Therapeutic Mushrooms for Burnout and Stress: Labor Day

April 23, 2024 | Dr. Silvana Jakupovic, ND

As we approach Labor Day, a holiday deeply rooted in recognizing workers' rights and achievements, it's an opportune time to reflect on our work lives and their impact on our well-being. While this day is traditionally a time of celebration and rest, it also brings to light an issue that is increasingly prevalent in our fast-paced world: work-related stress and burnout. 

Today, we'll explore not only the significance of Labor Day but also a natural and holistic approach to combating the stress and burnout that too often accompany our work lives. Surprisingly, the solution might lie in medicinal mushrooms, nature's hidden gems for mental and physical well-being.


What is Labor Day?

• The Health Effects of Stress and Burnout

• Reishi for Mental Health

• Cordyceps and Reishi for Well-Being


Understanding Labor Day

Labor Day, observed on the first Monday in September, is more than a long weekend. It's a day dedicated to workers' social and economic achievements, a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of their country.  

This holiday emerged from the labour movement and became a federal holiday in 1894. It was born out of the dire need to address workers' injustices. Today, while we have made significant strides in labour rights and work conditions, the essence of Labor Day still resonates strongly, reminding us of the ongoing struggle to achieve a fair and healthy work-life balance.

The Realities of Work-Related Stress and Burnout 

In our modern work environment, physical labour and long hours continue to be a reality for many, but there's also a growing concern about mental health, particularly stress and burnout. The World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized burnout as an occupational phenomenon characterized by feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion, increased mental distance from one’s job, and reduced professional efficacy. 

Recent studies indicate that a significant percentage of the workforce experiences symptoms of burnout and chronic stress, leading to health issues such as anxiety, insomnia, and depression. The hustle culture of glorifying overwork has only exacerbated these issues, creating an environment where taking breaks and prioritizing mental health is often undervalued.

Understanding The Health Effects of Burnout 

Burnout is more than just feeling tired or overwhelmed; it is a complex condition significantly affecting our health and well-being. To comprehend the full impact of burnout, it's essential to consider its scientific underpinnings. Research indicates that prolonged stress and burnout can disrupt the balance of our neuroendocrine system, affecting critical bodily functions [1].

This continuous stress increases hormones such as cortisol, which can impair our immune system, disrupt sleep, and diminish cognitive functions [2]. Moreover, burnout has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, depression, and other mental health disorders [3]. Understanding the intricate relationship between burnout and our health is crucial for developing effective recovery methods. 

Medicinal Mushrooms for Stress and Burnout Recovery 

These challenges highlight a critical need to address workplace stress. In the spirit of Labor Day, it's essential to acknowledge these realities and actively seek solutions that foster our mental and physical health. As we dive into the world of medicinal mushrooms, we’ll discover how these ancient remedies can offer a respite in our contemporary battle against work-related stress and burnout.

eversio wellness reishi mushroom capsules

Reishi Mushrooms: Stress Relief

The Reishi mushroom is well-known for its stress-reducing properties, playing a significant role in combating burnout. Recent studies have shed light on the mechanisms behind Reishi's calming effects and its success in regulating stress. A critical aspect of Reishi's composition is its bioactive compounds, especially triterpenes like ganoderic acids [4].

These elements are known for their potent anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties. They influence various body signalling pathways, particularly the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which is essential in the body's stress management [5].

Reishi's impact on the HPA axis helps regulate cortisol levels, restoring equilibrium in the body's stress response mechanism [6]. Additionally, Reishi is recognized for its antioxidant capabilities, protecting cells and tissues from oxidative stress damage [7]. Its adaptogenic qualities further increase the body's resilience to stress by fostering overall balance (homeostasis) and enhancing adaptability [8]. These collective properties highlight Reishi's role in reducing stress and its detrimental effects, making it a valuable asset in recovering from burnout.

cordyceps mushroom eversio wellness capsules

Cordyceps Benefits: Holistic Burnout Solutions

Cordyceps mushroom is also recognized as an effective natural solution, offering substantial support in the recovery from burnout. In-depth scientific studies have focused on how Cordyceps can benefit in this regard. One of the primary ways Cordyceps facilitates burnout recovery is by enhancing cellular energy production through its bioactive components, such as cordycepin and adenosine [9]. The use of Cordyceps for energy and the use of Cordyceps for fatigue are not unfamiliar concepts. 

This mushroom aids in increasing adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production, vital for supporting mitochondrial function and improving energy metabolism. This is particularly beneficial in addressing the deep-seated exhaustion that is a hallmark of burnout [10]. Cordyceps is also noted for its potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties [9]. These characteristics are essential in combating oxidative stress and reducing inflammation, often elevated in burnout conditions [11]. 

Furthermore, the adaptogenic properties of Cordyceps are instrumental in helping the body cope with and manage stress, enhancing overall health and fortitude [12]. Through these diverse mechanisms, Cordyceps mushroom offers a well-rounded approach to overcoming the physical and mental challenges associated with burnout recovery.

Mindfulness and Medicinal Mushrooms

Labor Day is a poignant reminder of the importance of balancing work with personal health and well-being. In a culture prioritizing productivity over wellness, we must step back and evaluate our work habits and stress levels. This Labor Day, let it be more than just a day off; let it be a time for introspection and commitment to our mental and physical health. 

As we reflect on the significance of this day, let's also acknowledge the power we hold in changing our work-life balance. It's about setting boundaries, recognizing the signs of burnout, and taking proactive steps to address them. Whether it's through using natural remedies like medicinal mushrooms, practicing mindfulness, or simply learning to say no, each small step is a leap toward a healthier life. 

Mushroom Supplements for Stress: Natural Stress Relief

As we celebrate the achievements and hard work of labourers past and present, let’s also embrace the responsibility of taking care of our mental and physical health. Remember, managing stress and preventing burnout is not just about a single remedy or a one-time effort. It's an ongoing process that involves making conscious choices every day. 

Medicinal mushrooms offer a natural and effective way to support this journey, but they are just one part of a larger puzzle that includes a healthy lifestyle and self-care practices. This Labor Day, let's pledge to prioritize our health as much as we do our work. Let’s remember that our well-being is the foundation upon which our productivity and achievements are built. Take a moment to relax, enjoy a cup of mushroom coffee or tea, and reflect on how you can integrate wellness into your daily routine. Here's to a healthier, happier you!



[1] McEwen BS. Stress, adaptation, and disease: Allostasis and allostatic load. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1998;840:33-44. doi:10.1111/j.1749-6632.1998.tb09546.x

[2] McEwen BS. Protective and damaging effects of stress mediators: central role of the brain. Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2006;8(4):367-381.

[3] Melamed S, Shirom A, Toker S, Berliner S, Shapira I. Burnout and risk of cardiovascular disease: evidence, possible causal paths, and promising research directions. Psychol Bull. 2006;132(3):327-353. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.132.3.327

[4] Gao Y, Zhou S, Jiang W, Huang M, Dai X. Effects of ganopoly (a Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharide extract) on the immune functions in advanced-stage cancer patients. Immunol Invest. 2003;32(3):201-215. doi:10.1081/IMM-120018857

[5] Lai CS, Yu MS, Yuen WH, et al. The neuroprotective effects of ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides against oxidative stress-induced neuronal apoptosis. Int J Mol Sci. 2014;15(5):7495-7510. doi:10.3390/ijms15057495

[6] Jin X, Ruiz Beguerie J, Sze DM, Chan GC. Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi mushroom) for cancer treatment.Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016;4(4):CD007731. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD007731.pub3

[7] Lin ZB. Cellular and molecular mechanisms of immuno-modulation by Ganoderma lucidum. J Pharmacol Sci. 2005;99(2):144-153. doi:10.1254/jphs.crj05014x

[8] Wachtel-Galor S, Tomlinson B, Benzie IFF. Ganoderma lucidum ("Lingzhi"), a Chinese medicinal mushroom: biomarker responses in a controlled human supplementation study. Br J Nutr. 2004;91(2):263-269. doi:10.1079/BJN20041083

[9] Koh JH, Kim KM, Kim JM, Song JC, Suh HJ. Antifatigue and antistress effect of the hot-water fraction from mycelia of Cordyceps sinensis. Biol Pharm Bull. 2003;26(5):691-694. doi:10.1248/bpb.26.691 

[10] Chen YJ, Shiao MS, Wang SY. The antioxidant activity of sporophores of Paecilomyces hepiali grown on Chinese caterpillar fungi. Life Sci. 2001;68(9):1067-1082. doi:10.1016/s0024-3205(00)01016-7

[11] Chen YJ, Huang HC, Chien CT. Antioxidant abilities and lipid peroxidation in the liver from exercise-trained rats. Life Sci. 2000;66(12):L149-L157. doi:10.1016/s0024-3205(00)00608-1

[12] Li SP, Yang FQ, Tsim KW. Quality control of Cordyceps sinensis, a valued traditional Chinese medicine. J Pharm Biomed Anal. 2006;41(5):1571-1584. doi:10.1016/j.jpba.2006.01.046

Comments (0)

Leave a comment