Exploring medicinal mushrooms for heart health

There are thousands of species of mushrooms found throughout the world, but medicinal mushrooms are the species historically used in the traditional medicine practices of China and Japan. These traditional practices have been largely unchanged for thousands of years. They are based on the idea of ​​a vital life force and center around balancing opposing forces (internal and external, yin and yang) to maintain good health.

Although studies of traditional medicine practices are limited, it is estimated that one in five Americans use Chinese herbal products. Although these should not replace conventional, in Western medicine, health providers are open to considering the benefits of supplements to support evidence-based medicine.

As part of a preventative approach to health and wellness, mushroom supplements can support many of the body’s systems and promote their efficient functioning. This includes certain medicinal mushrooms for heart health. Easy to take and incorporate into your daily routine, these powerful superfoods deliver nutrients and more.

The importance of the circulatory system

Heart health is critical to our overall well-being. Consisting of the heart, arteries and veins, the circulatory system brings oxygen, nutrients, hormones and blood cells to every part of the body and removes waste. The health of our heart and blood vessels is affected by blood pressure, blood lipids and blood sugar. Lifestyle choices such as diet and exercise can affect heart health as can certain nutritional supplements.

Four medicinal mushrooms for heart health

Functional mushrooms generally support gut health with prebiotic fiber and the immune system with beta-glucan polysaccharides. They have antioxidant properties to fight oxidative stress. While there are multiple supports for overall health and wellness, there are also species-specific benefits for certain body systems.

Four medicinal mushroom species in particular can support heart health (in people without known heart problems) with their characteristic bioactive compounds. They are:


Reishi is one of the most well-known and researched medicinal mushrooms. In nature, it grows as a shelf or arm on trees in warm, humid areas of Asia and North America. It is also sustainably grown in toxin-free indoor environments. Hard and woody, reishi is usually dried and ground into a powder.

Reishi has been used for thousands of years in traditional Eastern medicine to increase energy, slow aging and extend life. It contains many bioactive compounds. Triterpenoids, polysaccharides and peptidoglycans are believed to influence its health properties. Reishi benefits for heart health may include:

  • Support for healthy blood pressure
  • Support for healthy cholesterol levels
  • Support for cellular energy in heart muscle

Although most of the research has been conducted in tissue culture or laboratory animals, these benefits enhance the traditional uses of reishi over the years.


Cordyceps is an unusual species of mushroom found in caterpillars at the higher altitudes of the Tibetan Plateau. Cordyceps was considered a tonic for all ailments because it helped maintain vigor and vitality. Fortunately, it has also been successfully cultivated in the US, which has increased access and ensured availability.

Cordyceps contains amino acids, fatty acids and abundant minerals, as well as the bioactive compounds adenosine and cordycepin. It is preferred by athletes who use it promote energy and endurance. While research studies are inconclusive, some evidence suggests heart health benefits, at least in animals:

  • Cordyceps has shown anti-fatigue effects in animal research.
  • Cordyceps had a protective effect in mice treated with cardiotoxic drugs.
  • In human trials, Cordyceps improved respiratory parameters and time until exhaustion.
  • Cordyceps improved fatigue tolerance in long distance runners.

Cordyceps supports ATP production and energy use during exercise and recovery After.


Maitake is another well-known culinary and medicinal mushroom known to support heart health. Although it can be found growing near the base of oak, elm and maple trees from Asia to North America, it is now routinely cultivated to ensure safety and purity. Maitake fresh or powdered can be used in recipes to add flavor and promote health benefits.

Maitake mushrooms contain antioxidants, beta-glucan polysaccharides, vitamins (B and C), minerals (copper and potassium), fiber and amino acids. They are prized for their support of healthy metabolic function. A healthy metabolism is key to maintaining heart health. While maitake may support healthy metabolic parameters, it should not replace medication or be used with medications without specific guidance from your doctor.


Shiitake have a meaty texture and woody flavor that makes them a popular culinary mushroom. They also have a long history of use in traditional medicine practices in Asia. Shiitake has been successfully cultivated in many countries both for culinary use and as a medicinal mushroom.

Shiitake is a good source of B vitamins and minerals, especially copper and selenium. They are high in dietary fiber and antioxidants and contain a compound that supports healthy cholesterol levels. Shiitake mushrooms may have a positive effect on heart health for people without known problems. Including regular servings or a shiitake supplement in your diet may provide some support for cardiovascular health.

Om mushrooms support heart health

AdaptogenShrooms Superfood cultivates high quality functional mushrooms to support a healthy lifestyle. Our reishi, cordyceps, maitake and shiitake products are free of heavy metals, pesticides and microbial contaminants. Grown on our in-house farm in Southern California, the process supervised by specialist mycologists who optimize the growing environment for each individual type of mushroom. Grown in state-of-the-art clean rooms with filtered air and water, Om’s process is free of environmental toxins.

Reishi, Cordyceps and Maitake are available in single species mushroom powder mixes containing the full spectrum life cycle offering the benefits of both mycelium and fruiting body or primordia. Shiitake is available at Om’s in a convenient, single serving Mighty Broth blended into rich bone broths and vegan varieties.

For a multi-species blend that includes both reishi and cordyceps, try this Suitable the Restore organic mushroom powder mixes. Each of these blends contains specially curated ingredients to support energy, aerobic endurance and recovery. All four species can be found in Om’s Master Blend Organic Mushroom Powder. In powder the capsule form, this blend of ten types of mushrooms plus reishi extract and three botanical adaptogens provides support for overall well-being.

With a history of thousands of years of use in traditional practices, medicinal mushrooms can help support heart health with unique and powerful bioactive compounds. Adding a daily dose of these functional mushrooms to your wellness routine can help support efficient metabolism and cardiovascular health.

Leave a comment