Host Defense Mushrooms Review

About Host Defense Mushrooms

Host Defense Mushrooms Review

In the realm of modern and natural health, mushrooms are king. Loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, these curious-looking little guys pack a serious punch when it comes to a flourishing body and brain. 

With a higher amount of protein than most vegetables[1], mushrooms are a great source of essential amino acids. They are particularly important for those who follow plant-based diets. 

Mushrooms are also rich in vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, and fibers while remaining low in fat content. In addition to their nutritional value, mushrooms have been used for centuries in traditional medicine as therapeutic agents.

As described in a review article[1] published in the International Journal of Microbiology, the most abundant polysaccharides present in mushrooms are beta-glucans. These bioactive components are responsible for many health benefits including antitumor, immunomodulatory, antioxidant, and neuroprotective effects. 

Thanks to their phenolic components, mushrooms exhibit antioxidant properties that may protect us from degenerative diseases. It seems like the more we know about mushrooms, the more benefits we find! 

Host Defense uses 40 years of expertise in mushroom cultivation, growing its non-toxic species in the US, and harnessing their power into supplements that easily integrate into your daily life. 

You’ll find a healthy selection of mushroom-centric products from this brand, packed into convenient capsules, teas, extracts, and more.

The brand has a community of over 75K across Instagram and Facebook, sprouted up in well-known stores like Whole Foods, and even been featured in PR Newswire and AP News. Ready to find out about the wonderful world of fungi? This Host Defense Mushrooms review has got you covered.

Ahead, we’ve done all the foraging, finding you critical details about the brand and its products. We’ll include a hefty dose of customer feedback, specs on promotions, and more.

Overview of Host Defense Mushrooms

Host Defense Mushrooms Review

Host Defense has become the most trusted and popular mushroom supplement brand in America, its collection of certifications resembling a must-have checklist for anyone seeking a natural, clean product. The face behind the brand asserting that such quality is met? A man named Paul Stamets.

If you’re unfamiliar with Paul, all you need to know is that he’s the guy you want to buy your mushrooms from — and we’re not just saying that because we’re the ones writing this Host Defense Mushrooms review. With over 40 years of experience (he started Fungi Perfecti in 1980), he knows about the important role mushrooms play in human health. 

But the Washington state-based brand doesn’t just help people out, it’s concerned with our planet and all that lives on it, especially mushrooms and bees (the little creatures that help spread their spores). 

Coming up, this Host Defense Mushrooms review will dive into the brand’s magnificent mycelium-fueled mix of supplements. Before we get there though, we’ll fill you in on its shining points to give you a feel for what it’s about: 


  • Nice selection of products for various purposes (immunity, detox, etc.)
  • Various formats (capsules, extracts, powders, etc.)
  • Organic & Non-GMO
  • NSF-tested for safety
  • Vegan
  • Gluten-free
  • Bee-friendly
  • Uses eco-packaging
  • 10x climate positive (your purchase helps fund research & reduce CO2 emissions)

Whoever thought a little mushroom could have so many amazing health benefits? Assisting with immunity, brain function, and full-body health, the brand’s range of products is a potent, safe natural way to supplement your diet.

The brand offers an inclusive spectrum of formats for its miracle mushroom supplements, and you’ll find everything from capsules to extracts to teas in its collection. The next part of this Host Defense Mushrooms review will showcase its three best-selling products: a capsule, an extract, and a syrup to promote health from head to toe.

Host Defense Mushrooms Lion’s Mane Capsules Review

Host Defense Mushrooms Lion's Mane Capsules Review
Host Defense Mushrooms Lion’s Mane Capsules

Resembling a little puffball (like a lion’s mane), these mushrooms are superstars in the realm of brain and body health, providing benefits that range from increased focus to helping with depression and anxiety. Captured in easy-to-take capsules, you can buy a bottle of 30, 60, or 120 for $20-$60.

Ingredients Label

A formula with just three ingredients, you’ll find 1 gram of Lion’s Mane mushrooms within the vegan-friendly capsules, along with freeze-dried brown rice (that has undergone a process to remove unwanted compounds), and pullulan (a starchy polymer). 

Nutritional Value

The Lion’s Mane Capsules have no calories, fats, or carbs, due to its small serving size. In my research for this Host Defense Mushrooms review, I found that 100 g of Lion’s Made has 35 calories. Divide that by 100 (to get this brand’s 1 g serving size) and you have a very minute amount of calories: 0.35.


This particular type of mushroom is known for its role in assisting the brain, nerves, metabolism, and the gastrointestinal system. Preclinical studies have shown that the fungi can help with memory, focus, and cognitive function, lower cholesterol and sugar levels and support the immune system. However, studies in humans are still lacking. 

An in-vitro study[2] published in the Journal of Food Biochemistry found that bioactive components in Lion’s mane (phenol, flavonoids, and ascorbic acids) have proven antibacterial, antioxidant, and antitumor activity. These promising results may have implications in the treatment of oxidative-stress related conditions, cancer, and infections.

In another in-vitro study[3], F. Yao and colleagues demonstrated that Lion’s main extracts show antioxidant and antihyperglycemic activity. These findings may trigger the study of new antidiabetic therapies. 

Lion’s mane was found to have neuroprotective effects. An in-vitro study[4] published in Antioxidants reported that Lion’s main extracts showed anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects on mice neurons and microglia cells.

Moreover, in another preclinical study[5], R. Martínez-Mármol and colleagues found that Lion’s main bioactive components enhanced nerve regeneration and improved memory in mice. Animal studies[6] conducted at Nanchang University, Lion’s mane was shown to have gastroprotective properties. 

Finally, researchers at The Catholic University of Korea[7] demonstrated that Lion’s mane had anxiolytic and antidepressant effects in mice.

How Does It Work

Lion’s mane mushrooms contain a wide array of beneficial proteins and antioxidants like beta glucans, glycoproteins, and other myco-nutrients. These elements are vital when it comes to immune system health, entering cells, and helping them grow to better defend your body from illness.

How to Take & Dosage 

You should take two Host Defense Mushrooms Lion’s Mane Capsules once a day. You can do this either with or without food. 

Host Defense Mushrooms Breathe Extract Review

Host Defense Mushrooms Breathe Extract Review
Host Defense Mushrooms Breathe Extract

Without a doubt, oxygen is a necessity. Without it, brain function dissipates, energy lulls, and you may even experience things like dizziness, shortness of breath, and confusion. The Breathe Extract was formulated with chaga, cordyceps, and reishi mushrooms known for their benefits to the immune system.

Chaga mushrooms have shown antiallergic and immunomodulatory activities. A preclinical study[8] published in International Immunopharmacology found that Chaga mushroom extracts have immunomodulatory effects in mice, lowering IgE levels, anaphylactic reactions and increasing IFN-gamma synthesis. However, studies in humans are lacking.

Cordyceps mushrooms have the potential to boost the immune system and fight against cancer. In an animal study[9], J.S. Lee and colleagues found that Cordyceps polysaccharides inhibit the growth of melanoma cells in mice. Moreover, they reported that these bioactive components have immunostimulating effects.

Preliminary studies suggest that Reishi mushrooms have immunomodulatory and anticancer properties. In a study[10] conducted at Fujian Medical University Union Hospital, researchers showed that Reishi polysaccharides can inhibit the growth of tumoral cells in mice with brain cancer (glioma) by stimulating their immune response. However, we cannot extrapolate these results to humans. Large clinical studies are needed. 

Helping you boost overall immunity, this supplement is delivered in extract form in a 1 oz or 2 oz dropper bottle for $20-$38.

Ingredients Label

A simple, yet hardworking formula, this extract combines fresh chaga, fresh cordyceps, fresh reishi, and dried reishi mushrooms with water, alcohol, and myceliated brown rice. 

Nutritional Value

There are no calories, fats, or carbs present within this formula. Since it’s only 1 g (think: chicklet of chewing gum) of mushrooms, the amounts are negligible as they’re already a very low-calorie food. 

What you will get is a spectrum of myco-nutrients, polysaccharides, and antioxidants to properly nourish cells.


The Host Defense Mushrooms Breathe Extract may reduce your reaction to environmental conditions (like allergies and viral infections). The extract can help your immune system and may provide additional full-body benefits as well. 

How Does It Work

The immune system sounds like a complicated thing, but really, it comes down to a simple process: locating antigens[11] (aka foreign substances) and getting them out of the body. This is why our noses run and we get a fever — to help these bad guys exit our system or die off. 

To work at its full potential, the immune system needs vitamins, minerals, and amino acids to help immune cells grow. The stronger they are, the better they perform. By feeding our cells with beneficial foods like mushrooms (that contain a spectrum of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids), we give them what they need. 

Moreover, as we mentioned before, mushroom polysaccharides showed promising effects in preclinical studies, boosting the immune system and inhibiting tumoral cell growth.

How to Take & Dosage 

This potent extract is bottled in small amounts — just 1 ml two times a day is all you need. You can take your drops (there’s about 45 in a 1 ml serving) with food or not, or use them as directed by a healthcare practitioner. 

Host Defense Mushrooms Elderberry Plus Syrup Review

Host Defense Mushrooms Elderberry Plus Syrup Review
Host Defense Mushrooms Elderberry Plus Syrup

We’ve been seeing elderberry syrup pop up all over the place lately, and for good reason. Apparently, it’s a natural magic potion that helps with all kinds of non-serious illnesses like colds, the flu, or a sore throat. 

The Elderberry Plus Syrup gives you all of the healing properties of the fruit mixed with an assortment of chaga, reishi, and turkey tail mushrooms. Delivered in a 4 oz bottle, stay stocked up for cold and flu season for a cool $23.

Like the other mushrooms, Turkey Tail’s bioactive components have the potential to boost the immune system. As described in a literary review[12] published in The International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, preclinical studies show that Turkey Tail extracts support the immune system, have antiviral activity, and improve the cholesterol profile. 

Elderberries appear to help us fight against upper respiratory infections. In a clinical trial[13] conducted by researchers at Griffith University, 312 air travelers were randomized to receive elderberry extract or a placebo for 14 days (from 10 days before traveling until 4 days after arriving at their destination). 

29 participants developed cold symptoms (17 from the placebo group and 12 from the elderberry group). Results showed that participants who received elderberry extract experienced a significant reduction in cold symptoms and a shorter duration of the respiratory infection (by an average of 2 days), when compared to the placebo group.

Ingredients Label

What’s inside the wellness staple is a simple concoction of elderberry fruit juice concentrate?

  • elderberry fruit extract (100 mg)
  • Reishi mushrooms (333 mg)
  • Chaga mushrooms (333 mg)
  • Turkey Tail mushrooms (333 mg)

This combo gets right to work, fighting off illnesses and feeding hungry cells. 

Nutritional Value

One of the few Host Defense products that has calories, the Elderberry Plus Syrup clocks in at a low 30 calories. With 8 g of carbs and 5 g of total sugar, 4 g of the sweet stuff has been added to the concentrate for a more palatable flavor.


There’s a reason this product is commonly used for colds and the flu— its makeup is ideal for upper respiratory wellness (helping conditions like a sore throat, cough, and phlegm). 

By assisting the proper functions of cell membranes and your immune system, your body is able to deal with illnesses promptly and efficiently. 

How Does It Work

The Host Defense Mushrooms Elderberry Plus Syrup has a high nutrient profile thanks to the vitamin-packed berry. A star at fighting colds and the flu, it delivers a potent dose of vitamin A, C, potassium, folate, iron, and even calcium. 

The combination of reishi, chaga, and turkey tail mushrooms provides a potent dose of superfoods and antioxidants to help upper respiratory and cardiovascular health.

How to Take & Dosage 

To give your body a little boost during sick times, all you need is 2 teaspoons of the Elderberry Plus Syrup once a day. You can take it alongside food or on an empty stomach. Since there are 12 servings per bottle, you should have enough to see your cold or flu through. 

Who Is Host Defense Mushrooms For? 

Host Defense Mushrooms Review

You’ll find a range of mushroom-centered products at Host Defense. With specific formulas to help improve brain cognition, increase energy, and help digestion, the brand specializes in immune defense since mushrooms are amazing at boosting your body’s natural system. 

Note: Host Defense products are not intended for children, and the serving size of each product is recommended only for healthy adults. Those who are breastfeeding, pregnant, are taking prescription drugs, or have a medical condition may need to steer clear of the brand — or at least consult a medical practitioner before using.

Host Defense Mushrooms Side Effects

Host Defense Mushrooms Review

Host Defense has said that mushrooms are “a functional food and therefore can be eaten daily.” The brand’s serving sizes are tailored for a healthy adult, and they say that it’s ok if you take more or less than suggested. Before doing so, it’s a good idea to consult a healthcare professional

They went on to tell us there aren’t any toxicity levels found in their products, but there are certain conditions for particular items that aren’t recommended for people with medical conditions or those taking prescription drugs (blood thinners, insulin, etc.). If that sounds like you, consult your doctor before use.

With that said, while there aren’t any known side effects for mushrooms as a whole, there is the potential of allergic reactions. Some people are allergic to fungi. If you don’t know if you could potentially have an allergic reaction to mushrooms, be on the lookout for trouble breathing or a rash. Though not common, reactions are possible.

Host Defense Mushrooms Reviews: What Do Customers Think?

Host Defense Mushrooms Review

When taking any supplement, it’s important to keep in mind that no two people are exactly alike — we all have different tolerance levels. What works immediately for one may take a few weeks to kick in for another. 

To get a general feel for how effective this brand’s mushroom extracts are, let’s hear from those who have tried them.

This section of my Host Defense Mushrooms review is dedicated to customer feedback, and here, you’ll read a spectrum of comments and ratings from the web. Let’s start with Amazon.

Host Defense MyCommunity Capsules are quite popular on Amazon, with a 4.8/5 star rating from 4,763 shoppers. Made to boost immunity, that’s exactly what customers say they experience while taking the supplement. One who was dealing with bronchitis wrote a Host Defense Mushrooms review that read:

Was surprised to find that I started  improving almost immediately. I took the 30 count over the course of 15 days, during which I noticed a marked difference in not only my symptoms, but my chronic pain as well!

Other users said that they experienced a chilled-out effect, reporting feeling more relaxed and less anxious. Overall, MyCommunity looks to be very effective. To check up on the Lion’s Mane Capsules, I headed over to and found an overall rating of 4.7/5 stars from 53 buyers.

Mentions of mental clarity were common here, along with many customer comments about the quality of the brand overall. Of its effects, one Host Defense Mushrooms review revealed:

My husband and I have been taking these supplements for a total of 3 months and have seen numerous benefits…1- Mentally sharper…2- Mood Balance…3- SNORING!!…4- Immunity…” Writing about an absence of illnesses, a reduction in snoring, and an overall feeling of calm, it’s amazing to read that one small supplement can have such amazing effects. 

For our final sprout of feedback, I turned to the Host Defense Mushrooms review section for the Cordyceps capsules on Walmart. They had a score of 4.4/5 stars and just 7 reviews, but the majority of customers seemed pleased with the results. One comment read:

I started taking Cordyceps to improve my memory while studying for the national boards. I found it also increased my energy levels and kept them steady.” Others mention the great quality of the brand as well, and it appears that’s something most gravitate to Host Defense for.

In the end, what I found was overwhelmingly positive. There were one or two negative reviews about reactions to the mushrooms, but they almost always involved users taking them alongside medication (which isn’t recommended). Like the brand suggests, consult your healthcare professional if you’re unsure. 

Is Host Defense Mushrooms Worth It?

Host Defense Mushrooms Review

Turns out the humble mushroom can be extremely beneficial to health. When first hearing about the wonderful powers of mushrooms, I thought it was a bunch of hoopla. But science has now proven these little, big, and sometimes scary-looking fungi provide full-body and brain benefits. 

According to Host Defense Mushroom reviews I found across websites, these little babies work too. And customers flock to the brand for its reliable quality. When taking any supplement, quality is important — it may be the difference between experiencing an effect or not. 

Decorated with certifying seals that guarantee this brand, organic, non-GMO, and safe by NSF standards, Host Defense is something I truly feel good about recommending. 

Host Defense Mushrooms Promotions & Discounts 

Host Defense Mushrooms Review

Quality brands usually have larger price tags, and with that in mind, I totally respect this one’s reasonable prices. While digging through the website for this Host Defense Mushrooms review, I came across a few different sales and specials — check them out:

  • Save 20% on powders, extracts, syrups, and extracts when you buy 4 or more with code BULK20
  • Save 25% on capsules, powders, extract, and syrups when you buy 12 or more with code BULK25
  • SALE on MycoBrew Drink Mixes like Cocoa, Mocha, and Matcha — yum!

Where to Buy Host Defense Mushrooms

Host Defense Mushrooms Review

Host Defense Mushrooms are available around the US and even in some stores across Canada. You can find them in healthy living retailers like Vitamin Shoppe and Whole Foods, or online at Amazon. 

When it comes to health though, it’s been said that heading straight to the source is key. To do that, zip on over to to shop the entire selection. 


Host Defense Mushrooms Review

Is Host Defense Mushrooms vegan?  

Totally, 100% vegan. Free from dairy, eggs, and all other animal-derived products, Host Defense is a clean brand that celebrates the healing powers of the natural world. 

Is Host Defense Mushrooms gluten-free? 

Yes! All of the brand’s supplements, syrups, and teas are completely gluten-free. That means anyone can enjoy them and not worry about the pesky allergen.

What is Host Defense Mushrooms’ Shipping Policy?

Though you can find Host Defense Mushrooms in Canada, the brand’s website only offers shipping within the US via USPS and UPS. For anyone seeking Host Defense in Canada, the brand does recommend checking out their authorized retailers — such as, Vitasave or — to purchase their items due to restricted regulations for international shipping. 

Orders can take up to 3 business days to ship out, but most of them get sent on the same day if you place your order early enough. If you haven’t chosen a shipping option at checkout, Host Defense promises to choose the most cost-effective and quickest method. 

What is Host Defense Mushrooms’ Return Policy?

The only products Host Defense doesn’t accept returns on are any of its live products. If you need to return anything else, that’s totally ok, you have 30 days from the date of purchase to do so.

The brand has said that if you’re not 100% happy with any of its products, you can send them back — they don’t need to be unopened and unused or anything, the offer simply stands as is. When you’re ready to make a return, just send an email or call customer service and they’ll let you know what to do next. A few things you’ll need to include at the time of request:

  1. Your name
  2. Order number
  3. Shipping address
  4. Name & lot code of the product

Depending on the nature of your request, you’ll either be sent a replacement or a refund. Keep in mind this policy only applies to products purchased directly from the brand’s website — not third party retailers like Whole Foods and Amazon. 

How to Contact Host Defense Mushrooms

If you need any other information that wasn’t included in this Host Defense Mushrooms review, you can get in touch with the brand in the following ways:

Their hours of operation are weekdays from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm PST. If you’re reaching out outside of those hours, you can always use the contact form on the website.

Check out similar brands you might like:

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Article Sources

[1] Valverde, M. E., Hernández-Pérez, T., & Paredes-López, O. Edible Mushrooms: Improving Human Health and Promoting Quality Life International journal of microbiology, 2015
[2] Ghosh, S., Nandi, S., Banerjee, A., Sarkar, S., Chakraborty, N., & Acharya, K. Prospecting medicinal properties of Lion's mane mushroom Journal of Food Biochemistry, 45(8), e13833
[3] Yao, F., Gao, H., Yin, C. M., Shi, D. F., Lu, Q., & Fan, X. Z. Evaluation of In Vitro Antioxidant and Antihyperglycemic Activities of Extracts from the Lion's Mane Medicinal Mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Agaricomycetes) International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, 23(3)
[5] Martínez-Mármol, R., Chai, Y., Khan, Z., Kim, S. B., Hong, S. M., Gormal, R., ... & Meunier, F. A. Hericerin derivatives from Hericium erinaceus exert BDNF-like neurotrophic activity in central hippocampal neurons and enhance memory bioRxiv
[7] Ryu, S., Kim, H. G., Kim, J. Y., Kim, S. Y., & Cho, K. O. Hericium erinaceus Extract Reduces Anxiety and Depressive Behaviors by Promoting Hippocampal Neurogenesis in the Adult Mouse Brain Journal of medicinal food, 21(2), 174-180
[8] Yoon, T. J., Lee, S. J., Kim, E. Y., Cho, E. H., Kang, T. B., Yu, K. W., & Suh, H. J. Inhibitory effect of chaga mushroom extract on compound 48/80-induced anaphylactic shock and IgE production in mice International immunopharmacology, 15(4), 666-670
[9] Lee, J. S., & Hong, E. K. Immunostimulating activity of the polysaccharides isolated from Cordyceps militaris International immunopharmacology, 11(9), 1226-1233
[10] Wang, C., Shi, S., Chen, Q., Lin, S., Wang, R., Wang, S., & Chen, C. Antitumor and Immunomodulatory Activities of Ganoderma lucidum Polysaccharides in Glioma-Bearing Rats Integrative cancer therapies, 17(3), 674-683
[11] Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care How does the immune system work? [Internet]

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