Functional Mushrooms: For brain function and memory loss

Functional Mushrooms: For brain function and memory loss

Every year, as September rolls in, the world comes together to observe World Alzheimer's Month, an important international event orchestrated by Alzheimer's Disease International (ADI). The primary objective of this month-long initiative is to not only raise awareness but also to challenge the pervasive stigma that surrounds Alzheimer's and dementia. There are around 900,000 people living with dementia in the UK and it is not going away, anytime soon.

What is dementia?

Dementia is a term that encapsulates the gradual decline in brain function, giving rise to a cluster of distressing symptoms. These symptoms encompass a spectrum of cognitive abilities, ranging from memory loss and reduced thinking speed to diminished mental acuity, language difficulties, impaired judgment, fluctuating moods, compromised motor skills, and even a struggle to perform routine tasks. Unlike the natural processes of aging, this decline in cognitive faculties is profound and unnatural.

The impact of dementia is far-reaching, influencing virtually every aspect of a person's life. Receiving a dementia diagnosis is a life-altering moment that ripples through an individual's existence. The prospect of losing one's sense of identity and independence can trigger a whirlwind of emotions: anger, frustration, confusion, and a deep sense of loneliness.

As we observe World Alzheimer's Month, it is crucial to look into the heart of what dementia truly entails and a reminder that knowledge and compassion can be powerful tools in the journey to destigmatise and alleviate the challenges posed by these conditions.

What are some common signs of dementia/Alzheimer's? 

  • Memory loss and forgetting where things are
  • Difficulty performing familiar tasks or routines 
  • Struggling with speech
  • Disorientation to where you, time and dates
  • Unable to keep track of things and bad judgement
  • Changes in mood and behaviour
  • Avoiding work or social activities

Whilst we have no cure for this horrible disease, we thought it would be beneficial to talk about different functional mushrooms that could aid cognitive function, memory and brain function.

    What are the potential functional mushrooms for brain function and memory?

    Utilising mushrooms is a fantastic, natural and sustainable way to boost brain function, two stand out 'shrooms are Lion's Mane and Reishi.


    What are functional mushrooms? 

    Functional mushrooms, also known as medicinal mushrooms or adaptogenic mushrooms, are a group of fungi that have been used for centuries in traditional medicine systems, particularly in Asian cultures like Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Ayurveda. These mushrooms are considered "functional" because they are believed to offer a wide range of health benefits beyond basic nutrition.

    These mushrooms, including Reishi, Chaga, Lion's Mane, Cordyceps, and more, contain bioactive compounds like beta-glucans and terpenoids that are thought to enhance the immune system, reduce inflammation, support cognitive function, and adapt the body to stress. They often serve as adaptogens, helping the body maintain balance and resilience in the face of various stressors. Additionally, functional mushrooms are valued for their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, digestive, cholesterol-regulating, and liver-supporting properties.

    Why are 'shrooms good for the brain?

    Mushrooms have gained attention in recent years for their potential benefits to brain function and memory. There are several reasons why mushrooms are considered good for brain health:

    1. Rich in Antioxidants: Mushrooms are a good source of antioxidants, including various vitamins (such as vitamin C, vitamin D, and B vitamins) and minerals (such as selenium). Mushrooms may contribute to maintaining healthy brain function.

    2. Nootropic Compounds: Some mushrooms contain compounds that are believed to have nootropic properties. Nootropics are substances that may enhance cognitive function, including memory, learning, and focus.

    3. Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Chronic inflammation has been linked to various neurological disorders and cognitive decline. Certain mushrooms, such as Reishi have been shown to possess anti-inflammatory properties that may help protect brain cells from damage and support cognitive health.

    4. Boosting Neurotransmitters: Some mushrooms contain compounds that can influence neurotransmitter activity in the brain, such as Cordyceps mushroom.

    5. Enhancing Nerve Growth: As mentioned earlier, Lion's Mane mushroom is particularly known for its potential to stimulate the growth and repair of nerve cells. This could have positive effects on cognitive function, memory, and overall brain health.

    6. Beta-Glucans: Many mushrooms, including shiitake and maitake, contain beta-glucans, which are types of complex carbohydrates. Beta-glucans have been associated with immune system modulation and anti-inflammatory effects, which could indirectly support brain health by promoting a healthy overall physiological state.

    It's important to note that while mushrooms offer potential benefits for brain function and memory, they should not be seen as a standalone solution. A balanced diet rich in a variety of nutrients, regular physical activity, good sleep, and mental stimulation are all important factors for maintaining optimal brain health.

    As with any dietary changes or supplements, it's recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before making significant modifications to your diet, especially if you have existing health conditions or are taking medications.

    Check out our magnificent mushrooms that may help:

    1) Lion's Mane Mushroom (Hericium/Hou Tou Gu 猴头菇)

    Lion's Mane Mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) is a fascinating medicinal mushroom that has gained attention for its potential cognitive and brain-boosting benefits. Here are four key benefits of Lion's Mane for the brain:

    1. Enhances Cognitive Function: Lion's Mane contains compounds known as erinacines and hericenones, which have been shown to stimulate the production of nerve growth factor (NGF). NGF plays a crucial role in the growth, maintenance, and repair of nerve cells in the brain. By promoting NGF production, Lion's Mane may help enhance cognitive functions such as memory, focus, and concentration.

    2. Neuroprotective Properties: The mushroom's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties can help protect brain cells from oxidative stress and inflammation, both of which are linked to cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases. Lion's Mane may potentially slow down the progression of these conditions.

    3. Mood and Mental Health Support: Some research suggests that Lion's Mane may have a positive impact on mood and mental health. It may help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, possibly by modulating neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. Improved mood can contribute to better cognitive performance.

    4. Nerve Regeneration: Lion's Mane has shown promise in promoting nerve regeneration and myelination. Myelin is the protective sheath around nerve fibres, and enhancing its formation can improve the speed and efficiency of neural communication. This can be especially beneficial for individuals with nerve-related conditions or those recovering from nerve injuries.

    While Lion's Mane mushroom holds promise as a brain-boosting supplement, it's important to note that research in this area is ongoing, and individual responses may vary. As with any supplement, it's advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating Lion's Mane into your routine, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are taking medications.


    Lion's Mane Powder - 60g
    Lion's Mane Capsules- 90 caps
    Lion's Mane Coffee

    2) Reishi Mushroom (Ling Zhi 灵芝) 

    Reishi mushroom is a revered medicinal mushroom with a wide range of health benefits, including potential advantages for brain health. Here are four key potential benefits of Reishi for the brain:

    1. Stress Reduction: Reishi is considered an adaptogen, which means it may help the body adapt to stress and reduce the negative effects of chronic stress on the brain. It can promote a sense of calm and balance, which can be beneficial for mental well-being.

    2. Improved Sleep Quality: Reishi has been associated with improved sleep patterns and better sleep quality. Quality sleep is essential for cognitive function, memory consolidation, and overall brain health.

    3. Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Reishi is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, which can protect brain cells from oxidative stress and inflammation. This may help prevent cognitive decline and support long-term brain health.

    4. Enhanced Cognitive Function: While research is ongoing, some studies suggest that Reishi may have a positive impact on cognitive function. It may support memory and concentration through its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, potentially benefiting overall brain function.

    Reishi mushroom is typically consumed in various forms, including extracts, capsules, teas, and tinctures. While it shows promise for brain health, it's important to remember that individual responses may vary, and more research is needed to fully understand its specific mechanisms of action. Consulting with a healthcare professional before adding Reishi to your health regimen is advisable, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are taking medications.


    Reishi Mushroom (Ling Zhi 灵芝) Powder (120g)


    Now that you've got a collection of mushrooms to aid memory and brain function, we hope that these vibrant herbs help to really focus the mind.

    Whilst mushrooms have a rich history in traditional medicine, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating them into your health regimen, especially if you have underlying health issues or are on medication.

    Shop Full Functional Mushroom Range

    For any further queries regarding our herbal remedy range, please email us directly via

    Back to blog

    Leave a comment

    Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.