits? Read on to find out.

Chaga Boosts Immune System Function

With more people concerned about spreading viruses than ever before, chaga has become an important tool for many with regards to increasing immunity. Chaga has the ability to promote the creation of beneficial cytokines within white blood cells, which are essential for battling infection. As the first line of defense against illness, increasing their presence is a great way to stay healthy. Chaga is also chock full of antioxidants known to promote immune system function.

Chaga Could Help Fight Inflammation

In addition to assisting with the growth of “good” cytokines, chaga also helps stop production of harmful cytokines that cause inflammation. This is thanks to the compounds betulinic acid, inotodial, and estrogel peroxide all found within chaga. By regulating cytokines within the body, the mushroom is often recommended for people struggling with conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or other autoimmune disorders.

Chaga May Lower Cholesterol

Cardiovascular disease continues to be a serious and widespread condition, especially in the United States. Fortunately, research suggests that chaga may assist in battling both. One eight-week study saw chaga reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol as well as overall cholesterol and triglycerides in mice. Subsequent research suggested the mushroom could also increase “good” cholesterol levels. Scientists theorize the presence of antioxidants are behind the mushroom’s effects on these levels.

Chaga Also Helps Reduce Blood Sugar

Chaga has also shown promise in fighting diabetes. In a study involving obese mice, the mushroom had more success in lowering blood sugar and insulin resistance compared with mice who did not receive the compound. Another study showed a chaga leading to a 31% decrease in blood sugar over a three-week period in mice. While further testing needs to be completed to determine chaga’s efficacy in helping humans with diabetes, the preliminary results are promising.

Chaga May Prevent and Treat Cancer

There are many anti-cancer compounds found in the natural world. This mushroom has long been considered a powerful tool against tumor activity, so much so that it’s referred to as “kreftkjuke” in Norway, which literally translates to “cancer fungus.” There has been a decent amount of research into chaga’s abilities in this realm, at least in mice. One such study saw chaga supplements reduce tumor size by 60%.  Test tube studies have revealed similar results in human cells, preventing the growth of cancer in several types of human tissue.

Chaga Promotes Liver Function

Chaga has also shown promise as a treatment for certain liver conditions. A 2015 Korean study published in the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms revealed an extract made from the fungus protects liver tissue from damage caused by oxidation particularly from alcohol or certain drugs. Additionally, the outer layer of chaga contains high amounts of sclerotium, an antioxidant praised for its liver-protectant abilities. 

Chaga Health Benefits — Something for Everyone

As more attention is paid to the multitude of wellness abilities of mushrooms, there will certainly be more research conducted into how they interact with the human body. While current studies remain somewhat limited, the results are indeed fascinating especially as society shifts toward an increased demand for natural alternatives to Western medicine. 

Chaga specifically has long been used for wellness purposes in Northern Europe and parts of Asia but has only recently grown in popularity in North America. Touted for its potential benefits throughout the body (from boosting immune system function to fighting cancer), this fungus is rich in free radical preventing antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals perfect for meeting a variety of health goals. While the mushroom has been trusted by homeopathic professionals for centuries, it’s always a good idea to discuss its use with a primary care physician prior to beginning a regimen. If given the clear, chaga could become an integral part of your daily health practice.

4 Fascinating Benefits of Lion’s Mane Mushrooms

Lion’s Mane or Hericium erinaceus is an edible mushroom that can be identified by its white color, globe shape, and long dangling spines. It’s most often consumed in dietary supplements for its potentially beneficial properties or in gourmet dishes where the fruiting body is utilized for its lobster-like flavor. 

While more high-quality clinical research into Lion’s Mane is still needed, animal studies and some clinical data suggest it may offer a trove of benefits for heart health, reduced inflammation, and improved cognitive function, among others. Learn more about the latest findings and ways in which these fungi may impact your health with our list of the four biggest Lion’s Mane benefits.

Brain Health

Lion’s Mane mushrooms contain hericenones and erinacines, two compounds known for their neurotrophic properties. A study published in 2013 found that these two compounds, when isolated from the medicinal mushroom Hericium erinaceus, were shown to induce nerve growth factor synthesis in nerve cells. 

The implications of these findings could lead to more research for Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease patients who could benefit greatly from a natural method to promote growth and form new connections in the brain. In animal studies using behavioral pharmacological methods including the Y-maze test and the novel-object recognition test, mane mushroom extracts were shown to prevent impairments of spatial short-term and visual recognition memory.

Digestive Health

Stomach ulcers affect 4.6 million Americans annually, with H pylori infections accounting for 70-90 percent of gastric ulcers and 90 percent of duodenal ulcers. While Lion’s Mane has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat chronic superficial gastritis, we still don’t completely understand the pharmaceutical mechanism behind its effects. However, in laboratory studies, researchers have determined that Lion’s Mane ethanol extracts are able to prevent the growth of H pylori, a bacterium that’s especially adept at penetrating the stomach’s mucous lining to establish an infection.

In an animal study published in 2017 involving rats, researchers suggest that the fungi can be applied as a protective agent in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome thanks to its ability to promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria and improve the host’s immunity.

Heart Health

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women, affecting most racial and ethnic groups in America. While there are many factors that contribute to poor heart health, obesity and atherosclerosis are especially damaging. 

One study involving mice found that including Hericium erinaceus extract with a high-fat diet over 28 days improved lipid metabolism resulting in a significant decrease in body weight gain, fat weight, and serum and hepatic triacylglycerol levels. On average, weight gain was 42 percent lower in the Lion’s Mane treated mice than in the control group.

In a 2014 study investigating the build-up of fats, cholesterol, and other substances in the artery, walls, researchers concluded that Lion’s Mane “possesses prowess” for preventing low-density lipoprotein — something that’s been strongly suggested as the key factor in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. Their findings could help medical researchers in preventing oxidative stress-induced atherosclerotic pathogenesis, a significant step for the millions of people suffering from cardiovascular complications and strokes.

Mental Health

In 2020, researchers at the University of Hong Kong’s School of Biomedical Sciences critically reviewed the existing pre-clinical data and limited clinical trials on the Therapeutic Potential of Hericium erinaceus for Depressive Disorder. 

  • A 2010 clinical study exploring the effects of Lion’s Mane for menopause, depression, and sleep quality in women showed promising results. Participants ingested cookies containing 0.5 g of fruit body powder for four weeks and reported the treatment alleviated symptoms of anxiety, depression, frustration, and palpitation.
  • A 2019 clinical study examined the effects of H. erinaceus on anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and sleep issues with 77 overweight or obese subjects. Participants ingested three capsules containing 80 percent mycelium extract and 20 percent fruiting body extract daily for two months. Researchers found. They concluded that Lion’s Mane “significantly reduced depression and anxiety,” with participants also reporting improvement on sleep disorders after the eight-week regime.  

Based on current findings, researchers at the University of Hong Kong were able to conclude that “H. erinaceus significantly ameliorates depressive disorder through monoaminergic modulation, neurogenic/neurotrophic, and anti-inflammatory pathways, indicating the potential role of H. erinaceus as a complementary and alternative medicine for the treatment of depression.” While the research noted is far from conclusive, it does serve as a strong indicator that Lion’s Mane may be a viable option for alleviating the symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Lion’s Mane Benefits — Final Thoughts

While high-quality clinical studies on Lion’s Mane are still lacking, the results from what’s been published so far certainly warrant more rigorous research. In order for the health benefits and side effects of Hericium erinaceus to become fully understood, we need robust clinical trials and approval by agencies such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Always seek medical advice from a licensed healthcare provider before making any changes to your health regime. 

Understanding Lion's Mane Effects on the Brain

Understanding Lion’s Mane Effects on the Brain

Lion’s Mane or Hericium erinaceus mushrooms have a long history of use in traditional Chinese medicine to treat, cure, or prevent digestive issues. However, recent research into the fungi’s bioactive compounds is demonstrating great potential for preventing and treating brain and nerve health-related issues. While this early research is still very limited, it’s making the popular culinary mushroom with seafood-like flavor a strong candidate in promoting positive brain and nerve health-related activities.

Does Lion’s Mane Effect the Brain?

Lion’s Mane is believed to affect the brain’s nerve cells through its ability to induce the nerve growth factor (NFG). As the name implies, NFG plays a role in the growth, maintenance, proliferation, and survival of nerve cells or neurons — and your brain has approximately 80 billion nerve cells.

In fact, Lion’s Mane mushrooms and extracts have demonstrated the ability to reduce symptoms of memory loss in animal studies as well as prevent the neural damage caused by amyloid-beta plaques, which are known to accumulate in the brains of patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

In 2009, researchers investigated the brain health of Japanese men and women with ages ranging from 50-80 who’ve been diagnosed with mild cognitive impartment. Half of the 30 participants were given four 250 mg tablets containing 96 percent Lion’s Mane mushroom dry powder three times a day for 16 weeks and observed for four more weeks. The published study found that the Lion’s Mane group showed significantly increased scores on the cognitive function scale compared with the placebo group, with no adverse side effects. The findings of this relatively small study show that Lion’s Mane was effective in improving mild cognitive impairment.

To date, most of our research has been limited to animal studies and test tubes in laboratory settings. While the findings are promising, we certainly need more research before we definitely claim that Hericium erinaceus is an appropriate treatment for brain health-related issues.

What Makes Lion’s Mane Unique?

To understand how Hericium erinaceus may be used as a preventative measure or to help treat patients with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, researchers have been focusing on the fungi’s unique biologically active compounds, specifically, hericenones and erinacines — two natural substances isolated from Hericium erinaceus. To date, only erinacine A has confirmed pharmacological actions in the central nervous system in rats, but it has been shown potent stimulating activity of nerve growth factor synthesis in laboratory settings.

In a study published in 2014, researchers investigated whether Hericium erinaceus and isolated Erinacine A could function as an anti-inflammatory with neuroprotective properties for stroke victims. High doses of Lion’s Mane extract were given to rats immediately after a stroke, successfully reducing the inflammation and size of their stroke-related brain injuries by 44 percent. The study was able to conclude that the treatment does offer neuroprotective effects after ischemic brain injury, scavenge free radicals, and inhibit inflammation. These findings paint Lion’s Mane as a promising agent to help with neuroprotection, which may reduce ischemic brain damage.

Potential Side Effects

While there are no human studies that have examined the side effects of Lion’s Mane mushrooms or extracts, they are available for sale in their natural form at many grocery stores for cooking or health food retailers in dietary supplement form. If you’re sensitive or allergic to other mushrooms, you should avoid Lion’s Mane, as there have been documented cases of breathing difficulty and skin rashes after exposure to the product — both of which are likely related to an allergic reaction.

In a 2016 animal study using rats to evaluate the potentially toxic effects of the extract when orally administered, researchers concluded that “ that oral administration of HEAE is safe up to 1000mg/kg and H. erinaceus consumption is relatively non-toxic.”

Lion’s Mane Benefits — Final Thoughts

High-quality clinical studies to investigate how Lion’s Mane mushrooms, Hericium erinaceus extracts, or isolated compounds such as erinacine A may affect the human brain are still needed, but the published results from limited animal studies and in vitro experiments are very promising. As with any changes to your diet or wellness regimen, it’s always a good idea to seek advice from a licensed medical provider. But for aging patients whose brains struggle to maintain or form new connections, the future may one day become much better thanks to the natural ingredients contained in this fascinating fungi.

Lion's Mane Benefits for Digestive Health

Lion’s Mane mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) is used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat digestive health issues related to inflammation of the lining of the stomach, such as chronic superficial gastritis. People may choose to eat raw mushrooms or opt for extracts, powders, or dietary supplements.

In small laboratory and animal studies, researchers exploring digestive health have demonstrated Lion Mane’s potential to protect against ulcerative colitis, prevent the growth of H pylori, promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, and improve the host’s immune system. However, these studies are limited in their scope, and robust clinical trials are still needed to support their findings. Read on to learn more about the current research into Lion’s Mane’s benefits for digestive health.

Preventing H pylori and Ulcers

As many as 4.6 million Americans suffer from painful stomach ulcers each year, often affecting the esophagus, stomach, or small intestine. Many of these sores occur as a result of stomach acid damaging the mucous lining of the digestive tract, which is typically caused by bacteria or over-the-counter pain relievers including aspirin.

The spiral bacterium H pylori are responsible for approximately 70-90 percent of gastric ulcers and 90 percent of all duodenal ulcers. This bacterium is believed to have evolved in order to penetrate the stomach’s mucous lining where it is able to establish an infection. While the infection does not always have symptoms, it has been known to cause gastritis (stomach inflammation) and ulcers in the stomach and the first part of the small intestine. The infection is also associated with the development of certain cancers occurring in less than 20 percent of cases.

In a 2013 study published in the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences evaluated the effects of extracts prepared from the fruiting bodies Lion’s Mane mushroom against H pylori infections. Their published findings suggest that Hericium erinaceus is able to inhibit the growth of H. pylori in vitro (test tube) settings. In the same experiment, researchers were also able to show that Hericium erinaceus inhibits Staphylococcus aureus or staph infections. However, further research is still needed to identify the pharmaceutical mechanism of these mushrooms.

Promoting beneficial gut bacteria

According to Harvard researchers, as many as 100 trillion bacteria, both beneficial and harmful, live inside your digestive system. “This is a new frontier of medicine, and many are looking at the gut microbiota as an additional organ system,” says Dr. Elizabeth Hohmann, a staff physician in the infectious diseases division at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.

In an animal study published in 2017, researchers investigated whether Lion’s Mane is clinically effective in alleviating inflammatory bowel disease (IBS) through the regulation of gut bacteria. Using rats as subjects, they reported that the structure of gut microbiota of the H. erinaceus extracts-treated groups “changed significantly” when compared with the control group. The researchers concluded that the extracts could work to promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, showing clinical potential in relieving IBS by regulating gut microbiota.

Improving Immunity

A 2017 study published in the journal Food & Function investigated the immunomodulating activity of Hericium erinaceus in mice. Researchers were able to show that Lion’s Mane mushroom-derived polysaccharides were able to improve immune function by enhancing cell-mediated and humoral immunity, or the activity of the intestinal immune system. This improved activity works to better protect the body from pathogens that enter the digestive tract through the nose and mouth.

A separate animal study published in 2017 in the journal Frontier in Immunology suggested that small-molecule proteins extracted from the fruiting body of Lion’s Mane could be useful for immunotherapy. Researchers noted that the protein treatment could improve the immune system in a prebiotic role — regulating the composition of gut bacteria and stimulating a vital immune process that is essential for T cell immune response triggering.

Finally, a 2012 animal study demonstrated that Lion’s Mane extracts taken daily were able to nearly quadruple the lifespan of mice injected with a lethal dose of salmonella bacteria. According to researchers, the extract-treated cells showed greater activity against the bacteria than the control group’s cells. The results from this limited study suggest that the mushroom extract activities against bacterial infection may occur through the activation of the subject’s innate immune cells, another compelling argument for its consumption.

Final Thoughts

Unfortunately, high-quality clinical trials on the efficacy of Lion’s Mane to prevent and treat health issues related to the human digestive tract are still lacking, but the published findings from the limited in vitro and animal studies warrant further research. If you’re suffering from any digestive-related issues and are considering Lion’s Mane, always seek medical advice from a licensed healthcare provider before making any changes to your health regime.

Best Mushrooms For Brain Health

Mushrooms are fascinating organisms that have existed on this planet since the beginning of time. Used both in the culinary and wellness realms for almost as long, fungi run the gamut of both flavor and effect. In terms of medicinal mushrooms, the compounds have been touted for their perceived abilities for everything from digestive health to immune system function.

Certain fungi may also have a dramatic effect on cognitive function. But which are the best mushrooms for brain health? Read on to find out.

Mushrooms for Brain Health – A Brief Overview

There are thousands of varieties of mushrooms in the natural world, with several unique species represented. Research on which specific mushrooms boost brain health remains somewhat limited but typically focuses on three types: reishi, cordyceps, and lion’s mane (more on them later). However, it turns out even commonly used culinary mushrooms like oyster and shiitake could bode well for our brains.

Researchers at the University of Singapore recently found increased mushroom consumption may protect the brain from decline. The six-year study followed 663 Chinese adults over the age of 60, revealing those who ate mushrooms as part of their regular diet twice a week performed better on cognitive function tests and processed information faster than those who only had one serving per week or less. The correlation is surprising and encouraging, with scientists eager to continue exploring how the unique antioxidants in mushrooms could impact efforts to prevent conditions like dementia.

Now let’s explore how the three mushrooms mentioned earlier (reishi, cordyceps, and lion’s mane) may boost brain health.

Reishi — The “Mushroom of Immortality”

Ganoderma mushrooms, typically referred to by their Japanese name reishi, was nicknamed “the mushroom of immortality” thanks to its multitude of perceived benefits. One of the most interesting abilities lies in its neuroprotective properties. A 2012 study published in the journal Neuropharmacology found reishi extract promotes the production of nerve growth factor, an important protein for peak neurological performance. While this research was conducted on mice, it can be deduced the compound would serve a similar purpose in humans.

Cordyceps — A Rare and Powerful Fungus

Cordyceps is not technically a mushroom, but it is a fungus. Typically found on certain types of caterpillars in Himalayan mountains (making it exceedingly hard to come by), most commercial cordyceps are synthesized in labs at scale. Highly desired for its myriad of potential health benefits, this compound has revealed itself to be an excellent aid for cognitive function. A 2018 Chinese study suggests cordyceps improved learning and memory in mice by destroying oxygen free radicals and thus preventing oxidative damage.

Another study published in the Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences showed the compound helps protect the brain’s hippocampus and may be a beneficial treatment for certain neuroinflammatory conditions. These studies have encouraged researchers to continue to examine the possibilities cordyceps may have in preventing and treating such issues.

Lion’s Mane — The Brain’s Best Friend

If there’s one mushroom that seems to be most impactful on neurological health, it’s lion mane. This superhero fungi has been shown time and time again to boost brain function and help protect the organ from future damage. In mice, the compound has decreased memory loss and prevented the build-up of amyloid-beta plaques known to lead to Alzheimer’s, according to research.

In humans, lion’s mane has also indicated promise. A survey of older adults with mild cognitive impairment showed those who took three grams of powdered lion’s mane mushroom daily for four months had increased mental function. Scientists believe lion’s mane abilities come from the presence of hericenones and erinacines, two compounds known to stimulate brain cell growth.

Mushrooms For Brain Health — Final Thoughts

Mushrooms are a fantastic dietary source of a wide range of compounds known to have a positive impact on brain health. Many of these, such as lion’s mane, cordyceps, and reishi, may also have an effect on cognitive decline, helping prevent devastating conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. While more research is needed to cement these findings, the current research is indeed promising. Beginning a mushroom regimen may help boost brain function, but always consult with your primary care provider for medical advice prior to starting.

Microdosing Benefits

Microdosing Benefits

Humans have been consuming mushrooms since our evolution over 7 million years ago. The spiritual, medicinal, and recreational use of activated mushrooms is an ancient practice that dates back thousands of years. Prior to 1971, scientists were engaged in avid research about the benefits and potential of activated mushrooms. After decades of work to destigmatize the practice, scientists and advocates are conducting new research. In recent years, the medicinal and therapeutic use of activated mushrooms has grown in popularity. 

In particular, the practice of microdosing, or taking small doses of activated mushrooms, is trending throughout entire communities. In Silicon Valley, many programmers microdose activated mushrooms to enhance their creativity, energy, focus, and critical thinking. Online microdosing communities have grown exponentially in the last few years. Over 40,000 users subscribe to the microdosing subreddit on Reddit.com. 

What is a Microdose?

A microdose is generally considered a dose between 5 and 10 percent of a standard dose. The purpose of microdosing is to bring about the benefits observed with a full dose without the full experience. Microdosing frequency is different for everyone, some dose daily and some dose weekly. The practice is most commonly repeated every 3 to 4 days. 

Those who microdose do it for a variety of reasons. Those who microdose have found relief and improvement in their mental, physical, spiritual, social wellbeing. Some people microdose to increase their energy, some to find peace, and some to enhance their creativity. Because the benefits reported by those who microdose are so numerous, the diversity of the microdosing community continues to grow. 

What are the Benefits of Microdosing?

The intake of activated mushrooms primarily affects the serotonin in the human brain. Serotonin is a chemical messenger that helps with mood stabilization, cognition, sleeping, eating, and other physiological processes. Currently, scientists hypothesize that microdosing can improve the functionality of serotonin in the brain, as well as increase neuroplasticity, which may explain microdosers’ reports of improved outlooks and overall wellbeing. 

Most of the official research on activated mushroom use was conducted before 1970 and focused on full-dose studies. The colloquial popularity of microdosing has inspired further research. Rotem Petranker is a leader in the scientific exploration of microdosing activated mushrooms and determined to expand the limited research on the practice. Currently, he is conducting a placebo-controlled study to substantiate the reported benefits of microdosing effects. In his previous research, published in 2019, Petranker developed a codebook of microdosing benefits and challenges. Most participants reported no challenges or negative side effects aside from illegality. Over 90 percent of participants reported improved mood, over half reported reduced anxiety, and a vast majority of participants reported improvements in their physiological health. 

This study revealed a wide array of perceived benefits from microdosing. In addition to the previously mentioned benefits, participants reported improved focus and energy, cognitive and creative enhancement, increases in self-efficacy, reduced symptoms, and increased social capabilities. Other studies across the globe are also being conducted to learn about the effects of microdosing activated mushrooms on people with a variety of conditions. At Johns Hopkins, scientists are focusing on how activated mushrooms affect behavior, mood, cognition, brain function, and biological health. Through their research, the team hopes to uncover the potentially activated mushrooms have to help with Alzheimer’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome, eating disorders, and opioid, nicotine, and alcohol addiction. 

Microdosing Benefits – Final Thoughts

According to anecdotal testimony, microdosing activated mushrooms may help people relieve a variety of negative symptoms and enhance an array of positive human attributes. Those who microdose have reported increases in happiness, sense of peace, optimism, appreciation of life, spiritual insight, extraversion, and empathy, as well as a reduction in fear. Microdosing enables the consumer to unlock the benefits of activated mushrooms in an approachable way. 

As the practice of microdosing continues to grow in popularity, scientific research will continue expanding alongside it. Activated mushrooms offer incredible potential and may provide powerful abilities for future society as we develop further research. In fact, in November 2020, findings were published in Neurotherapeutics through an exploratory controlled study that provides preliminary evidence that activated mushrooms provide long-lasting therapeutic benefits to migraine sufferers. 

Stamets Stack

Stamets Stack

Microdosing activated mushrooms has increased in popularity as of late, thanks to the wide array of possible health benefits. One figure at the center is Paul Stamets, an expert who recommends “stacking” activated mushrooms with other compounds to maximize their potential. But who is Paul Stamets and what is a stack? How is it done? Read on to find out!

Who is Paul Stamets?

Revered and esteemed mycologist Paul Stamets is an entrepreneur in the use of activated mushrooms. In 1980, Stamets founded Fungi Perfecti to build the bridge between people and fungi. The organization engages in cutting-edge mycological research and innovative mycological solutions. Paul Stamets has written six books on activated mushrooms, and the research team at Fungi Perfecti conducts numerous studies on the effects of activated mushrooms. 

In an interview with Joe Rogan, Stamets described the basis for his mycology work. He states that 650 million years ago, humans separated from Fungi. He continues, explaining that primates share more common ancestry with fungi than any other kingdom. Like humans, fungi take in oxygen and produce carbon dioxide. Our best anti-biotics, like Penicillin, come from fungi because humans and fungi are susceptible to the same bacteria. Stamets hopes to find a way to interface with mushrooms in order to develop rapid responses to catastrophe, just as fungi have done for over a billion years. “We need to engage our fungal allies,” says Stamets. 

Stamets believes humanity is engaged in the sixth Major Extinction on Earth and that microdosing can help humanity make its next quantum leap in consciousness. He calls the process of brain evolution through activated mushroom use epigenetic neurogenesis. 

What is the Paul Stamets Stack?

Stamets proposes a stack method for microdosing activated mushrooms. The “Stamets Stack Formula” consists of .5-1 gram of activated mushrooms, 5-20 grams of Lion’s Mane mushroom, and 100-200 milligrams of Niacin (vitamin B3). Traditionally, activated mushrooms are dosed every 3 to 4 days, but Stamets suggests each person is different and may find different dose schedules and amounts work better for them. 

The activated mushroom strain designated in Stamets’ Stack Formula contains the same amount of active ingredients that were present in the activated mushrooms used in the 1960s to treat people for conditions like anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD). Each capsule of Lion’s Mane contains a half gram of dried fruiting bodies and mycelium, which gets converted to active ingredients upon consumption. Combined with the Niacin, Stamets purports the three elements create a catalytic and synergistic effect, helping the brain renew and expand. 

Stacking Synergy – How the Components Work Together

The Stamets Stack in a nootropic PSI-Vitamin Complex designed for epigenetic neurogenesis; increased creativity, cognition, and wellbeing. Lion’s Mane and activated mushrooms have a complementary relationship to one another, creating what Stamets refers to as the ultimate elixir. Combining the two, according to Stamets, creates a dual capacity for the production of new neurons and neural pathways, as well as repairing present neurological damage. 


Niacin promotes the deliverability of the microdose. Because Niacin works as a flushing agent and acts as a neurotransmitter, it helps distribute the activated mushroom molecules across the blood-brain barrier. Stamets proposes the combination of compounds can be incorporated into other therapies providing unique solutions for medically significant advancements in health, cognition, agility, and the ecology of consciousness. 

Stamets Stack – Final Thoughts

Stamets and Fungi Perfecti continue to collaborate, learn, and conduct microdosing research alongside the global community. It is Stamets’ mission to use policies, technologies, and holistic solutions for the sake of our life support systems. He believes that mushrooms offer powerful, practical solutions that can be put into practice immediately. Stamets believes in both the individual and collective power of activated mushroom therapy. 

Introduction to Microdosing

Introduction to Microdosing

Psychedelics have been utilized for a variety of spiritual, medicinal, and recreational purposes for thousands of years throughout the world. Ancient shamans, Aztec warriors, and even Daoist leaders utilized these compounds to deploy mystic powers. Modern Silicon Valley tech innovators have touted entheogens for their ability to boost creativity and focus – even Apple co-founder Steve Jobs considered a journeying to be more of the most profound and important experiences of his life.

However, it turns out consuming even small amounts of compounds like activated mushrooms may have benefits. Also referred to as microdosing, this practice is becoming more prevalent as people from all walks of life wish to unlock the potentials the ingredients have without the overt effects. But how exactly does microdosing work, and how does one go about starting a regimen? Read on to find out.

What is a Microdose?

As briefly mentioned above, microdosing is the act of taking a tiny amount of a substance (in this case, activated mushrooms) in order to gain certain benefits without entering into a full “experience.” People who microdose are able to go about their days without entering into a pronounced experience. The microdose is just enough to trigger a response from the body but should not cause the user to be fully impacted.

A typical microdose is usually a fraction of a normal “recreational” dose. For activated mushrooms, a microdose would be between 0.05 – 0.3 grams. People may choose to microdose every few days or even every day depending on their desired outcomes.

Benefits of Microdosing

The act of microdosing allows the consumer to unlock the powerful abilities of an entheogen in an approachable way. People may microdose for a variety of reasons, but the practice has been shown to have incredible potential in several areas. Here are a few notable examples:

  • Anxiety and depression – Several studies and anecdotal reports have suggested microdosing activated mushrooms may help reduce symptoms of mental health conditions. Anxiety is one of the leading reasons why people consider beginning regimens along with the potential of improved mood.
  • Chronic pain – Microdosing for chronic pain is also becoming more prevalent. Research published in Neurotherapeutics found even a single dose of activated mushrooms has the ability to provide relief from migraines.
  • Mental focus and creativity – One of the most sought-after benefits of microdosing, a large-scale survey recently revealed people who engage in the practice felt happier, had more energy and focus, and felt their creativity was enhanced. 
  • Addiction – Research into the capabilities of microdosing for the treatment of addiction has increased, and preliminary studies conducted in the 1950s and 1960s showed promise. The founder of Alcoholics Anonymous previously touted the theory, saying it impacted his own recovery greatly.

Paul Stamets Method – Stacking for Superior Results

Famed mycologist Paul Stamets is revered around the world for his research into activated mushrooms. His company, Fungi Perfecti, is dedicated to helping people understand and curate their regimens based on his own successes. The Paul Stamets stack is a blend of three compounds meant to maximize results for those wishing to incorporate microdosing into their lives. 

Stamets recommends consuming 0.2 grams each of activated mushroom, lion’s mane mushroom, and niacin together. According to his theory, the nootropic properties of the lion’s mane will complement the activated mushroom while the niacin will help the other two ingredients flow through the body better via the central nervous system.

Stamets’ method has become the gold standard in microdosing, and a large study of people engaging in the practice is currently underway. Users self-report their experiences in an app in order both track their own results and offer insight to scientists hoping to understand the ways in which microdosing affects physical and emotional health. This data could eventually be used to develop plant medicines and treatments for a wide range of conditions as interest in the compounds grows.

Final Thoughts

Activated compounds offer incredible potential but are still being studied in order to truly understand how they work – and how they could shape our lives in the future. Microdosing for wellness purposes is a growing practice, offering those who engage the chance to harness the wide range of abilities activated compounds possess without the pronounced effects often associated with a larger dose. As interest in microdosing continues to grow, so too will the amount of research in order to develop effective and consistent products meant to make the practice accessible to a wider range of consumers. When considering a microdosing regimen, make sure to discuss any health concerns with your primary care provider to ensure it’s safe to carry on.