Last year, I wrote about medicinal mushrooms and the science and theories behind their health benefits. I was curious to see whether mushrooms could have an impact on my health and my quest to achieve harmony in my body despite my endometriosis.
I was particularly interested in lion’s mane, reishi, and cordyceps.
Lion’s mane has a high level of antioxidants, is an anti-inflammatory, and has been shown to improve cognitive function by regrowing brain neurons. Studies have shown antioxidants help reduce pelvic pain in people with endometriosis. Reducing inflammation also reduces pain and could ease the mental challenges that come with endometriosis.
I was particularly interested in trying lion’s mane for its nootropic properties. My main struggle with endometriosis in recent years has been the impact it’s had on my cognitive abilities, with fatigue and brain fog impairing my ability to work.
Taking lion’s mane has changed my life. Its effects were quickly apparent. I started with a teaspoon across the space of a day — the bitter taste is easier in small increments.
My mind is sharper and my memory is better. I can focus on work most of the day. My productivity is higher, and the quality of my work is better and more consistent. I’ve had one of my best work years in a long time. Lion’s mane has restored my confidence and helped me counteract the brain fog that hindered my existence.
Another mushroom I mentioned is cordyceps, which helps the body deliver more oxygen to the brain and body and is used by athletes to increase stamina and endurance. I started taking it after I began taking lion’s mane.
I found that cordyceps felt like drinking coffee without the jitters and anxiety. I was energized — sometimes too energized. I recently stopped taking cordyceps to cut down on my expenses, and I’ve seen a noticeable change in my energy and ability to power through my day. I’m feeling more lethargic and less capable, though my brain is still sharp.
I have decided that cordyceps is worth the investment. As a freelancer, my income relies solely on my ability to perform at work. If cordyceps helps me do that, I need to make the financial adjustments to add it into my daily life.
Finally, there is reishi, an adaptogen, meaning it helps our body cope with stress. I wasn’t taking it consistently or in high quantities, mainly because its flavor is so bitter. Whether it was because I was taking a tiny amount or because it didn’t work for me, I didn’t really observe any noticeable effects.
However, I have had success with ashwagandha, another adaptogen. When I was taking it, I seemed to have a more physical resilience to stress, whereas my body often crumbles and falls ill in most stressful situations.
The mushroom experts at Four Sigmatic recommend that reishi be taken at least twice a day to see the benefits. Maybe I need to find a way to stomach that bad taste!
Note: Endometriosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Endometriosis News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to endometriosis.