FUNCTIONAL FUNGI: Functional Mushrooms vs Magic Mushrooms

If you’ve been hearing a lot about functional mushrooms lately, you’re not alone. These brain-boosting mushrooms are a rapidly growing health trend in cognitive wellness. Research shows that these mushrooms offer many benefits, from improved memory and concentration to increased stamina and overall immune support.

With that said, when many hear the word ‘mushroom’, one of two types of mushroom will often pop into their heads: regular cooking mushrooms and magic mushrooms.

Although functional mushrooms are still a relatively new thing in South Africa, they have gained immense popularity globally. Understanding the key differences between these legal, 100% safe mushrooms and psychedelic mushrooms is essential to avoid any confusion.


What are functional mushrooms, you may be wondering? And more importantly, are they the same as psychedelic or magic mushrooms?
Functional mushrooms or medicinal mushrooms have been used for thousands of years in many Asian cultures. They are known for their wide range of health benefits – particularly when it comes to cognitive health and mental acuity. They are legal, with no harmful side effects. They are taken as supplements, usually in capsule form. The most beneficial types of functional mushrooms include Lion’s Mane, Reishi, and Cordyceps.

When we talk about psychedelic mushrooms, on the other hand, we are talking about the mushrooms associated with getting ‘high’. These mushrooms are not legal in South Africa and many other parts of the world. They contain the psychoactive component psilocybin, which induces hallucinations or feelings of euphoria.


Functional mushrooms do not contain psilocybin. This means that they do not have the ability to produce hallucinations or a sense of being ‘high’.
Plenty of studies have been done to date on the benefits, potential effects and safety of these mushrooms. And the science is clear – these mushrooms are safe to take, with no harmful side effects. They can be taken daily in capsule form as a health supplement.


All three primary types of functional mushrooms (Lion’s Mane, Reishi and Cordyceps) have unique benefits. The most widely known use of functional or medicinal mushrooms as a whole is their ability to promote cognitive health.

Lion’s Mane
Favoured by Buddhist monks to aid meditation, Lion’s Mane is particularly good for improved mental acuity – increasing concentration and focus and boosting memory. It also means improving cognitive function. Studies have been done on mushrooms’ benefits on the prevention and treatment of cognitive impairment. Some research indicates that these mushrooms can reduce the risk of age-related cognitive disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.


Originally used in ancient Chinese medicine as a way to increase longevity and vitality, Reishi is best known for its immune-boosting properties. This mushroom is adaptogenic. Adaptogens counteract the effects of stress on the body. Regular use of Reishi mushrooms helps the body ward off stress, fight infections and improve immune health. Studies show that this mushroom can also reduce inflammation and make it easier for the body to fight infections.


These mushrooms grow on living hosts in the Tibetan mountains. They’re known for their benefits to stamina and energy. Research shows that daily use of this mushroom can improve physical fitness and reduce fatigue, making it easier to get through the day and still power through workouts after finishing a tiring workday.


Although functional mushrooms are not the same as magic mushrooms, they certainly have a lot of magical benefits to the mind and body.

GOODMIND™️ are passionate about the goodness of mushrooms and all they have to offer. Their functional mushrooms include Lion’s Mane, Reishi and Cordyceps mushrooms. These mushrooms are available in capsule form for a calmer, clearer mind.