As we age, our bodies undergo a number of changes, some of which can be challenging to deal with. For women, one such change is menopause, a transition that occurs when a woman’s ovaries stop producing eggs, and her body stops producing associated hormones.
Symptoms of menopause can include, among others
- hot flashes
- night sweats
- mood swings
Hot flashes, for example, are thought to be caused by decreased levels of estrogen, triggering the body’s thermostat (hypothalamus) to become more sensitive to changes in body temperature. This leads to the hypothalamus believing the body is too warm, resulting in a hot flash to cool it down.
While there is no one-size-fits-all solution for dealing with menopause symptoms, many women are turning to natural medicine to find relief, with functional mushrooms gathering increased interest in recent years.
What are Functional Mushrooms?
Functional mushrooms have been used for medicinal purposes for centuries.
They contain unique compounds that may help to:
- boost the immune system,
- reduce inflammation, and
- promote overall health and well-being.
Some of the most popular functional mushrooms include lion’s mane, chaga, reishi, and cordyceps.
How Can Functional Mushrooms Help with Menopause Symptoms?
There is still much research to be done on the specific ways that functional mushrooms can help with menopause symptoms, however some studies have shown promising results.
One study, for example, found that a combination of shiitake and maitake mushrooms helped to reduce hot flashes and night sweats in postmenopausal women.
Another study published in the magazine “Menopause Matters” found that taking reishi mushroom extract can help reduce hot flashes by supporting the HPA axis, which regulates oestrogen production and increases oestrogen receptors’ sensitivity.
Keep in mind that these studies were small and far more research is needed to confirm their findings. But, a suggestions eists that functional mushrooms may be a helpful addition to a natural wellness plan for menopause symptoms.
How to Incorporate Functional Mushrooms into Your Menopause Wellness Plan
If you’re interested in trying functional mushrooms to help with your menopause symptoms, here are a few ideas:
Take a supplement that contains a blend of different functional mushrooms.
Some functional mushrooms do double duty as culinary mushrooms. Shiitake, maitake, and cremini mushrooms can be added to soups, stews, and stir-fries for an extra dose of wellness compounds.