You’ll Gobble Up These Facts about Turkey Tail Benefits*

You’ll Gobble Up These Facts about Turkey Tail Benefits*

turkey-tail-benefits

Get to Know Turkey Tail Benefits*

Turkey Tail is one of our favorite mushrooms, and it’s among the 10 mushrooms in our Mush 10 Powder and Tincture for Immunity and Health.* This blog will fill you in on the basics of this anything-but-basic mushroom — and share some facts about Turkey Tail benefits.*

turkey-tail-benefits
Turkey Tail is a gorgeous mushroom! It looks like the widespread tail feathers of a wild turkey, which is how these striped, fuzzy polypore mushrooms earned their common name. They feature repeating bands of color, ranging from white and brown to blue and gray.

Its Latin name is Trametes versicolor (and also Coriolus versicolor). Turkey Tail’s species name translates to “changeable in color” or “of a variety of colors.”Trametes translates to “one who is thin,” which is quite fitting for Turkey Tail!

Since Turkey Tail is vibrantly colored, it’s easier to spot in the wild than more camouflaged mushrooms. Keep an eye out for Turkey Tail clusters on hardwood deciduous trees in Europe, Asia and North America.

Get to Know Turkey Tail Benefits*

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s dive deeper into Turkey Tail benefits.

How Turkey Tail was used traditionally

Turkey Tail has a rich, deep history of use in traditional Chinese herbalism. It has been used in China as far back as the Ming Dynasty, starting in the 14th century. Then, health practitioners used more than 120 strains of Turkey Tail mushroom.

Turkey Tail was traditionally made into a tea, since the mushrooms are too tough for you to cook and gobble up (sorry, we couldn’t help that turkey pun). This is the simplest preparation, and it helps extract many of the active compounds.

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Traditional uses included support for:

  •       digestive tract*
  •       immune system*
  •       liver health*
  •       upper respiratory tract*
  •       urinary tract*

The fiber content of Turkey Tail*

Turkey Tail and other mushrooms contain a special type of fiber called prebiotic fiber. It helps feed the healthy flora in our digestive tract.* Since so much of your immune system lives in your gut, this is one way that Turkey Tail supports them both.*

Turkey Tail and immune support*

In addition to its deep traditional history, Turkey Tail has a rich story in modern times. It is the most-researched mushroom in the world, largely due to two specific polysaccharides. They are called PSP (polysaccharide peptide) and PSK (polysaccharide K).  PSK and PSP both promote a healthy immune system.*

According to research, PSK support the immune system, including T cells that connect the body’s innate and adaptive immune functions.* PSK promotes antibody production by B lymphocytes.*

Thanks for reading about Turkey Tail benefits. How — and why — do you use this mushroom in your everyday life? Follow our Instagram and keep the conversation about Turkey Tail going!

Make Turkey Tail a part of your healthy habits. Try our best-selling Mush 10. Add a dropper of tincture to your coffee, tea or water. Or stir a scoop of powder into your oatmeal or smoothie. Both are made with 100% organic mushroom fruiting bodies — no fillers, grains or fluff!

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Why Lion’s Mane is One of the Best Mushrooms for Brain Health *

Why Lion’s Mane is One of the Best Mushrooms for Brain Health *

best-mushrooms-for-brain-health

Why Lion’s Mane is One of the Best Mushrooms for Brain Health*

Lion’s Mane mushroom is one of our favorite mushrooms, hands-down. But it’s also one of the best mushrooms for brain health!* We’ll explain why soon enough, but first, get to know this fluffy, furry snowball of a mushroom.

You know how sometimes when things are cute, it’s hard to take them seriously? That’s sometimes the case with Lion’s Mane mushroom. If you see Hericium erinaceus before you learn about it, you might think it’s just a neat-looking edible mushroom. And that is true.

But there’s so much more to this mushroom! It’s among the 10 best mushrooms for brain health and overall health!* We sell it as a single-mushroom extract (that’s dual-extracted with both alcohol and water). We also include Lion’s Mane our Mush 10 Powder and Tincture for Immunity and Health.*

best-mushrooms-for-brain-health
If you haven’t heard of Lion’s Mane, perhaps you’ve heard it by another name, including:

  •       Brain Mushroom
  •       Hedgehog Mushroom
  •       hou tou gu (in Chinese)
  •       Monkey Head Mushroom
  •       Pom Pom Mushroom
  •       yamabushitake (in Japanese)

The traditional and modern uses of Lion’s Mane include:

  •       Promotes mental clarity*
  •       Supports healthy focus and memory*
  •       Provides cerebral support*
  •       Offers nervous system support*
  •       Promotes optimal nervous health*
  •       Supports immune system health*
  •       Supports cognitive function*

Did you know? We make a Certified Organic Lion’s Mane mushroom tincture! It’s made with pure Hericium erinaceus fruiting bodies — no mycelium on grain, no fillers, and no fluff. We use only the good stuff! It’s double extracted with hot water and 190-proof alcohol.

Why Lion’s Mane is Among the Best Mushrooms for Brain Health*

Lion’s Mane mushroom is in a category of herbs (including plants and mushrooms) known as nootropics. Nootropics have traditionally been used to support neural and cognitive function.* Other nootropics include Bacopa, Rhodiola and Ginseng.

Like all mushrooms, Lion’s Mane contains various active compounds, including polyphenols, beta-glucans and triterpenoids. What makes Lion’s Mane one of the best mushrooms for brain health is the hericenones and erinacines.* These substances have been found to promote nerve growth factor synthesis in nerve cells.* Nerve growth factor is responsible for regulating growth, maintenance, proliferation and survival of neural cells.* It also promotes long-term health of your entire body.*

best-mushrooms-for-brain-health
Want to give Lion’s Mane mushroom — one of the best mushrooms for brain health — a try? Start with our Certified Organic Lion’s Mane Tincture For Cognitive Function & Memory. We add cinnamon for flavor and to support healthy circulation.*
Sources:

Brandalise F, Cesaroni V, Gregori A, et al. Dietary Supplementation of Hericium erinaceus Increases Mossy Fiber-CA3 Hippocampal Neurotransmission and Recognition Memory in Wild-Type Mice. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2017;2017:3864340. doi:10.1155/2017/3864340

Friedman M. Chemistry, Nutrition, and Health-Promoting Properties of Hericium erinaceus (Lion’s Mane) Mushroom Fruiting Bodies and Mycelia and Their Bioactive Compounds. J Agric Food Chem. 2015;63(32):7108-7123. doi:10.1021/acs.jafc.5b02914

Jiang S, Wang S, Sun Y, Zhang Q. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2014;98(18):7661-7670. doi:10.1007/s00253-014-5955-5

Photo by Jesse Martini on Unsplash

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Before You Buy: What to Look for in a Reishi Mushroom Extract

Before You Buy: What to Look for in a Reishi Mushroom Extract

reishi-mushroom-extract

What to Look for in a Reishi Mushroom Extract

Before you buy a Reishi mushroom extract, it’s important to know the signs of quality and potency. This blog will give you a primer on Reishi, as well as a guide to buying the best Reishi mushroom extract.

Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) is known as the mushroom of immortality, Ling zhi (spirit plant) and 10,000-year mushroom. Reishi boasts a variety of benefits, including adaptogenic properties and support for overall wellness, healthy sleep and immune health.*

Reishi mushroom can be found in several colors, ranging from reddish orange to black. It grows across the US, Europe, South America and Asia, on elm, alder, oak and some conifer trees.

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Reishi is a tough mushroom — most of its “goodness” is locked up inside, so it needs to be extracted before you consume it. Reishi also tends to be bitter due to its triterpene content. If your extract is high quality and made from fruiting bodies, you’ll taste the difference. Reishi fruiting bodies contain over 130 triterpenoid compounds (mostly ganoderic and lucideric acids).

In China and Japan, Reishi has been used in herbalism for four millennia. Considered to be an adaptogen, helping the body’s natural response to stress, it also promotes healthy sleep.* (4) It may also help promote stamina and healthy energy levels!* (5) It supports the immune system, and Reishi also offers cardiovascular and antioxidant support.*(6)

Reishi is one of the mushrooms in our Mush-10 powder and tincture. We also offer a single Reishi mushroom extract if you prefer to take it solo.

What to Know Before You Buy Reishi Mushroom Extract

Here are four important questions to ask before you buy Reishi mushroom extract:

1. What part of the mushroom is used?

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Only certain parts of mushrooms are traditionally used in herbalism. Fruiting bodies are the above-ground parts of a mushroom. (These are the parts you most commonly forage, cook and extract.)

Mycelium is a part of the mushroom that humans rarely see, because it’s usually underground. While important to the mushroom, mycelium is not traditionally used to support your health.*

It’s cheaper and faster to grow mycelium on grain, so many products use it instead of fruiting bodies.

Our products use only 100% Reishi fruiting bodies, never mycelium, so you never pay for grain or filler.

2. How do you make your Reishi mushroom extract?

As we mentioned above, the active parts of Reishi mushrooms are inside the cell walls, which our bodies can’t break down. They need to be extracted — and the best ones use two methods.

Our Reishi mushroom extract undergoes a dual extraction of water, known as decoction, and alcohol, known as tincture. The active compounds in mushrooms are both alcohol-soluble (triterpenes) and water-soluble (beta-glucans). To get full-spectrum support from mushrooms, we extract our mushrooms with 190-proof alcohol and hot water, then carefully combine the two.

We follow the science and extract Reishi at the optimal alcohol percentages, temperatures and durations.

3. Are your extracts tested for purity and potency?

When you’re buying a Reishi mushroom extract, it’s important to look for proof that they are pure and potent.

Every batch of mushrooms we use goes through lab testing. We test for heavy metals and biological contamination, to ensure the purity of our products. We also check the concentration of active compounds such as beta-glucans and triterpenes. We want to see the science when it comes to the potency of our supplements, so we make sure to get exact numbers.

4. Is your Reishi extract made with organic mushrooms?

Mushrooms can be Certified Organic, but not all of them are. Our Reishi mushroom extract is Certified Organic by Baystate Organic Certifiers. Everything we use is organic, from our substrates to our cleaning supplies. Every product we sell and every ingredient we use is tracked by a batch number and can be traced back to its origin.

Ready to try Reishi mushroom extract for yourself? Check out our potent, Certified Organic and dual-extracted tincture!
reishi-mushroom-extract
Select sources

(1) Winston, D., & Maimes, S. (2007). Adaptogens: herbs for strength, stamina, and stress relief. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press.

(2)   Tang W, Gao Y, Chen G, et al. A randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled study of a Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharide extract in neurasthenia. Journal of Medicine and Food. 2005;8(1):53‐58. doi:10.1089/jmf.2005.8.53

(3)    Wachtel-Galor S, Yuen J, Buswell JA, et al. Ganoderma lucidum (Lingzhi or Reishi): A Medicinal Mushroom. In: Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor S, editors. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2011. Chapter 9. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92757/

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

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7 Shiitake Mushrooms Health Facts You Might Not Know

7 Shiitake Mushrooms Health Facts You Might Not Know

shiitake-mushrooms-health-facts

7 Shiitake Mushrooms Health Facts

Shiitake (Lentinula edodes) mushrooms are the second most popular mushroom in the world, and they’re super tasty and easy to cook. Beyond that, these mushrooms offer plenty of nutritional and health support.* Let’s run down some Shiitake mushrooms health facts!

Shiitake Mushrooms 101

Shiitake mushrooms get their name from the Japanese word for “oak,” or shia. Take is Japanese for “mushroom.” While it’s not a Shiitake mushrooms health fact per se, it’s worth noting that their species name, edodes, means “edible”! This yummy, umami-packed fungi grows on fallen broadleaf trees across China, Japan and other Asian countries with temperate climates. They also grow in the US, and you can grow them on logs with only a little effort. In both China and Japan, Shiitake mushrooms have been eaten and consumed as supplements for millennia. You’ll find Shiitake mushrooms in our Mush-10 powder and tincture.

Here are some Shiitake mushrooms health facts worth learning!

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1. Shiitake mushrooms are low in calories.

A cup of cooked Shiitake mushrooms contains only 80 calories — and that’s a lot of mushrooms! One popular way to eat mushrooms is by mincing them and mixing with meat. This not only adds flavor and texture to dishes, but it also helps bulk up meals for fewer calories.

For a delicious and easy way to enjoy shiitake mushrooms, check out this recipe.

2. Shiitake mushrooms provide fiber.

You also get 3 grams of fiber in that cup of Shiitake mushrooms. Fiber is a type of indigestible carbohydrate found only in plants and mushrooms. It plays a number of roles in the body, supporting heart health, gut health, regularity and healthy blood sugar levels within normal ranges. Men need to eat 38 grams daily, according to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, while women need 25 grams, but most people fall short. Eating a cup of mushrooms puts you closer to your daily quota in a tasty way!

3. Shiitake mushrooms are a good source of riboflavin, vitamin B6, niacin, zinc and manganese.

Foods are a “good source” of an essential mineral or vitamin if they provide 10% to 19% of the Daily Value of that nutrient in a serving. Shiitakes give you 15% of your DV for riboflavin, 12% of the DV for B6 and 11% of your niacin.

Zinc is a mineral that supports wound healing and immune health, and you get 13% of your DV from a cup of cooked Shiitakes. You also get 15% of your manganese for the day, which supports blood clotting and other important processes in the body.

We still have four Shiitake mushrooms health facts to go!

4. Shiitake mushrooms are an excellent source of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) and selenium.

Vitamin B5 is better known as pantothenic acid. While not as well-known as some other vitamins, B5 helps you make blood cells and process food into energy. By providing 52% of the DV for this vitamin, Shiitake mushrooms are an excellent source (meaning they provide at least 20%).

Plus, you get over half of your daily selenium (51%) and copper (65%) from Shiitakes! Selenium is a mineral that is known to have potent antioxidant qualities, while copper helps support energy production, iron metabolism and more.

5. Shiitake mushrooms contain vitamin D.

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that your body needs to absorb calcium (for bone health). It also helps healthy cell growth and immune function.* Most of the time, we get this nutrient from animal-based foods (or sunlight), but one of the coolest Shiitake mushrooms health facts is that they also provide vitamin D.

A cup will give you 40.6 international units of vitamin D, in the form of ergocalciferol (D2). When Shiitake mushrooms are exposed to UV light, they can actually increase their vitamin D levels!

6. Shiitake mushrooms support immune health.*

In both China and Japan, Shiitake mushrooms were traditionally used to support the immune system for everything from acute responses to cellular support.(1)* Today, Shiitake fruiting body extract, which is known as lentinan, is researched and used widely. Lentinan supports white blood cells and offers antioxidant support for the immune system.*(2)

7. Shiitake mushrooms can support your health in plenty of ways.*

Here’s the last of our Shiitake mushrooms health facts (for now): Beyond immune support, Shiitake mushrooms promote healthy cholesterol within normal ranges, antioxidant support, skin health and liver support.*

Thanks for reading through these Shiitake mushrooms health facts — did you learn anything new?

shiitake-mushrooms-health-facts
Want to try Shiitake mushrooms in a new way? Check out our Mush-10 powder and tincture. Convenient and versatile, they pack in 10 different mushrooms, all to support immunity and health.*
Selected sources

(1)    Finimundy, T.C., Dillon, A.J.P., Henriques, J.A.P. and Ely, M.R. (2014) A Review on General Nutritional Compounds and Pharmacological Properties of the Lentinula edodes Mushroom. Food and Nutrition Sciences, 5, 1095-1105. http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/fns.2014.512119

(2)    Keegan, R. J., Lu, Z., Bogusz, J. M., Williams, J. E., & Holick, M. F. (2013). Photobiology of vitamin D in mushrooms and its bioavailability in humans. Dermato-endocrinology, 5(1), 165–176. https://doi.org/10.4161/derm.23321.

Photo by Hanyue Tan on Unsplash

Photo by Ella Olsson from Pexels

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12 Vegan Mushroom Recipes Your Whole Family Will Love

12 Vegan Mushroom Recipes Your Whole Family Will Love

vegan-mushroom-recipes

12 of Our Favorite Vegan Mushroom Recipes

Mushrooms are, unsurprisingly, a staple ingredient in our kitchen. We love cooking up vegan mushroom recipes using mushrooms we forage on hikes, as well as those we pick up from the supermarket and farmers market. They’re such a flavorful, versatile ingredient that packs in major nutrition! Plus, you can’t beat the umami (or yumminess) they add to any dish.

Here’s a round-up of 12 of our favorite vegan mushroom recipes, along with some tips on using mushrooms and mushroom extracts in your go-to dishes at home.

Not vegan? No problem! Plant-based recipes make it easy for those with dietary restrictions to share meals. Those who choose to consume animal products can always add those in.

12 Vegan Mushrooms Recipes You’ll Love

 

Matcha Smoothie Bowl With Lion’s Mane Mushroom Recipe

vegan-mushroom-recipes

When you’re short on time but need caffeine and breakfast, make this Matcha Smoothie Bowl with Lion’s Mane Mushroom. Customize it with whatever you have on hand. In summer, try fresh peaches, cardamom and kale.

(Photo by Trang Doan from Pexels)

Spring Broth with Mushrooms

On chilly spring days, this Turkey Tail mushroom recipe will warm you to your core. Every sip is deeply nourishing and delicious. In the rainy months of early spring, you’ll want to keep a batch on hand to drink throughout the day or to use in other vegan mushroom recipes!

The Best Stuffed Maitake Mushroom Recipe

Turn any dinner into a festive meal by making this easy yet elegant stuffed Maitake recipe. It’s one of our favorite vegan mushrooms recipes, hands-down! You can also use other stuffable mushrooms, like Shiitake or Portobello caps.

Three Delicious and Easy Reishi Mushroom Recipes

Reishi mushroom’s strong bitterness pairs well with flavors like chocolate and coffee. We have a trio of delicious and easy Reishi mushroom recipes that you’ll love.

Lion’s Mane Recipe For “Don’t Be A Crab” Cakes

Next time you spot Lion’s Mane mushrooms at the farmers market, pick up one of those fluffy white fungus to make this recipe for “Don’t Be A Crab” Cakes. You’ll love every succulent and savory bite. To veganize it, simply use a vegan egg (2 tablespoons ground flax mixed with 2 tablespoons water) and vegan mayo.

(Photo by Trang Doan from Pexels)

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The Best Adaptogen Latte

The best adaptogen latte also happens to be vegan! We use oat milk to keep it creamy and frothy, and we add herbs like Maca and Ashwagandha for their adaptogenic support.* Our Certified Organic Mush 10 powder — with Cordyceps, Reishi, Lion’s Mane, Chaga, Shiitake, Tremella, Poria Cocos, Turkey Tail, Meshima, and Maitake — is the not-so-secret ingredient!

4 More Vegan Mushroom Recipes from Around the Web

We’ve also rounded up several vegan mushroom recipes that have been big hits at the dinner table:  

Vegan BBQ Mushroom Steak with Oyster Mushrooms

A vegan “steak” that’s dripping with a sweet and spicy glaze? Yes, please! Don’t forget the mashed potatoes or cauliflower to soak up all the sauce. (via Wicked Healthy)

vegan-mushroom-recipes

Caramelized Shiitake Mushroom Risotto Risotto is one of those impressive dishes that doesn’t take a lot of culinary talent, only patience to keep stirring until the rice is thick and creamy. You’ll love the smell of the mushrooms cooking in wine with shallots and thyme. (via Minimalist Baker)

(Photo by Julien Pianetti on Unsplash)

Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff Of all the vegan mushroom recipes we’ve shared here, this one defines comfort food the best. The sauce is rich and creamy, yet 100% free of dairy! Choose a thicker noodle for better texture. (Via Bianca Zapatka)

Make Your Own Vegan Mushroom Recipes

We’ve also been known to use our products in recipes. Whether you’re making lattes, smoothies, mocktails or cocktails, reach for our Mush-10 powder and tincture, our Lion’s Mane tincture for cognitive function and memory — or our best-selling Cordyceps militaris tincture made with organic Cordyceps we grow ourselves that are double extracted with hot water and 190-proof alcohol.* Get creative in the kitchen, then tag us in your recipes when you share them online!

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5 Questions to Ask When Choosing the Best Cordyceps to Buy

5 Questions to Ask When Choosing the Best Cordyceps to Buy

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What are the best Cordyceps to buy?

The best Cordyceps to buy are the ones you’ll actually take. If you dislike swallowing capsules, you’ll end up forgetting to take them. If you buy whole Cordyceps but don’t know how to extract them, they may languish in a cupboard. That’s why Cordyceps tinctures are so convenient. You can carry them with you, add them to water (or take them straight up, if that’s your thing), or add them to a smoothie or other drink.

5 Important Questions You Should Ask When Choosing the Best Cordyceps to Buy

When it comes to anything you put on or in your body, be your own best advocate and do your homework. Reputable companies will be eager to share information about the quality and purity of their Cordyceps products.

Here are some questions to ask when deciding which are the best Cordyceps to buy:

1. Do you use fruiting bodies or mycelium to make your Cordyceps supplements?

best-cordyceps-to-buy
Not all parts of a mushroom are created equal. Sure, they all play a role in helping a mushroom grow and reproduce, but not every part has a use in herbalism (or the kitchen).

Fruiting bodies are the above-ground parts of a mushroom. These are the parts you might recognize at the supermarket, and they’re the parts you most commonly forage, cook and extract.

Mycelium is a part of the mushroom that humans rarely see, because it’s usually underground. While important to the mushroom, mycelium is not traditionally used to support your health.*

However, it’s cheaper and easier to grow mycelium on grain than it is fruiting bodies, so many products use Cordyceps mycelium.

Our products use only 100% Cordyceps militaris fruiting bodies, never mycelium, so you get only the “good stuff.”

2. Are your Cordyceps Certified Organic?

best-cordyceps-to-buy
Yes, mushrooms can be Certified Organic just like the blueberries you buy at the grocery store. Not all Cordyceps supplements are Certified Organic, but ours are! (And they’re grown, extracted, and sold in the USA.)

We continually refine our growing and cultivating techniques, and now we’re proudly the largest Cordyceps militaris mushroom farm in the Western Hemisphere — and the only one that’s Certified Organic.

We are certified by Baystate Organic Certifiers. This means that everything we use is organic, from our substrates to our cleaning supplies. Every product we sell and every ingredient we use (yes, even our cleaning supplies) are tracked by a batch number and can be traced back to its origin.

3. How do you extract your Cordyceps?

Mushrooms like Cordyceps contain different active components, but they’re locked inside and need to be extracted. We prefer to double extract Cordyceps — and we believe those are definitely the best Cordyceps to buy.

This means we’ve extracted the mushrooms in two ways. Our mushrooms undergo a dual extraction of water, known as decoction, and alcohol, known as tincture.

The active compounds in mushrooms are both alcohol-soluble (triterpenes) and water-soluble (beta-glucans). To get full-spectrum support from mushrooms, we extract our mushrooms with 190-proof alcohol and hot water, then carefully combine the two.

We follow the science and extract our Cordyceps (and all mushrooms we use) at the optimal alcohol percentages, temperatures and durations.

4. Is this company vertically integrated?

Some companies make extractions from mushrooms they buy from large suppliers halfway around the world. In contrast, we are vertically integrated, from spore to finished product. We grow our own Cordyceps, then we extract them and sell them.

Want to learn more about the mycology of this fungus? Check out this fun blog post where we debate the likelihood of cordyceps evolving to infect homo sapiens.

5. Does the company test its Cordyceps for microbes and purity?

best-cordyceps-to-buy
The best Cordyceps to buy are those that offer proof that they are pure and potent.

Every batch of Cordyceps we use goes through lab testing. We test for heavy metals and biological contamination, to ensure the purity of our products. We also check the concentration of active compounds such as beta-glucans, alpha-glucan, ganoderic acid, cordycepin, and adenosine to name a few. We want to see the science when it comes to the potency of our supplements, so we make sure to get definitive numbers. Our tests have shown to be some of the most potent on the market!

best-cordyceps-to-buy
Want to try what we believe are the best Cordyceps to buy? Try our Cordyceps militaris tincture, made with organic Cordyceps we grow ourselves that are double extracted with hot water and 190-proof alcohol.

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Inquiring Minds Want to Know: What Is Lion’s Mane Mushroom?

Inquiring Minds Want to Know: What Is Lion’s Mane Mushroom?

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If You’ve Bee Wondering, What is Lion’s Mane Mushroom? You’ve Come to the Right Place

You’re out in the woods on a hike when you notice something big and white on a tree just off the trail ahead of you. It looks like a snowball or icicles, but it’s fluffy and definitely not made of water. And it’s late summer or maybe fall. What is it? You’ve likely found a Lion’s Mane mushroom, my friend. What is Lion’s Mane, you ask? Good question!

Lion’s Mane mushrooms happen to be one of our absolute favorite mushrooms — they made the cut for our list of the 10 best ones for your health!* These tasty, useful mushrooms are relatively easy to identify in nature once you see them a few times. Let’s dive in and learn more about why Lion’s Mane is worth getting to know better.

The basics about Lion’s Mane

Here’s the Tl;dr version of the answer to “What is Lion’s Mane?”

Botanical name:

Hericium erinaceus

Other names:

Pom Pom Mushroom, Hedgehog Mushroom, Monkey Head Mushroom, Brain Mushroom, hou tou gu (in Chinese), and yamabushitake (in Japanese)

Native to:

North America, Asia and Europe

Traditional and modern uses:

  • Promotes mental clarity, focus and memory*
  • Provides cerebral and nervous system support*
  • Promotes optimal nervous and immune system health*
  • Supports cognitive function*

A Deeper Dive into Lion’s Mane

Lion’s Mane is one of our most popular mushrooms, so we love it when folks have questions about it. What is Lion’s Mane? These large, shaggy white mushrooms are used in the kitchen and by herbalists (and have been for centuries!). While they’re better known in Asia (specifically China, Korea, and Japan), they are also found across North America and Europe.

Many “heavy hitter” mushrooms like Chaga, Cordyceps, and Reishi need to be extracted — they aren’t pleasant to eat due to their texture. But Lion’s Mane is tasty and tender (but also has plenty of health benefits!). They have a flavor similar to seafood, so if you’re looking for a plant-based alternative, check out our Lion’s Mane recipe for “Don’t Be a Crab” Cakes!

Pop quiz: If you had to guess what is Lion’s Mane used for traditionally, what would you say? (Its appearance is a hint!) Here’s another hint: You might keep a bottle of Lion’s Mane tincture in your school backpack or in your desk at work.

Lion’s Mane and the Brain

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Lion’s Mane mushroom is in a category of herbs (including plants and mushrooms) known as nootropics. These are botanicals that have traditionally been used to support neural and cognitive function.*

Lion’s Mane mushroom contains several well-known compounds – including hericenones and erinacines – that have been found to promote nerve growth factor synthesis in nerve cells.* In your body, NGF is responsible for regulating growth, maintenance, proliferation, and survival of neural cells.* It also promotes long-term health in your body.*

Research has also connected Lion’s Mane to neurogenesis, the process by which neurons are produced by neural stem cells.* In particular, Lion’s Mane supports this process in the hippocampus, an area of your brain that’s tasked with learning and memory.* In addition, Lion’s Mane may also promote a healthy mood.*

Beyond the brain, Lion’s Mane has traditionally been used to support digestive health, heart health, and the immune system.* Plus, Lion’s Mane has antioxidant qualities!*

So, after reading this, do you feel better equipped to answer the question: What is Lion’s Mane?

Want to try Lion’s Mane for yourself? Start with our Certified Organic Lion’s Mane Tincture For Cognitive Function & Memory. We add cinnamon to make it extra tasty — and to support healthy circulation.*

what-is-lion's-mane

Sources:

Photo by Soundtrap on Unsplash

Brandalise F, Cesaroni V, Gregori A, et al. Dietary Supplementation of Hericium erinaceus Increases Mossy Fiber-CA3 Hippocampal Neurotransmission and Recognition Memory in Wild-Type Mice. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2017;2017:3864340. doi:10.1155/2017/3864340

Friedman M. Chemistry, Nutrition, and Health-Promoting Properties of Hericium erinaceus (Lion’s Mane) Mushroom Fruiting Bodies and Mycelia and Their Bioactive Compounds. J Agric Food Chem. 2015;63(32):7108-7123. doi:10.1021/acs.jafc.5b02914

Jiang S, Wang S, Sun Y, Zhang Q. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2014;98(18):7661-7670. doi:10.1007/s00253-014-5955-5

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We Love Reishi at Night, Plus a Recipe for Reishi Sleep Tonic*

We Love Reishi at Night, Plus a Recipe for Reishi Sleep Tonic*

reishi-sleep

Here’s Yet Another Reason We’re Obsessed This Mushroom: Reishi Sleep Support*

Remember the days when naptime wasn’t optional? When you had to take one every day after lunch, no questions asked? Sigh. Those days are far behind most of us now that we’re all grown up! Instead of a midday siesta or prioritizing our eight hours of shuteye each night, too many people push through and focus on productivity instead of rest or even balance.

That’s one reason we love our Reishi sleep tonic. Supporting a restful night’s sleep is one of the many ways this “mushroom of immortality” can help you maintain your overall health and well-being.*

reishi-sleep

Get to Know Reishi Mushroom

Reishi mushroom, Ganoderma lucidum, is one of our top 10 mushrooms to support your health.* Known as the Queen of Mushrooms as well as the 10,000-year mushroom, Reishi has been used in China and Japan for over 4,000 years. This mushroom is glossy and comes in six colors, including white, red and brown. You’ll find Reishi’s shiny, thick fruiting bodies on hardwood trees in China and North America, among other locales.

Traditionally and in modern times, Reishi has been used to maintain heart health as well as immune health.* And, of course, there’s another use for Reishi: sleep!*

Why We Love Reishi: Sleep Support*

Reishi mushroom is considered to be an adaptogen. It’s part of an elite group of plants and mushrooms used in herbalism to help your body to manage the stress it encounters each day.* That stress can come in many forms: physical, mental, or emotional. Adaptogens, as the name suggests, help you adapt that stress.*

In traditional Chinese herbalism, Reishi balances the Shen or the spirit, which helps promote healthy rest.* This mushroom may help you chill out when taken every now and again, and it may help you maintain steady energy if taken over time.* (Reishi is a mushroom that can be taken regularly.)

Beyond traditional use for healthy sleep, Reishi has been given to rats in studies, and researchers report that the mushroom did support the sleep cycle of those rodents.*

reishi-sleep

How to Make A Reishi Sleep Tonic*

One of our favorite ways to take Reishi is in a Reishi Sleep Tonic.* This drink is a soothing, tasty way to wind down your day and prepare your mind and body for a night of rest.* The star? Our double-extracted Certified Organic Reishi extract, of course!

Good quality Reishi made with fruiting bodies can be bitter. That’s why this recipe for a Reishi Sleep Tonic uses creamy oat milk, with a little sweetness from honey or maple syrup and some spice from cardamom or nutmeg. During the day, we like pairing Reishi with chocolate or coffee, but at night this is a lovely caffeine-free alternative.

Serves 1

Ingredients

½ cup water⅛ teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg or ground cardamom
½ cup oat milk1 serving Mushroom Revival Reishi Extract
1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey

Instructions

In a small saucepan, bring the water and oat milk to a low simmer. Stir in the maple syrup or honey, then add the nutmeg or cardamom.

Remove from heat, pour into a mug, then add a dropper of Reishi extract.

Sit, sip, and savor, as you journal your day or plan tomorrow.

reishi-sleep

To make this recipe at home, start with our dual-extracted Reishi extract. We use only 100% fruiting bodies, extracted in both hot water and 190-proof alcohol.

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You Asked, We Answered: What Is Cordyceps Good For Anyway?

You Asked, We Answered: What Is Cordyceps Good For Anyway?

what is cordyceps good for

What Is Cordyceps Good For Anyway?

We hear this question all the time from folks who are new to the world of mushrooms: What is Cordyceps good for anyway? Maybe they’ve seen photos of the vibrant orange mushrooms. Maybe they overheard a buddy at the gym talking about adding Cordyceps tincture to their protein shake. Or maybe they are considering adding Cordyceps supplements to their regimen, but want to do their homework before trying something new.

Whatever the reason, talking about Cordyceps — and introducing more people to this mushroom that’s so near and dear to our hearts — is one of the best parts of the “job.”

what is cordyceps good for

Cordyceps 101

First up, before we can answer “what is cordyceps good for?” we need to cover the basics. If you’ve only heard the name or seen a photo, no worries. You aren’t expected to be a mushroom expert — and you don’t need to be. That’s why we’re here!

The Cordyceps we grow and use officially goes by the botanical name Cordyceps militaris. For centuries, Cordyceps has been one of the most prized herbs used in traditional Chinese herbalism. More recently, Cordyceps has been studied for its antioxidant qualities, adaptogenic properties, immune support, and more.*

Curious about Cordyceps uses? Here are 5 to know

Cordyceps militaris is native to the East Coast of the US, where you can find it growing on moth larvae. You might hear people jokingly call them “zombie mushrooms” for this reason. No larvae are involved in our farming process though: Our Cordyceps are 100% vegan and organic! We grow all of our Cordyceps in-house here at Mushroom Revival. Over the last few years, we’ve refined our growing and cultivating techniques, and now we’re the largest Cordyceps militaris mushroom farm in the Western Hemisphere — and the only one that’s Certified Organic.

While you might be familiar with the cap and stem form that common mushrooms take (like white buttons at the supermarket or Shiitakes), Cordyceps have a look that’s all their own. They are bright orange. That’s 100% natural, even though these mushrooms have been compared to neon processed cheesy snacks.

Our products use only Cordyceps fruiting bodies, never mycelium, so you get only the “good stuff.” Fruiting bodies are, in the most basic terms, the above-ground parts that most people know as “mushrooms.” These are the parts you might forage or collect in the woods, and they’re what you buy at the farmers market.

Other mushroom supplements tend to be made from mycelium on grain. In nature, mycelium is the part of the mushroom you can’t see, as it’s usually hidden beneath the forest floor. While it’s important for the survival and proliferation of the mushroom, it’s not the part used in herbalism to support your health.*

What is Cordyceps Good for?

Speaking of supporting your health, let’s get back to that question: What is Cordyceps good for? Cordyceps is one of our favorite — and best-selling — mushrooms for health and well-being.* Here’s a peek at why it’s so awesome:

what is cordyceps good for
  1.       Cordyceps supports cellular energy and endurance.* This mushroom uniquely boosts your body’s production of ATP, or adenosine triphosphate. (Flashback to high school biology!) ATP is the body’s building block of energy for most cellular processes.*
  2.       Cordyceps enhances the body’s natural metabolic systems.* Cordyceps is rich in a compound known as cordycepin, which is chemically similar to the molecule adenosine. This compound modulates numerous physiological processes in your body, including metabolism.
  3.       Cordyceps support your body as it manages daily stress.* Cordyceps is an adaptogen, so it’s part of a group of plants and mushrooms that supports your adrenals and your body’s natural response to stress.*
  4.       Cordyceps supports lung capacity and oxygen uptake.* This mushroom can help support healthy levels of oxygen in the bloodstream, and it supports a healthy respiratory system, too!*
  1.       Cordyceps has been used to support athletic performance.* One unofficial name for Cordyceps is “the Olympic mushroom.” That’s because a group of Chinese athletes cited their use of Cordyceps for their medal-winning success. (Of course, they also trained hard for many years to get that far!)

      So there you have it, an answer to that burning question: “What is cordyceps good for?”

Photo by MARK ADRIANE on Unsplash

adaptogenic herbs
Want to try Cordyceps militaris for yourself to see why everyone loves this mushroom so much? Try our Cordyceps militaris tincture, made with organic Cordyceps we grow ourselves that are double extracted with hot water and 190-proof alcohol.

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Lion’s Mane Recipe for “Don’t Be a Crab” Cakes

Lion’s Mane Recipe for “Don’t Be a Crab” Cakes

adaptogenic herbs

A Lion’s Mane Recipe You’ll Love

Mushrooms are becoming more mainstream, which is great news for folks who love eating (and taking) them as much as we do! Whereas even a few years ago, fresh Lion’s Mane would have been challenging to track down in most places, now you often find it and other delectable fungi at your local farmers market. In fact, a market visit during the height of summer is what inspired this Lion’s Mane recipe.

If you take our Lion’s Mane tincture for cognitive function and memory, you might already know about why we love this mushroom.* But that’s only half the story.

Lion’s Mane recipe

Why We Love Lion’s Mane Recipes

Lion’s Mane is one of our favorite mushrooms, for its brain support and amazing texture and flavor.* You can slice it into fillets, then cook them up like fish or chicken. Or you do what we did here, and pull the mushroom into lumps that resemble seafood. We love creating Lion’s Mane recipes that use this mushroom in place of crab and lobster. Here, we pair it with summer garden vegetables and Old Bay seasoning for a plant-based version of classic crab cakes.

Given the mushroom’s connection to your brain, we had a little fun with the name. This Lion’s Mane recipe is called “Don’t Be a Crab” Cakes. After one bite, you’ll understand why! Everyone who tries them can’t help but smile.

Love cooking with Lion’s mane and want more recipes? Check out this blog post for six more Lion’s Mane recipes!

The Benefits of Lion’s Mane

Whether you cook up your favorite Lion’s Mane recipe for dinner tonight or take a dropper of tincture alongside your morning tea, this mushroom offers support for your brain and nervous system.*

Here are a few of the benefits of Lion’s Mane:  

  •       Promotes mental clarity, focus and memory*
  •       Provides cerebral and nervous system support*
  •       Promotes optimal nervous and immune system health*
  •       Supports cognitive function*

Ready for that Lion’s Mane recipe?

Lion’s Mane Recipe for “Don’t Be a Crab” Cakes

lion's mane recipe

Freshly cooked Lion’s Mane mushrooms have a delicate, slightly sweet flavor and wonderful texture. These plant-based crab cakes are vegetarian and could be gluten-free if you swap in gluten-free breadcrumbs. We used a combination of summer fresh vegetables, but you can get creative here. If you don’t have Old Bay seasoning, try using one teaspoon each of dried tarragon and dill instead.

Serve these crab cakes over a simply dressed green salad or on a bun with remoulade, red onion, sliced tomato and greens for a heartier dish.

1 hour to prepare and cook

Makes 6 patties

Ingredients

8 ounces fresh Lion’s Mane mushroom1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for baking1 egg
½ cup minced red bell pepper2 tablespoons mayonnaise
½ cup finely diced zucchini1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1 celery stalk, diced½ cup panko breadcrumbs or crushed crackers
¼ cup minced sweet onion1 lemon, sliced into wedges, for serving
1/2 teaspoon salt, dividedHot sauce, for serving
Fresh ground black pepper

 

Instructions

  1.   Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2.   Prepare the Lion’s Mane mushroom by pulling it into chunks (similar in size and shape to lump crab meat).  
  3.   Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms to the hot pan. Let cook for about five minutes, to allow some of the moisture to evaporate.
  4.   Add the oil to the pan, along with the pepper, zucchini, celery and onion. Season with ¼ teaspoon of the salt and pepper.
  5.   Cook for 10 minutes, stirring often, until the mushrooms are golden brown and the vegetables have softened.
  6.   Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, egg, mayonnaise and Old Bay. Set aside.
  7.   Transfer the cooked mushrooms and vegetables to a large bowl, add the egg mixture, and stir to coat.
  8.   Mix in the breadcrumbs, the remaining ¼ teaspoon of salt and pepper. Fold the mixture using a spatula, just until combined.
  9.   Using wet hands, shape the mixture into six patties. Place each one on the prepared sheet pan, leaving plenty of space between them. Give them a press to flatten each to about ½ inch thick. Brush with more oil and sprinkle with salt, if you prefer them to be crunchier.
  10.   Bake for 20 minutes, then turn them over and bake another 20 minutes, until they are golden brown and cooked through.
  11.   Serve immediately, with lemon wedges and/or hot sauce.
lion's mane recipe
Can’t find Lion’s Mane mushroom near you? Save this recipe for later, and check out our Organic Lion’s Mane tincture, which is right at home in your favorite smoothie or tea.

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