Can Eating Mushrooms Help Prevent Headaches?

Maybe you've recently watched "Fantastic Fungi" on Netflix, heard about the increasingly popular mushroom coffee, or are just a big fan of mushrooms in food, but whatever the case, it's clear that these fungi are full of all sorts of properties that can help us, and the planet, in a myriad of ways. A 2017 Penn State study posted at Science Direct focuses on the high antioxidant amount found in a certain variety of mushroom that can have anti-aging effects, while a 2019 study conducted by the University of Singapore, posted at the National Library of Medicine, examines the relationship between mushroom consumption and mild cognitive impairment and explores the "potential role of mushrooms and their bioactive compounds in delaying neurodegeneration" — how mushrooms can help boost your memory. There is a ton of research out there on the benefits of mushrooms, but can they be used to treat even minor issues, such as headaches? It turns out, these fabulous fungi just might be able to help.

Mushrooms may help with headache symptoms

A few studies have been conducted focusing on the relationship between mushrooms and headache prevention and reduction to see if consuming mushrooms could help reduce migraine symptoms or eliminate them altogether. Mushrooms contain high amounts of riboflavin, which is a B vitamin that is thought to help with headaches. A 2004 study (also posted at the National Library of Medicine) "gave patients 400 mg riboflavin capsules each day and then recorded their headache frequency, duration, and intensity. They found that the frequency of headaches was significantly reduced, although the intensity and duration did not change" (via Delish).

In 2020, scientists began to also look into the effect of psilocybin (the substance mainly responsible for the hallucinogenic and psychedelic effects of "magic" mushrooms) on migraines. They discovered that psilocybin "may have long-lasting therapeutic effects" in headache and migraine symptoms (via Neurotheraputics, posted at Springer Links). While more research is needed to make any conclusive statements about mushrooms and headaches, it's possible that increasing your mushroom consumption could help with some of the pain that comes from headaches and potentially decrease their frequency.