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Post: Shroom boom: Can popular functional mushrooms treat ADHD and other mental health disorders?

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Shroom boom: Can popular functional mushrooms treat ADHD and other mental health disorders?

Each morning, Kelsey Carnes takes her breakfast with a side of fungi. That’s right — fungi.

Carnes is one of a growing number of fungi fans incorporating mushroom capsules, complexes and coffees into their daily routine, with the mushroom coffee hashtag attracting more than 42 million views on TikTok. These mushroom mixes contain a blend of non-psychedelic functional mushrooms, such as reishi, lion’s mane and chaga.

These mushrooms supposedly have nootropic and adaptogenic properties. Emerging in 1947, the term adaptogen refers to a class of natural herbs, fungi and plant extracts that, in theory, help the body adapt to stressors. The term nootropics was first used in the 1970s to describe substances that supposedly help activate cognitive functions, including memory and learning.

The adaptogens market is expected to exceed $19 billion US globally by 2032, according to a 2023 report by Global Market Insights Inc. The global nootropics market, now worth about $11 billion US, should grow by $2.93 billion US between 2022 and 2026, according to another report by ReportLinker, a tech company that delivers market data and forecasts.

Used in traditional medicine across the globe for centuries, adaptogenic and nootropic mushrooms are now rising to modern fame, thanks in part to social media. Influencers and health gurus are promoting their claimed benefits, which include improved cognitive function and reduced fatigue.

Some people, like Carnes, are using mushroom complexes as a daily alternative to prescribed attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medication, such as Adderall.

ADHD is a chronic neurodevelopmental disorder that can impact a person’s emotional regulation, memory, impulse control, focus and ability to prioritize, according to the Centre for ADHD Awareness, Canada (CADDAC) .

After being diagnosed with ADHD while in Grade 1 and trying a variety of medications, Carnes now embraces mushrooms as an alternative.

“It’s a game changer,” she said of swapping medication for mushrooms. She said she often experienced side effects from her medications, which have disappeared since using mushroom complexes.“Adderall […] kind of just numbs you a little bit. So, by the end of the day, I just feel fried and exhausted, and I’m just kind of a shell of myself.”The […]

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