Mushrooms are more closely related to animals than to plants! That’s a wild, but true, statement. Mushrooms breathe like we do. They take in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide. Similarly to plants, they are rooted and rely on their roots for nutrition! Over millions of years, plants and animals have evolved alongside our fungi friends, and we have developed a pretty intricate relationship with them.
Despite the lack of science, ancient cultures knew medicinal mushrooms worked. The fifth century alchemist Tao Hongjing described the appearance and effects of several medicinal mushrooms. Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic Medicine practices have used mushrooms as medicine for centuries and still do today! Mushrooms are also mentioned in Hippocrates’ writings from 450 BC and in many ancient Greek and Roman writings.
In our modern world, spring has arrived! From immunity to allergies and a host of other benefits, it’s time to take a closer look at the role of functional mushrooms for our wellness routines.
FUNCTIONAL VS PSYCHEDELIC
Our Highest Intent tinctures contain two powerful mushrooms: Lion’s Mane and Reishi. Most people ask me, “Are these psychedelic mushrooms?” The answer is, no! Psychedelic mushrooms contain compounds called psilocybin and psilocin. These compounds act on serotonin receptors and lead to altered states of consciousness and other psychological eects. Functional mushrooms contain other bioactive compounds such as beta-glucans, terpenoids, and sterols, as well as compounds specific to each type of mushroom. These compounds have exhibited various health benefits including immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. Mushrooms are fat-free, cholesterol-free, gluten-free, and low in carbs, calories, and sodium. Additionally, they are abundant in vitamin and mineral content, along with antioxidants, which are essential to a strong immune system. Let’s take a closer look at Reishi and Lion’s Mane!
Buying Mushrooms? What to look for!
The benefits of functional mushrooms are incredible, but not all mushroom products are created equal. When buying mushroom products, here are some things to look for:
Mycelium on grain vs fruited body
Mycelium on grain is used in some mushroom products instead of fruited bodies. Mycelium has amazing benefits, but most “mycelium” products contain very little. Unfortunately, there is no way to separate mycelium from grain when it is grown on grain, resulting in an end product that is mainly grain starch.
high extraction ratios
The extraction ratio refers to the volume of mushrooms used to make the extract. In a 4:1 extract, four pounds of mushrooms make one pound of extract. Mushroom density and other physical characteristics determine that number more than extraction thoroughness. So if you see a big ratio like 100:1, then many mushrooms were wasted.
If you leave myceliated grain long enough, it will form tiny fruiting bodies on the grain. If you ground that into a powder, it would technically contain mycelium and fruited bodies, aka full-spectrum. However, the reality is that the final product will still be mostly grain starch.
Might not even contain mushrooms
In 2017, 19 reishi mushroom products were tested for compounds consistent with Reishi mushrooms. The study found that 74% of those productsdid NOT contain the proper compounds! Always research the source of the mushrooms you buy.
Extracts vs powders
Beta-glucans, triterpenes, sterols, these are the magical compounds our bodies crave and they’re locked up inside mushroom cell walls. Because our stomachs are not capable of breaking down these cell walls, these compounds must be extracted to be eective in our bodies. A mushroom supplement that is not the result of a duel-extraction will not provide the most benefit.
Mushrooms are powerful, naturally medicinal allies that can improve the quality of our daily lives. It is imperative to do proper research before purchasing mushroom products. Herbal Academy, DoubleBlind, and Oklahoma Fungi are a couple brands trusted by many to learn about
mushrooms! You can also reach out to us on instragram to learn more.