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Winter has plenty to offer — it’s a time to slow down and look inward, a season for reflection and rest. But in today’s modern world, we are too often expected to be productive and keep moving when nature is signaling to us to do quite the opposite. While we can’t give you permission to hibernate all winter, we can offer support in other ways. We’re starting by sharing eight of our favorite mushrooms for this season.
From Chaga and Cordyceps to Tremella and Turkey Tail, read on to learn why we chose this group and how to integrate them into your everyday routines. Plus, we share a pro tip for maximizing your daily mushrooms in minimal time. As we kick off 2023, resolve to make these mushrooms part of your daily routine in winter.
Scientific name: Inonotus obliquus
When it comes to winter mushrooms, Chaga tops the list for plenty of reasons (least of which is that it comes first alphabetically). It’s a source of natural antioxidants and potent immune support.* Plus its preferred habitat is on birch trees in cold climates. Look up in forests in Eastern Europe or North America, and you might spot Chaga growing as a sclerotia on a host tree. Unlike other mushrooms, we don’t use the Chaga fruiting body (those are rare). Chaga grows as a canker on trees, and it looks like a lump of charcoal or burned wood!
How to try it: Stir Chaga powdered extract into your favorite cozy winter drink.
Why we love it: In addition to its immune and antioxidant support, Chaga tastes so good in chai, cocoa or coffee!*
Scientific name: Cordyceps sinensis (wild), Cordyceps militaris (cultivated)
This mushroom was so valuable in imperial China that only elite families had access to it! Thankfully, it can now be cultivated, making Cordyceps a fave among athletes and active people. Cordyceps is an adaptogen (meaning it supports a healthy response to daily stress in the body and mind) that promotes stamina, endurance and energy.*
How to try it: You can’t go wrong with a mushroom gummy — they’re so tasty and easy to take. Keep these on hand before a workout or for keeping up with the kids!*
Why we love it: For those days when it’s tough to muster the motivation to work out, the adaptogenic properties in Cordyceps are much appreciated.*
Scientific name: Hericium erinaceus
Lion’s Mane supports the brain – including memory, focus and nerve health.* This nootropic (brain supporting) mushroom is round, shaggy and white.* It kind of resembles both a brain and a lion’s mane.
How to try it: If you’re lucky enough to find fresh Lion’s Mane, slice it and swap it for chicken in your favorite recipes. But you’ll also love these Brain Drops (which are easy to take on even your busiest days).
Why we love it: These gray, dreary and short days are not exactly great for focus and concentration.* Thankfully, Lion’s Mane is our go-to mushroom for the brain!*
Scientific name: Grifola frondosa
Maitake goes by many names including hen of the woods and the dancing mushroom, a name that dates back to feudal Japan. (They were worth their weight in silver, so finding one inspired many a “happy dance!”) Maitake mushrooms support immune health and some aspects of cardiovascular health.*
How to try it: This is a mushroom we love to cook as much as we love taking it in supplement form. Try roasting Maitake mushrooms for a umami-laden side — or give MushiYum a go.
Why we love it: This mushroom is one of the best to serve to people who think they don’t like mushrooms.
Scientific name: Ganoderma lucidum or Ganoderma lingzhi
This “queen of the mushrooms” is also known as the mushroom of immortality. We bow down with respect — she’s an adaptogen that supports a healthy response to stress in everyday life as well as a tonic that promotes healthy aging and longevity.* Reishi has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for over 4,000 years — and supports healthy sleep, rest and immune health.*
How to try it: Pretty much any way you’d like. Reach for a Reishi powdered extract for a boost of royal mushroom goodness in teas, smoothies and more.
Why we love it: She’s the queen! Seriously, Reishi is a mushroom to revere and respect all year round.*
Scientific name: Lentinula edodes
For millennia, Shiitake mushroom has been used in China, Japan and elsewhere to support immune health.* The second-most consumed mushroom on the planet, Shiitake also offers antioxidant support and promotes skin, liver and cardiovascular health.*
How to try it: Another one that’s at home on your dinner table, Shiitake is so tasty in winter dishes. If you’re not much of a cook, try Mushroom Magic to get more Shiitake in your life.
Why we love it: Do you ever feel like you’re seeing something familiar in a whole new light? That’s how we feel about Shiitake! It’s such a common mushroom in the culinary world — but it also possesses immune-supporting qualities.*
Scientific name: Tremella fuciformis
As a jelly fungus, Tremella can hold hundreds of times its weight in water. It was traditionally used to promote healthy skin and bones and to support a healthy memory and metabolism.* Tremella also offers support to the immune system.*
How to try it: This snow fungus is actually paired with fruits and other sweet ingredients as a dessert in China. You can also start by using Tremella powder in your smoothies or morning protein shakes.
Why we love it: Winter can wreak havoc on our skin, especially when you live in a cold climate. Tremella is all about moisture, so this “beauty mushroom” is a top pick for this season.*
Scientific name: Trametes versicolor or Coriolus versicolor
The most widely researched mushrooms on Earth, Turkey Tails are best known for their support of the immune system and antioxidant properties.* Widely used in China and Japan, they get their name from the colorful fans their fruiting bodies form, which resemble the tails of turkeys.
How to try it: Since these are “hard” mushrooms that need to be extracted, keep it simple with some Turkey Tail capsules.
Why we love it: These mushrooms are proof that the best things in life take some work. You can’t just cook up Turkey Tails like you can, say, Shiitake or Maitake. They’re worth the effort though (psst, just let the experts handle all that — and choose an extract or other formula).
Feel like you simply can’t narrow down your choices (and want to try all these mushrooms at once)? We’ve got you! Our new Gratitude Mushrooms Drops deliver all eight in a single formula. Gratitude is our first-ever product, and it’s a symbiotic blend to support your mood, immunity and longevity.* With 8 mushrooms (get the connection with infinity?) in an equal 1:1 ratio, Gratitude is meant to inspire infinite gratitude for the mushrooms and nature’s wisdom. It’s made with USDA Certified Organic mushrooms grown in North America.