Mushroom Extract Info
Beginners Guide To Medicinal Mushrooms and Powdered Extracts
Whether you're looking to improve specific health concerns or just improve your general health, there’s no limit to the different types of natural remedies to choose from. After all, we now have access to much of the planet's natural medicines at the touch of a button.
While there are tons of great plant-based food supplements to choose from, many folks have gotten benefits from Chinese Medicinal Mushrooms, long-ignored in western culture. Interestingly, mushrooms are not plants. They have very distinct properties, and belong to a different kingdom of life somewhere between animals and plants!
It’s this unique evolutionary origin that gives them special medicinal properties exclusive to the fungal kingdom. That is why no matter your reason for seeking “herbal” remedies, it’s worth giving mushroom extracts a try. For best results, it is recommended to use extracts of mushrooms alongside any lifestyle changes that may be needed to achieve your goals. *
Choosing The Right Mushroom For You
In eastern medicinal practices such as Traditional Chinese Medicine, mushrooms have been revered for centuries for their abilities to improve health. Today modern scientific studies are confirming the traditional uses and showing the many promising health benefits mushrooms can have.
While many mushrooms have similar medicinal properties, there are over a dozen
different mushroom species used in contemporary herbal medicine. Each has unique benefits and can be taken to treat or improve various health-related issues. Medicinal mushrooms are often considered “tonics” meaning they can be taken regularly to treat or prevent illnesses. They are extremely safe, rarely have negative interactions, and cannot be overdosed! * **
Powdered Extracts and Their Compounds
Powdered extracts are the most potent and often easiest way to consume Chinese medicinal mushrooms. They are produced via specialized processes that isolate the bioactive compounds of mushrooms, separating them from the fungal biomass. (the mushroom). In this form, the beneficial compounds are not only highly-concentrated but are bioavailable and easily absorbed by your body.
Powdered extracts can be consumed directly or mixed into any food or beverage. They are particularly practical for making processed products like healthy mushroom chocolates, coffee, or other functional food items. They can also be mixed with other supplements or herbal remedies.
The active compounds found within powdered extracts will greatly vary depending on the mushrooms used. All medicinal mushrooms contain polysaccharides called
beta-glucans which are particularly valued for their reported anti-cancerous properties and abilities to improve immune functioning. Beta-glucans is a general class of polysaccharides but the specific types will vary depending on the type of mushroom.
Other active compounds found within Chinese medicinal mushrooms include
triterpenes, nucleosides, and other types of polysaccharides. Certain compounds are considered water-soluble while others are water-insoluble. While certain ways of consuming medicinal mushrooms only contain one or the other, powdered extracts contain both.
Unlike tinctures, which are often the most common form of mushroom extracts,
powdered extracts are more potent and contain no alcohol. This makes them more attractive to individuals avoiding alcohol. Their potency also makes them more compact and easier to store or travel with. * **
Lion's Mane (Hericium ereusinac)
Mostly Used For: Improving Brain Function, Anxiety, Depression, Digestion Issues, and Nerve Damage.
Active Compounds: Erinacines, hericenones, and beta-glucans
Description: Lion's Mane has quickly become one of the most popular Chinese
medicinal mushrooms, revered for its ability to help enhance brain functioning. This includes improving memory, mental clarity, and reducing symptoms related to anxiety and depression. Lion's Mane mushroom has also been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to help regulate a wide variety of digestive issues and discomforts. Their ability to improve brain functioning is thought to be related to the presence of the compounds Erinacines and Hericenones. These are believed to not only stimulate the production of the Nerve Growth Factor, a compound that promotes the growth of new neurons, but to actually help in neurotransmission. It is surmised that they do this by reducing the quantities of amyloid plaque that accumulate in the axons between neurons. Accumulation of amyloid plaque is one of the main causes of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's. * **
Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum complex)
Mostly Used For: Improving immune function, helping in cancer treatment, and
regulating problems caused by environmental stresses.
Active Compounds: Triterpenes and beta-glucans
Description: Reishi mushrooms are highly revered in herbal medicine and have been traditionally mystified as “the mushroom of immortality”. While this title is a bit exaggerated, it’s true that Reishi mushrooms can help with a wide variety of health issues that may reduce the lifespan of individuals. Most notably Reishi mushrooms have been revered for their ability to help improve immune function and reduce the incidence of diseases. Scientific studies have also confirmed that Reishi mushrooms can help against chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. It has also been thought to have a wide variety of anti-cancer properties
that can prevent cancer and help in its treatment. * **
Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor)
Mostly Used For: Helping in cancer treatment and improving immune function
Active Compounds: Beta-glucans
Description: Turkey Tail is one of the most scientifically studied medicinal mushroom and has shown to be particularly promising in the treatment of various cancers in combination with chemotherapy and/or conventional cancer treatments. In countries such as Japan, the isolated polysaccharide known as “PSK” from Turkey Tail mushrooms is commonly prescribed as a supplement to cancer treatment and covered by insurance companies. Aside from this, research has also shown that it can have great benefits for the functioning of the immune system. * **
Chaga (Inonotus obliquus)
Mostly Used For: Reducing oxidative stress, anti-inflammatory, and improving heart health.
Active Compounds: Betulin, betulinic Acid, and beta-glucans
Description: Chaga mushrooms are unique in the world of Medicinal Mushrooms
because they occur as plant pathogens on the bark of birch trees and thus also contain unique medicinal properties associated with their hosts. In particular, Chaga mushrooms have been shown to be one of the most potent natural sources of antioxidants and have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. It also has been shown to have potent anti-viral, anti-biotic, and immune-boosting properties. * **
Cordyceps (Cordyceps militaris)
Mostly Used For: Improving Energy, Physical Preformance, Respiratory Issues, and Improved Sexual Potency.
Active Compounds: Adenosine, cordycepin, and beta-glucans
Description: Cordyceps is unlike other medicinal mushrooms both in its medicinal
properties and ecological habitat. Ecologically it’s unique because in the wild these mushrooms parasitize a wide variety of insects. Don’t worry though, Cordyceps militaris is commonly cultivated on 100% vegan growth mediums.
As far as health promoting properties go, Cordyceps contains unique chemical
compounds such as Cordycepin and Adenosine which work intimately in various
biochemical pathways in the body. Most notably Cordyceps is used for its energizing properties that help improve physical performance and reduce fatigue. They are also highly praised for their “anti-aging” properties that may help lengthen the lifespans of iindividuals consuming Cordyceps mushrooms. * **
Maitake (Grifola frondosa)
Mostly Used For: Improved Immune Function, Helping In Cancer Treatment, Diabetes, and Hypertension.
Active Compounds: Beta-glucans and other polysaccharides
Maitake mushrooms are a highly praised edible mushroom, also known as “Hen Of The Woods”. They are not only delicious but they have been shown to have a wide variety of medicinal properties. In particular, many polysaccharides such as beta-glucans found within this mushroom have been shown to be effective for a wide range of health issues. While there is still a lot of research being conducted on the health benefits of Maitake mushrooms it seems to be a promising supplement for regulating immune function. In particular, Maitake seems to have the potential in improving the immune function of individuals suffering from a wide variety of cancers. Maitake has also been shown to have the potential to help diabetes, HIV/AIDS, allergies, and fatigue.* **
Shitake (Lentinula edodes)
Mostly Used For: Aid in reducing cholesterol, improving immune function, and as an anti-inflammatory.
Active Compounds: Beta-glucans, eritadenine, and other polysaccharides.
Description: Shitake mushrooms are best known for their delicious umami-rich flavor, but they have also been shown to be highly helpful for several . Not only are they highly nutritional, containing a good percentage of your daily needs of copper, selenium, and other important minerals, but they contain other medicinal compounds of interest. In particular, Shiitake contains the beta-glucan Lentinin which has been shown to help lower cholesterol and help with a wide variety of chronic illnesses. * **
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**These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Theses products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.