Barron and I love using vitamins, minerals and supplements to increase various areas of our health. We use vitamins and supplements in addition to a healthy, well balanced, whole-food diet, trying to get most of our vitamins from foods themselves. In some areas though, supplementation is beneficial.
Our latest favorite supplements have been medicinal mushrooms. I am fascinated by mushrooms of all sorts. Fungi like mushrooms have now been revealed as being structurally and genetically closer to humans than to plants.
A few of my favorite podcasts discussing the use and benefits of medicinal and psychedelic mushrooms include the Kevin Rose Podcast ft. Dr. Andrew Weil, Paul Stamets on Joe Rogan and Michael Pollan on Tim Ferriss.
Mushrooms we take:
Turkey Tail - Immune booster, excellent for patients on chemo or people struggling with depleted immune systems (Like I was last month in Guatemala after a serious bacterial/parasite infection)
Lions Mane - Nerve repair and neuro-regenerative. Serious brain food increasing memory, concentration and alleviating anxiety. Because Lion’s Mane is so good for nerve repair, I take it near daily for my Raynauds symptoms, hoping it will repair any damage in the nerves of my fingers and toes from being continuously numb.
Chaga - An antioxidant powerhouse, fighting free radicals and inflammation. Tastes roasted and goes well with coffee.
Reishi - Anti-inflammatory effects similar to those found in turmeric. Also adaptogenic, making them a mood boosting, natural remedy for anxiety.
Cordyceps - Boosts energy, a natural anti-aging and a natural cancer remedy by inhibiting cancer cell division and growth.
There are many different ways to source medicinal mushrooms. They can be found in tincture form, powder and capsule.
One of the more popular mushroom products people are raving about are Four Sigmatic drink packets. I don’t personally like Four Sigmatic. It’s an expensive pack of instant coffee with a sprinkle of mushrooms that may only be mycileated grain at best. You’re better off buying the mushrooms themselves in whatever form is available to you, then putting them in a real, quality cup of coffee.
Paul Stamets’ brand, Host Defense is one of the most popular medicinal mushroom manufacturers and can be found in most health food stores, but there is some controversy over the way these mushrooms are grown. Myciliated grain is produced by growing mycelium, the root like structure of the mushrooms, on a grain substrate. The grain is then ground and dehydrated with the mycelium and included in the final product you buy at the store. Find more information on mycileated grain here.
Other sources of mushrooms I’ve worked with that use pure fruiting body mushroom extracts in their supplements are FreshCaps Mushrooms from Canada. Extremely kind people with lots of access to mushroom info on their website, where you can find all their products and even learn how you can grow your own mushrooms!
Other supplements I most commonly use:
Salt - We use lots of salt in our foods and lately I’ve put it in my water to boost the mineral content in my body after being so nutritionally depleted from my infection in Guatemala. In our “Own the Day Chapter 1” video made last April, we talk about how beneficial it is to add salt to your water in the mornings after long hours of sleep where we intake no water at all.
Cayenne Pepper - A circulation booster that opens capillaries, allowing for easier absorption of nutrients into the body. After learning of it’s supposed benefits in the treatment of Raynauds, I began using cayenne pepper any chance I could. I use it in nearly all of my food and in most of my drinks like cacao, teas and even coffee. I don’t much notice the taste any longer and now miss the slight kick of heat when I forget to add it.
Turmeric - Anti inflammatory who’s effects are paralleled to pharmaceuticals like ibuprofen. I slip this with a little black pepper in as many drinks, soups and foods I can and really enjoy the taste. It can be found in tincture form, capsule, ground and in root form.
I hope this short blog post could be of use to you! Leave a comment with questions or with comments on the supplements and health foods you love to include in your own diets!
Don’t forget to check out the video where we include several recipes with medicinal mushrooms as well as a brief update on our stay in Utah!