Mushrooms 101

What do mushrooms do?

Mysterious and protective, medicinal mushrooms have been trusted for generations. In Asia, there are more than 100 types of mushrooms used to treat cancer. 

Mushrooms can help:

  • Strengthen and regulate the immune system
  • Soothe inflammation caused by oxidative stress
  • Support heart health
  • Provide nutrition to help prevent disease 

This is an answer that will continue to evolve (and we’ll be sure to share new insights with you!). Though we don’t fully understand mushrooms, we do know that they are very, very beneficial for the health of both humans and companion animals.


Why are mushrooms so good for us?

We know that access to good nutrition is key to good health. Mushrooms contain minerals, vitamins, beta-glucans (carbohydrates), and protein-bound beta-glucans which are now understood to be one of the primary sources of medicinal activity in mushrooms.

Mushrooms contain a multitude of beneficial compounds, including:

  • Polysaccharides — carbohydrates that can strengthen the immune system through their anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-tumor properties
  • Beta-glucans — a polysaccharide fiber that can lower cholesterol
  • Lentinan — a polysaccharide specific to the fruiting body of Shiitake mushrooms that has been shown to lower cholesterol and inhibit the growth and spread of numerous cancer cells
  • Antioxidants — compounds that help fight against oxidative stress and protect cellular health. Antioxidants in mushrooms include ergothioneine and glutathione, which are known to provide oxidative protection in critical organs. 
  • B vitamins — necessary for life, the B vitamins family supports a range of vital functions including energy production and cellular health
  • Copper — a mineral responsible for many functions, primarily relating to metabolism and the nervous system 
  • Phosphorous — a mineral with many vital functions, primarily relating to filtering waste, bone health, and muscle health
  • … and more.

We use the fruiting body (also known as the visual portion) of mushrooms, as they contain the most nutrients. 


What are medicinal mushrooms?

Mushrooms are fungi which occur naturally, commonly found growing on decaying tree and plant matter and in other moist environments. Mushrooms are also cultivated for use in food and medicine (and in our case, food as medicine). 

You’re likely already familiar with mushrooms as a tasty and delicious food, but did you know that they’re an ally in nutrition and preventative care?  

Mushrooms have been documented and celebrated as a culinary ingredient, nutrition and health benefits across many cultures for thousands of years. In fact, Shiitakes are one of the most popular mushrooms worldwide. In China and Japan, Shiitake mushrooms are consumed for their delicious taste and for their role in supportive and preventative care. Medical professionals in these countries recognize the role Shiitake mushrooms play in good health, and have formalized fungi as part of many treatment plans.

Mushrooms can be a powerful ally in the complete picture of health, especially for cats and dogs, who have increasingly higher rates of cancer and organ failure as they age. More than 50% of dogs develop cancer in their lifetime, and the rates for cats have increased from 25% to almost 90%.


Which mushrooms does Emisha offer?

Our flagship meal supplements feature two mushroom allies. Our mushrooms are human-grade quality, meaning that no shortcuts were taken during production to ensure a safe, high-quality product for your companion. 

Shiitake mushrooms Known for their distinctive umami flavor (the satisfying protein flavor that cats and dogs love), Shiitake mushrooms can help with heart disease, immunity, and regulating both blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Our blend contains only the fruiting bodies of mushrooms, as they are rich in beneficial minerals and beta-glucans. 

Poria mushrooms — Poria mushrooms have a long history of support in Traditional Chinese Medicine. They can boost the immune system, and carry anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits for healthier aging, kidney and liver support, and regulating blood glucose levels. 

We chose to work with Shiitake and Poria mushrooms for a few reasons: First, the meaty protein taste of Shiitake and neutral taste of Poria appeal to both cats and dogs. Secondly, because they have a longstanding relationship with good health, celebrated for their nutritional profile. 



How do I share mushrooms with my pets?

We offer a meal supplement powder which can be mixed daily into your dog’s food, cat’s food, and your own food. When consumed regularly, mushrooms can help promote and extend good health. 


When will we see results?

Health looks different for everybody—consider things like age, weight, breed, lifestyle, and your companion’s specific needs when determining what healthy means for your family. Results will vary based on your companion’s unique needs and goals.  

Our mushroom meal supplements assist in supportive and preventative care, so it’s important to consider your pet’s overall well-being. We encourage you to get in touch with a holistic vet to set health goals tailored to your family.


Resources we love:


  • Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake
  • Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
  • Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest by Suzanne Simard