Littering the forest floor or growing on the side of a tree, mushrooms and other fungi are an integral part of our ecosystems that can be found almost anywhere. About 75,000 species of mushroom have been identified, although scientists believe that there are about a million yet to be discovered. While a handful of species of fungi are poisonous, there are several which boast impressive medicinal properties and have been used in alternative medicine for thousands of years, here are a list of 7 species provided by New Roots, that are worth trying.

cc licensed flickr photo by Luke Detwiler

cc licensed flickr photo by Luke Detwiler

New Roots Chaga

Chaga is a charred-looking fungus with a cork-like consistency that grows 20 feet in the air, on mature birch trees. It is also sustainably grown on birch logs in a climate-controlled environment.  This fungus taps directly into the bark and the tree’s core, creating betulinic acid, with powerful theraputic benefits.

Benefits include:

  • contain 40% polysaccharides*
  • supports immune health
  • powerful antioxidant with antiviral properties

New Roots Cordyceps

This rare fungus grows in high altitudes, specifically the Himalayan mountain range and Tibetan plateau. This unique mushroom grows within a caterpillar host, although it can also be grown in a climate-controlled greenhouse in order to meet current demands.

Benefits include:

  • contains 30% polysaccharides*
  • anti-aging properties
  • enhanced libido
  • enhanced strength and stamina
  • benefits respiratory and renal (kidney) performance

New Roots Coriolus Versicolor 

Commonly called “turkey tail” this mushroom is grown in a shade free, climate controlled environment.

Benefits include:

  • contains 40% polysaccharides*
  • immune strengthening qualities
  • may protect against the side effects of radioactivity/chemotherapy

New Roots Lion’s Mane

This mushroom can be found throughout North America, Europe and Asia. In order to reduce the strain on the natural supply, it can be grown in shade-free, climate controlled green houses.

Benefits include:

  • contains 40% polysaccharides*
  • promotes nerve regeneration
  • improves memory and mood
  • supports cognitive and neurological function

New Roots Maitake

  This mushroom grows in northeastern Japan and North America. It grows in clusters, greyish brown in colour, and can be found in as big as 20kg masses on trees and fallen wood. They can also be grown in shade-free, climate controlled greenhouses in order to meet demand without straining the natural supplies.

Benefits include:

  • contains 40% polysaccharides*
  • improves immune health
  • hypoglycemic and anti-diabetic

New Roots Reishi 

  Deep red in colour and shaped like a saucer, this resilient mushroom thrives in both temperate and tropical environments. While it grows at the base of hardwood trees in nature, it can also be grown in fully shaded greenhouses in order to maximize potency.

Benefits include:

  • contain 40% polysaccharides*
  • increased energy and stamina
  • stress resistance
  • maintains cardiovascular health

New Roots Shitake

This well-known mushroom is native to East Asia and contains a wealth of health benefits. It can be grown in climate controlled greenhouses in order to maintain potency.

Benefits include:

  • contain 40% polysaccharides*
  • high antioxidant profile
  • helps fight cold and flu and fight infection

*What are polysaccharides? 

Polysaccharides contain the active ingredients within fungal compounds. The hot water-extracted method in critical in order to obtain a high quality and effective mushroom product. In the mushrooms, polysaccharides are bound by chitin, an indigestible fibre found in the fungus cell wall. Chitin must be dissolved through hot water to release the medicinal properties. Grinding the mushrooms is an inferior method, as it may cause damage to the polysaccharides and fails to remove the chitin, limiting the theraputic quality of the product.


Mushrooms. (n.d.). Retrieved July 15, 2015, from