FAQ Medicinal Mushroom Supplements
Mushrooms have the special property that they can offer both medicinal strength and can also be very dangerous. For this reason it is not recommended to pick mushrooms yourself, unless you have a lot of experience and guidance from a mycologist. Nevertheless, they generally look innocent, and sometimes even a bit boring. Compared to a deep red earth or dark blue blueberry, you wouldn't expect these grey and brown organisms to be so rich in nutrients. Yet this is indeed the case.
Mushrooms are fascinating creatures that belong to the realm of fungi. Physiologically, they're more related to humans than to plants. Because of this, many substances derived from mushrooms are very easily absorbed by the human body and can have a strong effect.
The great power of medicinal mushrooms has been known to man for a very long time, and has been used for centuries to treat many (serious) diseases. Now that science is gaining more control over them, it is becoming clear that these substances are very valuable and have antibiotic and fungicidal functions. It sounds logical that a mushroom produces these substances, in order to be able to compete with other fungi.
Did you know: The first antibiotic that came on the market in 1918, called penicillin, is a substance produced by a particular fungus!
Medicinal mushrooms contain polysaccharides (Beta-glucans), oligosaccharides and sterols. The two first mentioned play an important role in protecting our body and strengthening our immune system. They also contain various vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, selenium, potassium, magnesium, copper and zinc.
Mushrooms contain very few calories, no cholesterol and contain good amounts of soluble fiber. They also have an ideal amino acid profile.
Amino acids are necessary for the body to function. Our body makes a number of amino acids itself, the rest we have to get from our diet. Proteins in our body are built up with amino acids. These proteins are used for the production of body cells and are therefore of vital importance for our system. Shiitake is a medicinal mushroom that contains a high level of essential amino acids. Per 100 grams you get about 17 grams of protein.
Medicinal mushroom supplements are very suitable for preventive use. You don't have to be sick and still benefit from the strengthening properties of the mushroom.
Most medicinal mushrooms have a delicious taste and are excellent for use in dishes. For medicinal use it is often difficult to obtain fresh medicinal mushrooms every day and sometimes a higher dose is needed. That's why supplements are an excellent (and unfortunately less tasty) way to get your daily dose.
Use of medicinal mushroom supplements
Mushrooms used to be administered by means of the 'hot water principle'. With this principle, the available active ingredients were drawn into the water and then drunk. For about 30 years, science has been able to isolate the relevant extracts and substances from the mushrooms and process them into capsule and powder form.
Capsules are best taken between meals, for example half an hour before breakfast, or between lunch and dinner. Drink them away with some water, or possibly green tea.
If this is not possible, a powdered supplement can be mixed with, for example, a smoothie.
It is important to check on the packaging whether the medicinal mushroom supplement contains the organic label. Mushrooms suck up substances from their environment, both good and bad, like a sponge. Because of this they will easily absorb pesticides, heavy metals and other toxins that are used in non-organic cultivation.
Medicinal mushrooms have an effect that can vary from person to person. It can have a subtle effect on your system, without you noticing it right away. It can act on your system after half an hour, but the use is viewed more often over a number of works, on which improvement and strengthening of various bodily functions can take place.
Don't expect a psychoactive effect, because you won't start tripping like with magic mushrooms and magic truffles!
Difference between Reishi capsules and Reishi spore capsules
A common question is what is the difference between the Reishi capsules and the Reishi spore capsules. As the name says, the latter only contains the spores of the Reishi mushroom. These spores contain a very concentrated amount of triterpenes.
Triterpenes are an underclass of terpenes. These substances are produced in large quantities by plants, trees, flowers and mushrooms. Terpenes give an aroma and taste that helps to protect against insects and attract pollinators. Terpenes have a beneficial effect on the human body, for example they can help in the production of antihistamine, which suppresses certain allergic reactions.
How do I store these products?
It is best to store medicinal mushroom supplements in a cool, dark place. The packaging should always be properly sealed and stored somewhere in a cupboard, because the substances are sensitive to air and light.
Can I take medicinal mushrooms with me when I travel?
Mushrooms are used in many countries. Within Europe it is normally not a problem when you have these supplements with you, but it is always wise to check with the customs of the relevant destination if this is possible. In some countries outside Europe, medicinal mushroom supplements can be confused with non-authorized substances, and it can sometimes happen that difficulties arise around this.
To the best of our knowledge, there are no side effects associated with the use of medicinal mushroom supplements. It is recommended not to exceed the maximum recommended dose.
When taking certain medications, such as blood sugar lowering, antihypertensive and immunosuppressive medications, it is wise to first contact a natural medicine practitioner for advice.
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding are not advised to take medicinal mushroom supplements.
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