3/3/23 | Education

So, What Are Functional Mushrooms Anyways?

Mushrooms. They’re all the rage, right? Step aside, coconut oil. There’s a new panacea in town.

Between 2011 and 2015, coconut oil was the remedy for every malady. Dry hair? Coconut oil. Skin breakouts? Coconut oil. Dental hygiene? Coconut oil. Cooking alternative? Coconut oil. And then, it vanished. We’ve seen it before; an ingredient re-enters the scene (because let’s be honest, most buzzworthy ingredients aren’t actually new) and the media has a field day.

Coconut oil was the highlight of every wellness routine, healthy hack, baking recipe, Pinterest board, and Instagram smoothie. Until, we all realized that, hey, butter isn’t so bad. In fact, grass-fed butter is one of the best sources of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which plays a positive role in lipid metabolism, obesity reduction, insulin resistance, bone remineralization, and immune modulation.

So, coconut oil had a great run…and a great PR agent. Eventually, as is the case with so many wellness trends, its “shiny new object” syndrome faded and science prevailed.

 

What does that mean for ‘shrooms?

Here’s the thing: mushrooms have not only been around centuries longer, but they have also been consistently incorporated into Eastern medicine practices without pause. Mushrooms aren’t a fad. Instead, they’re an age-old key to unlocking vitality and longevity.

While most panacea’s are considered a single ingredient, one-stop-shop for feeling better, ‘shrooms offer a different pathway for every presenting problem. Why? Well, because there are at least 2,786 species of edible mushrooms.

 

mushrooms

“There’s a mushroom for that.”

Out of the thousands of edible mushrooms hiding beneath forest covers, about 130 of these ‘shrooms are considered medicinal. Medicinal mushrooms, also known as functional mushrooms, are the specific species used for disease prevention, alleviation, and healing.

While coconut oil provided a flashy one-size-fits-all approach, the sheer number of mushrooms reflects the diversification of benefits and treatment pathways. In fact, medicinal mushrooms are purported to have antiallergic, antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidative, antiviral, cytotoxic, immunomodulating, antihyperlipidemic, antidiabetic, digestive, hepatoprotective, neuroprotective, nephroprotective, osteoprotective, and hypotensive benefits. To name a few.

 

The breakdown of mushrooms for breakthrough health.

The three components in mushrooms responsible for their medicinal power are: α- and β-glucans, terpenes, and fungal immunomodulatory proteins. Combined, these trigger a host of beneficial responses when bound to specific cell receptors in the body; most notable (and most widely researched) are the anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antitumor effects.

Take α- and β-glucans, for example. The medicinal species of mushrooms, rich in polysaccharides, have been considered biological response modifiers (BRMs) – meaning they target the disease-causing mechanisms. Due to their ability to attach to specialized cell wall receptors, they are commonly used to treat malignancy to limit tumor proliferation, buffer cytotoxicity, reduce the side effects of therapies, and improve overall quality of life.

Turkey tail mushroom, which can be found in Aura, has piqued the interest of many researchers and clinicians. In one recent study, a derivative of this mushroom was given to stage II/III colorectal patients. The control group received standard therapy, while the experimental group received 3 grams of the extract per day over the course of two years (in conjunction with their standard therapy). The experimental group had a survival rate of 86.8%, compared to 60% in the control group.

functional mushrooms

The future of cannabis and mushrooms is now a present reality. In fact, it’s unfolding as we speak. Functional mushrooms have found their rightful place in modern medicine. Whether you are searching for a natural way to boost your performance, support your immunity, restore your gut health, buffer your stress, or improve your sleep quality…we have the herbal formulation.

Just take a look –Rise contains Lion’s Mane and Cordyceps. Aura contains Turkey Tail and Chaga. Zen and Serenity contain Reishi. Every supplement is consciously sourced, meticulously formulated, and intentionally curated for your vitality and longevity. After all, we’re only on this Earth for a brief moment in time; we might as well feel good while we’re here.

 

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