If I say 'mushroom' to you, what is the first thing that pops into your head?
Is it a bad much-room or fun-guy related pun… is it magic mushrooms… is it mushroom soup, or stuffed mushrooms? Whatever your first reaction to mushrooms is, I can guarantee there’s a lot more beneath the surface when looking into mushrooms.
When people refer to ‘magic mushrooms’ they are often talking about a specific variety of mushrooms, known for their psychedelic properties. These mushrooms are being researched in some US states, to study the mental health benefits of micro-dosing the active compound Psilocybin. However, as it is not currently legal in the UK, we will be skipping over this in this blog. Mushrooms are becoming increasingly more popular, with traditionally lesser-known types, such as Maitake and Reishi, starting to be seen in the common culinary sphere. As well as being used as a ‘meaty’, plant-based meat alternative, they also have a variety of health benefits which we believe is the real magic of the mushroom.
Are mushrooms a new remedy?
The use of certain mushrooms - in particular, the ones you’ll find on Evnly - Cordyceps, Reishi, Maitake, Chaga, Lion’s Mane, and Shiitake – have been used in traditional medicine around the world for generations.
It’s important to note that Western medicine is trying to catch up with traditional knowledge, so there isn’t much research into or official evidence of health benefits. Think of mushroom supplements as a side-kick to your body’s natural systems, they are there to support the function, rather than change the way it works or to treat medical conditions.
On Evnly you’ll find supplements with mushrooms listed as their key ingredients – as we spoke about last week many supplements have immune-boosting qualities, and mushrooms are no different. But unlike other botanicals, mushrooms have many other benefits too. The range of health benefits provided by the fungus species is vast – think brain-boosting, immune support, mood-enhancing, hormone-regulating, anti-ageing and cancer fighting - but each mushroom is unique and provides its own advantages. This is the true magic.
Why are we talking about mushrooms during Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW)?
One of the most effective benefits of mushrooms is their adaptogen properties, whereby they help your body to resist the impact of stress. We could also be talking about lavender, chamomile or a plethora of others but as mushrooms are a less known and used botanical, we feel it’s perfect to highlight during MHAW.
In terms of destressing & mood-boosting, Reishi Mushrooms should be your go-to supplement as it is rich in the compound triterpene that provides a calming effect. Although there is a lack of scientific evidence, what there is suggests that Reishi can ease depression, encourage a deep, restful night’s sleep, reduce anxiety and sharpen focus.
How can I learn more about mushrooms?
As mushrooms are a rather up-and-coming ingredient in the UK, there is not that much literature around it. However, if you can cope with the American pronunciation of fungi as funGee, (like jelly rather than guy), then we seriously suggest that you watch ‘Fantastic Fungi’ by Louie Schwartzberg. It’s a beautiful and informative documentary, which can be rented on Amazon and YouTube, talking through the benefits and importance of mushrooms on both health and the environment.
It’s all very well saying ‘just take it’ but are there any risks?
Much like any medicine, it’s impossible to tell how your body will react to a new supplement. Although many supplements are known to have minor side effects, we would highly recommend that people taking other medication we would suggest you speak to your doctor before taking a new supplement. This is because certain supplements can negatively interact with some medications. It’s also vital to buy supplements from a legitimate source as that you know you are actually ingesting what you expect.
Due to a lack of manufacturing and labelling regulation in general, supplements should only be bought from a reputable source, to reduce the risk of buying an ineffective or fake product. At Evnly we put all our brand partner’s products through a rigorous evaluation process. We check where the ingredients are sourced, extracted & manufactured, ensuring that best practices are followed at each stage. And we also check through third-party lab reports to ensure that the products have been suitably tested. Once we're convinced there are no "nasties" or fillers used, we can then consider adding them to our store. All of this means that customers can buy with complete confidence; safe in the knowledge that they are investing in only the best well-crafted supplements available.
Why do you care?
Here at Evnly, we want to level with you; we believe that health seriously needs an alternative, so we think it's time alternative health got serious. We truly love CBD, plant-based remedies and supplements. They help us to stay healthy, sleep soundly, and keep us grounded and focused each day. We want everyone to understand the intricacies so you too can reach your health and wellness potential! Therefore, if you’ve found this blog useful, share it. If you want to see us write about a specific topic, please let us know.
Coming very soon: Evnly will be launching a range of high-quality, fully-tested mushroom products from small, locally owned and sustainable brands. Sign up to receive 10% off your first purchase when we launch!