How Many Types of Mushrooms Exist? A Complete Fact-Check


There are different types of mushrooms available and classifying them can tricky because we don’t really know them all. In fact, the ones we do know about may not be different types of mushrooms but a reference to the same specie, but in different life stages. For example, the portobello is nothing but the matured form of button mushrooms but you’ll find them classified as two separate mushroom types.

So, how many types of mushrooms are there? Well, there is no definitive answer to this because there are hundreds of different mushroom types out there. While some are poisonous, others are edible mushrooms that are highly nutritious. In this guide, we shall cover up almost all the different types of medicinal and edible mushrooms available and their health benefits. Sounds interesting? Let’s dive into it!

6 Different Types of Mushrooms with Medicinal Properties

For ages, Mushrooms are lauded for their medicinal properties but with over 50,000 types of mushrooms out there, it is not easy to comprehend which one does what. Each type has its own unique traits and serves a very specific purpose.

Some are packed with adaptogen properties and used in the treatment of sleep disorders while others are rich in antioxidants and are lauded as an anti-cancer food. To get a better understanding of the different types of medicinal mushrooms and their health benefits, let us now discuss six most popular types.

Reishi Mushrooms

Reishi mushrooms are also known as Ganoderma lingzhi is a medicinal mushroom that thrives in humid temperatures and is a native of Asia. When fresh, it is softer but gradually hardens and this why you hear some people referring to it as woody or hard.

Reishi, a type of mushroom

Although fresh reishi is healthier, those living in colder regions have no choice but to consume it in dried form. If that does not suit your dietary preferences, then try consuming its extracts that are easily available across the globe.

Reishi mushrooms are rich in antioxidants and can help one look younger by slowing down the aging process. Also, Reishi’s adaptogen properties are trusted by many who use it as a relaxant. It is believed that this type of mushroom can help induce sleep, without causing drowsiness.

Benefits of this type of Mushroom

  • Induces sleep
  • Reduces stress
  • Anti-aging properties
  • Rich in antioxidants
  • Lowers cholesterol

Magic Mushrooms

Magic Mushrooms can do wonders in combating depression due to their hallucinogenic effects that come from a compound called Psilocybin. This compound is credited with the ability to alter mood and perception and may help in cases of depression caused due to dementia. However, this one remains a prescription drug, and you need to seek the doctor’s approval before you try it out. The doctor would then recommend the right dosage after taking into account the various factors such as medical history, previous usage, size, and weight of the patient.

Most importantly, the doctor needs to be sure of your current health condition such as depression and its causes. Only then the doctor would be able to conclude that you can genuinely benefit from it. So it is strongly recommended that you do not consume this type of mushroom in any form without seeking professional advice from a specialist. Unless you seek professional medical advice, you’d be exposing yourself to psychosis, seizures, and even coma.

Benefits of this type of Mushroom

Used to treat depression and anxiety-related disorders. Ongoing research exploring its potential to treat dementia forms like Parkinson’s.

Turkey Tail

Turkey tail mushroom has always been around and has been used in Chinese medicine for ages. However, the FDA approved it around 2012, and ever since they became a big deal. Chinese medicine has always made use of this mushroom in the form of tea, which was believed to help boost the immune system. In fact, modern-day science confirms this trait to quite an extent.

The Turkey Tail is yet another Asian mushroom that may have the ability to fight cancer. According to ancient Chinese medicine practitioners, the Turkey Tail mushroom could be useful as an anti-cancer food because it has the ability to strengthen the immune system, which may in turn help in this regard. However, more research needs to be carried out in this direction.

Benefits of this Mushroom Type

  • Immune Booster
  • Rich in antioxidants

Lion’s Mane Mushroom Type

Lion’s Mane mushroom gets its name due to its appearance, which very much resembles the mane of a lion. You can find them across North America, during the Fall season. This type of mushroom is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, helps improve cognitive function, and may also prove useful in improving heart health. Just like the Reishi mushroom, even the Lion’s Mane mushroom qualifies as both an edible type of mushroom and a medicinal mushroom. So you can either eat them fresh or in supplement forms.

Benefits of this type of Mushroom

  • Improves cognitive function
  • Improves heart health
  • May have anti-cancer properties
  • Boosts immunity

Cordyceps Militaris

Chinese made use of Cordyceps Militaris or the Caterpillar Mushroom, in a unique way. They used it to cure lung diseases. However, with time, modern-day science has discovered several other properties that this type of mushroom has.

From increasing sexual function to having steroidogenic properties — you name it and Cordyceps has it. Also, these are one of the most expensive types of mushrooms, and their supplements are used by fitness enthusiasts in order to increase energy levels to work out longer.

For weight loss enthusiasts, Cordyceps works great by boosting metabolism. Cordyceps are also loaded with antioxidants that have anti-aging properties and helps combat the signs of aging if taken in the right proportion. According to one research carried out on old rats, Cordyceps strengthens memory and sexual function. Now, that’s just a sneak peek into the many benefits that this unique type of medicinal mushroom has.

Benefits of this type of Mushroom

  • Revitalization
  • Anti-aging
  • Anti-fungal
  • Promote sexual function
  • Improves memory

The Chaga Mushroom Type

Chaga is yet another type of mushroom known for its medicinal properties and can be consumed in the form of tea, or extracts. In fact, you can even use its extract to replace coffee and benefit from its bountiful medicinal properties. The Chaga mushroom grows on the barks of Birch trees, which are in plenty in Siberia, and has been used by Siberians for ages to keep illnesses away.

This type of mushroom resembles burnt coal, more than anything else as it grows in the form of a hard blackish lump that forms on the birch trees. Now, this looks or feels nothing like the soft and juicy Portobello or Shiitake, but you’ve got to believe it that this one is also a type of mushroom.

However, that doesn’t make much of a difference because this is a medicinal mushroom that needs to be pounded into powdered form and boiled with water for 3 to 4 hours. You can then strain this concoction and voila! Chaga tea is ready to drink.

You can even refrigerate this after it cools down, but make it a point to do so in a glass jar with a tight lid on it (a Mason jar would be the perfect one!). This should stay good for 10 to 14 days, but if you want to skip this entire process, then the best way to consume this type of mushroom is by buying it in powdered form, pill form, and syrup or extract forms.

Benefits of this type of Mushroom

  • Boosts immune
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Helps bring down inflammation
  • Considered to be an anti-cancer food

Edible Types of Mushrooms

If you didn’t already know it, you can’t really eat all types of mushrooms as some of them are poisonous and not suitable for human consumption. Also, there are mushrooms that can specifically be digested by some animals, and even that isn’t something that we are about to cover in this list of the various types of mushrooms.

Instead, we would stick to the ones that are suitable for human consumption — the ones that you can use in your kitchen. Also, we would take you through the nutritional values and the caloric breakdown of each of these edible types of mushrooms. Let’s start with demystifying the “big difference” between Portobello and White Mushrooms.

Is it White Mushroom or Portobello? Maybe it’s Cremini!

The difference between the two is the same as it is between a child and a human. When small, the Portobello mushrooms look milky white and if harvested and sold at this stage, then they are called Button Mushrooms or White Mushrooms.

However, as these little guys grow up, they turn brown and increase in size — this is when they are called Portobello mushrooms or Cremini mushrooms. As the nutritional levels of this mushroom vary in both life stages, let us now look at them one after the other.

Nutritional Value of Button or White Mushrooms (100 grams)

Total Calories – 22
Calories from Carbohydrates – 11.1
Cals from Protein – 8.1
Cals from Fat – 2.8

Nutritional Value of Portobello Mushrooms (100 grams)

Total Calories – 35
Calories from Carbohydrates – 17.5
Cals from Protein – 11.2
Cals from Fat – 6.3

Oyster in a Cluster

Oyster mushrooms are the second most popular type of mushrooms grown at home by hobbyists.

The Oyster mushrooms grow pretty easily and if you wish to grow mushrooms on your own, then try growing these. As these grow in clusters, two bags grown with a gap of 15 days should give you a continuous supply. You can easily chop them up and substitute them with cremini or while mushrooms, in your recipes.

These make a great addition to soups but if you plan to gorge them in large quantities, then you’ve got to know that over half of its calories come from carbohydrates, so whether or not to use it in a keto diet is up to you and your personal preferences. However, what we like about it is the high protein content and low-fat content, which makes it ideal for those on a weight loss diet.

Nutritional Value in 100 grams of Oyster Mushrooms

Total Calories – 43
Calories from Carbohydrates – 26.1
Cals from Protein – 13.2
Cals from Fat – 3.7


Shiitake is a very popular type of mushroom that has a smoky flavor and deep meaty texture. As it was grown by cutting down Shi trees, it’s called Shiitake. This type of mushroom is widely consumed in its homeland, Japan. According to Experts, the Shiitake is rich in nutrients and helps boost the immune system. It is rich in protein and low in carbohydrates, which makes it the best keto food for vegetarians. In fact, the high fiber and protein make it ideal for anyone trying to lose weight by reducing their calorie intake, but working out regularly.

Nutritional Value in cooked Shiitake (100 grams)

Total Calories – 56
Calories from Carbohydrates – 50.1
Cals from Protein – 4.1
Cals from Fat – 1.8


Extremely low in cholesterol and sodium, the Enokitake or Enoki mushrooms that come from Japan are a great substitute to the starchy noodles. However, it is nothing less than a Samurai when you are on a keto diet, and can ruin it when consumed in large quantities since almost half of its calories come from carbs. However, this Samurai of a mushroom works great for anyone on a crash diet or protein-rich diet.

Nutritional Value in Enokitake (100 grams)

Total Calories – 44
Calories from Carbohydrates – 30.9
Cals from Protein – 10.2
Cals from Fat – 2.9

Morel Mushrooms

A favorite of the French culinary Experts, morel mushrooms are yet another type of mushrooms, which are edible and extremely flavorsome. Morels are oblong-shaped wild mushrooms that need to be procured from the forests. There is no way you can grow these at home with a mushroom growing kit, as you can grow cremini or oyster mushrooms. However, due to its exotic flavor and rich nutritional value, commercial sellers procure this after a great deal of hard work in the forest.

Nutritional Value in Morel (100 grams)

Total Calories – 31
Calories from Carbohydrates – 16.65
Cals from Protein – 10.17
Cals from Fat – 4.18

Porcini Mushrooms

How would you like it if someone you ‘Porcini’? Well, if you do not understand Italian then you probably won’t bother about it. However, if you understand Italian then you’d want to beat that person black and blue. Wondering why? well, because ‘Porcini’ is Italian for Pig, actually ‘piglet’.

Wondering why they call it a piglet? Well, probably due to its color and large size as this type of mushroom can grow up to one foot tall and has a pretty thick stem. This type of mushroom is usually found on the ground, near chestnut and pine trees. It is a fine source of fiber and is rich in B vitamins. So if you didn’t really understand what ‘Porcini’ is or don’t live in Italia, then you can still try the dried porcini mushrooms.

Nutritional Value in dried Porcini (100 grams)

Total Calories – 375
Calories from Carbohydrates – 275
Cals from Protein – 100
Cals from Fat – 0.0

Final Takeaway

We have covered up some of the most important types of mushrooms. From the squishy Portobello to the rock-hard Siberian Chaga, we’ve got them all together for you. In fact, it is this diversity that makes reading about the various types of mushrooms, all the more interesting. However, there are a ton of other mushrooms that we and modern-day science are yet to discover.

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