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The Power Within the Mushroom

Improving Well-Being with Lion’s Mane Mushrooms

Lion’s Mane Mushrooms are fantastic immune system boosters. Those who take Lion’s Mane claim that within a week they are able to notice a difference in memory after building up within the immune system. How people take Lion’s Mane varies. People may find that a regular intake of juices with the mushrooms can significantly influence the immune system. Some individuals with arthritis even notice a difference in their joint movement after taking Lion’s Mane for a while. This could be because the body is able to better fight any toxicity within the body and protect the joints from inflammation and infection.

Lion’s Mane and the Mind

Lion’s Mane is certainly gaining more attention than what it used to because of its ability to ward off dementia. Perhaps this is why it has been used as a treatment for some of the world’s most difficult diseases for centuries. At one time, Chinese tradition only allowed Lion’s Mane to be eaten by Emperors. This shows how the effect of the mushroom was already known by Chinese doctors. They used Lion’s Mane to help relieve issues involving the digestive tract such as duodenal ulcers and stomach ulcers. The mushrooms were also given to those with cancers of the esophagus, the duodenum, and of the stomach.

These effects are due to the beta glucan polysaccharides, or complex sugars, along with fatty acids and polypeptides. All of these have a lot to do with the curative effects. Also contained within Lion’s Mane is oleanolic acids and adenosine. These stimulate the modulation of the immune system and the induction of interferons. These processes boost the number of white blood cells to help in healing processes. The healing of ulcers is accelerated, gastric mucus barrier function is enhanced, and anti-inflammatory effects are exhibited.

One of the most significant effects of Lion’s Mane is that it has a positive effect on dementia. A study conducted by Shizoka University Japan showed that Lion’s Mane stimulates Nerve Growth Factor. A lack of Nerve Growth Factor is what contributes to such conditions as Alzheimer’s Disease. Unfortunately, Nerve Growth Factor is something that diminishes and it can be difficult to replenish because it is too large and significant to pass through the membrane that protects it. The study conducted at Shizoka showed that Lion’s Mane can replenish Nerve Growth Factor, therefore reducing the effects that dementia can have on a person’s life. This significantly improves the quality of life.

This is basically a prevention of the breakdown of healthy neurological function. If there is a breakdown, that breakdown can be stopped and further breakdown prevented. This is not a cure for dementia, but the benefits are significant in slowing down the effects and possibly halting any further damage. To get optimum effects, it is important to add Lion’s Mane to an existing supplement schedule. Do not change the intake of vitamins and minerals. Simply add Lion’s Mane to the routine to reap the benefits of all the things you are doing to improve your health.

Right now, the most conventional method to treat Alzheimer’s Disease is to treat those symptoms that are the result of dying neurons. With Lion’s Mane, the cause is treated. The mushroom actually has an influence on what the cause is. It is not completely understood what leads to the loss of Nerve Growth Factor, but replenishing the Nerve Growth Factor through a natural remedy makes a significant difference.

A person can also add Lion’s Mane to their diet to simply work on preventing dementia. Keeping Nerve Growth Factor fed will help it remain intact as you age. You can also reap the other health benefits that Lion’s Mane has to offer.

Other Health Benefits

Other health benefits that are exhibited by Lion’s Mane include regulating cholesterol levels and blood sugar. These are very important for healthy lifestyles. What is even better is that Lion’s Mane is deemed completely safe. There are no signs of toxicity since the mushroom itself promotes the expulsion of toxins within the body. Scientific research has shown that there are no known side effects, which may have something to do with the fact that Lion’s Mane is completely natural and edible. Throughout recorded history, there have not been any side effects recorded. If there have been any, they have not been significant enough to mention.

It is clear to see that the benefits are many. Lion’s Mane may seem somewhat complicated, but it is that complicity that makes it so effective. It works on bodily processes to ensure they continue to function the way that they’re supposed to. This provides a degree of equilibrium in your life that you need to function properly. You’ll feel better and you’ll even live longer when you take care of yourself. The benefits can’t be denied, so it is ideal to start your intake of Lion’s Mane as soon as you can.

The Power Within the Mushroom
By Omid Jaffari

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The 4000 year old medicine.

The last time I Googled “Reishi,” I get more than 621,000 hits. It will be too time consuming going through
all of them so let me save you the trouble by summarizing what most of these sites are talking about.

Reishi belongs to the Basidomycetes family of mushroom, which is a branch of the Mycetes Kingdom.
Many medicinal mushrooms come from the Basidomycetes family.

Reishi is the Japanese word meaning “ancient goddess of health, life and eternal youth,” a rare
mushroom with amazing healing qualities. It has to be amazing to be noticed. Lingzhi, in Chinese which
mean “divine herb that energizes the chi or life force,” or Ganoderma Lucidum, its scientific name, is also
known as the “King of Herbs” or “Gods Herb”. This mushroom practically takes care of the entire body
which beats multi-vitamins thus the “Miracle Herb” title is so fitting.

Paul Stamets, the American mycologist and author of “Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms,”
describes that fungi is more directly related to us than any other in the animal kingdom. He says that we
share the same pathogens, which is why fungi are great source for antibiotics. Its biological makeup is
more compatible to humans and probably why we see great health benefits from a number of them such
as Cordyceps, Maitake and especially, Reishi.

What is interesting about Reishi is its history. It has been in use in China for over 4,000 years. Because it
is such a rare herb – for every 10,000 trees, one or three maybe found. Chinese history indicates that only
Emperors were able to use them for their health and well being. There are stories where common folks
could lose their lives if they were found to consume it for themselves. Commoners are encouraged to
offer this rare mushroom to their Emperor whenever they discovered one, or lose their lives because of it.
The rarity is so extreme that when someone was to find one, he will keep it a secret even to his own
family.

Shen Nong, the founding father of Chinese Medicine who lived during the Han Dynasty (206 BC ~ 8 AD)
documented 365 plant species. In his meticulous study, he found that Reishi came out on top even
superior to Ginseng.

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Benefits of Reishi – Ganoderma Lucidium

Reishi mushroom is revered in the Oriental traditional medicine as a fungus that could make a person immortal. This mushroom is used largely as a medicinal herb. The bitter taste and wood like texture of reishi mushroom will not be fit for preparing soaps and salads.

Nonetheless, people, who are aware of the large number of health benefits of this mushroom, have no qualms of having reishi mushroom in their soaps. However, largely, reishi is consumed in the form of tea.

For best results, one should eat reishi mushroom in the morning in empty stomach. Taking enough water along with this mushroom helps to increase the efficacy of reishi mushroom.

Strengthens immunity

Reishi mushroom is one of the best immunity stimulating foods. Intake of reishi mushroom helps to enhance production of T cells. T cells kill the invading bacteria and virus, protecting our bodies from the onslaught of these disease-causing germs. This immunity stimulating power of reishi mushroom could be utilized for fighting several infectious diseases. This medicinal mushroom could also be effective in fighting HIV. To extract the maximum immunity strengthening benefit from reishi mushroom, consume reishi mushroom along with vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables.

Cures respiratory problems

In traditional Chinese medicine, reishi mushroom is recommended to fight coughs and colds. It could significantly reduce the symptoms of chronic bronchitis and asthma.

Improves liver function

The bitterness of reishi mushroom, derived from triterpenes, a type of plant compound found in this mushroom, promotes liver function. Reishi mushroom can also be used for treating hepatitis B.

Anti-allergic

Reishi mushroom can prevent common allergies. Ganoderic acids present in this fungus check histamine secretion, reducing the symptoms of allergies.

Fights cancer

According to studies, reishi mushroom could prevent as well as arrest growth of cancerous cells. This mushroom could be effective in preventing as well as slowing down the development of prostate, breast and bladder cancers.

Antioxidant

Reishi mushroom is also a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. It can prevent heart diseases and Alzheimer’s disease. It can reduce inflammation and Arthritis pain could be treated with this mushroom.

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Cordyceps and Cancer

Researchers from the University of Nottingham have found that a rare, wild mushroom called cordyceps is an effective treatment for cancer. Commonly used in Chinese medicine, the cordyceps fungi inhibits the growth, division, and proliferation of cancer cells in the body.

Cordyceps was originally formulated into a cancer drug called cordycepin back in the 1950s. Though the drug version was ultimately found to be ineffective because of rapid degradation inside the body once it was administered, the active components from the mushroom continue to be effective cancer fighters.

Depending upon dosage levels, cordyceps mushroom extracts directly impact the process of cell protein development, impeding the production of the mRNA molecules that create them. At high doses, cordyceps inhibits protein development directly, essentially eliminating the ability of cancer cells to function and survive.

Since the study focused on the pharmaceutical drug formulation derived from cordyceps, called cordycepin, lead scientist Dr. Cornelia de Moor and her team specifically sought ways to improve the effectiveness of that particular drug. Their only solution was to suggest giving another drug alongside cordycepin in order to prevent it from degrading in the body. The team warned that the other drug causes serious side effects which may discourage its use.

Though the research focused primarily on cordycepin, it ultimately revealed the powerful effects of cordyceps in preventing and treating cancer. The study is set to be published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry and its authors hope that the findings will spark further research into the potential uses for cordyceps as a cancer treatment.

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger

Learn more: About Cordyceps and Cancer

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Candida and Reishi

Reishi Mushroom Extract and other Medicinal Mushrooms Benefit Candida Sufferers!

Reishi Mushroom Extract is a Beneficial Candida Treatment!

There seems to be a constant babble about whether people with candida overgrowth should avoid mushrooms for the sake of their health. Most people, including “experts” will tell you not to consume mushrooms of any kind.

Let’s set the record straight.

Although they fall under the same general category of fungi: Mushrooms are not mold. Mushrooms are not yeast.

Not all mushrooms need be avoided.

The ones you do want to enjoy include shiitake, maitake (both culinary delights) and reishi mushrooms (not so delicious, usually taken as reishi mushroom extract). In fact, reishi mushrooms can help your immune system to regain balance over the invasive form of candida. Remember, candida is a natural element in the human body, it only becomes invasive and detrimental when it is given an opportunity to grow out of control, which happens when the immune system is weakened.

“Candida and Mushrooms? I’ve heard to avoid mushrooms if my health is suffering due to candida overgrowth.”

I know, me too! But for many years I’ve known about the healing effects of shiitake and reishi mushrooms. I ate shiitakes while I was doing my cleanse diet, and never felt any ill effects.

Finally I’ve been taking the time to research it more for myself and my results are really pleasing! Here is some of the encouraging information I’ve been gathering about reishi mushroom extract, maitake and shiitake mushrooms:

Did you know that some fungi are more closely related to animals than plants are to those same animals? And that some diseases which affect fungi can affect humans as well? I didn’t until recently. Weird, but true.

For instance, three pathenogenic microorganisms which cause diseases common to fungi and humans (these are ones I know of, I’m sure there are more):

Escherichia coli (E Coli)
Staphylococcus aureus (the most common cause of staph infections)
Pseudomonas aeruginosa (a bacteria which causes the common “hot tub rash, or “hot tub folliculitis”)

One of medicinal mushrooms’ natural defenses is to produce antibiotics to fight infection from microorganisms. In fact, antibiotics commonly prescribed at the doctor’s office are often derived from fungi.

There is an increasingly accepted hypothesis in modern medicine that polypore mushrooms like reishi mushroom extract and maitake mushrooms can help provide a immune “shield” against a number of infectious diseases, including candida. Shiitake mushrooms, while not polypores, are also known for their immune enhancing properties.

One of the beneficial elements in these medicinal mushrooms are certain polysaccharides, which are a form of complex carbohydrates. Cellulose (plant fiber) and pectin (found in fruits such as citrus, apples and pears) are two other well known forms of polysaccharides.

Okay, once again, let me reiterate that I’m no scientist, but I am an avid reader and always poking around for new and interesting information. Here’s some more information I’ve dug up on reishi mushrooms and other healing mushrooms – some of which even I wouldn’t attempt to explain scientifically, but nonetheless I find it compelling because there is an abundance of scientific and medicinal research coming back with positive results.

Reishi Mushrom Extract and other Medicinal Mushrooms Are Beneficial For Numerous Reasons
Reishi mushrooms and the other healing mushrooms contain an abundance of not only “polysaccharides” but also “protein-bound polysaccharides”, including the much touted beta-D-glucans, which is one reason they all possess such potent immune-strengthening properties (beta-D-glucans is primarily used for immune enhancing properties as well as its ability to help lower cholesterol).

Other medicinal herbs and plants including Aloe Vera, Echinacea and Astragalus contain polysaccharides, which are believed to be a major part of their immune-enhancing actions. Protein-bound polysaccharides found in the medicinal mushrooms have been shown to be even more effective for immune responses than individual polysaccharides.

Thus, it’s hypothesized that the protein-bound polysaccharides found in mushrooms such as reishi mushroom extract, maitake mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms are extra-beneficial for people whose health is compromised by candida overgrowth.

Animal and human trials demonstrate that mushrooms like reishi, maitake and shiitake enhance the production of T-cells, helper T-cells, natural killer cells and macrophages.

They also contain sterols and triterpenes which have been demonstrated to help lower blood pressure and serum cholesterol levels as well as reduce inflammatory responses.

They’ve also been shown to protect and enhance liver function, which is great news for candida sufferers, since the liver is working overtime to process the toxins produced by the candida yeasts.

All mushrooms are surprisingly rich in protein and B vitamins (which help to relieve stress, depression and fatigue commonly associated with candida and poor health in general).

They’re also the only non-animal source of vitamin D that I know of. The USDA’s recommended daily intake of Vitamin D is 200 IU (international units), which is considered a very low estimate by numerous health experts. All mushrooms synthesize vitamin D from natural sunlight (or even artificial light), but look at the comparison between regular button mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms:

100 grams of white button mushrooms contain an average of 18 IU of vitamin D.

100 grams of shiitake mushrooms contain an average of 96 IU of vitamin D!!

Vitamin D deficiency is being linked to many health problems, so make sure you’re getting enough every day. Remember, vitamin D is synthesized by the body from sunlight, or obtained from food sources like cod liver oil, salmon, eggs, milk.

Or… from the shiitakes in your stir fry… Yum!!

I could go on, but I hope instead that these notes will encourage more readers to consider the benefits of Reishi mushroom, as well as cooking with maitake and shiitake mushrooms for candida, health and overall wellness.