Learn Your Mushrooms

Cordyceps, Cordyceps militaris 

This strange and miraculous fungi is an opportunistic parasite that has been used as medicinal food and notable aphrodisiac for at least 2000 years in the Himalayan region. Herdsman in the high elevation areas of Tibet and Nepal noticed the sexual potency of their yaks increased after they grazed on grasses containing the small mushroom. After testing it themselves, they found it was very effective for libido!

In China, it is often consumed as a medicinal food, added to stews and soups for chronic illness. It is sometimes referred to there as "winter worm, summer grass", as it is a parasitic fungi that attacks the central nervous system of caterpillars, taking over the bodily functions and finally sprouting its fruiting body out of the insect's head. There are many species of cordyceps in the wild, all of them parasitizing different species of insects and their larvae. Reflected in its ability to target the central nervous system and brain in insects, it has an affinity for these bodily systems and actually improves the functions of those systems in humans.

In the wild, it prefers high altitudes and its growth is restricted to various insect hosts. However, much of the cordyceps now on the market is the C. militaris variety; with much of the same constituents as the C. sinensis native to Asia, and cultivated in sterile, vegetarian( caterpillar-free!) environments. It contains a multitude of beneficial constituents: very high in beta glucans and other polysaccharides; oleic, linoleic, palmitic fatty acids; high levels of 18 amino acids; minerals such as potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, calcium, sodium,iron, zinc, manganese, copper, selenium; Vit E, K, B, B12. 

Natural sustained energy--strengthens qi, restores deep energy reserves depleted by prolonged stress. Acts directly on adrenals, increases overall stamina and endurance of the body. Increases ATP production by 30%, delivering more energy to the body. Will not cause harm to the body and nervous system like prolonged use of caffeine does

Brain function & cognition-improves blood flow to brain, clears mental fog and confusion, used in alleviating inflammation in brain, balances the flow of hormones between the pituitary and adrenal systems. Neuroprotective.

Lung tonic--increases red blood cells that deliver oxygen throughout the body, supports the bronchial tissue, alleviates chronic cough & bronchial bleeding, reduces bouts of asthma and bronchitis, assists various lung infections, improves shallow breathing

Kidney tonic--used in treating kidney infection, restores vital kidney essence and "jing"--the body's inherited bank of qi stored in the kidneys. Used to treat tinnitus and overall weakness originating in depleted kidney function & aversion to cold temps

Improves libido--treats impotence, sexual hypofunction( under-functioning), increases and restores semen, used as an effective aphrodisiac by both men and women for the last 2000 years

Strong anti-viral--while it is great for a number of viral infections, it has a special affinity for treating respiratory viruses, and viral infections of the brain and central nervous system. It increases oxygen in mitochondria of the cell, making the cell less inhabitable to viruses

Hepatoprotective-- reduces cirrhosis and fibrosis of liver, can help clear hepatitis, treats jaundice

Immune Adaptogen--stimulates and normalizes immune system function, assists those with immune dysregulation and auto-immune diseases

Traditional Chinese Medicine uses-- it is classified both as yin nourishing, and yang invigorating. This means it can be used safely in a variety of conditions. Restores depleted jing, or regeneration power held within the kidneys. Calms and balances entire nervous system. Strengthens overall vitality and stamina.

Lions Mane, Hericium erinaceus

Hericium sports many names describing its unique toothed-like appearance: lion's mane, hedgehog mushroom, bearded tooth, white pom pom, comb tooth, coral hedgehog, to name a few. Forming thick white clusters of dangling spines or "teeth", the mushroom grows higher up on hardwoods like beech, maple, and oak in the temperate regions of North America, Asia, and Europe. They are soft and spongy, and tear easily, with the consistency of crab or lobster meat. Traditionally, Japanese and Chinese cultures have cooked with the mushroom to utilize all of its nutritional and medicinal benefits. It is often added to soups and stews, can be cooked on its own as a side dish, or dried and sprinkled into food or taken as a supplement. When prepared as a food, it has a light fluffy texture , and has a very neutral and mild flavor that makes it absolutely delicious when sautéed in butter, garlic and aromatic herbs.

Immunomodulating--contains high amounts of polysaccharides, namely Beta glucans that have been verified to support and maintain a healthy immune system. Clinical studies have shown that beta glucans are known to have anti-cancer, anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, anti-obesity, anti-allergic, anti-osteoporotic activities!

Nerve tonic--helps to develop and maintain sensory neurons by synthesizing NGF, Nerve Growth Factor. It stimulates peripheral & CNS (central nervous system) regeneration after damage has occurred, and helps assist the remyelination of nerve sheaths

Brain boosting & Cognitive support--the stimulating effect of NGF assists in regenerating brain tissue, improving memory & dispelling brain fog, improving cognitive impairment after neural damage. The Erinacene compound found within the mushroom is an anticonvulsant that can protect the neurons where cases of epilepsy, stroke, or brain & spinal cord injury has occurred.

Improves digestion & Repairs the Gut--Combined with its anti-inflammatory properties, and ability to regenerate nerves and repair damaged tissues, it is used in TCM to build up the digestive system and repair "The gut brain". This older brain is the seat of health and often an imbalanced gut is the root of countless diseases and disorders.

TCM practitioners (Traditional Chinese medicine) have been using Lion's Mane for centuries to improve the digestion, heal gastric ulcers, and prevent cancer in the GI tract. Research is currently investigating the effects of the Nerve Growth Stimulant factor with the mushroom for repairing neurological trauma, and improving muscle/motor skills.

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Turkey tail, Trametes versicolor

Turkey tail is truly an abundant gift of the forest, growing in profusion on dead logs in both coniferous forest and deciduous forests across the world. These mushrooms grow in large clusters of tiny, scalloped, fan-like shapes, with various color bands of brown, green, white, gray, and blue. The banding and fan shapes give the appearance of a turkey's tail, hence the name. A long time herbal supplement in TCM, turkey tail is now gaining much notoriety for its ability to treat cancer patients. Compounds called PSK and PSP are protein- bound polysaccharides that are effective in cancer treatments in the following ways: they stimulate and enhance the overall immune system, prevent metastasis of cancer cells, stop the spread of tumors by disabling their enzymes, and enhance the beneficial effects of radiation and chemotherapy while at the same time removing the toxins that are often left over from use of radiation and chemo drugs. Its removal of these toxic byproducts of conventional cancer treatments is one of the main reasons for its growing popularity. As shown in various studies, Turkey tail's use in treating cancer over the last several decades has proven its ability to increase survival rates by staggering rates. Historically, it has been utilized in China for chronic liver ailments, treating immune weakness and tumors, infections and inflammation of upper respiratory/urinary/digestive tract, promoting muscular growth, alleviating arthritis. It is also used topically for treating fungal diseases, and to cure ringworm and skin ailments. Trametes generally contains many beta-glucans, various B vitamins and minerals, provitamin D2.

Anti-viral & anti-bacterial activity--inhibits viral shedding by destroying viral

receptors and stopping the virus from binding with cells. Shown in studies to inhibit

HIV and alleviate conditions such as chronic genital herpes( HSV 2), and HPV.

 

Liver support--treats chronic liver ailments such as hepatitis, assists the liver in

clearing toxins and excess hormones from the body. Removes excess radiation

and chemicals from the liver after chemotherapy treatment

 

Immune-enhancing--high concentrations of various polysaccarides support

healthy immunity, modulates production of antibodies, and assists those in cases

with autoimmune disorders such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, sclerosis, and

others.

 

Anti-tumor--disables enzymes that allow cancer & tumor cells to spread, prevents

metastasis of existing tumors

Traditional Chinese medicine uses and classification/ Turkey tail is considered warming, strengthens spleen & heart meridians, clears dampness, reduces phlegm, increases energy & stamina, assists in clearing chronic diseases.

Reishi, Ganoderma spp.

Reishi's recorded use as a medicine dates back at least 4,000 years to China and Japan, and is the most widely depicted fungus in ancient Chinese, Korean, and Japanese art and architecture. Referred to as "spirit plant", "tree of life", "ten thousand year mushroom", and "mushroom of immortality", this prized fungus was coveted for its ability to promote longevity, and nourish the spirit and overall vitality of the body. A 16th century Chinese pharmacopeia text stated that, "Its use increases longevity, has a positive effect on the qi of the heart, repairing the chest area and benefiting those with a knotted and tight chest. Taken over a long period of time, agility of the body will not cease, and the years are lengthened to those of the Immortal Fairies." Buddhist monks and lineages of sages consumed this mushroom in tea form to fortify the body while calming the mind and emotions. Ganoderma lucidum means "shiny skin", due to its varnished looking quality. A woody conk with hues ranging from mahogany red to brown with white banding, it grows on hardwoods, preferring oak, alder, elm, and notably wild plum in asian countries. G. lucidum grew sparsely in the wild, making it somewhat rare and exclusive to those of privilege and royal classes. It is still somewhat infrequent to find when foraging in the wild, and most reishi used for medicine or supplements are now cultivated in sterile environments. Packed full of many medicinal constituents, reishi contains high amounts of beta glucans, germanium, minerals such as zinc, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, copper, Vit B2 and Vit C, thiamine, riboflavin, folic acid, niacin, amino acids, antioxidants, triterpenes and steroids that have an anti-inflammatory affect in the body and protect from UVB radiation! One of the highest regarded tonics in the TCM pharmacopeia, it is widely sought after for degenerative diseases and cancers.

Anti-viral--inhibits and fights recurrent viral infections, as well as decreasing damage and viral replication of chronic viral infections such as HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis and Epstein Barr-virus Anti-tumor activity

Alleviates allergy symptoms--treats chronic asthma, and various other allergies. This is done in part by inhibiting histamine responses, reducing severity of allergic reactions, and stabilizing the immune system.

Heart tonic & cardiovascular support--tonifies the entire cardiovascular system, boosts heart chi, relaxes heart muscles appropriately, increases resistance to heart disease, lowers high blood pressure, reduces blood cholesterol

 

Detoxifying & liver supporting--assists in removal of pathogens and toxins from the liver, cleanses & nourishes the blood, strengthens overall liver function, reverses damage caused by severe cases of hepatitis and liver failure Restful sleep and relaxation--in addition to soothing and supporting the heart, reishi has a calming effect on the body, relaxes muscles, reduces the harmful effects of caffeine, and supports healthy adrenals. It is has long been used to induce deep, restful sleep and alleviate chronic fatigue.

Anxiety and depression--calms the nervous system, replenishes tired adrenals, soothes emotional body

Lung support--nourishes the bronchial system, used in treating chronic bronchitis, bronchial asthma and other lung deficiencies. Useful in treating altitude sickness by oxygenating the blood

Immunomodulation--regulates healthy immune system response, increases resistance to infection, lessens severity of symptoms for those with auto-immune disorders

Longevity & anti-aging--increases stamina by opening & strengthening heart chi, & high in antioxidants that scavenge the free radicals that accelerate cellular aging.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is considered a "shen tonic", meaning that it replenishes vital essence by calming and relaxing the body.

TCM qualities--warming, astringent, tonifying, nourishing, detoxifying

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Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lore