All medicinal mushrooms have polysaccharides, and they are all different shapes.
These compounds interact with our bodies in different ways, which is why you can think of each mushroom as having its own "super power."
Other than polysaccharides, mushrooms also contain phenols, sterols, triterpenes and more- which can all benefit our health in different ways.
In this article, we highlight two best-in-class mushrooms, Cordyceps and Chaga.
Cordyceps is known as the "energy mushroom" and is typically used for supporting energy and endurance. The traditional Cordyceps species is called Cordyceps sinensis, and actually grows on bugs way high in the tibetan plateau.
It is INSANELY expensive and rare, and can net up to $20,000 per kg. Luckily there is another species (Cordyceps militaris) that can acutally be cultivated, and is what is used in mushroom supplements today.
It has a very similar profile to the traditional species, with one important difference- it is way higher in a compound called "Cordycepin".
This compound is really interesting because it is structurally similar to adenosine, which makes ATP (adenosine triphosphate) the molecule responsible for cellular energy production.
Chaga (Inonotus obliquus)
The most fascinating thing about Chaga is that it isn't technically a mushroom. It is a "sterile conk" that is made up of birch wood and the mycelium of Chaga.
This is important, because some of the active compounds responsible for the benefits of Chaga are a direct result of the fact that it grows on birch trees. Chaga needs to be wildcrafted, and can't be cultivated to any reasonable degree
Extracts of Chaga have traditionally been used for digestive health, but this "mushroom" is also used for skin health.
Want to learn more about chaga? Check out our comprehensive guide to the health benefits of this mushroom.