What’s in those mushrooms?

Most people who seek out medicinal mushrooms such as Chaga, Reishi, Lions Mane, Maitake and Turkey Tail, among many others, have some knowledge that they are good for us. Some of us read articles and look at scientific research, we may have heard about mushrooms from friends or family, or we are just curious about them. The picture above is what my cupboard looked like when I got started diving into mushroom foraging and making medicine. In the beginning I fell into the curiosity category, knowing very little but over the years I have learned so much and continue to everyday. This post is designed to break down, in a simple way, what benefits we get from mushrooms.

Polysaccharides: These are essentially carbohydrates. Poly means ‘many’, saccharides means ‘sugars’. One of the main functions of these compounds is to store energy. Most all medicinal mushrooms contain polysaccharides, some more than others. One type of Polysaccharide found in the cell walls of mushrooms are Beta D Glucans. These are responsible for many of the benefits we gain from mushrooms such as Anti-Oxidants, boosting and regulating the immune system and blood sugar and cholesterol regulation. They also help fight cancer and slow or stop tumor growth.

Terpenoids are another compound found in many medicinal mushrooms. They are responsible for Anti-Microbial, Anti-Viral, Anti-Oxidant, Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Neurodegenerative activity.

An important thing to share about these compounds is that some are water soluble and others are not, this show up when deciding to take a tincture or making a tea. Hot water will pull out some compounds, while alcohol or glycerin will pull the others out. Making a double or triple extraction tincture covers all the bases by mixing alcohol, hot and cold water infusions together. Of course you won’t miss a thing by taking the tincture and drinking the tea.

Vitamins can be found in all mushrooms but certain kinds are higher in medicinal mushrooms such as Vitamin D2, which is used when deficient in D vitamin, also in dietary supplements. Vitamin B12, used for energy, red blood cell formation, metabolism, nerve function and production of DNA. Vitamin C, which produces collagen for healthy bones, it helps us stay away from colds and plays a part in healthy muscles and tissues.

Within the vitamin family found in medicinal mushrooms there is Riboflavin (B2), is necessary to the body for cellular respiration. Niacin (B3), turn our food into energy and keeps our digestive, nervous systems and skin healthy. Pantothenic Acid (B5), which plays role in reducing anxiety and stress, also improves asthma and respiratory issues. Cholecalciferol (D3), is good for bones.

From vitamins to minerals, medicinal mushrooms can be high in minerals as well. Potassium, plays a part in making our vital organs function correctly, can lower blood pressure and improve heart health. Zinc, helps boost the immune system, testosterone production, and skin health. Copper, which transports oxygen and electrons to cells. Selenium, helps keep the immune and thyroid systems healthy. Ergothioneine, an Amino Acid, which is used for preventing liver damage, diabetes, heart disease and Alzheimer’s.

Here’s a list of health problems and the mushrooms that could help:

Diabetes: Maitake, Chaga, Lions Mane, Turkey Tail

High Blood Pressure: Reishi, Maitake, Oyster

Arthritis: Chaga, Reishi

Alzheimer’s/ Dementia/Brain health: Lions Mane

Stress/Anxiety/Depression: Reishi, Lions Mane

Digestive issues: Turkey Tail, Chaga, Reishi, Lions Mane

Heart issues: Lions Mane, Reishi

Liver/Kidney: Reishi, Oysters

Energy: Chaga, Turkey Tail

Sleep: Reishi, Indian Pipe

Immune Boost: Chaga, Reishi, Turkey Tail, Lions Mane, Maitake, Oysters

Cancer: Turkey Tail, Chaga, Reishi, Lions Mane, Maitake

**Medicinal mushrooms are not a cure for these conditions, consulting a doctor if on medication is recommended. Medicinal mushrooms continue to undergo testing in our country and are showing amazing promise in treating health conditions and also improving our overall health on a daily basis. These mushrooms have been tested and used successfully in treatments, especially cancer, in many other countries including throughout Europe, Asia and Russia.

Starting Now Monthly Subscriptions

Many of you have become regular customers, which I value so very much! Starting this month I’m opening up sign ups for monthly or bi-monthly subscriptions. Here’s what it will look like. You choose what you want and when you want!

You can choose either delivery or by mail, each month or second month. I will deliver or mail a customized order you put together, it can be the same products each month or the monthly special and you can change or add to any months order by letting me know before it goes out that month. For example you may want a 2 oz Chaga tincture and some Reishi teabags, that order will be at your door every month. Cancel or put on hold whenever you want.

You will have to contact me directly to set up your monthly subscription by email or phone.

2021! January Newsletter

Well done everyone, we made it! 2020 is behind us now and it’s a fresh start in the new year, 2021! I want to thank everybody for your support of my business, each of you has had a role in my success and doing what I do is a dream come true. I started this venture over ten years ago, learning, studying, foraging, work trading and going to school along the way. I believed in the mushrooms and their healing power. I was drawn to working with mushrooms right away and it quickly became a passion, something that hasn’t changed a bit to this day. I’m excited to begin identification walks again in the spring and meeting lots of new mycrophiles! This year has been exceptional in the mushroom realm of Western North Carolina. I discovered some new species to me, foraged a great deal of the medicinal and edibles I work with and taught several folks on my walks. I believe 2021 will be full of mushroom bounty and can’t wait to get back out in the spring. For now it’s Turkey Tail, Lions Mane and Chaga hunting all winter!

To welcome in the new year I’m running a special for the month on Chaga, buy any Chaga tincture, 1oz or 2oz and get a free set of Chaga teabags. Available in either double extracted alcohol or vegetable glycerin. All my products are wild crafted straight from the forest here in western North Carolina. Chaga is known as the king of medicinal mushrooms and also called the diamond of the forest. Chaga has a range of wonderful benefits for overall health. Chaga is Anti-Inflammatory which helps conditions such as arthritis, joint issues and digestion. Chaga is very high in Anti-Oxidants, showing higher content than any other food product, making it a superfood. It helps give you natural energy by boosting your immune system. Chaga is a Immune regulator. It is a cancer fighter, showing the ability to reduce the size tumors and slow tumor growth. It contains vitamins B, C and D, Zinc, Potassium, and Iron. Chaga tea or tincture along with doses of vitamin C has shown to be powerful for boosting the immune system and in turn is a good defense against Co-Vid, it is not a cure or preventive but could make a huge difference in the battle against the virus.

Blue Oysters

This year I plan to roll out some new products including Oyster mushroom tinctures, Oyster mushrooms contain polysaccharides which help boost your immune system, they also are great sources of niacin, riboflavin and pantothenic acid. Also Mullein tinctures, Mullein is traditionally used to improve lung function. As Co-Vid lingers all around us, these two medicinal tinctures will be a great additive to your routine. I’m also excited about offering tee shirts, stickers and reusable tote bags with my new logo on them this year. I also hope to expand some and get my products on more shelves. I’ll be out hitting the streets and talking to small shops that offer natural, health products such as the wonderful mushrooms I work with. Lastly in announcements in the new year, I’m looking to upscale my growing capabilities and start a subscription of fresh mushrooms to be available. I’m playing with idea of doing subscriptions for teas and tinctures as well, if your interested in having monthly or bimonthly orders of either of those please let me know.

Happiest of new years to all, 2021 will be better!!!

December Newsletter

Welcome to December, to winter, and to the passing of the year. Being out in the forest in the winter months is a special time for me, it means one thing, Chaga hunting! The cold air, the bare trees and the off trail adventures make for ideal Chaga conditions. Besides Chaga, there is an abundance of Turkey Tail still growing. This months feature is the many shades of Turkey Tail.

In honor and celebration of these two powerful, medicinal mushrooms, I’m running two specials this month. Specials are for the whole month of December.

A wellness pack: One Turkey tail 2oz tincture, One half pound of Chaga and One set of Reishi teabags for $50 (value of $85).

Buy one get one free on dried Chaga by the pound. When you order one pound of dried Chaga you get one free!

Turkey Tail, Trametes Versicolor, or the Cloud Mushroom, is a common, polypore mushroom that grows on fallen branches or dying tree trunks throughout our region. The identifying aspects are the colored rings on the top and a white bottom of pores not gills. You want to make sure the pores are solid white, they turn yellowish or off colored when too old to harvest. Turkey Tail has a rich history around the globe in traditional medicinal use. It is one of the only mushrooms FDA approved for cancer treatment, which is a shame considering Chaga, Reishi, Lions Mane and Maitake all show amazing results in helping to fight and treat cancer. I believe in the near future these other wonderful mushrooms will show up in mainstream treatments.

Turkey Tail has an array of benefits that include: Aiding in digestion, they help to improve gut bacteria balance. They contain powerful antioxidants that help boost your immune system, which is a key part of recovering from chemo treatments. Powerful Polysaccharides that help to inhabit the growth of cancer cells. Beta Glucans that help prevent obesity. They help to fight off the common cold and flu. Turkey Tail is good for fighting canine cancers as well. It helps treat HPV.

Turkey Tail can be used as a tea or soup base by using it in dried or fresh form, can also be taken as a tincture.

Another mushroom you may run across out there during December is the Resinous Polypore, or Skirt Steak of the woods as some call it. You may see a red liquid exuding from the cap. These mushrooms are extra fleshy and grow quite thick. I’ve tried these for the first time this year and highly enjoyed the flavor. Simply cut the mushroom in thin strips and sauté. As with most shelf mushrooms the outer edges are the best, as you get into the center they become tough and hard to eat.

Lastly let me say one of the things I’m grateful for is the fall bringing beautiful Lions Mane.

Happy holiday season everyone! Thanks for your support and may you all stay healthy, stay safe and be merry as we say goodbye to 2020.