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How to calm the mind with vital mushrooms?

In today's hectic times, most of us complain of restlessness, fatigue and poor sleep. Too many stimuli, hectic life and too much stress overload our mind and we can't give it a rest. This,  of course, leads to other difficulties that are associated with our head.

If this is what you are observing in yourself right now, stop and think about what you could do to calm and quieten your mind. Our tip is vital mushrooms.

What most of you know about vital mushrooms is that they are great for the immune system. But what few people know is that mushrooms can also have a positive effect on our psyche.


Which vital mushrooms affect the psyche 

There are several mushrooms that can harmonize our psyche. They have the so-called An Shen function - the ability to "calm the Spirit". Cordyceps, Reishi, Coriolus, Maitake, Pornatka or Hericium can do this. 

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If we succumb to the pace of the world around us, it will soon manifest itself negatively in the form of an illness. The increased stress on our psyche causes excessive levels of stress in the body, which manifests itself in a variety of physical and mental ailments - heart palpitations, headaches, chest pains, lowered immunity, fatigue, sleep disturbances, digestive problems, impaired libido or menstrual problems. Depression and anxiety are also very common. 

These symptoms are just the body's defensive reaction to cope with the excessive stress. If stress is frequent and prolonged, it can trigger a number of more serious illnesses.

Why? Because our bodies are not equipped to handle it. Evolutionarily, we evolve much more slowly than the world around us. And it really isn't in our "healthy" power to keep up.


Vital mushrooms support our mental resilience

Vital mushrooms such as Cordyceps, Reishi or Hericium can strengthen our defensive Wei Qi energy and nourishing Ying Qi energy. In doing so, they also support our mental resilience, psychological well-being, ability to withstand stressful situations, and ability to adapt more quickly to ever-changing external conditions. 

Defensive and nourishing Qi energy

Qi energy flows through our body and performs various functions. It flows in the acupuncture pathways or meridians, just as blood flows in our blood vessels. Depending on what function Qi performs, we refer to it as defensive - Wei Qi. It flows on the surface of the body during the day and protects us from the invasion of external pathogens. And not only physical pathogens, which the ancient Chinese called cold or hot wind, and we call viruses, bacteria, chlamydia, etc., but also mental or psychological pathogens. If one has strong Wei Qi, one will also be mentally resistant.

The second is nourishing energy - Ying Qi. It flows within the body and nourishes it. They form a pair with Wei Qi and one cannot exist without the other. Nutrition is also related to our resilience. If we are not nourished enough, pathogens can penetrate us more easily. And it doesn't matter if it's a physical or psychological pathogen.


The Doctrine of the Five Souls 

Chinese medicine teaches that five souls reside in the five main organs of our body. Each has slightly different functions:
  • The soul Yi resides in the Spleen and is related to thinking and contemplation,
  • The Zhi Soul resides in the Kidney and is related to determination and our will,
  • The Po Soul resides in the Lungs and it's a kind of "animal" within us. It is responsible for the processes that we do not control by will,
  • The Hun Soul resides in the Liver and is responsible for our plans and creativity.

Soul Shen - the general of our body

We will now be interested in more detail in the soul of Shen, which resides in the Heart. It is a kind of general who controls the souls of the other organs. To give a better idea, we can describe it in the following words: our thinking, consciousness, awareness of our own identity, the ability to see into our own inner self, memory, simply the whole psyche. So it is related to emotions, sleep, intelligence, and wisdom. In addition, Shen is also responsible for hearing, sight, touch, taste, and smell.


The soul of Shen and our psychological well-being 

For our psychological well-being, it is important that Shen's soul stays in the Heart and does not wander away. If the Shen soul is not held in the Heart, then we are unanchored, irritable, restless, unfocused, suffer from depression and anxiety, and have trouble sleeping.

What makes the Shen Soul restless and limits our mental well-being and reduces our mental resilience? In the words of Chinese medicine, it is the lack of blood in our Heart. The Shen Soul then has nowhere to lie down and cannot anchor itself. The second cause is the fire in the Heart (often from excessive or repressed emotions). This too does not allow the Shen soul to anchor.

Certain vital mushrooms have the ingenious ability to anchor the Shen soul back into the Heart, thereby harmonizing our psyche, creating psychological well-being and improving mental resilience, the so-called An Shen effect. Which ones are they?

Cordyceps promotes mental resilience 

Cordyceps sinensis is the greatest energy recharger among mushrooms. It can vigorously strengthen defensive Wei Qi, improving not only our defenses but also our mental resilience. People who take Cordyceps can better withstand stress and overexertion.

Cordyceps is recommended for people who are depressed, who are rather cold and exhausted, and who need a boost of energy (especially Yang energy). Due to the tropism to the Kidneys, Cordyceps is also suitable for people suffering from fear, anxiety and various phobias, as well as for people who suffer from a lack of willpower, because the Kidneys are home to the Zhi soul, which is responsible for our willpower. Our self-confidence is also closely related to the Kidneys. A strong Kidney can also control the Heart from getting too inflamed, which will always have an effect on the psyche.

Cordyceps is very effective for fatigue syndrome and burnout, when people are down, have lost their vigor and ability to rejoice.

Because of Cordyceps' ability to nourish Yin Plic, it also makes sense to use it for states of grief, sadness, despondency, regret, self-pity, feelings of disappointment, shame, guilt.


Reishi universal mushroom for health

Reishi or Ganoderma lucidum strengthens both the defensive Wei Qi and nourishing Ying Qi. Reishi has a tropism to the Heart and has a pronounced An Shen effect, thus harmonizing the Soul Shen. It can nourish the blood and the Yin Heart, and the Shen soul has a place to "lie down" in peace.

Blood/Yin deficiency manifests as mental restlessness, instability, lethargy, forgetfulness, easily agitated, feeling insecure, excessive daydreaming.

By the way Reishi is bitter, it can also purify the bitterness in the Heart that has arisen from emotions or has moved there from the Stomach or Liver, and can manifest as excessive agitation, agitation, restlessness, lack of focus, tendency to easily become emotional or sleepless.

Reishi is very effective for a variety of emotional imbalances: anxiety, depression, fears, insomnia, nervousness, etc. Reishi is also an excellent adaptogen and helps one adapt to rapidly changing conditions.

Reishi Mushroom


Hericium erinaceus, or coral hedgehog, is an excellent vital mushroom for supporting the body in neurodegenerative problems such as dementia, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis, etc. These conditions are related to a decrease in NGF (nerve growth factor) in the body. Hericium, according to scientific studies, can support its production. Here it is good to combine Hericium with Reishi mushroom.

Hericium is not as strong in supporting Wei Qi and Ying Qi, but it does help to some extent with the stagnation of Liver Energy Qi and thus helps with various somatization stresses, or any problems aggravated by stress and emotions. It is useful for depression, feelings of tension, explosiveness, irritability, moodiness, decreased creativity, crankiness. It is loved by students, especially in exam time. Hericium can support our concentration, aids in learning and supports memory.

According to one study, Hericium (via NGF support) can even increase our ability to fall in love.


Look for the causes of problems 

Vital mushrooms can effectively help us to harmonise our psyche. However, just as we look for the causes of physical difficulties, we certainly need to find the causes of psychological imbalances.

Incorporate more psycho-hygiene into your life: learn to control your emotions, meditate, engage in meaningful work, avoid stress, seek joy in life, associate with people you love and who bring good cheer into your life, and help others.

Relationships first

Finally, I would like to mention the results of an American study that was conducted over many decades and on a large number of people. Researchers wanted to find out why some people are healthy and others are sick, why they are happy and under what conditions they live to a healthy old age. They found that one thing is absolutely crucial for all of us, and that is the relationships we have with other people. Relationships with our partner, with our children, with our relatives, at work, what kind of friends and loved ones we surround ourselves with.

So please take this to heart and try to build good relationships every day, and if you feel like it, add some of that vital mushroom to the mix.


Milan Schirlo


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