To help embrace the research, personal experiences, and clinical observations of medicinal mushrooms, this week I’m doing a Freshcap Mushrooms review. Frankly, most mushroom brands, including Freshcap, get good reviews, so I sought out to find what is so special about the Freshcap brand if anything.
Product reviews and observations are important because, for most of human history, our medicines have been informed by careful observation, such as those performed in Traditional Chinese Medicine still are today.
Research trials are helpful, but typically can only answer one small health question at a time, making them exceedingly slow for progress. For example, one study will painstakingly determine that an herb will lower blood pressure, not examine all of its other health attributes, and will conclude that more studies are needed. Then, even after more studies will be done, the research community still demands more, to be sure.
And if anything is obvious in these trying times, we need to honor clinical observations as much as clinical trials.
Please be aware that while I got a free sample of Freshcap Mushrooms, the observations in this post are my own and also backed by research evidence.
This post contains affiliate links. Visit my disclosure page for more information.
Brief summary of Freshcap brand mushrooms
For a quick summary, here are the highlights of the Freshcap Mushroom line of supplements.
- Unlike many mushroom companies, Fresh Cap uses the fruiting body of the mushroom only, which is the part most rich in antioxidants and active compounds.
- Freshcap mushrooms come in mushroom extract powder forms, elixirs, and in capsules.
- All of their mushroom products are highly rated.
- They are USDA organic mushrooms and also non GMO.
- Available in all major online retailers, including Amazon.
- The company helps educate people how to grow their own mushrooms.
- Grain free and gluten free.
- Each Thrive 6 has 120 capsules, which is a 60 day supply or you can buy the same dose in powder form.
- Sustainably harvested and grown with LED efficient lights.
- They even make supplemental mushrooms products for dogs.
- 100 percent satisfaction guaranteed.
- Tested for active compounds including beta glucan and each batch is free of pathogens, allergens, heavy metals, and pesticides
Related: The 5 Best Brands of Mushrooms
Freshcap mushrooms review basics
I have tried many brands of mushrooms and have found they all have positive health benefits for me, so when I am going to describe the Freshcap brand, I will tell you what sets them apart from other brands.
Freshcap Thrive 6 is their most popular mushroom blend and it contains 6 types of mushrooms: organic Chaga extract, organic Cordyceps, organic Lion’s Mane, organic Maitake, organic Turkey Tail, and organic Reishi mushrooms.
This blend of mushrooms is a powerhouse of medicinal mushrooms that can benefit immunity (especially Turkey tail), gut health, mood, cognitive function (Lion’s mane), energy (Cordyceps), and acts as adaptogens to stress (especially the Reishi).
Of all the blends on the market, this blend is the only one that I can find that contains Turkey Tail, as its fruiting body, in addition to the common medicinal mushrooms in these supplements.
My review of Freshcap Thrive 6 capsules
Freshcap Thrive 6 is touted for its benefits for energy, focus, and immunity. Overall, for me, the Freshcap Mushrooms Thrive 6 blend has clear benefits for all three of these, as well as mood benefits.
Keep in mind, I’m a regular medicinal mushroom consumer, so my reported benefits are those above and beyond the mushrooms that I’m already taking.
Perhaps the benefits I’ve experienced are due to an increase in my total mushroom intake, so keep that in mind as you read my observations.
On the first day, I didn’t notice a whole lot of difference yet in how I feel. I’m not deterred because when adding in medicinal mushrooms, I know that the benefits can take a bit of time.
I don’t have any side effects or any issues with the Thrive 6 at this point.
By day 2, I felt better on an emotional level than I have in a long time and had a good level of energy to spare, which is saying something, since I spend my days working in a clinic and the wee morning hours blogging.
I honestly started feeling the benefits this soon.
My belly felt calm even after indulging in foods that normally throw my digestive tract into a tailspin (aka pizza).
By the way, some medicinal mushrooms are being used alongside cancer treatment in some countries, such as Turkey Tail mushrooms [R].
Unlike medications that have a long list of side effects, I can see no downside to this mushroom extract blend unless you have an allergy to mushrooms, that is.
You can also get Thrive 6 in powder form if you don’t like to take pills. The powder mixes nicely into almost any beverage or food dish.
After a Week
After taking Freshcap Thrive 6 consistently for a whole week, I am happy to report that there are no side effects or downsides to taking these mushroom supplements for me. I feel more resilient to daily stress and have a good level of energy with these.
Verdict: I definitely will keep the Thrive 6 mushrooms on hand for my regular supplement routine.
My Review of Freshcap Unwind
I also tried Freshcap Unwind, which is one of their elixirs that contains organic Reishi, organic Chaga, Albion® Magnesium Glycinate Chelate, organic Chamomile flower, organic Peppermint, L-theanine, organic Passion Flower, and organic Monk Fruit.
This blend is designed to help calm the body down and to help with sleep.
Initially, I didn’t like the taste, but after adding in a spoon of honey, the taste became pleasant enough to drink. By the way, I’m not too worried about the taste; I’m looking for the health benefits here.
I think the “interesting” taste is coming from the magnesium and the monk fruit, which is ok by me because they are pure ingredients and I know the magnesium is beneficial for sleep.
This elixir has a mildly floral flavor, with earthy undertones, and it’s slightly sweet from the natural sweetener monk fruit, which has zero carbohydrates. It mixes well with 8-10 ounces of water and leaves no film or residue on the bottom of the cup, which is nice.
Now to the important stuff.
I felt really sleepy directly after drinking my first cup and I actually slept in until after 7 am, which I usually don’t do.
Waking up, I was feeling great and had a very pleasant and relaxing day following the Freshcap Unwind. Keep in mind, I’m also taking the Freshcap Thrive 6 simultaneously, so I think I have a lot of mellow mushroom vibes going through my system.
The second day was a very similar experience for my sleep and I had an even better mood throughout the following day if that’s possible.
Win-win I would say.
On the third day, I forgot to drink my elixir before bed and my sleep was interrupted and broken. I’m not saying it’s because of a lack of the Unwind elixir, but it could be because I drank too much coffee during the daytime.
I do struggle with sleep towards morning when I have PMS too, so I am going to give Freshcap Unwind another night.
By day 4, I slept well, although my brain was excited from a hockey game I had been to. Still, I fell right asleep. I was awake by 5 am, so I ended up with a total of 7 hours of sleep, which is about normal for me.
I can’t say on this day I noticed as much benefit, but external factors could be at play, such as eating a late dinner or female hormones.
My verdict for Thrive Unwind
I would highly recommend Thrive Unwind for anyone who struggles to fall asleep because I think this is where it shines. It may not keep your sleep pristine if you are having other lifestyle factors that inhibit good sleep quality, such as caffeine, eating late, or looking at your phone before bed.
You may want to cut back on caffeine and have other healthy sleep hygiene habits as well as Thrive Unwind in your back pocket to have the best night’s rest. I also really like valerian root, but that’s for another blog.
Why use medicinal mushrooms?
Medicinal mushrooms are loved for their benefits for mental health, physical health, energy, stress-relieving, and cognitive benefits. Humans carried medicine kits with mushrooms as far back as 4000 years ago and early research shows that many of these traditional uses prove out to be true.
Most medicinal mushrooms are found in supplement forms, but can certainly be eaten on your plate, as is the case with Lion’s mane mushrooms, which happen to be delicious.
Uses of mushrooms vary by species and can include the following mushroom strains.
Freshcap mushroom ingredients
Let’s take a closer look at the research-backed benefits of the mushrooms that are included in the Thrive 6 mushroom complex.
Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum)
Reishi mushrooms are among the most popular medicinal mushrooms out there because research shows they improve well-being and even may help reduce cancer risk.
They are also helpful to reduce fatigue in conditions like chronic fatigue syndrome in women receiving breast cancer treatment. Reishi is a popular mushroom that also may improve lung function in people with asthma [R, R, R, R].
Chaga (Inonotus obliquus)
Animal studies show that Chaga may improve many conditions, including gut health, may support cancer treatment, improve skin health, dampen inflammation, and reduce allergies.
Cordyceps (Cordyceps militaris)
According to clinical research, cordyceps mushrooms help to support kidney health, increase energy in the body, may delay chronic kidney disease, and reduce COPD symptoms [R, R, R, R, R, R].
Cordyceps also may have heart health benefits and sexual benefits.
Turkey tail (Coriolus versicolor)
Research shows that turkey tail mushrooms help to support traditional cancer treatment [R].
The National Cancer Institute even claims that these mushrooms are safe and may be helpful alongside usual treatment.
Turkey tail mushrooms also support healthy immune function, provide healthy antioxidants, help improve the microbiome, and may reduce the risk of HPV infections [R, R, R, R].
Lion’s mane (Hericium Erinaceus)
Lion’s mane benefits include brain health and nerve health. These mushrooms are rich in antioxidants too.
Early research shows that Lion’s mane may improve memory in people with early dementia and may help people with symptoms of depression, irritability, and brain function [R, R, R, R].
Maitake (Grifola frondosa)
Maitake mushrooms may help immunity by increasing natural killer cells, improving antibody response to invaders, and activate immune complement pathways in the body.
They also may reduce cholesterol and reduce cancer risk, reduce blood pressure, blood glucose, and improve insulin sensitivity [R, R, R].
Quality of Freshcap Mushrooms
As mentioned briefly at the beginning, Freshcap mushrooms are high quality for many reasons. They are USDA-certified organic and tested for quality. Quality also stands out because they are tested for heavy metals and the company is a GMP-certified facility.
This brand contains only the fruiting body, unlike other mushroom brands that contain mycelium, grain, or other components. The fruiting body is purported to have most of the active mushroom ingredients.
While other brands often get good reviews too, they can be mycelium only or contain all the parts.
Freshcap claims that the fruiting body is the way to go, but reviewers of similar products for Stamets 7, for example, which uses the mycelium only, are also very highly rated. The popular Stamet 7 brand, however, doesn’t contain Turkey Tail mushrooms, so for this reason, I definitely opt for the Freshcaps brand over the Stamets 7.
The Freshcap company also makes Shroomies for Dogs, which get great reviews for puppy and dog health. And last I checked, dogs don’t get placebo effects (wink, wink :)). Personally, I haven’t given them to my dog yet, but I’m definitely going to order them because the reviews say that dogs gain their energy and vitality back, even in older dogs that are eating these.
They also have a mushroom coffee drink, an all-natural energy drink, and individual mushroom capsules for Turkey Tail, Chaga, Reishi, Cordyceps, and Lion’s Mane.
I would say that overall the Freshcap mushrooms are on par for quality with the Medicinal Foods Mushrooms brand, which is my base go-to mushroom brand that I have used for years.
Other reviews of Freshcap mushrooms
On the Freshcap website, there are over 500 positive reviews of Thrive 6 mushrooms. People using this brand of mushrooms report that almost universally report improvements in focus, energy, and overall health. Improved clarity and focus are a common theme among almost all of these reviews.
People either take these as capsules or add them to their morning smoothies or coffee if they are using the powdered form. Other people report improvements in lung function and even in their immunity stating “I don’t get sick since starting these.”
Other reviewers report improvements in the IBS symptoms and belly health. Still, others report decreases in painful conditions like headaches.
The only complaint that I could find is that it is not available to ship internationally. Everyone who commented on the price said it is worth the money and reported on the very responsive customer service.
For the Freshcap Unwind, a newer product, there are 7 reviews and all of them are positive as far as sleep and relaxation, which is the goal of this product. The only negative comment was one person commenting on the taste, which can easily be fixed with some sweetener and coconut milk.
The benefits of Freshcaps Thrive 6 and Freshcaps Unwind are clear in this review. Mushrooms help improve the microbiome, support healthy immunity, quality of life, and overall vitality. Other research even points to their benefits in helping reduce cancer.
My overall experience was positive and I recommend the Freshcaps line of products to anyone trying to improve health with the following exceptions.
If you are looking to improve your overall health, it is hard to go wrong with these products. Be aware that if you are allergic to mushrooms or experience any side effects, you should stop taking these mushroom supplements. Side effects are not expected, but as with anything, intolerances can occur.
Heidi Moretti, MS, RD is The Healthy RD. A registered dietitian for 23 years as well as a book author of The Whole Body Guide to Gut Health, Heidi has a passion for functional nutrition and natural medicine. She has researched supplements and natural medicine throughout her career. One of her biggest loves is helping people gain function and vitality by tackling the root causes of illness.
The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body and is shared for educational purposes only and is not meant to provide medical advice. Consult your doctor or healthcare provider before making changes to your supplement regimen or lifestyle.
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