· By Kaya Turner
Whats in our super mushroom blend?
Mushrooms are certainly a buzzword within the wellness sphere right now. Western science is only just beginning to uncover the medicinal benefits that fungi can provide. Neither plant nor animal, mushrooms have been used for centuries in traditional Eastern medicine for the wide array of health benefits they can provide.
Our Vitality supplement powder contains a powerful blend of super mushrooms with immunomodulating benefits. All of these are specially selected for their potent antioxidants that help strengthen the body's immune system.
Let's dig into the depths of the 6 marvellous mushrooms in our blend and uncover each one’s unique and promising qualities…
Reishi mushrooms grow in hot and humid locations across Asia and have been used to tackle infections for over 2000 years. Otherwise known as the mushroom of immortality, reishi is a staple in Eastern medicine, and in recent years healthcare practitioners have even drawn upon reishi mushrooms to help treat lung disease and cancer. This is due to reishi's ability to increase white blood cell activity, strengthening the body's response to infection and disease. The molecules triterpenoids and peptidoglycans found in reishi are what scientists believe to be responsible for its remedial qualities; these molecules have the ability to protect our cells from external stress and inflammation, which can be the root cause of many illnesses.
We now move into the colder, northern hemisphere where chaga mushrooms grow naturally. This mysterious black fungus grows on birch trees across Alaska, Siberia and Northern Europe, and is incredibly hard to cultivate domestically. Chaga mushrooms are packed with antioxidants that help to fight inflammation and oxidative stress. These fungi are considered to support immunity by regulating cytokines, essential chemical messengers that belong to our immune system. The unique polysaccharides found in chaga mushrooms may also help to reduce ‘bad’ cholesterol; improve insulin resistance; and lower blood sugar levels, so regular consumption could reduce the risk of heart disease.
Revered in restaurants across the world, shiitake mushrooms are native to East Asia and a staple in pho and miso soup. Rich in copper, B5, zinc and selenium, these mushrooms are not just great tasting, they are consumed for their health benefits too. Due to their high B vitamin content, shiitake mushrooms help us turn food into usable energy, great for vitality and fighting fatigue. Rich in compounds that protect against cell damage, such as lipids, sterols, and unique terpenoids which all play a role in defending the body against diseases. One of the compounds in shiitake called lentinan has shown the potential to slow the growth of leukaemia cells and stop them from spreading, which is deeply promising!
Lion’s mane is otherworldly in appearance; a fungus with long white hair-like strands, hence its name. This striking mushroom is rich in oligosaccharides which have many potential health benefits, from improved immunity and nutrient absorption, to reducing appetite and anti-tumour activities. Lion’s mane can also support neurological health, it has been shown to improve memory and boost focus. This mushroom contains two chemicals that accelerate the growth of brain cells; hericenones and erinacines. Thus it has been suggested that the consumption of lion’s mane could promote the creation of new neurons, helping to prevent and overcome dementia.
The discovery of cordyceps’ medicinal properties is an interesting tale. Local herders in Tibet noticed that when their goats consumed these mushrooms they mated more, grazed intensely, and generally became stronger. The herdsmen tried cordyceps for themselves and noted improved vitality and alertness, as well as aphrodisiac effects. Known as Himalayan gold, cordyceps is now considered one of the top superfoods! One of the main attributes of this fungi is that it can improve the way the body uses oxygen, notably increasing the delivery of oxygen to the muscles. In medical trials, cordyceps have been shown to improve exercise performance by increasing endurance and stamina. Other benefits of cordyceps include the regulation of testosterone production; anti-inflammatory properties; and being rich in polysaccharides, antioxidants, and amino acids that support the immune system.
Considered the Fountain of Youth in traditional Chinese medicine, tremella mushrooms have been used for hundreds of years for their anti-ageing qualities. This beauty superfood is high in antioxidants that protect against free-radical damage. And the unique polysaccharides found in tremella mushrooms have water-retaining properties that pull water into the skin, keeping it plump and hydrated. Tremella mushrooms have a pearlescent seaweed-like appearance and grow in humid tropical environments. Loaded with vitamin D (which is relatively rare to find in food), these fungi help to boost immunity and improve skin cell growth, helping you to look and feel young and vibrant!
There we have it, the low-down on our super mushroom blend! Each of these 6 immunomodulating fungi provides its own unique benefits to our Vitality powder. Natural but powerful, mushrooms certainly have a promising future in the wellness industry.
Precautions: please consult a healthcare professional if…
* If you have an auto-immune disease. Strengthening the immune system could potentially trigger an auto-immune response.
* Those who are diabetic or on medication for insulin medication. The mushroom's ability to lower blood sugar levels could interact with medication.
* If you are pregnant or breastfeeding
* If you are on prescribed medication