What makes functional mushrooms beneficial to our health?

Functional mushrooms are not usually found in the aisle of your local grocery store — they are rarer than the baby bellas you see in the produce section. Functional mushrooms and fungi grow on plant and animal surfaces in the wild, prospering in the most hostile conditions nature can produce. Their defining ability to thrive in almost any environment is enabled by the antioxidants, vitamins, essential minerals, and powerful sugar complexes stored in the body of the fungi.   So what makes functional mushrooms beneficial?

Functional mushrooms are known to be a reliable source of pantothenic acid, phosphorous, low-calorie protein, vitamin D, vitamin B, and selenium. And beta glutens, a sugar complex found in fungi, are known to catalyze and strengthen the human immune system. However, scientists still do not understand the reason beta glutens have this effect on the immune system. It is theorized that the sugar complex mimics infection and triggers a rapid response from the immune system. Modern research has found antiviral, antifungal, antibiotic, and antidepressive applications for chemical components in functional mushrooms. 

Much like the medicines that come from plant-based life forms, functional mushrooms contain many of the same survival chemicals that are active in humans. In fact, humans are more closely related to fungi than plants. Scientists have yet to discover the vast powers of the functional mushroom in medicine and healthcare. The vegetative part of the mushroom, called the mycelium, contains healing potential that researchers are slowly uncovering over time. For example, using solvents other than water has revealed a whole new set of active chemical complexes in fungi. 

 

 

Popular Functional Mushrooms and Their Potential Benefits

 

There are numerous species of functional mushrooms with a wide variety of health benefits. Many of these mushrooms have been used for thousands of years in medicinal practices. Today, the study of functional mushrooms is multidisciplinary, and researchers are finding new applications for functional mushroom components all the time. Just about a century ago, scientists discovered the antibiotic, Penicillin, through the study of functional mushrooms. Here’s a brief breakdown on the benefits of some of the most popular functional mushrooms on the market today:

 

Lion’s mane 

Lion’s mane is used in ancient medicinal practices, as well as in contemporary medicines. This functional mushroom produces a protein called the nerve growth factor, which helps regenerate nerve tissue in the brain, and has the potential to fight dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, lethargy, weight gain, and distractedness. 

 

Cordyceps 

The cordyceps mushroom can be found in worldwide medicines as it grows on a living host. For thousands of years, China has used the functional mushroom as a daily supplement for its ability to increase energy levels and endurance. Cordyceps also has components that activate anti-aging processes in the human body.  Modern research has proven the legitimacy of these ancient medicinal practices. When consumed, cordyceps have been shown to increase lung functions and ameliorate issues with breathing, specifically in those with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Cordyceps reduces oxidative stress and improves cold intolerance, dizziness, fatigue, and tinnitus. 

 

Reishi 

Reishi is one of the most extensively studied mushrooms in the world and is known as the mushroom of immortality for its neuroprotective properties and nerve growth factor protein (also found in lion’s mane). The fungi are bitter tasting because of their terpenoids, an active component with powerful anti-inflammatory properties, immunity complexes, and antioxidant effects. Contemporary research has revealed that the sugar complexes in reishi produce substances that mimic toxins and control the growth of malignant cancer cells. Reishi is a whole-body tonic that supports many aspects of health through its detoxifying properties. 

 

Turkey Tail 

Turkey tail is a common mushroom that can be found growing in the forests of North America on the bodies of fallen trees and dead plant life. Traditionally, turkey tail is used in cooking and teas. It is praised for its prebiotic and antioxidant components, which assist in digestion and gut health. Beta gluten in turkey tail, called Krestin, is the most frequently prescribed anticancer agent in Japan. 


How stress affects the body

The Effects of Stress, and What You Can do About it!

What are the effects of Stress?

It's no secret that stress can harm the body. Women are especially susceptible to it. We're constantly multitasking at home, between work and caring for our children- which leaves us feeling overwhelmed and anxious about everything we need to get done by tomorrow morning. So what are the affects of stress and how does it show up in our lives? 

There is a lot of scientific evidence that shows how stress affects the body in many different ways: from increasing inflammation in the body (which has been linked with arthritis) to causing insomnia or difficulty sleeping at night. It also impacts your immune system, so your immune system becomes weaker and more vulnerable when you're more stressed out. While this may seem like an impossible task, there are some things you can do today to feel less stressed out before bedtime tonight! But first, lets' look at the signs! 

How can you tell if you are stressed out? 

The more stressed you are, the worse your health will be. This is because stress can cause many symptoms like sleeplessness and headaches, to name just two. And if that wasn't bad enough, it also exacerbates other problems such as digestive or sexual issues! That's why when we feel anxious, our body starts breaking down from all this excess pressure. Do you recognize any physical symptoms on this list? 

 How Can We Reduce The Affects Of Stress?

Stress is a constant reality for many women. It can be hard to find time and space to care for yourself when you have kids or work and responsibilities. Luckily there are plenty of ways you can decrease your stress levels in order to live a healthier lifestyle. In this blog post, we will share ten tips that may help with reducing stress levels!  

1) Meditate- If you're looking for a way to reduce stress levels and unwind, look no further than meditation. All it takes is an open mind that's willing to be patient with yourself as your practice gets off the ground. Your body will thank you for taking time out of each day just for itself! Meditation doesn't always feel natural, but the benefits far outweigh the negatives. 

2) Take care of your mental health- Make an appointment with a therapist or counsellor if needed.

3)It's easy to see why people who exercise regularly often become hooked; the benefits feel great! Exercise releases endorphins that make us feel good about ourselves. Endorphins are chemicals that your brain releases during and after exercising. 

4) Organize your time and tasks so that you know what needs to be done next. 

5) Take a timeout if you are too hard on yourself—you're not a toddler, but it helps relieve any pent-up energy after all! Spend some "me" time once in a while-- take an hour at lunch for whatever makes you happy (whether that's reading; going out with friends). 

6) Be sure to get enough sleep because lack of shut-eye can cause anxiety levels to skyrocket as well as make us more susceptible to illness/infection.

7)No matter what the song, sometimes belting out the lyrics to a favorite tune will make everything seem alright. Just listening to music can provide temporary relief from bad moods as well. Classical music by Bach or Mozart is often great for relaxing before bedtime.

8) When worries are running rampant, try slowly counting back ten numbers, then count them again forward until you feel calm down enough to sleep peacefully.

9) Pets can boost self-esteem and even ease the sting of social rejection. Studies show this really works! After a rough day, snuggle up with your pet. 

10) Laughter is one of the sillier ways to beat stress, but there's science behind it. A fit of hysterics can increase blood flow and boost immunity. Check out a hilarious YouTube video (maybe an adorable pug?) for a quick pick-me-up.

Bonus Tip!

Every day, many people turn to functional mushrooms for their high levels of stress. These fungi are not only a potential cure but also an important part of the human diet. 

Would you believe that there is even more than meets the eye when it comes to these serene little guys? Functional mushrooms have been shown time after time again to reduce feelings of anxiety by lowering cortisol concentrations which lower blood pressure while improving moods; all without any side effects! 

Curious about trying some functional mushroom products? 

Explore our mushroom extracts here! 

 


History of Mushrooms as Medicine!

Functional mushrooms have been used by humans for thousands of years all across the world. Fungi have existed for much longer than the animal kingdom, and humanity is still far from learning all its secrets to thriving under the most adverse conditions. Many of the chemicals that fungi produce to flourish in the wild are also active in humans, but humans have yet to uncover all their power. 

 

In ancient China and Greece, alchemists and physicians accessed some of mushrooms’ healing, nutritional, and psychoactive uses. However, the use of mushrooms to maintain health dates back to the earliest humans. In 1991, a group of hikers discovered a man from the stone age who had been naturally mummified in the mountains of Italy for over 5,300 years. Preserved with the man were functional mushrooms that he carried to maintain strength and endurance in the high elevation. 

 

Today, mushrooms are used internationally as medicine for a wide array of purposes, and international research on the medicinal power of functional mushrooms is growing rapidly. Researchers are currently uncovering proteins in mushrooms that have the potential to treat Alzheimer’s and other neurological health conditions. The power of medicinal mushrooms is largely undiscovered and full of healing potential. 

 

Early Mushrooms Uses in Asia

 

During the 5th century, Buddhist and Taoist alchemists recorded and described several medical, spiritual, and nutritional uses for mushrooms. In ancient China, the Reishi mushroom was valued as a tonic herb and forbidden to the common people. In China, the healing power of mushrooms was accessed by both humans and animals. When the snow melted in the mountains in the spring, the yaks would head uphill to feed on the cordyceps mushroom. The animals became frenzied and hyper-energized upon consuming, as cordyceps has an anti-aging effect and is especially useful as a post-recovery food. The people of eastern Asia were uncovering medical uses for mushrooms that are still widely used today. 

 

Mushrooms in Ancient Greece and Europe - A Storied History

 

Around the same time that alchemists in eastern Asia were delving into the healing powers of mushrooms, ancient Greek physicians were classifying mushrooms for their potent anti-inflammatory properties and their ability to help cauterize wounds. Socrates, Plato, and other elites of ancient Greece used the psychoactive properties in mushrooms to make hallucinogenic drinks for spring festivals. And further north, in Scandinavia, the Vikings were said to have eaten mushrooms before battle so they could fight more ferociously. People all across the world were simultaneously beginning to unlock the healing potential of functional mushrooms. 

 

Modern Research on Functional Mushrooms 

 

Currently, the world is engaging in a scientific revolution surrounding medicinal mushrooms. We have classified about 850 medicinal mushroom species, but only a small percentage has ever been tested. We also have yet to discover all the fungi species on earth. Scientists estimate there are over 3.5 million species, the majority undiscovered. Penicillin, a revolutionary antibiotic discovered less than a century ago, is derived from fungi. And scientists are just now discovering the potential of lion’s mane mushrooms to help treat depression. 

 

Modern research on medical mushrooms resurfaced around the mid 20th century and focused primarily on the use of mushroom components to treat cancer. In the 1980s, research began to diversify and with the onset of the AIDS epidemic, scientists began searching for antiviral cures in fungi. In eastern Asia, the varietal of mushroom we call turkey tail is a part of both traditional and modern medical treatments for cancer. 

 

Most research has been done in the far east and through international collaboration, and the majority of medical mushroom studies still come from China and Japan. As global society pushes international collaboration, over 600 clinical studies and over 50,000 peer-reviewed papers have been published in medical and scientific journals. Researchers estimate that by the current rate of scientific exploration of healing mushrooms, it may take another 4,000 years to uncover the extent of their power.


Activated Charcoal!

What Is Activated Coconut Charcoal Powder Used For?

Activated powder?

Activated Coconut Charcoal is a new craze in the wellness industry. But what does it do and why should you care?  Here are the 3 top reasons to try this product: 

  • Activated charcoal is said to have detoxifying qualities that can help with gastrointestinal problems!
  • Some people use it for teeth whitening by brushing their teeth with activated charcoal. 
  • It also binds toxins, so if you eat something toxic your body will be able to get rid of the toxin more quickly by using charcoal! So when we say "activated" or "activated coconut," think of it as an energy boosting detox agent!

Ok, but what exactly is activated coconut charcoal?

Activated charcoal has been used for centuries to purify water, treat gas and bloating, ease indigestion, and cleanse the skin. This natural substance is made from coconut shells that are burned in an oxygen-free environment. With all of these benefits why not add it to your diet? Activated charcoal can be bought as a supplement or found in certain foods like coffee grounds, cocoa powder, black tea leaves and bamboo shoots. You can also make activated charcoal at home by adding some lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to regular old charcoal briquettes!

Best coconut charcoal products on the market?

We've researched some of the best activated coconut charcoal products on the market today so you don't have to! 

  • Activated Charcoal Toothpaste: This toothpaste removes toxins from teeth and gums without harsh chemicals or additives. It also whitens teeth with just one use! 
  • Activated Coconut Oil: Activated coconut oil makes it easier to absorb vitamins and minerals in foods, which means less time spent trying to digest food in order to get all its nutrients. It's perfect for those who are vegan or lactose intolerant.
  • Activated Charcoal Powder: It's summertime and that means it's time to get those glowing skin, beach-ready bodies. Coconut activated charcoal powder is a great way to detox your body and get rid of all the impurities that have been building up in your system this winter. The best part about coconut activated charcoal powder is how easy it is to use! All you need is a tsp mixed with water or juice for an amazing detox drink (just don't forget to brush afterwards!).

Best brand for activated coconut charcoal powder?

 

 Activated Charcoal Powder
 

Activated Coconut Charcoal, an up and coming wellness product is sweeping the nation with its many benefits. How do you feel about trying this new craze in the industry? Let us know what you think! We’d love to hear from our customers on whether they have tried this healthy trend or not.

Curious about other products we’ve researched? Read on! 

 


Mushrooms on log

The Difference Between Adaptogens, Nootropics and Psychedelics.

In the modern wellness market, there are more ways than ever to improve your health. But even the most discerning consumer may find the marketplace a tad confusing. With buzzwords like adaptogens, nootropics, and psychedelics permeating the culture, it may beg the question: what’s the difference?

 

It turns out these three types of ingredients, while all having the potential to increase brain power and overall well-being, are quite unique. If you’ve been curious about adaptogens, nootropics, and psychedelics, read this breakdown!

adaptogens, nootropics and psychedelics

Adaptogens - Doing a Body Good

 

Used in Chinese and Ayurvedic healing for thousands of years, adaptogens are natural substances like plants and fungi that are able to help the body resist stressors and promote balance. Research has found them to have the ability to act as neuroprotectants, stimulate the central nervous system, and reduce depression and fatigue. There are dozens of unique adaptogens, with some of the most commonly used being ashwagandha, reishi, cordyceps, and even holy basil.

 

Adaptogens work by interacting with the body’s hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA), which is responsible for dealing with stress. They have been found to help regulate the production of cortisol, which is produced during times of “fight or flight” response. By reducing stress hormones, adaptogens allow your body (and brain) to be even more efficient.

 

Nootropics - Boosting Brain Power

 

Unlocking all of the innate abilities of the human brain is something many people desire. Nootropics (from the Greek term to “bend the mind”) are compounds such as supplements that improve cognitive function, including memory, executive functioning, and creativity. Caffeine is considered among the most commonly used nootropics thanks to its focus-enhancing capabilities.

 

According to a 2016 study, nootropics may hold the answer to helping ward off Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia by stimulating the same areas of the brain responsible for these diseases. The same study also demonstrated nootropics’ ability to stimulate blood flow and increase energy. With these results, it’s no wonder nootropics have skyrocketed in popularity over the last decade with over 14% of the population having tried them.

 

Psychedelics - Expanding Consciousness

 

The next wave in wellness is on the horizon and while they are not officially legal yet, entheogens (aka psychedelics) like psilocybin mushrooms are already gaining steam thanks to their potential to promote brainpower. Similar to nootropics, psychedelics may boost energy levels, creativity, and concentration. Microdosing, the act of taking small amounts of a substance to reap its benefits, has become a popular practice across the country. Everyone from Silicon Valley tech gurus to soccer moms has touted microdosing as a way to be happier and healthier.

 

Despite their current status, the psychedelic wellness space is thought to be coming soon. Certain cities (such as Ann Arbor, Michigan and Denver, Colorado) have already opted to decriminalize these compounds and a bill making its way through the California state legislature promises to do the same. Psychedelic research is booming, with more attention being paid to how entheogens may change the face of a wide array of medical treatments, from mental health to chronic pain.

 

Which Compounds Are Right For You?

 

While adaptogens, nootropics, and psychedelics are indeed different, they all have a similar goal: to help you be your best self. When exploring these products, it’s important to think of desired outcomes. If you want to enhance your brain’s performance, the nootropic Golden Mind oral spray is one to try. The adaptogen-packed Adrenal Super Tonic can help fight stress and enhance mood. And while we don’t sell psychedelic compounds yet, make sure to stay tuned for once we can!

 

Ready to give your brain a boost?