There are currently about 14,000 identified mushroom species worldwide, which is 10% of the estimated 140,000 mushrooms on our planet.
Can you imagine how much there is still to be discovered?
Mycologists, mushrooms experts, are learning more and more about the amazing relationship between humans and fungi.
Paul Stamets, one of the best-known mycologists, says that the DNA of mushrooms is not only more related to humans than to plants, we even share almost 50% of our DNA with mushrooms.
This makes that we benefit greatly from their healing properties: our body recognizes them and resonates with their frequency.
There is fast growing interest in medicinal and adaptogenic mushrooms such as Chaga, Reishi, Cordyceps and Lion's Mane.
People are discovering how much these mushrooms impact the well-being of their body and mind. From strengthening your immune system, increasing your resilience to stress, sleeping better, having more energy, to optimizing your concentration and maintaining your skin beautiful and healthy; medicinal mushrooms can do a lot for you.
The use of medicinal mushrooms goes back thousands of years. They play a very important role in Traditional Chinese Medicine and various streams of Asian herbal medicine.
Cordyceps for example, has been registered as an official medicine in China since 1964, Turkey Tail is used in Japan as a recognized remedy to treat cancer and components of Maitake are used during chemotherapy.
Medicinal mushrooms are rich in polysaccharides, especially the immune-enhancing beta-glucans and triterpenes. They contain more than 1,000 bioactive substances.
Reishi, Maitake and Shiitake, for example, are rich in Ergosterine: pro-vitamin D2.
Polysaccharides are also essential for the skin's renewal process. They help strengthen the skin's protective layer and keep it hydrated.
Nowadays we also have plenty of medicinal mushrooms at our disposal in the west. From powders to tinctures, made from one mushroom as well as blends of several mushrooms.
The quality of products made from medicinal mushrooms varies considerably, so make sure to do your research.
It makes a big difference in quality whether a product is made from the fruiting body of the mushroom or the mycelium.
Products made from fruiting bodies usually contain around 30-40% beta-glucans, however products made from mycelium grown on grain usually contain a maximum of 7% beta-glucans.
Come take a look into the fascinating world of the most famous medicinal mushrooms and learn about their powerful properties:
Medicinal mushrooms for body and mind
This medicinal adaptogenic mushroom has its origins in Russia, China and Japan.
It can also be found in some other places such as here in the Netherlands and Belgium.
It is mainly used for strengthening the immune system, supporting digestion and relieving stress.
Chaga is rich in antioxidants that help eliminate oxidative stress.
The Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) is a test that shows the amount of antioxidants in food. Chaga has one of the highest scores of all natural foods: it contains 3x the amount of antioxidants in Açaí berries.
The high concentration of antioxidants combined with the melanin and zinc that it contains helps protect against UV radiation.
Chaga also contributes to the production of collagen and helps to maintain the elasticity of the skin.
Betulinic acid supports cell renewal.
Chaga also contains some of the highest amounts of Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) which helps slow down the formation of wrinkles.
Reishi is one of the most valued herbs in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
It is considered an elixir of immortality and longevity herb for its powerful healing and anti-aging properties.
Reishi helps maintain a strong immune system and regulate stress by balancing your nervous and endocrine system. It has relaxing properties and helps to keep the body in a state of homeostasis.
In addition, it promotes a healthy sleep cycle and mental clarity.
It is the only known source of a specific group of triterpenes that have a similar molecular structure to steroid hormones.
They have anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-tumor properties.
Antioxidants in Reishi stimulate the skin's renewal process, help slow down the aging of the skin and protect it against UV radiation.
Beta-glucans contribute in restoring moisture loss and keep the skin hydrated.
Ceramides repair and strengthen the skin's moisture barrier.
Reishi has anti-inflammatory properties and helps to soothe the skin while reducing redness.
This medicinal and culinary mushroom is the second most eaten mushroom in the world after the champignon or button mushroom.
Shiitake is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to strengthen the immune system, enhance the Qi or life force, prevent premature aging and stimulate blood circulation.
It also supports the liver, our main detox organ.
The polysaccharide Lentinan keeps the intestinal flora balanced by increasing the good bacteria.
Shiitake is rich in L-ergothioneine, which is known as longevity vitamin. It contains 40x the amount of wheat germ.
L-ergothioneine helps protect DNA, reduces UV damage and stimulates the production of antioxidant enzymes.
Antioxidants and anti-irritants in Shiitake help speed up the skin's natural renewal process and protect it against free radicals.
The antibacterial kojic acid helps to equalize skin tone and can
reduce hyperpigmentation, scars and age spots, among other things.
Shiitake also contains vitamin D2.
Turkey tail is one of the most well-known and researched medicinal mushrooms that are used as medicine for the body and mind.
The combination of antioxidants and beta-glucans has a powerful effect on the immune system. It is particularly its potent combination of polysaccharide krestin (PSK) and polysaccharide peptide (PSK) that play an important role in our immunity and cell health.
The prebiotics in Turkey Tail are very beneficial for intestinal health and stimulate the production of good bacteria.
Turkey Tail has strong anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties and is used to treat the flu, colds and infections.
In Japan and China, the polysaccharide peptides from Turkey Tail are used as support for various cancer treatments and chemotherapy.
Phenols and flavonoids help protect against oxidative stress and prevent premature aging of cells, including those of the skin.
Lion's Mane is a medicinal and culinary mushroom and a Nootropic: a substance that supports brain and nerve health.
It stimulates cognitive functions such as memory and concentration and promotes NGF growth: the nerve growth factor.
Lion's Mane has the ability to restore the Hippocampus, the part of your brain that plays an important role in your memory and behavior.
Decrease in hippocampal tissue can cause anxiety, depression and an increased risk of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
Lion's Mane helps protect the brain against this.
In addition, it contributes to a healthy immune system and helps your body and mind become more resilient to stress.
Antioxidants and polysaccharides enhance the antioxidant enzyme activities and have anti-aging properties.
Lion's Mane helps reduce oxidative stress and inflammation while stimulating collagen production.
NGF helps accelerate the healing of wounds and other tissues.
Cordyceps plays an important role in both Traditional Chinese and Tibetan medicine where it is used to promote cell immunity, fatigue, support the respiratory system, liver and kidneys.
It enhances energy levels and stamina, helps to reduce stress, improves physical performance and speeds up recovery after physical activity.
Cordyceps promotes oxygen uptake by your cells and optimizes the way your body uses oxygen.
Increased oxygen contributes to the reduction of lactic acid in the blood, known as lactate. Too much lactate can lead to extreme fatigue, muscle weakness, difficulty breathing and abdominal pain.
There are several Cordyceps varieties: the two most famous ones are Cordyceps Sinensis and Cordyceps Militaris.
Cordyceps Sinensis is a rare and very precious mushroom that grows mainly in parts of the Himalayas and in several countries in Asia. With prices of up to $20,000 per kilo, it is the most expensive mushroom in the world.
The Cordyceps in supplements is cultivated.
Cordyceps is rich in nutrients such as amino acids, antioxidants and vitamins B1, B2, B12 and K.
It has anti-aging, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and stimulates the regenerative capacity of skin cells, including damage caused by UV radiation.
Mannitol a sugar alcohol in Cordyceps, moisturizes and conditions the skin.
Peptides, essential amino acids and proteins help the skin to stay supple and hydrated.
This culinary and medicinal mushroom has its origins in Japan where it is eaten a lot. Maitake, which means dancing mushroom, is rich in minerals such as magnesium, calcium and potassium, vitamins B2, B3 (Niacin), D2, amino acids and fiber.
It contains the most effective source of beta-glucans of all mushrooms.
These support the immune system and activate the production of white blood cells.
In Japan and China, Maitake has traditionally been used to strengthen the immune system, help remove cellular waste from the body, and speed up the repair of tissue damage.
It is also used there for its positive effect on blood pressure and cholesterol and as part of the treatment of various types of cancer.
Maitake hydrates the skin, protects it from external stress and helps restore moisture loss.
Its neuroprotective properties support the growth and survival potential of neurons.
Tremella, known as the beauty mushroom, has a special effect on the skin.
Its moisture-binding properties of 500 times its own weight make it deeply moisturizing.
Cosmetics with 0.05% added Tremella polysaccharides have a better moisture-binding capacity than those with 0.02% added hyaluronic acid.
Tremella is rich in antioxidants that help protect against premature aging of the skin.
In addition, Tremella helps to improve the elasticity of the skin, stimulates collagen production and contains the anti-inflammatory glucuronoxylomannan which helps accelerate the healing of wounds.
Medicinal and adaptogenic mushrooms have a lot to offer us.
Many have been successfully used in various Asian cultures for thousands of years. In recent years, the west has started discovering them at an increasing rate.
Thanks to scientific research our knowledge about what they can do for our well-being has grown a lot.
Are you curious about what medicinal mushrooms can do for you?
All High Vibeology blends contain them: I am calm - Reishi, I am energized -Cordyceps, I am focused - Lion’s Mane and I am glowing for your skin and immune system, contains 7 of them such as Chaga, Tremella and Shiitake.