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Medicinal Mushrooms: Helpful or Trendy?

Medicinal mushrooms and other fungi have been used by humans as a culinary foods or folk medicine for over 2,000 years. The last decade has witnessed the overwhelming interest in the pharmaceutical potential of mushrooms. for their antibacterial, antiviral, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and immune modulating effects.

Now, in recent times with functional medicine and holistic nutrition going “somewhat” more into the mainstream, we’re seeing a massive interest in these marvellous superfoods. But, let’s take a closer look at some of these mushrooms before you go online shopping…

Health benefits of mushrooms

There are several different medicinal mushrooms each known to offer a unique set of medical properties. Let’s discuss the 5 most prominent medicinal mushrooms.

Lions Mane

Lion’s Mane is nicknamed the mushroom for the mind. Why? Because it is full of important compounds, such as beta-glucans, which are immuno-modulating antioxidants and neuro-protective phytonutrients. Lion’s mane promotes nerve tissue growth and supports motor function. This mushroom is an amazing helper for healthy brain function and may even support neurogenesis.

Improves brain health

Lion’s mane possesses regenerative properties. It can help to encourage the growth of new brain cells and inhibit the development of neurodegenerative disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s diseases that occur due to neuronal damage.
It can restore the cognitive functions of the brain including memory, focus, and attention span by reducing then age-related degenerative changes in the brain tissues.

Anxiety and depression

Lion’s mane is revered for its ability to reduce the risk of mental health disorders including anxiety and depression.
Studies have shown that it works by improving the secretion of feel-good hormones called serotonin and dopamine in the brain and thus, helps relieve the signs of depression.

Boosts immunity

The immunity-boosting potential of Lion’s mane is primarily linked to its ability to restore gut flora. Studies have revealed that this mushroom can protect the lining of the stomach and intestine and restore healthy gut flora.
This effect of the lion’s mane helps to strengthen the immunity and enhances the body’s natural disease-fighting potential.

Reishi mushroom

Reishi mushroom is nicknamed the mushroom of immortality. This is one of the great longevity tonics of Chinese Medicine used in cancer treatment in Traditional and Modern Chinese Medicine to improve vitality, strength and stamina and to prolong life. Reishi enhances immune response, alleviates chemotherapy side effects such as nausea and kidney damage and protects cellular DNA by raising antioxidant capacity.

Prevents angiogenesis

Reishi mushroom has been found to reduce the risk of cancer by inhibiting angiogenesis. This mushroom is rich in a medicinal compound called beta-glucan that has the ability to inhibit the abnormal growth of blood vessels.
This angiogenesis-inhibitory effect of Reishi mushroom can be highly beneficial for the management of several disorders including cancer.

Improves quality of life

Regular use of Reishi mushrooms can improve the patient’s quality of life by increasing energy levels and improving heart, digestive, and skin health.
It can also regulate metabolism and help patients with diabetes maintain stable blood sugar levels. The antioxidant and anticancer properties of this mushroom are highly effective in protecting healthy tissues against the damage caused by free radicals and carcinogenic agents, respectively.

Immune modulation

The proliferation, maturation and activities of both T and B lympocytes, NK cells and dendritic cells improved significantly during both lab and animal tests when taking Reishi. Beta-glucan is the most constituents for immune support.

Anti-viral and anti-bacterial

Polysaccharide-bound proteins (glycoproteins, comparable to the PSK and PSP fractions in Coriolus versicolor) from Reishi showed inhibitory effects on Herpes Simplex Virus type 1 (HSV-1), Herpes Simplex Virus type 2 (HSV-2), and Vesicular Stomatitis Virus (VSV – New Jersey strain) in a lab test.

Turkey Tail mushroom

This is one of the most well-researched medicinal mushrooms in the world. It is a biological response modifier. Turkey Tail has been used in Chinese Medicine as a tonic for centuries. Studies show that it improves survival rates and acts an immune modulator with immune stimulating and anti-tumor properties.

Supports gut health

Turkey Tail can enrich the intestinal microbiota with diverse strains of healthy bacteria and thus, improve digestion as well as immunity.
It would help to reduce the risk of digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, SIBO, and leaky gut syndrome.

Prevents infections

The use of Turkey tail is specifically recommended for the management of common respiratory infections like cold and flu. It works by strengthening the body’s immune response against disease-causing agents.

Anti-cancer effects

The anti-cancer pretties of Turkey Tail are believed to be associated with the ability of this mushroom to reduce inflammation in healthy tissues.
It has been shown to have immune boosting and modulating effects, and anticancer properties in both pre-clinical experiments and clinical trials. It can inhibit the action of pro-inflammatory compounds like cytokines released by the immune cells and prevent cancerous changes in the body. It may also be used to relieve the side effects of conventional cancer treatments including chemotherapy.

Cordyceps mushroom

Cordyceps sinensis is a fungus that has been used for over 2000 years in China as a treatment for a variety of conditions including cancer. Many available evidences suggest that the efficacy of C. sinensis as an anti-neoplastic therapeutic agent is due to its role as an activator of immune responses. Cordyceps was traditionally used as a tonic because it has the capacity to revitalize and restore symptoms like fatigue, exhaustion, and chronic stress.

Improves endurance

Cordyceps mushrooms are popular among sportspersons, athletes, and bodybuilders. It is commonly used to increase stamina and energy and improve physical performance.
It works by promoting the mitochondrial activities thereby increasing energy production in the body at the cellular levels.

Improved energy

The cordyceps mushroom is an incredible energy-boosting fungi. Certain studies have shown that cordyceps can increase the production of ATP.

Faster recovery

Regular use of Cordyceps mushroom could improve endurance by increasing the blood flow to the muscles and other tissues of the body. This can not just speed up the healing but also reduce fatigue allowing you to work out for longer.

Immune stimulating

Cordyceps acts an immune stimulator by raising cancer- and virus-fighting T Cells and Natural Killer Cells and prolongs the life of white blood cells, improving resolution of infections. It has demonstrated anti-tumor properties and also protects the kidneys from chemotherapy side effects.


Cordyceps sinenosis is an anti-bacterial, anti-fungal mushroom that can also paralyse insects and provide potent antibiotics! Its first recorded use was in the 15th century. It is used in Taiwan and China in the treatment of diabetes, as an anti-depressant, and in the treatment of cancer.


Cordyceps sinenosis is a potent antioxidant, thus protecting cells from free radical damage. Free radical damage is a process in which free electrons damage our cells and our DNA and is thought to be a primary factor in the aging process.


Cordyceps sinenosis demonstrates anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is a factor common to many diseases, including cancer. Supporting the management of inflammation modulates our immune system.

Chaga mushrooms

This has been used as a medicinal mushroom in Russian and Eastern European Traditional Medicine. Chaga has been studied as a potential anti-cancer agent. Chaga contains betulin, a precursor to betulinic acid, which has been shown to inhibit the cancer-promoting enzyme topoisomerase. Betulinic acid has been found to be active against skin, brain, ovarian and head and neck cancers by promoting apoptosis, or the natural progression of programmed cell death.

Anti-tumor properties

The anti-tumor properties of Chaga mushrooms could be attributed to a compound called Betulinic acid in it. Betulinic acid acts as a cytotoxic agent and triggers apoptosis or programmed cell death by creating a direct effect on the mitochondria of the abnormal cancer cells.
Other factors that can induce apoptosis result in the cleavage of nuclear fragmentation and caspases. Chaga is also rich in beta-glucans, which possess immunomodulatory properties. Beta-glucans have the ability to bind to the Complement Receptor 3 and improve the ability of the immune cells to identify cancer cells as “non-self”.
These properties of Chaga mushrooms can enhance the body’s own anti-cancer potential to a great extent.

Strengthens immunity

Chaga can act as an immunity booster, thanks to the rich source of polysaccharides and beta-glucans it offers.
These compounds have strong immune-balancing and anti-inflammatory properties that can enhance the ability of the immune system to produce natural killer cells needed to battle infections.

Clears infections

Chaga kills can inhibit the growth and replication of bacteria by destroying them or suppressing their reproduction. The antibacterial action of the Chaga mushroom can be attributed to the compounds such as betulinic acid, flavonoids, saponins, lanosterol, melanin, pantothenic acid, magnesium, phytonutrients, and polysaccharides present in it.
These active constituents also make Chaga a potent antiviral and anti-fungal mushroom. Chaga can also promote the functions of the liver thus reducing the risk of fungal infections like candida.

Anti-Inflammatory effects

The anti-inflammatory properties of Chaga are linked to its ability to inhibit of activities of nitric oxide and cyclooxygenase-2. It can also reduce oxidative stress in the blood cells called lymphocytes in patients with inflammatory bowel disease.
These properties are complemented by the adaptogenic action of the Chaga mushroom. It can fight premature aging and prevent the development of serious diseases linked to the body’s response to emotional and physical stress.

How to choose a medicinal mushroom supplement?

The most important factor is to look for a supplement with a high bioavailability of their ingredients for example: betulinic acid, beta-glucan.

Medicinal mushroom are mostly useless unless they’ve been subject to processing. They have to be undergone a process of extraction otherwise they are basically indigestible and therefore have noteworthy therapeutic effects.

The reason of the limited bioavailability is because of the chitin mushrooms cells are made off. Chitin is the hardest all-natural material known to man. Locked in the chitin cell-walls are the bioactive and therapeutically interesting components. That’s why medicinal mushrooms need to undergo an extraction technique to release the bioactive components. Scientific research, always present in the description of the mushroom products, is always using extracts.

Unfortunately supplement labels are very difficult to decipher and very often misleading. Luckily, we found a company for you which produces hot water/ethanol extracted pure organic mushroom extracts. They have high quality and company transparency – two very important things we love!


Have you ever heard of mushrooms + CBD?

A combination of mushrooms and CBD can provide numerous health benefits. It’s like a therapeutic bonus. CBD has several advantages similar to medicinal mushrooms, which therefore offers the opportunity of combining two powerful supplements into one potent formula.

What is CBD?

CBD is a naturally occurring plant-based substance that has the ability to produce a feeling of calmness and relaxation. CBD is one of the numerous chemical compounds called cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, Cannabis sativa.

Unlike other cannabinoids like Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) derived from the cannabis plant, CBD, is not psychoactive and does not cause dependence.

This quality of CBD makes it a superior and more effective natural remedy for the management of several diseases. The health benefits of CBD backed by scientific research studies and its mechanism of action are discussed beneath.

How does CBD work?

The primary action of CBD is on the nervous system. It has the potential to mimic and regulate the effects of the endogenous cannabinoids, the compounds produced naturally in our body.

These endogenous cannabinoids or endocannabinoids are referred to as the endocannabinoid system.

The endocannabinoid system is believed to play a vital role in controlling the normal physiological processes occurring in our body. It maintains the blood pressure within normal limits, supports immune system functions, regulates moods, and improves bone formation processes.

Correcting the functions and activities of the endocannabinoid system by using CBD could be beneficial for restoring the healthy functioning of all organs and tissues.

What are some health benefits of CBD?

Research studies have revealed that CBD could help to regulate the secretion of feel-good hormones like dopamine and serotonin in the brain. At the same time, it may reduce the production of stress hormones like cortisol.

It may also help to prevent mood swings in women with premenstrual syndrome or severe menopausal symptoms. It has the ability to produce an antidepressant effect and provide relief from depression and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder

It has been found that CBD has potent anti-cancer properties and thus often used by cancer patients themselves. It has the ability to induce cell death and destroy abnormal cancer cells. As well as support many of the coinciding issues such as lack of appetite, chronic pain, depression, insomnia etc.

Studies have shown that CBD can produce a powerful pain-relieving effect. It is believed to work by regulating the functions of the endocannabinoid system and inhibiting the transmission of the sensation of pain. It may also help to regulate the action of neurotransmitters that are responsible for creating the sensation of pain.
It can also inhibit the synthesis of cytokines and interleukins by the immune cells and thus, inhibit inflammation in the joints and other tissues.

Combination of CBD & mushrooms

Regular use of medicinal mushrooms in combination with CBD is linked with reduced cancer risk, better heart health, reduced risk of depression and anxiety, and relief from pain. Patients suffering from cancer, inflammatory disorders, immunological dysfunctions, low energy levels, digestive complaints, anxiety, and depression can try using these mushrooms in combination with CBD to obtain relief from the complaints.

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    1. This was incredible and I never knew they had so many benefits! I have never seen a combination like this anywhere.

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