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For the longest time I hated mushrooms in all forms.

It started when I used to eat my Mom’s homemade beef stroganoff.

She would always keep the flat mushy alien things mixed in with her noodles and I would politely decline every time she suggested I try one.

One day a bought of bravery welled up inside me and I reached for my spoon then scooped up the odd brown piece and slid it into my mouth.

The surrounding broth helped mask the flavor but I could still taste the repulsive slimy and earthy texture 😐

Thankfully my perspective completed shifted after hearing about the enormous variety of health benefits that mushrooms extol on both the brain and body.

Over the years, I decided to explore their potential use further and even experimented with mixing a powdered form into my coffee.

More on that later in this post.

Fyi it doesn’t taste like mushrooms.

After 1.3 billion years mushrooms have taken over 25 % of the earth’s biomass (land)

Through our coexisted evolution together we actually share over 85 % of our Ribosomal RNA and over 50% of our DNA with mushrooms.

This similarity in genome means all of the benefits of the mushroom are super bio-available (easily absorbed and used by the body) compared to other foods and nutrients we consume.
 
Mushrooms are used in 40 % of pharmaceuticals including penicillin and anti-cholesterol medications and they help with a host of body functions.
  • Immune support
  • Lowered cholesterol
  • Joint pain relief
  • Improved concentration & cognition
  • Stress regulation
  • Mood elevation

Unfortunately in the mainstream consciousness of society mushrooms have been given a bad rep for causing all sorts of psychedelic out of body experiences. 

These so-called “magic mushrooms” people are conjuring in their minds tend to be poisonous in nature.

That’s the case for Amanita Muscaria the iconic red-capped mushroom with white spots sprinkled on top.

You may even see a gnome sitting on it if you’re lucky.

Ibotenic acid is a neurotoxin found in Amanita muscaria that turns into a psychoactive agent called muscimol if the mushroom is ingested.

Ibotenic acid and muscimol are structurally similar to glutamic acid (a neurotransmitter that helps nerve cells communicate with each other)

And they share similarities with GABA ( a neurochemical that is produced in the brain during REM sleep, deep meditation, and calms nerves in the central nervous system)

This has led many to speculate that these GABA + glutamic acid causes the psychedelic effects.  

In this post we won’t be talking about those hippy shrooms.

Part 1 : WHAT IS A MUSHROOM?

 

You probably know that mushrooms are members of the fungi kingdom.

This makes them saprotrophs which is a fancy word meaning they obtain nutrients by consuming decaying and dead organisms.

Mushrooms can grow in a vast variety of extreme environment’s

  • Under the scorching sun of the desert
  • In space where the air pressure is extremely low
  • Underwater
  • In frigid subzero places like Antarctica.
  • In nuclear radioactive wastelands like Chernobyl.

Wow right! 🤯

In fact, they have the remarkable ability to disintegrate synthetic pollutants such as the environmental menace pesticide DDT, which was originally used as an insecticide and Sarin Gas: a chemical warfare tool of death.

Mushrooms are composed of 4 distinct parts.

When you imagine a mushroom what first comes to mind is the fruiting body.

That’s the main section of the mushroom that visible above ground.

It’s made of the stem where you would normally hold the mushroom and the top called the cap.

For the majority of mushrooms, the entire fruiting body is edible or can be made edible through preparation.

On the underside of the cap are the stoma, these are the pores or some even refer to them as “gills” of the mushroom.

The stoma release spores which act as reproductive asexual units with the sole purpose of germinating and creating fresh new mushroom copies.

Fun Fact: Did you know that if you’re outside breathing in the fresh air or even inside your room you are breathing in up to ten spores!

No worries! They’re perfectly harmless.

Fruiting bodies can produce up to trillions of spores from the stoma every day!

Spores are made of an incredibly hard wood-like substance called chitin.

Here’s another remarkable fact:

Spores are actually the fastest live organism on earth and it’s been estimated that mushrooms can explode spores into the air at a rate of 20,000 G’s of force.

Compare that to fighter pilots that regularly deal with a measly 5-9 G’s of force.

I’m no math wiz but that’s a massive difference!

When the spores are released into the air and fall back to the earth they develop into hyphae: tube-shaped underground strands that form into a web.

This web of hyphae becomes mycelium.

Much like a tree this is  the root system of the mushroom.

Here’s how mushrooms benefit the surrounding ecosystem:

  1. As the mycelium spreads out from the mushroom it intermingles with the root systems of any plants and trees nearby.
  2. It absorbs water and nutrients from the environment and gives it back to those plants.
  3. The mycelium release enzymes to break down dying or dead plants.
  4. A new fruiting body is formed as the mushroom takes in these nutrients.
  5. The plants are turned into fresh, healthy soil.

Mycelium also has the ability to communicate with plants through the hyphae.

So what does it chat about?

  • It warns plants of pathogens and unwanted intruders.
  • The mycelium can tell plants where nutrients like phosphorus, nitrogen, and water are to help the plants and trees thrive.

Yeah, mushrooms are very intelligent organisms.

PART 2 : HOW TO FIND AND COOK FUNCTIONAL MUSHROOMS

These days it’s easy peasy lemon squeezy to find mushrooms.

Chat with vendors at your local farmers market or see if there’s a mycological association in your town.

They will either point you to the right people or the right place where you can walk around and snatch mushrooms straight from the forest.

Talking with people that know their stuff in person is great because you’ll know whether or not you’re foraging for correct mushroom or at times a look-alike that has a similar physical appearance but could be dangerous.

Here’s a tip: Always look for mushrooms growing on trees and not from the ground.

These are less likely to be poisonous and they will contain an increased amount of nutrients soaked up from the tree.

-Most of the functional mushrooms discussed in this post grow directly on trees.

The best functional mushrooms grow on trees The older the forest and the more isolated the climate the higher the probability is of finding quality mushrooms.

Never forget that mushrooms, coffee, beans, olive oil, and even nuts like walnuts have the possibility of containing mycotoxins.

Especially black walnuts.

Myco means (fungi), so “fungi toxins”.

Consuming anything with mycotoxins which are usually mingled into the food during shipping can be lethal.

These toxins can induce kidney failure, candida, brain fog, neuro-degenerative effects, muscle aches or loss of energy.

And death.

To date there have been over 400 different types of mycotoxins researched!

That’s why it’s imperative that you source correctly.

Stay away from products with mysterious, confusing, and vague labels.

EXTRACTION METHODS TO COOK FUNCTIONAL MUSHROOMS

All mushrooms must be heated, cooked, and extracted in order for the antioxidants in the mushrooms to become bio-available and to prevent the chance of ingesting toxins.

It’s a good rule of thumb to not purchase mushrooms if they don’t explicitly say they are extracted.

The #1 method of extraction is dual extraction.

This method is usually used for mushrooms like chaga, turkey tail, and reishi that are more challenging to sautee in a pan or ground finely into a powder.

To perform a dual extraction first you do an alcohol extraction which pulls out the fat-soluble compounds within the mushroom to make a tincture.

Then use hot water to pull out the water-soluble compounds of the mushroom by heating over low heat on a stove for several hours.

This last step is known as a decoction.

Ok, but wait what’s an alcohol extraction?

Alcohol extraction is when you soak mushrooms in alcohol for several weeks to release the fat-soluble (easily absorbed when mixed with fat) compounds.

Please note the fat-soluble compounds are not affected by simply using hot water.

It’s for this reason, you must use alcohol to draw them out.

The decoction process of heating in hot water then draws out even more of the essential health properties from the mushroom.

A cool fact for ya: A fungi called saccharomyces is often used in the fermentation of beer and wine.

Lacto-fermentation (when lactic acid and bacteria ferment together) is used to make sauerkraut, yogurt, kimchi, miso, and sourdough bread.

My personal favorite way to attain functional mushrooms without having to go through the hassle of decoction is with  Four Sigmatic.

Four Sigmatic makes:

  • Mushroom coffee
  • Mushroom hot chocolate (very yummy)
  • Chai 
  • Matcha with mushroom
  • Liquid mushroom shots for on-the-go power
  • Protein powders with real vanilla/cocoa/peanut butter
  • Skin creams and body butter

All of their mushroom powders are mixed with organic ingredients like cocoa powder, ginger, coconut palm sugar,coconut milk, black pepper, and cinnamon.

Four Sigmatic was created by Tero Isokaupilla who’s definitely the most passionate fungi* you will ever meet!

*(FS uses this pun a lot and I think it’s rather clever 😄 )

Tero spent most of his childhood foraging around his family’s farm and the Finnish countryside for mushrooms as he grew to respect, appreciate and become the go-to expert on everything that’s shroomy.

Most of this post was written based on the knowledge in Tero’s book “Healing Mushrooms”

Click here to grab a copy for yourself to support Four Sigmatic and Tero’s mission to bring the “everyday magic” of these health-boosting shrooms to the mainstream consumer.

Tero’s book is an excellent resource to have on hand to refresh your knowledge on the 10 best functional mushrooms wherever you go! 😉

PART 3 : THE ASTOUNDING HEALTH PROPERTIES OF FUNCTIONAL MUSHROOMS 

Every mushroom on earth contains polysaccharides which are the most studied compounds for optimal human health.

Polysaccharides are water-soluble compounds that are also in whole grains and legumes.

They are naturally low glycemic and slow-burning  so they won’t spike your blood sugar and instead will provide an extended source of energy to fuel your body.

Cells actually can’t communicate with each other effectively unless they are fueled by polysaccharides.

The most prevalent form of polysaccharides in mushrooms are beta-glucans. 

Now, this is where it starts to get really cool…

Beta-glucans have the ability to fight off cancer.

In order to combat cancerous cells that have invaded the body beta-glucans attach themselves to white blood cells, Natural killer cells (NK), and macrophages.

A macrophage is “a type of white blood cell of the immune system that engulfs and digests cellular debris, foreign substances, microbes, cancer cells, and anything else that does not have the type of proteins specific to healthy body cells on its surface” (taken from wikipedia)

This binding together triggers an immune response in the body for various cells that specifically target cancer.

Beta-glucans  encourage the formation of immune stem cells in bone marrow along with other white blood cells in order to produce anti-cancer molecules in the body.

Every mushroom has its own type of beta-glucans that have different healing benefits for the body.

Terpenoids (aka terpenes) are fat-soluble compounds found in mushrooms that have been studied extensively for their proven and effective anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.

Terpenoids trigger white blood cells to attack foreign pathogens and viruses but don’t allow them to multiply to an unnecessary amount which can cause inflammation.

In this respect they are immunomodulatory (they balance immune system response)

And they are proficient at balancing hormone levels.

Terpenes can:

  • Lower cholesterol buildup in the arteries
  • Block the effect of histamine which causes seasonal allergies
  • Lessen chronic inflammation at a cellular level

Mushrooms are also highly adaptogenic in nature.

Adaptogens are naturally occurring substances that serve as protection against stress by regulating how different processes in the body function.

In plain speak they sense how the body is feeling at the time and adapt the behavior of the body in order to improve health.

Other types of adaptogens are found in:

  • Ashwagandha
  • Rhodiola
  • Holy basil
  • Ginseng.

PART 4 : TOP FUNCTIONAL MUSHROOMS YOU SHOULD BE USING

We’ve seen the stereotypical button-shaped cremini mushrooms or the round portabella that vegans and paleo dieters alike switch out as their hamburger bun of choice.

But there’s truly so many other awesome types of mushrooms, big and small that work wonders for enhancing cognitive ability, preventing sickness, elevating physical performance, and assisting you with being your most optimized self!

Many of these you can’t find on your everyday grocery store shelf unless you’re shopping at whole foods or someplace similar.

The solution? Get ’em from Four Sigmatic!

Cordyceps (Ophiocordyceps Sinensis)

A quick glance at this mushroom and you’d think it was some kind of strange insect.

That’s because cordyceps infect insects like caterpillars and moths.

Then afterward it decomposes their body and proceeds to grow right out of their corpse devouring them from the inside out!

This creepy mushroom was used in the video game The Last Of Us.

The game takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where the protagonists defend themselves against humans that are being controlled by a parasitic form of cordyceps that literally ate out their brains and turned them into mindless puppets.

It reminds me of the flood from Halo. Ah, that brings back memories!

Gram for gram in its wild state cordyceps is one of the most expensive foods in the world costing more than silver or gold!

Ok, so how much we talk’n about? *said in mafia accent*

More than $20,000/pound! 😮

It’s been used for thousands of years first in Chinese medicine by the Tang Dynasty then by the sherpas in the highlands of the Himalayas in Bhutan.

That’s 12,000 feet above sea level!

Cordyceps was discovered after the exhausted sherpas led their yaks across the mountains.

Their yaks began grazing where cordyceps grew and suddenly their energy skyrocketed and they became quite, shall we say, “frisky”

It’s no wonder Corcyceps is also cheekily known as “cordysex” because of a chemical found within called cordycepic acid paired with another chemical acid deoxyadenosine.

These two which help to boost testosterone production and increase blood flow to all the right places.

Cordycepic acid has also been shown to increase white blood cells and prevent the growth of tumors or shrink them entirely.

The beta-glucans (remember them) in cordyceps are unique in their ability to elevate ATP production. 

ATP (Adenosine triphosphate) is a by-product of cellular energy created when your mitochondria (little powerhouse organelles in your cells) take in oxygen from the food you eat and the environment around you and mix it with glucose.

ATP is necessary for the contraction of muscles, negating fatigue during exercise, and to keep your heart beating.

Without your mitochondria and sufficient ATP you would literally die in seconds because the body would not have adequate energy to sustain the functioning of whole-body processes.

A study published in sports & exercise journal tested 30 healthy individuals for 6 weeks to see the effects of cordyceps on performance.

The group that added cordyceps to the daily training regimen had twice the oxygen intake (VO2 Max) than the control group.

A similar study done with the same group showed a 9% increase in aerobic activity from taking cordyceps.

I highly recommend Shroom Tech Sport by Onnit.

It’s a phenomenal natural preworkout without caffeine or unwanted jitters.

I’ve used it myself whenever I need that extra push and oxygen flow throughout my body in order to perform better.

Click the image above for your 100% Free Trial. It’s definitely worth it!

Lions Mane (Hericium Erinacceus)

Here’s 3 reasons why I ❤️ this mushroom!

  • I’m a Leo 🦁
  • The Latin name sounds like a Greek badass warrior.
  • Lions Mane does wonders for my ADD and attention span along with focus and concentration.

This is where it truly sets itself apart and is magical for entrepreneurs that need to get sh*t done!

You can find this mushroom in dead or decaying hardwood trees in North America, Japan, China, and Europe as well as other parts of the world.

Lions Mane has the ability to regenerate and repair neurons by assisting with the creation of NGF proteins.

That’s right: all that glue smelling and permanent marker huffing when you were a kid may be reversed.

NGF means nerve growth factor.

Nerve growth factors aid in maintaining the activity of neurons and growing new ones.

Here’s what you need to know…

Nerve growth factor proteins are too large to pass through the blood-brain barrier, the internal pathway that protects the brain and central nervous system from foreign pathogens in the bloodstream.

If these ngf proteins can’t pass through the barrier new neurons can’t be produced and existing brain cells can’t survive for the long run.

This can lead to the development of neurological degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, dementia, or Parkinson’s.

So how can Lions Mane help you have more ngf if it’s too small to pass through?

Lion’s Mane stimulates the production of NGF from within the brain itself.

It does this through the combined effort of the super tiny compounds called erinacines that can pass through the blood-brain barrier and other molecular compounds called hericenomes which incite the brain to make more ngf.

So that’s where the kickass Latin name comes from!

A 2012 study undergone in Malaysia revealed that the consumption of lion’s mane could even regenerate damaged cells from peripheral nerve injury, which severs the tissue between the spinal cord and brain.

If you’re feeling depressed then consider  taking some Lion’s Mane!

Studies in mice have revealed that new brain cells were developed in their hippocampus after ingesting lions mane.

This is the area of the brain responsible for regulating memory and emotional responses.

Lion’s mane improves heart health through balancing cholesterol levels, lowering the LDL (bad cholesterol) and raising HDL.

Lions mane may also stop platelet aggregation and prevent atherosclerosis.

If you are following a gluiten free protocol you’ll be glad to know that Lions Mane assists with reducing intestinal bleeding, gut permeability, and gastric ulcers and has antibacterial effects that stop the spread of h.Pylori, an extremely harmful gut-destroying pathogen.

Inflammation in fatty tissue was also shown to be reduced in patients administered Lions Mane during a 2015 study in Japan.

Fatty tissue often leads to the formation of metabolic syndrome elevating the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.

Research of rats given Lions Mane demonstrated that the numerous polysaccharides/beta-glucans inside could improve bone density and hinder the production of osteoclasts, which are cells that break down bone tissue.

Seems like it would be a great idea to add some Lion’s Mane to your bone broth! 😉

Chaga (Inotus Obliquus)

In its dual extracted form Chaga (aka Siberian Chaga) has an ORAC score of 113,003.

This makes it the most potent source of antioxidants available on Earth!

Compare this with:

  • Blueberries (ORAC of 2,100)
  • Acai berries (ORAC of 18,500)
  • Dark chocolate (ORAC of 13,120)

What’s ORAC?

ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) is a lab test that measures the antioxidant capability of certain foods to combat free radicals and prevent oxidative damage from occurring which can harm the body and accelerate aging as well as leading to a host of diseases like diabetes, vision problems, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s among many others.

If this made no sense let me explain what a free radical is.

Atoms in your body are enclosed by electrons that reside in layers called shells.

Every shell must have a specific amount of electrons. As the shell is filled, electrons will then fill the next shell.

Every so often an atom’s outer shell doesn’t fill up all the way with electrons so it compensates by pairing up with another atom and takes some of its electrons to fill its shell.

These selfish atoms are free radicals. They are unstable and easily react with other types of substances.

So when an oxygen molecule splits into atoms that have electrons that are unpaired they keep trying to bond with other atoms to take their electrons and the cycle continues until oxidative stress and damage start to occur in the body.

Thank you to Medical News Today for the info on free radicals.

Ok, Back to Chaga…

The first documented usage of Chaga dates back to seventeenth-century Russia. During this time it was used heavily in folk medicines to help cure gastrointestinal issues and cancer.

And during World War 2 Finnish people subbed Chaga for coffee because real coffee was scarce during the time and there was an enormous amount of Chaga growing in the forests of Finland ripe for snatching.

This totally makes sense as Chaga has a similar earthy and bitter taste to coffee.

Present-day Finland is predicted to have between 4 to 10 million pounds of Chaga growing wild.

Betulin, a terpene in Chaga, has anticancer and antitumor properties.

Betulinic acid is a substance derived from Betulin that is antiviral and anti-bacterial and is adaptogenic to assist with balancing the whole system.

Chaga can greatly benefit your skin thanks to the most natural source of SOD (Super Oxide Dismutase), melanin and Zinc contained within.

The more melanin you have  the less likely you are to have skin damage from the sun, free radical damage, and also to be affected by various toxins circulating in the air.

More melanin also means healthier eyes and hair.

SOD is a critical enzyme that also helps fortify the skin.

Chaga looks like a huge mass of burnt charcoal and some folks call it a conk because of its shape.

It does not have a cap or a stem.

Look for birch-grown Chaga to make sure you are acquiring Chaga that has enough of these health elevating properties. This is important as it also grows on Maple and Ash trees.

Reishi (Ganoderma Lucidum)

There must be some kind of crazy Japanese anime out there about mushrooms because Reishi, Maitake, and Shitake all hail from Japan. Kampai!

Reishi is known as the “Queen of Mushrooms” and “The mushroom of immortality”

Originally reserved only for royalty and the emperors of ancient China, It’s been depicted in ancient paintings as a bridge between heaven and earth.

In the original text by Shennong (the founder of chinese medicine) Reishi was ranked #1 out of 365 different healing plants and herbs.

Ganadermic acid is a terpene in Reishi that has been shown to help the liver function better, improve oxygen flow throughout the body, and ward off seasonal allergies by inhibiting the histamine response.

Sterols, another type of terpene lowers cholesterol because it stops the absorption of cholesterol in the body which therefore improves blood circulation and keeps your heart healthy.

There are other chemical compounds in Reishi that lessen dermal oxidation.

Dermal oxidation is a type of oxidative stress on the skin that occurs when proteins in the skin are damaged.

This usually results in wrinkles and aging.

Keep your skin looking supple, healthy, and free of nasty creases with Reishi!

Reishi is known for its ability to boost the immune system, relax the nervous system, and manage stress thanks to the adaptogens found within which simultaneously aid in supporting the endocrine and hormonal system in the body.

Combine Four Sigmatic’s Reishi hot chocolate  with these sleep tips and you have a winning combination for some truly peaceful slumber. 

Just like other mushrooms, Reishi fights back against cancer, preventing tumor growth in cells. 

Reishi usually grows on decaying Eastern Hemlock trees with various colors ranging from red, purple and black.

The red kind has far higher polysaccharide content.

Shiitaki (Lentinula Edodes)

Since the Ming dynasty, the orients have dubbed Shiitake the “elixir of life”

Shiitake contains 7 out of the 9 essential amino acids necessary for optimal human health.

It’s also loaded with vitamin D, B-6  B-9, and B-12.

Digestion is aided thanks to the vast amounts of enzymes like amylase and cellulase.

Like reishi, it can assist with reducing cholesterol decreasing the hardening of the arteries while also protecting the liver.

Even more powerful is its ability like many other varieties of mushrooms to improve the immune system and battle infections.

This due in part to a polysaccharide called Lentinan.

Incredibly lab testing in mice has shown that lentinan has the power to halt the growth of tumor cells.

In humans it prevents both HIV and liver disease.

Eritadine, a bioactive compound in Shiitake, blocks the intake of cholesterol in the bloodstream (very similar to reishi)

It does this by blocking the growth of lipids in liver tissue.

Shiitake is an abundant source of Vitamin D as the sun’s ultraviolet rays convert the terpene sterols (again also in reishi) into Vitamin D2.

This mushroom is usually found growing on hardwood trees in China, Japan, Taiwan, and Indonesia.

Unfortunately, it’s also grown on sawdust and grain which is more likely to have mold.

Make sure you source shiitake correctly from tree grown varieties.

Very easy to find on grocery store shelves and is a primary mushroom for cooking.

Maitaki (Grifola Frondosa)

Legend has it that Maitake received the name “dancing mushroom” in Japan because Samurai danced for joy upon discovering the mushroom.

A 2010 study at the J.T. Chen Clinics Department of Gynecology in Tokyo discovered that Maitake extract was able to induce ovulation for 77 % of participants with PCOS or polycystic ovarian syndrome.

PCOS is a condition in which an overproduction of male hormones accumulates in the ovaries which leads to having small cysts on ovaries and symptoms like infertility.

SX Fraction, a polysaccharide in Maitake has been shown effective in its ability to negate the effects of a collection of disease risk factors known as Syndrome X.

This goes by another name : Metabolic syndrome.

These risk factors include:

  • High blood sugar
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • High cholesterol.

Usually found growing at the base of oak, maple, and elm trees in parts of Japan and North America.

Note: In the US Maitake is referred to as “hen of the woods” because it looks like a cluster of chicken feathers.

ENOKI(taki)( Flammulima Velutipes)

A staple in Japanese, Chinese and Korean cuisine both as a noodle substitute and a tonic for upset stomach, liver infection, and hypertension, this cute tiny-headed long-stemmed mushroom has a uniquely light non-earthy flavor profile.

Enoki is often found in skincare products because of the abundance of polysaccharide Flammulin which has anti-aging properties that help with melanoma.

Another polysaccharide Proflannin can stop the growth of cancerous cells and improve immunity.

Seeing a trend here?

It’s also an excellent source of :

  • Potassium
  • Roboflavin (thyroid support)
  • Calcium
  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Selenium

And Vitamin B3 (one cup of enoki covers 23% of your daily recommended intake)

The type of Vitamin B3 in Enoki is niacinamide which can help alleviate arthritic symptoms such as joint pain and stiffness.

Enoki is loaded with antioxidants such as ergothioneine.

Ergothioneine:

  • Supports the immune system
  • Stops free radical damage
  • Prevents oxidative stress
  • Protects cells from UV-induced damage to DNA because it actually absorbs the UV radiation itself.

Enoki is packed with dietary fiber. 

Fiber-rich food promotes the production of insulin in the body which halts the absorption of sugar in the bloodstream.

Enoki has been shown to prevent allergic symptoms such as rhinitis, asthma, and dermatitis when consumed on a regular basis.

The linoleic acid in Enoki can also help you shed the pounds and achieve your weight loss goals as it specifically targets and reduces body fat.

Usually found growing on hackberry trees. The full name of enoki is Enokitake which translates to hackberry mushroom.

Turkey Tail (Coriolus|Trametes Versicolor)

As you can see from the colorful picture above Turkey Tail looks kinda like a turkey’s tail!

It’s the easiest mushroom to find in the forest and it grows on dead hardwood trees, branches, and stumps all over the world.

Turkey tail mushroom contains a very unique protein called TVC that acts as a modulator for the immune system stopping it from potentially harming itself which could result in autoimmune conditions.

A 2011 study with HIV and AIDS infected subjects who ingested mushrooms like cordyceps, reishi, and maitake and reported immune benefits that were comparable to mainstream commonly taken HIV anti-viral drugs.

Turkey tail has a prebiotic polysaccharide called Polysaccharide Peptide (PSP).

One randomized clinical trial proved that PSP encouraged the growth of good bacteria in the gut.

It also reduces the chances of having digestive inflammation.

The other polysaccharide found within the turkey tail is called Polysaccharide Krestin (PSK) which supports immune response in the gut.

When you have a gut microbiome consisting of trillions of microbes that are maintained correctly you will have little to no brain fog, more mental energy, proper digestion, and elevated mood because your gut directly speaks to your brain.

Yep, a “gut feeling” is a real thing!

PSK and PSP also have the important ability to regenerate white blood cells and help create T cells and natural killer cells.

PSP  is now the most prevalent anti-cancer drug in the Japanese market!

In a study published in Global Advances In Health and Medicine, an 83-year-old woman diagnosed with advanced, metastatic inflammatory breast cancer was able to completely change her situation and become disease-free for the rest of her life all because of using turkey tail supplements on a consistent basis, even when there was ongoing chemotherapy.

Tremella (Tremella Fuciformis)

Tremella is literally touted as one of the top beauty superfoods and is used in a bunch of cosmetic products.

You got to admit it does have a beautiful look to it like some sort of sacred glistening jellyfish which is a striking contrast to the dark color swatch of the forest.

Over the centuries people have used Tremella for it’s propensity to replenish fluids in the body and relieve dryness of the skin.

It can hold nearly 500 times its weight in water which is more than hyaluronic acid, an ingredient that’s also used extensively in pricey skincare products to retain skin moisture.

Hyaluronic acid isn’t man-made though, its found naturally in the body usually in the eyes and joints but also in nature.

This acid keeps the skin firm and full preventing wrinkles and fine lines as we age.

Tremella has been shown to increase production of Hyaluronic acid in the body!

Seriously who needs a moisturizer when you have a natural form like this that doesn’t have nasty parabens?

Like Reishi, the polysaccharides in Tremella stimulate the production of superoxide dismutase (SOD) in the liver and brain.

Yang Guifei, one of the “Four Great Beauties” in ancient China was so gorgeous that she was often referred to as having “a face that would put flowers to shame”.

That’s a seriously beautiful face and legend has it that her secret was the constant use of Tremella.

Seems like coconut oil has some competition!

Yang Guifei
Yang Guifei

Conclusion…

Not much else to say except that you should grab some shrooms!

And buy Tero’s book to support this passionate Fin and his mission with Four Sigmatic!

In the book, there are over 50 recipes for each mushroom.

  • Mushroom cakes
  • Enoki fries
  • Pancakes
  • Muffins
  • A beet and corcycep sports gel

You can even wet your whistle with some whisky made from lions mane!

**Please drink responsibly**

Let me know what you thought about this post in the comments below or click the bubble on the side!

Seriously would love to hear your thoughts!

Any aha moments or mindblown epiphanies from reading?

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