Why Mushrooms Should Be Part of Your Diet & Skincare Regimen

The term "magic mushrooms" is taking on a whole new meaning.

Credit: Sakara Life

Credit: Sakara Life

A month or so ago, I attended a summit by the Global Wellness Institute where the medicinal properties of mushrooms was a super hot topic. Turns out, research is being done to prove that magic mushrooms could be “better than existing treatments” for anxiety, depression and addiction.  Today, we’re seeing mushroom infused coffees, chocolates and skincare products.  Here, I investigated their benefits when ingested and applied topically. 

Mushrooms as Food

Medicinal mushrooms (like reishi and chaga) are amazing, functional foods with adaptogenic benefits. Adaptogens are foods that work like a thermostat for your adrenals, central nervous system and endocrine system. When your body is under physical and/or emotional duress, adaptogens are a support system, restoring balance and relieving symptoms of stress (like low energy, weight gain and inflammation). 

Medicinal mushrooms also contain compounds like polysaccharides and beta-glucans that strengthen the immune system and support healthy weight maintenance. We use medicinal mushrooms in many of our dishes, like the Chaga Chai Detox Bowl and our Magic Mushroom Dressing in the Sakara Classic Chopped Salad. 

Danielle Duboise and Whitney Tingle, Co-Founders of Sakara Life

Mushrooms in Skincare

Mushrooms have been used in ancient medicine for hundreds of years for their unique anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Recently studies have looked into the topical use of mushrooms and found that they have the ability to decrease inflammation. Conditions like eczema acne and rosacea have a huge inflammatory component so using these types of mushrooms topically can certainly improve patient symptoms and potentially decrease the use of prescription medications.

Another exciting point is the use of topical mushrooms can decrease wrinkles and hydrate the skin. These mushrooms are loaded with amino acids, minerals, vitamins proteins and lipids; everything your skin needs to hydrate and glow. Also, the antioxidants in mushrooms help to prevent UV and environmental damage when applied to the skin. The Shitake and Reishi mushrooms look to be the best for skin conditions like eczema acne and rosacea (decreasing inflammation) and the snow mushroom is great for hydrating the skin.

Dr. Adriana Lombardi, Clinical Instructor for Mohs fellowship program Advanced Laser and Skin Cancer Center; Mohs and Cosmetic Dermatology