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Spongy black hoof fungus growing on tree
Functional mushroomsThe Benefits of Black Hoof MushroomsThe Black Hoof mushroom is a non-psychedelic fungus that can be consumed as a dietary supplement in capsules, powdered extracts, or tinctures. The fungus has many different names and ways of writing them, such as: Sanghuang or Sang-HwangMeshima, Mesima, or MeshimakobuPhellinus linteus (the scientific name) Although there may be minuscule differences between the mushrooms grown in different regions and climates, the benefits of this particular fungus are largely the same. This article discusses a few of those benefits and the potential side effects. » Find the perfect mushroom blend for your condition - take free quiz Immunomodulatory Properties of Black Hoof Fungus Many functional mushrooms are revered for their ability to benefit the immune system in various ways, and black hoof mushrooms are no different. Immune Boosting Properties Research has shown that one of the uses of Black Hoof mushroom is for direct benefits to the immune system by activating the response of T cells. T cells are primarily responsible for killing foreign bodies while also activating other immune cells. Additionally, science has often shown that various mushroom species possess differing levels of antimicrobial activity. Although there is limited research into the antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal benefits of Meshima mushrooms specifically, it appears that all species of mushrooms possess these properties to some degree. Anticancer Properties The abovelisted study also looked at the anti-tumour properties of Sanghuang and found that it appeared to induce apoptosis (programmed cell death) of cancer cells and inhibit the proliferation and progression of colon and prostate cancer cells. Additional research found Phellinus linteus extracts to be effective in inducing apoptosis of breast and bladder cancer cells and even went far enough to claim that this particular mushroom is the most effective fungal species in the treatment of cancer. Antioxidant Properties The same study also found that Black Hoof fungus effectively reduced oxidative stress by increasing the expression of antioxidative enzymes in the body in addition to possessing certain polyphenols that have natural antioxidant capabilities. As discussed in this study, free radical proliferation (oxidative stress) is detrimental to the immune system. The accumulation of oxidative stress also leads to cell and DNA damage that accelerates the aging process, and so another benefit to antioxidants is a longevity boost. Health Benefits of Black Hoof Fungus Aside from the immunomodulatory benefits of Black Hoof mushrooms, there are also some additional health benefits. Anti-inflammatory Properties Inflammation build-up can be caused by several factors, such as allergies or more serious conditions like arthritis. If left untreated, science shows that inflammation can become chronic and cause many severe conditions, such as respiratory diseases, heart disorders, cancer, and diabetes. Reducing inflammation in the body not only alleviates the symptoms of many of these diseases but can also lower the risk of developing worse conditions. There is strong evidence to suggest that Black Hoof mushrooms possess potent anti-inflammatory (and even anti-allergenic) properties. Antidiabetic and Hepatoprotective Properties Common symptoms of diabetes are insulin resistance that leads to increased glucose levels in the blood and liver damage. Treatment for this condition usually involves hypoglycemic medications to lower the concentration of blood glucose. However, there may be other ways to achieve the same result. Some studies have shown that one of the benefits of Sanghuang mushroom is an apparent hypoglycemic effect in diabetic mammals. Additionally, extracts of the fungus also appear to be effective in combating liver damage (hepatoprotective) caused by several factors, including diabetes. Are There Side Effects of Consuming Black Hoof Mushrooms? Despite the growing research into the benefits of functional mushrooms, very few studies have ever looked at the side effects. It stands to reason that many functional mushroom species would share similar side effects, most of which are gastrointestinal problems (stomach cramps, nausea, and diarrhoea). However, side effects from functional mushroom supplements are not often reported and usually only occur when consumed raw or improperly prepared. That being said, precautions should be taken by the following people: Diabetics Although these mushrooms may benefit diabetes symptoms situationally, combining them with other hypoglycemic medications could result in dangerously low blood sugar levels if not properly monitored. Pregnant or breastfeeding mothers There isn't any evidence that suggests these mushrooms aren't safe if consumed while breastfeeding, but there also isn't any research into the safety and should be avoided as a precaution. Autoimmune disease sufferers Different bodies of research suggest these mushrooms to be either immunomodulatory (which could suppress the side-effects of autoimmune diseases) or immunostimulatory (which could aggravate symptoms). So long as the debate continues, individuals with autoimmune diseases like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and others should err on the side of caution. Those with mushroom or mould allergies The Black Hoof mushroom is a fungus and will trigger reactions in those with fungal allergies. Can You Mix Black Hoof With Other Functional Mushrooms? Unfortunately, the lack of research into functional mushrooms extends to the efficacy of mixing them with other mushroom species. Some believe that combining them may reduce their benefits similarly to mixing pharmaceutical medications and alcohol. In contrast, others believe that the benefits are compounded when certain mushrooms are taken together since they are all fungi. Luckily, the mushrooms do appear relatively safe for most people, and so you have some breathing room to experiment and figure out what works best for you. Just be sure to monitor yourself for side effects and stop consumption immediately if you experience any.
Raw Cordyceps mushrooms and red fungus on three white plates against wooden background
Functional mushroomsFunctional Mushrooms for Heart Health: Best Ones and How to Use ThemThe extensive health benefits of functional mushrooms are extremely apparent in the modern world as more and more research is being carried out. They have been utilised for millennia for their nutritional components as well as their potential therapeutic properties. One of these potential benefits is an improvement in your heart health, but how true is this? How do functional mushrooms benefit your heart, which ones should you use, and how should you take them? How Can Functional Mushrooms Improve Heart Health? Maintaining a healthy heart takes a multifaceted approach, and although adequate exercise and reduction of unhealthy habits like smoking are necessary, diet also plays a crucial role. That being said, there are various ways that mushrooms can improve your diet and benefit your heart. Cholesterol Maintenance Studies have found that certain functional mushroom extracts were effective in reducing low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, otherwise known as "bad" cholesterol, in living pigs. Although the study wasn't carried out on humans, pigs are 98% genetically similar to humans—cross-species organ transplants have even been carried out successfully. Having high cholesterol can block your arteries and make it difficult for blood to flow through your body, inevitably contributing to heart disease. Blood Pressure Maintenance High blood pressure can be caused by various reasons and can increase the stress placed on your heart muscles, eventually leading to heart disease. Research has shown that different dietary mushroom species—Shiitake and Maitake—can reduce blood pressure in different ways in addition to reducing cholesterol. Antifatigue Properties Research has found that functional mushrooms can improve blood and oxygen circulation, which can reduce general and exercise-based fatigue. While this has inherent benefits for heart health, improved oxygen and blood circulation can also improve exercise performance and contribute to the improvement of the overall cardiovascular system. Antioxidative and Anti-inflammatory Properties A build-up of inflammation and oxidative stress can hurt the body in many ways, and the cardiovascular system is no different. With that in mind, the potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties of functional mushrooms that have been noted in various studies further suggest their benefit to overall heart health. Which Functional Mushrooms Are Good for Your Heart? It appears that all functional mushroom species can benefit the heart in some way, but that the nature of their benefit varies slightly between species. Explaining each of these differences would fill pages upon pages of text, but if you'd like to learn more about this, read our articles discussing the benefits of the following functional mushroom species: Reishi (also read Reishi Tea Benefits)Lion's ManeTurkey TailCordycepsShiitakeBlack HoofChaga (also read Chaga Tea Benefits)Wood EarMaitake How to Use Functional Mushrooms for Heart Health Although you can, technically, chop up and eat many of the functional mushroom species listed above, this is neither the most pleasant nor most optimal way to do so. While some species, like Lion's Mane, have a pleasant taste and are suitable for cooking, other species, like Reishi or Chaga, are thick and woody and not suitable additions to a meal. However, mushrooms have a thick layer of indigestible chitin that needs to be broken down for the body to access all the nutrients, which can be done through chemicals or sufficient heat. As such, mushroom teas and coffees are great ways of getting the benefits without worrying too much about the poor taste or texture. That being said, tinctures absorbed sublingually have an excellent combination of bioavailability (the amount of a substance your body can absorb) and duration of effect. As for dosages, there isn't really an optimal dose of functional mushrooms, as the physiological differences between different humans make it difficult to determine. Additionally, adaptogenic mushrooms need to be consumed consistently for an extended period in order for these benefits to be experienced, which is fundamentally different from pharmaceutical drugs. How to Enhance the Properties of Functional Mushrooms An important factor to note is the fact that the beneficial components of functional mushrooms can be enhanced by taking them in combination with other therapeutic components that offer similar benefits. This is exactly the basis of our M2CBD formula that combines extracts of various functional mushroom species with premiuml-grade CBD oil and other therapeutic components in the form of tinctures, capsules, sprays, and creams. to learn more about the different products we offer, visit our online store. Who Should Avoid Using Mushrooms? Although functional mushrooms are generally understood to be low-risk for most individuals, they are not completely absent of risk. Side effects usually only occur in extremely high doses, but don't appear to be lasting, and are typically gastrointestinal and stomach related. That being said, certain people are more at risk for adverse reactions than others and should exercise caution, including the following: Those with mushroom or mould allergiesThose with bleeding disordersThose expecting surgeryPregnant or breastfeeding mothers—studies have not looked at the safety of functional mushrooms on these women, and so they should avoid functional mushrooms altogether
Natural Lion's Mane mushrooms growing in nature on the side of a tree
Functional mushroomsAre Lion's Mane Mushrooms Addictive?Lion's Mane mushrooms (Hericium erinaceus) are a type of functional mushroom commonly used in alternative and traditional Eastern medicines. The term "mushroom" often has bad connotations when discussing its effects on the mind and body, mostly due to the illicit hallucinogenic psilocybin mushrooms (magic mushrooms). It's important to understand that, although Lion's Mane and other functional mushrooms can have spiritual benefits and side effects, they are not the same as psychedelic mushrooms. Lion's Mane does not get you high. That being said, could they have the potential to be addictive to some individuals? » Find the perfect mushroom blend for your condition - take our free quiz Is It Safe to Take Lion’s Mane Every Day? On this particular topic, there isn't much scientific evidence to suggest that taking Lion's Mane every day for multiple years would be safe. However, there also isn't any evidence to suggest that it could be harmful. The studies we do have, although looking at rats specifically, seem to suggest that Lion's Mane mushrooms are safe, even at high doses for an extended period of time. Additionally, unlike many popular pharmaceutical drugs, the average person doesn't run the risk of building up a dependency on Lion's Mane mushroom tablets, building up a tolerance to their effects, or suffering tolerance withdrawal. Can You Become Addicted to Lion’s Mane Mushrooms? Considering that they don't operate the same way that pharmaceutical drugs do, it's simply not feasible to suggest that you can become addicted to Lion's Mane. At least, not in the sense of chemical dependency. Sure, you might build up some degree of addiction in the same way that you would junk food, but it definitely wouldn't be too difficult to give them up if the need arose. Plus, at least Lion's Mane is far healthier than McDonald's. The same is true no matter what kind of Lion's Mane recipe you're going for. Whether you're making Lion's Mane tea, using Lion's Mane drops, or adding powdered Lion's Mane extract to your coffee, you'll face the same risk of addiction, which is almost nonexistent. Does Lion's Mane Make You Happy? If this seems like a loaded question, it's because it is. Some people think that the reason you build a chemical dependency on pharmaceutical drugs is purely because of the way they make you feel. Antidepressants make you "happy," therefore it's the happiness you must be addicted to, right? That's not entirely true. Take SSRIs, a type of antidepressant, for example. They work by inhibiting the amount of serotonin (a mood-boosting and mood-stabilising neurotransmitter) that your brain reabsorbs. This extra serotonin helps to regulate your mood, making you feel happier. Your brain compensates for this extra serotonin, and you build up a tolerance to that drug, meaning that you need to take higher doses to feel the same effect. Then, when you suddenly stop taking that drug, your brain has become accustomed to reabsorbing more serotonin than it was beforehand, which results in their being comparatively less of it without the effects of the antidepressant. This is chemical dependency. Lion's Mane doesn't operate the same way. While it may bring you feelings of happiness, they are secondary and attributed primarily to an overall increase in well-being as a result of their therapeutic benefits. It's not addictive levels of happiness because your body won't suddenly compound the negative things you were experiencing without the mushroom. Reducing oxidative stress and inflammation (among other things) isn't the same as preventing your brain from operating under its normal modality. Should You Be Worried About Lion's Mane Addiction? To conclude this article in a definitive manner, you should feel no more worried about a potential Lion's Mane addiction than you are about an addiction to eggs. So long as you are sticking to the recommended dose of Lion's Mane and living a healthy lifestyle, you shouldn't have anything to worry about.
The Beginner’s Guide To Lion’s Mane Mushroom
Functional mushroomsThe Beginner’s Guide To Lion’s Mane MushroomFunctional mushrooms have a history stretching back millennia; from the times of Egyptian pharaohs and ancient Chinese medicine practitioners, fungi have been used as an effective therapy. Mushrooms are revered for their healing properties as well as their culinary delights. But not all species are created equally: Lion’s mane mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) sits at the top of the toadstool. This edible fungus is native to North America, Europe and Asia. Its unusual appearance spawned a range of nicknames, including Monkey’s Head, Pom Pom Blanc, Satyr’s Beard, bearded tooth, and Yamabushitake. Paul Stamets, an American entrepreneur and mycologist, simple calls it the “smart mushroom.” With its power to enhance cognitive function, memory and mood; Lion’s mane mushroom has earned this title. We’ll cover more on its cognitive benefits shortly, but first, let’s start with the nutritional makeup of this prized mushroom? » Find the perfect mushroom blend for your condition - take our free quiz Lion’s Mane Mushroom: Nutrition 101 Lion’s mane mushroom is rich in β-glucan polysaccharides, essential amino acids, carbohydrates and fibre. With minerals including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium, and vitamins like folic acid (vitamin B9), thiamin (vitamin B1) and tocopherols (vitamin E)(1), its diverse array of nutrients deliver wide-ranging health benefits. » Reduce stress with Cannabotech's Lion's Mane-infused relax drops Lion’s Mane mushroom forms, dosage and preparation: What to look for and where to find it? Modern research has uncovered what ancient wisdom knew; Lion’s mane mushroom delivers diverse healing benefits. Because of its potency and malleability, there is a choice in delivery routes. This means it is available in a variety of preparations. An edible mushroom: If you love the taste and texture, the simplest way to gain the benefits is to simply eat the fungi. Wash, chop and chomp away. Or throw a handful into salads or other recipes (hints below).Supplement: If you have a specific measure in mind, how can you ensure the right mushroom dosage? Supplementation is the best way to meet your target. Research shows incredible health advantages from supplementation. So, it will be easy to find a Lion’s mane mushroom supplement to suit.The taste of healing: If you decide to take the culinary route, what should you expect? This fungus delivers a seafood, scallop-like taste. Its texture is described as similar to lobster; stringy, fleshy, and delicate. Once cooked, it has a tender, juicy chew.Soups or stirfry’s to eat Lion’s mane mushroom? Any way you like! Brewed with ginger, carrot, stock and root vegetables, this fungus adds a meaty texture to a healthy soup. Or chop and stir with bok choy and onion, chilli and basmati for a delicious stir fry.Steeped in teas or coffees: Mushroom beverages have been served as a tincture and in ceremony for time immemorial. Lion’s mane’s beneficial properties are ingested with every sip. You can purchase these brews ready-made or create your own. An online search will raise ample recipes to try… Lion’s mane coffee might soon become your favourite morning brew!Powders, pills, tinctures or drops: Powders, pill, tinctures and drops are often made from dried mushrooms. You can find a ready-made option in health food stores or online. Asian markets often supply dried mushroom, where it’s known as “monkey head” dried mushroom. Or you can grow some in your own fungi garden or forage if it grows natively in your region. Disclaimer: NEVER eat a mushroom that you are not 100% sure is edible! There are poisonous varieties that can cause significant harm and hallucination. Now you know how to consume this therapeutic fungus, it begs the question: why would you want to? There are a wide range of benefits; from cognitive support to improved mood, enhanced relaxation to vibrant skin, and more. 1. Lion’s mane assists with cognitive function and brain health Do you worry that your mind might become less than sharp as you age? Or do you wish to protect the brilliance of your brain? Maybe you’d find it helpful to enhance your memory and aid cognitive repair? Perfect! The evidence supports Lion’s mane mushroom’s effects as a cognitive enhancer. Your brain is created from billions of neurons; nerve cells that communicate with each other constantly. As with all parts of the body, there is a continual cycle of death and repair. This is the process of life! But if the balance becomes skewed toward the former, function diminishes… Cognitive function and memory can take a hit. Nerve growth factor (NGF), as its name suggests, is important for replenishing and maintaining a healthy brain. A study published in 2013 showed that Lion’s mane mushroom has neurotrophic (“nerve growing”) properties. (2) In this way, this fungus can promote brain and cognitive function. And research into memory shows it does just that. Memory is a complex process. It can stammer or falter due to a number of causes. A gamut of issues from stress to dementia can cause decline; sometimes temporary, sometimes not. But whether you walk into a room only to forget the purpose of your journey, or your experience is more challenging, enhancing memory is a common request. Here, Lion’s mane is here to come to the rescue. A 2019 study published in the journal Nutrients showed that, in mice, two months of oral supplementation “reversed the age-decline of recognition memory.” (3) In fact, it seems there are magic powers contained within mushrooms. Research published in the journal Current Developments in Nutrition found that “Dietary supplementation with Lion’s mane, Reishi and Cordyceps mushrooms may have a beneficial effect on cognitive impairment.”(4) 2. Lion’s mane may offer mood and stress support We, modern humans, live in a stress-filled world. The past year has been lived on constantly shifting sands, whose unstable grains have profoundly affected our collective and individual stress levels and mood. Yet, again, certain fungi offer potential respite… and quite quickly. A 2019 study found that a mere eight weeks of oral supplementation with Lion’s mane mushroom produced profoundly beneficial effects. The authors noted a decrease in depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders, and an improvement in mood disorders. Sleep quality improved too.(5) There are wonderful products that blend Lion’s mane with other functional mushrooms like those mentioned earlier, Reishi and Cordyceps. Relax Drops by Cannabotech combines these fungi to elevate synergy and results. This formula also contains nature’s soothing ingredients, chamomile and lavender extract, to support relaxation. Add in premium non-intoxicating CBD with our unique M2CBD formula to support relaxation whenever and wherever you need to unwind. 3. Lion’s mane may support your gut health Lion’s mane has been used for aeons for gastrointestinal support in special tonics, however research is only now making headway. You may have heard that your gut can affect your overall health, so this is particularly worth special attention. In a 2013 study, lion’s mane mushrooms were shown to significantly reduce ulcers and gastric mucosal injury.(6) This has been linked largely to its high antioxidant profile. Other studies have also suggested that lion’s mane can help balance the microbes in the gut. 4. Lion’s mane exhibits extraordinary skin benefits This mushroom appears to be beneficial for skin too. “As within so without”, as the saying goes. Inflammation, oxidative stress, and environmental damage take their toll on both internal systems and our outermost layer. As a great source of natural antioxidant(7) and anti-inflammatory compounds(8), Lion’s mane mushroom may calm skin problems. In fact, when applied topically, Hericium erinaceus has been shown to accelerate wound healing.(9) As you can see, there is a range of profound benefits associated with consuming this natural healing agent. As with any form of therapy, it’s important to ask… what are the potential side effects? 5. Lion’s mane is a superfood packed with nutritional benefits Lion’s Mane act as powerful antidotes to many ails due to the following components: β-glucan polysaccharidesessential amino acidscarbohydratesfibrevitamins and minerals including the much needed Vitamin B12 largely remiss in vegan dietsantioxidantsanti-inflammatory properties What are the side effects of Lion’s mane mushroom? Fullness if you eat too much! In all seriousness, Lion’s mane mushroom is considered to be incredibly safe. If you have an allergy to mushrooms, though, avoid this fungus along with the rest. The Lion’s Mane Takeaway Lion’s mane mushroom contains a wide range of nutrients that are essential for bodily function as well as reparative properties. The most accurate way to ensure a therapeutic dose is by supplementing with a premium product that contains other synergistic ingredients that maximise the benefits. We believe that the nutrients, natural and safe profile. Moreover, a wide evidence-base make Lion’s mane mushroom essential for daily use and the medicine cabinet. References: Lion’s mane mushroom; new addition to food and natural bounty for human wellness: A review’s_mane_mushroom_new_addition_to_food_and_natural_bounty_for_human_wellness_A_review Neurotrophic properties of the Lion’s mane medicinal mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) from Malaysia Hericium erinaceus Improves Recognition Memory and Induces Hippocampal and Cerebellar Neurogenesis in Frail Mice during Aging A Systematic Review of in-vivo Studies on Dietary Mushroom Supplementation for Cognitive Impairment Hericium erinaceus Improves Mood and Sleep Disorders in Patients Affected by Overweight or Obesity: Could Circulating Pro-BDNF and BDNF Be Potential Biomarkers? Gastroprotective Effects of Lion’s Mane Mushroom Hericium erinaceus (Bull.:Fr.) Pers. (Aphyllophoromycetideae) Extract against Ethanol-Induced Ulcer in Rats Composition and antioxidant activity of water-soluble oligosaccharides from Hericium erinaceus Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Ethanol Extract of Lion’s Mane Medicinal Mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Agaricomycetes), in Mice with Ulcerative Colitis Potential activity of aqueous extract of culinary-medicinal Lion’s Mane mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Bull.: Fr.) Pers. (Aphyllophoromycetideae) in accelerating wound healing in rats
Dried Wood Ear fungus harvested and collected on wooden board
Functional mushrooms4 Health Benefits of Wood Ear Fungus"Wood ear mushrooms vs black fungus" is a common debate as the terms are often used interchangeably. Although the two mushrooms are different, they are botanical cousins that have almost identical benefits. Wood ear mushrooms are typically sold dried, in powdered form, or as extracts. Dried mushrooms should always be cooked as this destroys bacteria and breaks down the chitin to activate the full range of benefits. » Find the perfect mushroom blend for your condition - take our free quiz 1. Wood Ear Mushrooms May Benefit Heart Health One of the most beneficial compounds in many functional mushrooms is high levels of polysaccharides. However, research has shown that wood ear mushrooms also contain polyphenolic compounds that were effective in lowering decreasing concentrations of cholesterol in the blood. High cholesterol can lead to clogged arteries, increasing blood pressure and putting your heart at risk. Lowering the levels of cholesterol will improve overall heart health. 2. Wood Ear Mushrooms May Boost the Immune System There are many ways that substances can benefit the immune system, and Wood Ear mushrooms seem to possess more than one of these methods. Firstly, research has shown that Wood Ear mushrooms seem to exhibit direct antimicrobial capabilities, which means that they are effective in killing or inhibiting the growth of bacteria. Secondly, one of the most effective ways of boosting the immune system is to improve gut health. Around 70% of the immune response capabilities are located in the gut, so it stands to reason that improving gut balance can improve overall immune health. Studies have shown that Wood Ear mushrooms contain prebiotics that can be beneficial for gut health. 3. Wood Ear Mushrooms May Fight Cancer Cells One of the common benefits across all functional mushroom types is their ability to inhibit and prevent the growth of cancerous tumours, and it seems that Black Fungus is no different. A study published in the Journal of Toxicological Research found that certain polysaccharide extracts of Wood Ear mushrooms exhibited potent anti-tumour activity. However, the linked study also pointed out the importance of the method of extracting the components of certain mushrooms. It appeared that water-insoluble and alkali-soluble polysaccharides obtained from Wood Ear mushrooms had little to no effect on tumour activity unless they were chemically modified. 4. Wood Ear Mushrooms May Reduce Oxidative Stress Like their effect on cancer cells, many functional mushrooms are often touted for their contained antioxidants. Accumulation of oxidative stress can cause numerous health complications, as well as contribute to the degenerative effects of aging. Typically, oxidative stress damages cells, proteins, and DNA and is visible in externally manifested symptoms like wrinkles and blemished skin. It stands to reason that reducing oxidative stress could have numerous benefits, such as: Reduced risk of cancer.Reduced risk of heart disease.Reduced symptoms of aging. Therefore, It is exciting that Wood Ear mushrooms, in addition to many other functional mushrooms, seem to contain potent antioxidants, as noted by this study. This means that Wood Ear mushrooms may even stimulate collagen production. Should You Choose Wood Ear Mushrooms Over Other Fungi? Although a reasonable question, there is, unfortunately, no right or wrong answer. The type of functional mushrooms you ultimately decide to incorporate into your life will depend mostly on the specific benefits you are looking for. Although many functional mushrooms share multiple benefits, each one seems to have at least one that it excels at more than others. Always remember that functional mushrooms are fungi, which means that individuals with mushroom or mould allergies will likely react negatively to them. Additionally, no studies have ever looked specifically at the side effects of Wood Ear mushrooms, and so you should always exercise caution when deciding whether or not to incorporate them into your life. Monitor yourself closely for wood ear mushroom poisoning (gastrointestinal problems, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal cramps), and contact your doctor if they manifest.
Raw Reishi Mushrooms next to dried and powdered Reishi Mushroom extract
Functional mushroomsHealth Benefits and Side Effects of Reishi Mushrooms (Ganoderma Lucidum or Lingzhi)Ganoderma lucidum is a type of fungus more commonly referred to as "Reishi" mushrooms in Japan or "Lingzhi" in China. It is a form of traditional Eastern medicine that has been used in the treatment of various ailments for thousands of years. This article will break down this powerful functional mushroom's potential benefits and side effects. » Find the perfect mushroom blend for your condition - take our free quiz Health Benefits of Reishi Mushrooms Reishi is often touted as the "Mushroom of Immortality" by western medicine. They promise an extensive list of benefits in several different factors of life. But is there any proof to these claims? It turns out that there is, and we've compiled an extensive list with the supporting material included. 1. Anti-Cancer and Chemoprotective Properties Although not much research has been done on humans in this regard, Reishi mushroom extracts have been observed to kill cancer cells during in vitro trials. Although this study doesn't conclusively prove the effectiveness of using Reishi mushrooms to treat cancer, the results are promising. Instead of suggesting a primary use of Reishi mushrooms as a first-line defence against cancer, some researchers have instead noted that most of the benefits of using Reishi mushrooms for cancer could be found in administering them alongside other cancer treatments. The reason for this is that the fungus shows noticeably low toxicity reactions compared to other cancer treatments, can enhance tumour responses through stimulation of host immunity, and appears to make chemotherapy more tolerable and effective. 2. Immunomodulating Properties Probably the most often discussed benefit is the effectiveness of fungal immunomodulatory proteins and polysaccharides that increase the activity of several types of white blood cells, primarily natural killer and T lymphocyte cells. These cells are responsible for fighting infections and cancers in the body. Additionally, Reishi mushrooms may actually be immunomodulatory instead of immune-boosting, which suggests that they could assist the body in identifying where the immune system needs to be more or less efficient. As with autoimmune disorders, existing treatments involve suppressing immune cells to allow the body to recover instead of boosting them, which could actually worsen the condition. However, more research is needed before conclusive results can be drawn. Also, the modulating properties of Ganoderma lucidum could be beneficial for thyroid health—but again, more research is needed. 3. Relief From Symptoms of Depression, Anxiety, and Fatigue A more psychological benefit of Reishi mushrooms is their apparent ability to improve an individual's perceived quality of life. Understandably, suffering from any condition as terrifying as cancer will likely manifest anxiety symptoms, while the prominent fatigue resulting from chemotherapy can likely cause feelings of depression. Currently, there are startlingly few evidence-based treatments for these conditions that stem from cancer. However, a study looking at the effects of spore powder from Reishi mushroom extracts on the well-being of breast cancer patients set out to observe whether the fungus could be used to battle fatigue and give you energy. The study found that Reishi mushrooms cause significant improvements in fatigue over a 4-week period compared to the control group. The treatment also similarly improved overall quality of life by reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression. Although the study focused specifically on cancer patients, the results suggest a possible promising treatment for mood-related disorders like anxiety and depression. Additionally, this could lead to an increased potential in using Reishi mushrooms for weight loss since some common causes of weight gain are fatigue and depression. 4. Improved Sleep Quality Before mentioning the direct benefits of Reishi mushrooms for sleep quality, it might be interesting to note that the reduced fatigue and boosted energy levels listed in the previous benefit might have positive effects on the body's natural circadian rhythm. Basically, improving the frequency and quality of your daytime activity causes your brain to secrete more adenosine (the sleep hormone) throughout the day, resulting in a reduction in symptoms of insomnia similar to the effects of exercise. No, this doesn't mean that Reishi mushrooms make you sleepy as a side effect. Aside from that, research has found that administering Reishi mushroom extract to rats caused notable improvements to sleep quality after only three days. The study found that the rats experienced a longer cycle of non-rapid-eye-movement (NREM) sleep without affecting the duration or quality of rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep. NREM sleep is when the body's "rest and repair" functioning, or cell rejuvenation, takes place. Although researchers aren't exactly sure how Reishi mushrooms carry out this mechanism, the results suggest promising efficacy in using Reishi mushrooms for sleep. 5. Improved Skin Quality There are several reasons why Reishi mushrooms may be able to improve the quality of your skin. Firstly, the polysaccharide content discussed in the 2nd benefit may effectively promote natural hydration of the skin, both preventing dryness and stimulating the production of new cells. Secondly, as noted by this study, Reishi mushrooms exhibit anti-inflammatory properties. This may be effective in reducing the symptoms of various inflammatory conditions within the body, such as rheumatoid arthritis and asthma, as well as on the outside of the body, such as inflammatory psoriasis, eczema, and acne. Thirdly, although the research on this is scarce, there is some evidence to suggest that Reishi mushrooms may possess antioxidative properties. Accumulation of oxidative stress can lead to several negative results, such as the damaging of cells, proteins, and DNA, which can cause a rapid increase in the ageing process. Reducing oxidative stress can slow the effects of aging, and improve poor skin. 5. Improved Heart and Blood Health Although these benefits are purely situational, reishi mushrooms have been associated with decreased chest pain and shortness of breath in people who suffer from heart disease. Additionally, some research has noted that, in some instances, Reishi mushroom does lower blood pressure. However, there isn't enough research for this to be conclusive. Improved heart health also results in better oxygen transportation by the body, which could offer numerous benefits to the lungs, including relief from respiratory illnesses like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, and more. 6. Improved Hair Health and Reduced Hair Loss Until recently, the causes of hair loss in male pattern baldness were mostly unknown. However, it has since been attributed to the presence of a hormone reduction called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) that is synthesized from regular testosterone by an enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase. DHT serves uses in puberty but loses usefulness in adulthood. However, in some males, the conversion of testosterone to DHT does not diminish after puberty. In mature adults, DHT binds to hair follicles in your scalp and destroys them over time through a process called "miniaturization," in addition to increasing the risk of certain prostate cancers. A medication called finasteride can be used to block the processes of 5-alpha-reductase, therefore inhibiting the production of DHT and stopping hair loss. The significance of this is that emerging research has found the same DHT-blocking properties in Reishi mushrooms, suggesting that they could effectively combat hair loss. Additionally, Reishi mushrooms contain beneficial nutrients required to maintain healthy hair. For more info on this topic, read Benefits of Reishi Mushrooms for Hair Health and Hair Loss. 7. Improved Cognitive Health Studies have shown that Reishi mushrooms possess certain polysaccharides that are beneficial in promoting cognitive functioning. This could relieve symptoms of neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer's. Further research has also noted the neuroprotective properties of Reishi mushrooms could promote anticonvulsant properties and effectively reduce symptoms of epilepsy, including seizures. Side Effects of Reishi Mushrooms Although the side effects of Ganoderma lucidum extracts are mild and uncommon, they should still be considered when deciding whether or not to integrate the fungus into your life. Additionally, the safety of Reishi mushrooms for extended periods has only really been looked at up to a year of use, and so taking it for longer periods than this might put you at risk of liver or kidney diseases, but more research is needed. Other noted side effects include: DizzinessDry mouthItchingNausea and upset stomachRash Individuals who are more at risk for these side effects and are not advised to take reishi mushrooms are those with bleeding disorders and low blood pressure, pregnant or breastfeeding mothers, and those expecting surgery soon. How to Consume Reishi Mushrooms One of the other benefits of Reishi mushrooms is that there are numerous ways that they can be consumed, including: Fresh This is the least optimal way of consuming them due to their woody texture and taste. However, brewing Reishi mushroom tea from fresh or dried mushrooms can bring the same benefits in an easy-to-use form.Powdered Reishi mushroom powder can be added to beverages or food.Liquid extracts Consuming tinctures or oils sublingually has a great balance of bioavailability and speed of effect. A Final Thought Although this fungus has been used as a traditional medicine for thousands of years, scientific research into its effectiveness is relatively new. As such, many of the benefits reported are simply not definitive enough to be used as evidence to suggest using Ganoderma lucidum to replace other medicines. Although many scientists might not have reservations about trying them out, they should be used alongside other medicines instead of replacing them. In addition, you should always check with your doctor before using experimental medicines.
Brown capsules scattered against mauve background.
Functional mushroomsLion's Mane Tincture vs. Powder: Which Is the Best Sleep Aid?Sleep deprivation impacts all aspects of our lives, contributing to decreased pain threshold and pain management, slower healing, impacted cognitive performance, and predisposition to obesity, hypertension, heart ailments, and diabetes. Finding the best medicine to deal with sleep disorders and insomnia is crucial to improving sleep quality and avoiding these long-term negative effects. Research suggests that Lion's Mane may help regulate your circadian rhythm and decrease inflammation, thereby helping to combat anxiety and sleep disorders (1)(2). However, with so many products available, it can be difficult to choose the best one for you. This article compares the advantages and disadvantages of two of the most popular Lion's Mane extracts: tinctures and powders. Keep reading to learn more » Learn more: a beginner's guide to Lion's Mane mushrooms Lion's Mane Tincture ProsIncreased potencyEase of useFaster effectsBetter dosage controlConsUnpleasant tasteSome may not be suitable for those sensitive to alcohol As a rule, Lion's Mane tincture is more potent than powdered extract, and it is far easier to control the dosage than in powdered extracts. Tinctures can be alcohol (ethanol)-based or water-based, which means you can still use tinctures even if you are abstinent from alcohol. If you are not used to this potency, you may experience some unpleasant side effects, but they usually dissipate after stopping treatment. Additionally, tinctures allow for sublingual application, which is widely considered one of the fastest-acting and most-effective ways of using natural remedies, if you can stomach the taste that many find unpleasant. Lion's Mane Powder ProsEasy to mix in drinks or foodCan be swallowed in capsulesLonger-lasting effectsConsLower potencySlower effectMay cause digestive issues Lion's Mane powder can be blended into food and drink or put into capsules and swallowed. Additionally, it can form part of your daily routine by adding a scoop to your coffee or morning smoothie. However, though you may lose some of the potency and dosage accuracy by taking a powdered extract instead of a tincture, you also gain the benefit of a longer overall duration of effects. The Verdict: Tincture or Powder? Ultimately, the choice of tincture or powder depends upon your personal reasons for taking Lion's Mane, whether it will be taken every day for an extended period. and your personality. For people who find it difficult to manage the flavour of Lion's Mane, the tincture is likely to be much harder to take on a regular basis. However, if the taste doesn't bother you too much, then tinctures offer more potency, better dosage control, and higher therapeutic potential. Though Lion's Mane powder has a lower potency than the tincture, it can easily be taken in capsule form with water each day or mixed into your morning coffee or tea. For people who already take supplements and/or medication daily, this means simply adding another capsule or two to the daily regimen, making it far more likely for you to remain consistent and achieve positive results over time. » Ready to get started? Browse our selection of natural sleep aids
Fresh Shiitake mushrooms next to dried and ground Shiitake contained in supplement form
Functional mushroomsHealth Benefits and Side Effects of Shiitake Mushroom SupplementsShiitake mushrooms are an edible fungus commonly eaten in many Asian dishes. Although it might not seem like it, Shiitake is actually a functional mushroom that presents many similar benefits akin to Reishi or Lion's Mane and can be bought in the form of vegan or vegetarian supplements. What benefits do they have, exactly, and what potential side effects are there? » Find the perfect remedy for your condition - take our free quiz Side Effects of Shiitake Mushroom Supplements Although rare, continuous consumption of natural Shiitake mushroom supplements can lead to certain adverse reactions. A study published by the National Library of Medicine found that constant consumption of powdered Shiitake mushroom extract caused gastrointestinal problems, abdominal pains, and rashes (Shiitake dermatitis). It was later discovered that the reason for this was a condition called eosinophilia. Eosinophils are a type of white blood cell that is involved in immune responses to various allergic reactions, cancers, and parasites. Although not necessarily bad on their own, their job is to defend the body and then disappear. Markedly high levels of eosinophils for a long period of time is called eosinophilia and can lead to further complications like chronic inflammation and damaged tissues. What this suggests is that either some of our bodies perceive Shiitake mushrooms as dangerous, or that the participants of the study had mushroom allergies. The good news is that all adverse reactions halted after the participants stopped taking the Shiitake powder. Health Benefits of Shiitake Mushroom Supplements Health and Longevity This point is specifically due to the potential boost in the immune system that Shiitake mushrooms cause. This study on mice found that Shiitake aided in immune support and cancelled out the degenerative effects caused by aging. Additionally, another study found that many types of functional mushrooms (Shiitake included) possessed anti-viral and antibacterial properties that were effective at combating various diseases, suggesting that they could potentially be an answer to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Furthermore, the polysaccharide content of Shiitake mushrooms is thought to improve cognitive brain health by boosting memory and combating symptoms of Alzheimer's and dementia. Improved Circulation and Heart Health There are many factors that contribute to an overall healthy circulatory system. One of those is healthy levels of cholesterol as too much unhealthy LDL cholesterol can "clog" your arteries, increase blood pressure, and affect your circulation. This study found that Shiitake-fed rats had reportedly lower levels of cholesterol. Additionally, this study found that the beta-glucan content of Shiitake mushrooms was effective at alleviating hypertension and contributing to improved heart health. Shiitake May Have Anti-Cancer Properties Like many functional mushrooms, Shiitake mushrooms are believed to possess anti-tumour properties in certain cancers, as suggested by this study. Additionally, like some other functional mushrooms, Shiitake has been observed to activate the cytotoxic immune response against certain cancers and potentially enhance the efficacy of other cancer treatments. However, there isn't enough conclusive evidence to confirm or deny this outright. Vitamin D Content Like all mushrooms, Shiitake has high levels of vitamin D, which could contribute to healthier bones. Additionally, vitamin D is important for "anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and neuroprotective properties [that] support immune health, muscle function, and brain cell activity."(1) Are Shiitake Mushrooms Healthy and Nutritious? Eating Shiitake mushrooms promises the same nutritional profile as most other edible mushrooms, specifically, one cup of cooked Shiitake mushrooms contains: Low calories (Around 81), which means that Shiitake mushrooms can be good for weight loss.Low fat (0.3g)21g Carbohydrates, of which around 5g is natural sugars and 3g is dietary fibre.2.3g protein. Other than this, Shiitake mushrooms contain a number of beneficial vitamins and minerals like copper. In short: Yes, Shiitake mushrooms are good for you. Are Some People More Affected By Shiitake Than Others? Since Shiitake mushrooms are a type of fungus, individuals with a mould or mushroom allergy will likely suffer a Shiitake mushroom intolerance as well. Additionally, most of the side effects experienced from Shiitake mushrooms are thought to occur as a result of consuming raw, uncooked shiitake mushrooms. If you are unsure of your own predispositions and potential allergies, consult with a doctor before implementing Shiitake (or any other functional mushroom) into your diet.
Pieces of fresh lion's mane mushroom placed on a wooden plate, on a table.
Functional mushrooms3 Ways Lion's Mane Mushrooms Reduce Anxiety When people are suffering from anxiety, it is often difficult to discern what remedies will reduce their symptoms without causing other problems as time goes on, and many medications are only useful for a short period. Therapy is beneficial; however, it takes significant time and money to have a full impact and doesn't always get rid of some of the more intense physical symptoms of anxiety. Though you should never avoid therapy if it is needed, natural substances like Lion's Mane mushrooms offer a safer and potentially highly beneficial alternative for those wary of pharmaceuticals. A variety of fungi have a beneficial impact on mental health, but this article looks specifically at the benefits of Lion's Mane. That being said, here are three main ways that Lion's Mane benefits people who suffer from anxiety. » Find the perfect mushroom blend for your condition - take our free quiz 1. Alleviates Stress & Improves Focus There are many anecdotal reports highlighting that the anti-inflammatory properties of Lion's Mane mushrooms act well to decrease anxiety and depression, though there is also emerging research in animal studies (1). Lion's mane may also help improve focus. A recent 2020 study highlighted the improvement in cognitive function for participants who took a supplement containing Lion's Mane extracts daily (2). Current research stresses the importance of good quality Lion's Mane supplement that is free from extra and potentially harmful artificial ingredients. » Learn more: the beginner's guide to Lion's Mane mushrooms 2. Promotes Neurogenesis Neurogenesis is the development or growth of neural tissue. Lion's mane appears to promote the growth of new neurons, particularly in the hippocampus—the part of the brain associated with learning and memory. It is a complex structure that can be negatively impacted by many things (including ongoing anxiety and depression). Studies have demonstrated new neural growth due to Lion's Mane in vitro (3). People suffering from anxiety are often prescribed medication that has the potential to be addictive—many anti-anxiety medications encourage physiological dependence after a relatively short period. This has the effect of ultimately creating higher levels of anxiety and making them more difficult to manage. Conversely, Lion's Mane does not create physiological dependence. » Concerned about safety? Read the potential side effects of Lion's Mane and discover their addictive potential 3. Supports Healthy Sleeping Sleep deprivation is one of the hallmarks of anxiety disorders and is often impacted by depression, stress, and pain. Lion's Mane doesn't cause sleepiness or drowsiness, even when taken before bed. Instead, it offers a stimulating effect on circadian cortisol, which helps to stabilise your circadian rhythm (4), the natural physiological process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle. Cortisol peaks in the morning and hits a low point around the time a person heads for sleep, making sleep easier. A 2019 study found evidence that Lion's Mane may improve the symptoms of sleep disorders, though the reasons were not fully clear (5). Other studies have also suggested that Lion's Mane improves circadian rhythm and, therefore, sleep disturbance when taken daily over a period of at least eight weeks. » Learn more: CBD and functional mushrooms for better sleep In Conclusion Evidence suggests that Lion's Mane may be effective in improving the regulation of circadian rhythm and improving sleep disorders in some people, relieving symptoms of depression, reducing inflammation, and promoting neurogenesis, all of which can contribute to reduced feelings of anxiety. Though the results are promising, there is a lot more research that needs to be done to fully understand how this amazing fungus impacts humans and how it can best be used to help treat anxiety disorders. One advantage of Lion's Mane is that there is a low risk of drowsiness or chemical dependence, whereas many modern medications for anxiety carry high risks of detrimental side effects. Always Consult a Doctor Prior to using Lion's Mane to treat mental health symptoms, it is a good idea to speak with a holistic practitioner who can do a full assessment to make sure this is the best intervention. Adding adaptogenic substances like Lion's Mane to daily supplements can create many positive changes to mental and emotional states and help support optimal circadian sleep cycles, but is not completely without risk. » Ready to get started? View our Beauty Sleep Drops and Relax Drops with extracts of Lion's Mane and CBD