Naturally Reduce LDL Cholesterol with this Powerful Mushroom
 

Video Transcript:

Today, I’m going to share with you one of the most powerful functional mushrooms that can help reduce your risk of heart disease, and heart attack, and stroke. This is not as well advertised, but definitely, we have a lot of research regarding this functional mushroom, and it is chaga and you’re going to find chaga in our 7M+. I love it. I love it. I love it. Chaga is a powerful Siberian mushroom that has powerful blood pressure-lowering and lipid-reducing influences on your cardiovascular health.

And this is really quite interesting. In the span of our talk already, there have been four or five heart attacks. Every 40 seconds, an individual suffers from a heart attack. One in five individuals are at risk of a heart attack.

That is a crazy, crazy statistic, but I’m going to share with you how you can use chaga to reduce unhealthy LDL levels that tend to be the leading factor, the underlying current, that causes clogging of your arteries and even is an underlying factor with cardiovascular impairment like arterial sclerosis. Also, chaga can, overall, reduce your inflammatory levels, which is a huge factor in terms of supporting your heart health.

Research Shows Chaga Reduces Inflammation & LDL Levels

What we know … Chaga has been studied [1], so there’s been several different scientific research pieces that have identified that when patients take chaga, their LDL levels are reduced.

Now there’s a direct correlation to this. LDL tends to be billed as like, “the bad cholesterol” and not all cholesterol is bad. HDL kind of they’ll label it like, “the helping HDL,” “the helper cholesterol.” You want more HDL than you want LDL, and a lot of times people are flip-flopped or they’re really low on HDL and moderate on LDL, but you want the ratio to be more prominent in HDL.

Free Radicals Damage the Vascular System

The reason being here is that when we have free radical damage, we have single cells that are roaming through our vascular system, they burn the lining of our cardiovascular channel, the walls of our vessels, our blood vessels, the walls of our arteries, and even impair our heart health. And that damage requires a band-aid.

The Liver Produces a Band-Aid Mechanism to Combat Free Radical Damage

So, I’m just breaking down how I describe, for my patients, what LDL and HDL, the function is. When we have a little burn in our vascular channel from a single free radical – which is not good. We don’t want a lot of free radicals. We want to reduce those. Free radicals are the sign of high inflammatory levels, so an elevation in inflammation. The free radicals damage the lining of the vascular channel, they burn it.

Well, the body has a band-aid mechanism and that mechanism is produced in the liver, and it is called LDL. So, LDL is going to go and, basically, it’s a fat that functions as like a “fat band-aid,” and it allows that wall behind that burn spot to heal. And then when it’s done, HDL, the helper HDL, comes and removes it. So, you want more things removing, you want more HDL removing the LDL, so that’s why we want that quantity of HDL to be higher.

There are two factors here that are influential. Number one, if you are constipated your LDL won’t necessarily be an accurate value when you’re doing labs because there’s this recycling of LDL in the bowels that gets absorbed up through the hepatic vein. The other thing that is influential is inflammation is the source of free radicals, so if we can lower your inflammation, we lower free radical damage. We reduce the need for a “band-aid LDL” to be present.

So, at the end of the day if you can have a supplement, or a functional mushroom in the case of chaga, do two things: reduce your inflammation levels, which is the source of the burn that requires the LDL, and you can have it reduce the LDL, so it helps metabolize it lower, it’s a lipid-lowering type of supplementation, it’s a win-win and that’s what chaga does.

Chaga Lowers Blood Pressure & Balances Cortisol

Chaga also can lower blood pressure levels. It’s very, very powerful as an adaptogenic herb, which is good for lowering stress. And when I say stress, this is internal, physiological, biochemical, neuroendocrine stress, hormonal stress. And the stress hormone is called cortisol. Cortisol is an inflammatory hormone. It serves a function when we’re fighting and flighting, and in a chronic state, it causes a lot of free radical damage. So, chaga addresses stress, it’s adaptogenic, it helps your body adapt to everyday stressors; physiological, and mental, and emotional, and helps to balance out cortisol levels and it has a direct impact on lowering those lipid levels.

So, I love to recommend our 7M+ that has chaga in it. It’s very chaga-forward, which means it’s a prominent part of the cascade of ingredients, and it’s powerful. And I find that individuals in my practice that are taking chaga, and deploying practices where they’re lowering their stress levels by meditating or taking yoga and exercising, that they really can have a significant impact in lowering that overall LDL level.

Try Chaga Instead of a Statin

And it’s better to do that than to take a statin, because a statin … One, long term, it has not been necessarily researched as a lifelong supplement or a medical resource. It’s supposed to be temporary, shorter-term in its function. But at the end of the day, a statin masks the problem, and what we need to do is we need to go deeper and look at that inflammation, the stress, and the reason why you are elevating, or having elevations in lipid levels.

So, I hope you will try chaga or add that to your regimen if you are looking at lowering your cholesterol, lowering your blood pressure levels, and helping support lowered inflammatory levels across the board within your body. It’s so wonderful and the research is definitely in support of using chaga for heart health.


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Are Mushrooms & Fermented Products a ‘No-No’ for Fungal Infections?
 

Video Transcript:

Our next Ask the Doctor question comes from one of our viewers. They say, “Hello, Dr. Melissa. I have a burning question. Doing extensive research, I heard one integrative doctor, Amy Myers, strongly suggest to stay away from fermented food/supplements if you have a fungal infection. Is that right? I’m subscribed to a whole bunch of Organixx fermented supplements, and I love them. Should I continue using them while fighting with the ringworm I got from a feral kitten we adopted recently? Thanks.”

So, this is a fantastic question, and I’m excited to clear up the inconsistencies of information, as well as clear up what we know clinically through scientific research and studies on mushrooms.

So, the first thing I want to clarify is we have two topics. We have fermented supplements, fermented food – the fermentation process is separate from mushrooms specifically. And so, one of the things I want to kind of clear up is a common question that I hear from patients, who are adamant, like, “I can’t take X, Y, and Z functional mushroom,” or, “I can’t take this fermented food, because so-and-so said,” or, “I read that fermented foods and/or mushrooms can cause candida overgrowth.”

So, to clear that up, that is absolutely false information. We do know there are some cross-reactions between mushrooms and fungal infections in the body. But overall, there’s no sort of clinical research that shows that a fermented food and/or a mushroom that is either in raw form that you grab at your grocery store and put on your salads or eating in assorted foods or consuming in a supplement form, liquid or powdered form, will contribute to a candida overgrowth.

Fermented Foods Support Immunity & Provide Greater Bioavailability

So, what I want to clarify is that fermented foods are going to help support your immune process. And one of the things that I really love about Organixx and our supplementation fermentation process is that we will ferment a lot of our supplementation in a very powerful adaptogenic dense liquid that is part of that fermentation process. So, it actually gives greater strength and potency to the bioavailability of the supplement form, but also enhances the stress balancing. It enhances immune response and actually helps your body beyond just that key target area that we’re focusing on.

Address Gut Health & Its Impact on Immunity

So, when it comes to fermented foods, I have to say one of the things that we’re looking at with any type of fungal infection or immune disabling, either we are seeing a weakness in the immune system, maybe a dysregulation of the immune system, or a heightened immune response, (i.e. autoimmunity), we need to zero in on the gut. And so when we talk about the gut, the gut is all about your microbiome – the degree of healthy bacteria in your gut that can help calibrate your immune response, your mental health, can help balance out your hormones. There’s an assortment of things that our microbes, the little bacteria, will do in our body. And they will signal to make certain hormones, to have certain chemical reactions occur. And they support a healthy immune state.

So, when we’re talking about adding in a fermented supplement, like many of the Organixx supplements you’re taking, what I want to recommend is to continue to take them, because that fermentation process, especially in the adaptogenic-rich liquid, you are going to get a huge immune boost. And so the immune factor with the fermentation process and the bioavailability actually is going to really support your immune system, so that you can eradicate the ringworm, or you can eradicate and recalibrate the body’s candida reaction.

Internally & Topically Treating a Fungal Infection

Now, when it comes to a fungal infection, I always recommend internally supporting your system, bolstering and supporting a very dense, rich microbiota, as well as topically supporting your skin microbiome. So one of the things that we’re dealing with, when we have an infection, let’s say ringworm or even candida that might be presenting on the skin, is we want to look at addressing both the internal microbiome in your gut and also your skin microbiome.

So, your skin microbiome can be supported by topical probiotics. I mean, honestly, it’s not anything crazy to apply just clean, plain, probiotic-dense yogurt. You can also apply things like aloe vera. Apple cider vinegar is really good. That’s a fermented process that will recalibrate your skin microbiome, as well as also adding immune-boosting colloidal silver. There are gels of colloidal silver that you can apply on the skin.

And so, there are multiple ways to use both internal resources and topical resources to combat yeast infections of the scalp or the skin or folds of the body. I also recommend using the Magi-Complexx oil that has three really powerful antioxidants. There’s a lot of good skin healing nutrition and antiviral, antimicrobial properties, as well as antifungal properties, in those three oils that could be really helpful.

So definitely, act accordingly, in terms of taking the right actions with ringworm. You don’t want it to get out of hand. And just know that there are a lot of different ways that we can combat it internally and externally, so we bolster up your immune system so that it can expel the ringworm infection.

Keep Taking Your Fermented Supplements & Mushrooms

So, I hope that’s helpful. And just know that fermented foods and supplements with fermentation are very powerful, as are mushrooms. So, mushrooms are definitely not something that we want to shy away from. The mushroom kingdom is so vast that there are so many wonderful benefits from consuming the fruiting bodies of mushrooms that also help to support the recalibration and the balancing of our immune system, so that we’re more apt to fight the unhealthy fungal infections or unhealthy bacterial imbalances that can arise in our body for an assortment of reasons.

So, I hope that’s helpful. And I want to continue to encourage you to keep taking the fermented supplements here at Organixx. There are so many wonderful benefits. And I’m excited to answer any other questions you might have. So, thanks for asking the doctor today.


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Tremella Fuciformis: How This “Beauty Mushroom” Can Help You Look Younger

If you’re of a certain age, you’re likely already familiar with the fact that one of the first outward signs of aging occurs on the skin. Although we can’t reverse the aging process completely, we can put a serious dent in the skin wrinkling, sagging, and blotchiness that comes with getting older. One way to do so safely is with the polysaccharide power of Tremella fuciformis, an edible white, jelly-like mushroom also commonly known as silver ear, snow fungus, and the “beauty mushroom.”

Tremella Fuciformis Health Benefits for Both Inside & Out

You may already be familiar with the health benefits of many different kinds of medicinal mushrooms (fungi) and may even use some of them yourself. If you do, then you know how amazing mushrooms can be for energy, the immune system, for brain health, and so much more.

Of course, all the goodness that mushrooms provide you on the inside of your body absolutely makes a difference in how you look on the outside as well. Mushrooms can help with three functions vital for healthy, vibrant looking skin:

When a person is healthy overall, it most definitely shows on the outside. On the other hand, much medical literature has made the connection between poor health in general and skin conditions such as acne [1], drab, dull-looking skin, splotches, rashes, and more.

tremella-fuciformis-mushroom

The anti-viral, infection-fighting nature of most medicinal mushrooms helps your skin in many indirect ways. Shiitake, turkey tail, and maitake mushrooms, for instance, all possess anti-inflammatory properties and also contain powerful antioxidants and key nutrients such as essential fatty acids and vitamin D [2].

But some medicinal mushrooms have components within them that seem to be specifically designed to benefit the skin. One of the best-known medicinal mushrooms that can help in this regard is Tremella fuciformis.

A Brief History of Tremella Fuciformis in Skincare

There are several substances inside tremella mushrooms that lend to its nickname as the “beauty mushroom.” It’s also called “silver ear mushroom” or “snow mushroom” or “white snow mushroom” because of its creamy white color and spongy shape.

In fact, tremella has been included in beautifying tonics and lotions for centuries. One of the reportedly “most beautiful women in Chinese history” was Yang Guifei, who lived in the 8th century during the Tang Dynasty. She was said to have attributed her glowing complexion to her use of Tremella fuciformis [3].

So what makes this gelatinous fungi so special when it comes to age-reversing and skin revitalization? Let’s zoom in a little closer to look at what modern science has to say about white snow fungus benefits.

Tremella Fuciformis Polysaccharides

basket of assorted mushroom varieties

Polysaccharides are large molecules that are made up of many smaller sugar molecules. They are found in dozens of foods, especially carbohydrate-heavy grains and tubers as well as fungi.

There is a multitude of kinds of polysaccharide groupings that exist in nature. Many of them are particularly beneficial for different aspects of human health. The polysaccharides found in the silver ear mushroom, for instance, are perfectly suited for skin health.

Other Tremella Fuciformis Mushroom Benefits Include Antioxidants

First of all, the polysaccharides in tremella contain strong antioxidant properties. Antioxidant substances can protect the skin from oxidative stress of all kinds, including from the sun.

Polysaccharides in Tremella fuciformis can also be the catalysts for enzymatic reactions which reduce free radical damage. Some of the scavenging properties of both fungi-generated polysaccharides and the enzymatic reactions they influence are so powerful they’ve been shown in animal studies to inhibit cancer tumor growth!

closeup-of-woman-with-skin-damage-from-sun-UV-rays

The antioxidant properties in white snow fungus can also help protect against and repair damage caused by harmful UV rays. A 2014 study published in the journal Food Science took a look at the polysaccharides within Tremella fuciformis and how they were able to reduce the effects of sun-induced aging on the skin.

Researchers found that Tremella polysaccharides high in uronic acid helped to minimize collagen loss that was specifically caused by UV radiation. They also found that these polysaccharides rehydrated sun-damaged skin and worked towards repairing “skin structure alternations” caused by photodamage [5].

What Is Uronic Acid?

Uronic acid is a sugar substance that plays a vital role in efficient metabolism. Another antioxidant component found in snow fungus polysaccharides is mannose.

Mannose is also a sugar which is often taken as a stand-alone supplement (in the form of D-mannose) for urinary tract infections (UTIs) and metabolic disorders [6].

Snow Fungus Benefits for Skin: Hydration Similar to Hyaluronic Acid

Another Tremella fuciformis polysaccharide benefit has to do with the way the polysaccharides keep moisture in, helping your skin stay hydrated.

Tremella polysaccharides hydrate by pulling moisture from outside into the skin. This is why some experts say that this white snow fungus acts much like hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a lubricating substance that our bodies produce naturally.

Hyaluronic acid is clear and jelly-like and is found in large amounts in the skin, eyes, and connective tissue. Its job is to maintain water in these areas and keep tissues well lubricated by evenly distributing moisture.

Of course, just like collagen, endogenously (internally) produced hyaluronic acid declines as we age, which is why there are so many hyaluronic acid products on the market right now. What most people don’t realize is that these are synthetic substances, usually made in the laboratory from bacteria or through extraction from rooster combs (the fleshy red skin on a rooster’s head).

tremella-mushroom-better-than-hyaluronic-acid-skin-hydration

Man-made “replicas” of substances that our bodies naturally produce often tend to come with some sort of negative side effect. Snow fungus mushroom, on the other hand, is a 100% natural substance that can do the same thing as synthetic hyaluronic acid.

Some experts state that the jelly-like silver ear mushroom may work even better than synthetically created hyaluronic acid, as dermatologist Dendy Engelman explained in a 2018 article for Allure Magazine about Tremella fuciformis [7]. “The particles are smaller than hyaluronic acid so it penetrates the skin more easily,” says Dr. Engelman.

While hyaluronic acid can hold up to a thousand times its weight in water, the amazing white snow fungus may be able to hold just as much or more.

Inflammatory Properties of Silver Ear Mushroom

Many kinds of polysaccharides found in Tremella fuciformis also act as anti-inflammatories. A 2014 study found that the phenolic and flavonoid content of tremella mushroom made it a powerful antioxidant on a number of fronts [8].

This is beneficial for your skin because inflammation is at the heart of many serious inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.

Immune-Boosting Polysaccharides in Tremella

There are also substances in white snow fungus that help to boost the immune system. An important one in this regard is beta-glucans.

Beta-glucans are a type of polysaccharide fiber found in the cell walls of grains and tubers as well as many kinds of fungi. They are immune stimulants which can increase natural killer (NK) cell production and macrophage counts. NK cells are a type of white blood cells that are super important for warding off pathogens – including cancer cells.

skincare-routine-woman-looking-in-bathroom-mirror

Beta-glucans are also great for your heart. As mentioned earlier, when you have a strong immune system, metabolism, and circulation system, this state will naturally rub off on your largest detoxifying organ (i.e., your skin) as well [9].

Research has also found that beta-glucans can help skin directly too. Tremella has long been known as a curative for scarring. Tremella fuciformis mushroom extract assists surface wounds in healing faster and can ease symptoms related to “erythema.”

Erythema is the painful reddening and irritation that often occurs right after a burn. The skin-healing benefits of tremella are due in large part to the presence of beta-glucans [10].

How to Take Advantage of Silver Ear Mushroom Skin Benefits

Whether you use tremella alone or in a formula, this “beauty mushroom” is definitely a natural substance that you should consider for your daily skincare routine.

In addition, if you’re looking for a clean, non-toxic and non-GMO skin formula that puts pure sourcing first and foremost, then we encourage you to check out Organixx’s new Reverse Anti-Aging Serum.

Reverse not only contains organic Tremella fuciformis mushroom extract, but it also contains other powerful, skin-revitalizing substances such as argan sprout stem cell extract, raspberry seed extract, and more.

Remember that quality and purity really are key when it comes to anything that goes on your skin. You have done your best to eat naturally, go organic, and stay away from the toxins when it comes to the foods you prepare for yourself and your family. Why would you want anything less to go into what you “consume” through your skin?


Reverse Anti-Aging Serum penetrates beyond the skin’s surface and works at a cellular level to keep skin hydrated and radiant while minimizing wrinkle depth and appearance.

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Trametes Versicolor: The 8 Best Health Benefits of Turkey Tail Mushroom

Fun fact… did you know that as members of the kingdom of fungi, mushrooms are more closely related to animals (including people) than they are to plants [1]! This could be one reason why certain types of fungi are so beneficial for human health. One of the best health-promoting mushrooms is turkey tail, which is a beloved medicinal mushroom in both ancient and modern Chinese and Japanese traditions.

Turkey tail mushroom (also known as Trametes versicolor, Coriolus versicolor, and Polyporus versicolor) is so named because of its appearance. The colorful stripes on the outer edge of this frilly mushroom look very much like the tail feathers on a turkey. In Japan, they are known as kawaratake, which means “cloud mushrooms.”

Turkey Tail Mushrooms and Immunomod

Like maitake mushrooms, turkey tail is a polypore mushroom. What this means is that unlike the typical mushrooms which contain a button cap and gills, turkey tail mushrooms are bracket mushrooms that grow on tree trunks.

Fungi are organisms that absorb their nutrients from decomposing organic matter. Trametes versicolor particularly favor growing on dead trees, branches, and stumps which provide them with the specific growing environment in which they flourish.

Turkey Tail Is an Adaptogen

Turkey tail mushrooms are considered an adaptogen in herbal medicine, which means that they work to balance many aspects of health. They provide support against stressors of all kinds. They are also immunomodulatory, which means that they modulate the function of the immune system.

If the immune system is under-reacting, adaptogens will boost certain aspects of it, and if it is over-reacting, adaptogens help to calm it down. Adaptogens have many other health benefits such as anti-stress, anti-fatigue, anti-depressant, and anti-anxiety, to name just a few [2].

Turkey Tail Is a Common Cancer Therapy in Asia

Medicinal mushrooms such as turkey tail contain polysaccharides called alpha-glucans and beta-glucans. It is the beta-glucans that have been so well-studied and identified as being the primary source of biological activity.

doctor-giving-iv-drip-treatment-to-cancer-patient

“Polysaccharide” means “many sugars” but they are beneficial sugars bound to protein, and they work in the body in a number of ways. The specifically studied polysaccharides in turkey tail are Polysaccharide-K (PSK), also known by the Krestin, and Polysaccharide-Peptide (PSP).

We have an abundance of studies that show that PSK, used in Asia for cancer patients since the 1970s, stimulates a number of components of the human immune system. It is known as a biological response modifier or BRM.

BRMs have the potential to improve the “host versus tumor response,” which essentially means that they increase the ability of a person with cancer (the “host”) to defend themselves against tumor progression [3]. It has taken years of studying PSK and PSP to validate just some of the ways in which they work in the body.

8 of the Best Health Benefits of Turkey Tail Mushrooms

All backed by research, here are 8 of the best turkey tail mushroom benefits for human health.

#1. Provides Antioxidant Protection

Antioxidants are important because they help to reduce or buffer the damage caused by free radicals and oxidative stress. Free radical damage can compromise the function of otherwise healthy cells, including the DNA.

Over time, free radical damage can increase your risk of developing chronic health problems. By eating plenty of foods rich in antioxidants, however, you can offset damage by free radicals. Turkey tail contain a significant amount of antioxidants. One 2017 study [4] found 38 different antioxidant compounds known as phenols and flavonoids in a sample of Trametes versicolor.

#2. Supports the Immune System

Turkey tail mushrooms are incredibly beneficial for the human immune system. The abundant antioxidants mentioned above act to support the immune system by reducing inflammation and stimulating the release of cytokines (chemical messengers) that are involved in immune system regulation and communication.

lymphocytes-attacking-cancer-cell

Turkey tail have other immune functions as well. Dendritic cells, the main activators of the immune system are prodded into action. Natural killer cells and lymphocyte-activated killer (LAK) cells are activated, and they scour the body for cancer cells and viruses.

Macrophages, which protect the body against pathogenic (disease-causing) bacteria and other harmful substances are promoted. TNF-a (tumor necrosis factor alpha) and other cytokines are stimulated or inhibited, which regulate the function of immune cells.

As noted above, Trametes versicolor are immunomodulatory, meaning they can dampen down an over-reacting immune system, or boost immunity if it is low [5-8].

#3. Fights Against Pathogenic Bacteria

Turkey tail mushrooms are frequently used to battle infections, including those associated with influenza or the common cold. They can do more than this, however. They are powerful against both gram-positive and gram-negative pathogenic bacteria like golden staph (Staphylococcus aureus), a well-known antibiotic-resistant strain of bacteria currently plaguing hospitals, nursing homes, and other healing environments.

hospitalized-elderly-patient-laying-on-hopsital-bed-being-examined-by-doctor

Golden staph likes to live in the upper respiratory tract and on the skin. It is extremely virulent and can result in death if it gets deeper inside the body and is not treated quickly enough.

Salmonella enteritidis is a gram-negative pathogen which turkey tail can also help to eradicate. [9]. This bug, caused by eating contaminated food, can make you feel absolutely rotten. Symptoms include stomach cramps, diarrhea, bloody stools, fever, chills, headache, and vomiting.

Turkey tail is effective because of its abundance of antioxidants and polysaccharides, which link up with the proteins and cell walls of bacteria, disrupting microbial membranes and inhibiting energy metabolism in the bacteria. This effectively creates havoc for the pathogen and kills it [9].

#4. Defends Against Abnormal Cell Growth

Turkey tail mushrooms are well-studied for their anti-cancer effects. In fact, they have been utilized in Asia since the 1970s for use with cancer patients. Studies show that they have the following anti-cancer effects:

One Woman’s Experience with Turkey Tail Mushrooms

One 2012 study [11] discussed the experience of an 83-year-old woman diagnosed with Stage 4 inflammatory breast cancer. She was considered too old for a mastectomy or radiation and given only three months to live. She had a remarkable result with Trametes versicolor.

Combined with chemotherapy, the turkey tail boosted her immune system and increased the effectiveness of the chemotherapy. The patient was still alive and disease-free five years later.

Other Notable Research Studies for Turkey Tail Mushroom and Cancer

A small 2012 clinical trial [12] involving 11 participants with breast cancer found that turkey tail had a significant effect on key components of their immune system. It increased white blood cells, natural killer cells, CD8 T-cells, and CD19 B-cells. Researchers in this study noted that up to 9 grams (9,000 mg) of Trametes versicolor per day was well tolerated.

A 2017 meta-analysis of 23 clinical trials [13] involving 10,684 patients with gastrointestinal cancer found that polysaccharide K (PSK) treatment significantly increased the overall survival of the patients in years one through five, and even beyond that. They also found that there were significant increases in disease-free survival from years one through seven, with no side effects.

IMPORTANT NOTE: While it is not suggested to try and heal cancer using turkey tail mushroom alone, when used in combination with other therapies it may prove beneficial for cancer patients. If you have cancer, or suspect that you do, always consult with a qualified physician for appropriate treatment.

#5. Inhibits Viruses

Several studies have found that PSK has anti-viral action. It has been used for its ability to inhibit HIV (human immunodeficiency virus, the virus associated with AIDS) [14]. Turkey tail mushroom has also been found to be beneficial for HPV (human papillomavirus, a sexually-transmitted infection) in preliminary clinical trials [15].

#6. Promotes Beneficial Gut Bacteria

The importance of prebiotics and gut health has come to the forefront over the past several years. As a reminder, prebiotics act as “food” for probiotics – the beneficial gut bacteria that help to keep us well.

Prebiotics modulate the human gut microbiome and help inhibit several health conditions including diabetes, obesity, and cancer. Mushrooms are especially beneficial for helping to improve the microbiome of the gut as they are super-special prebiotics [16-18].

#7. May Improve Athletic Performance

Despite a lack of studies on Trametes versicolor and athletic performance, many athletes and people who demand a lot out of their bodies are reporting that supplementing with turkey tail helps them, over time, to improve energy levels and to bounce back from rigorous exercise more easily.

One preliminary animal study reported that turkey tail mushroom “has beneficial effects on performance improvement and anti-fatigue activity, and thus has great potential… [19]”

#8. Improves Insulin Resistance

Medicinal mushrooms have been studied for the various modes of action they have with regard to protecting against diabetes. They seem to act in several different ways, including inhibiting the absorption of glucose (sugar), protection of the beta cells of the pancreas, promotion of insulin release, enhancement of antioxidants, countering inflammation, and modulation of various metabolic pathways that involve the control of glucose in and out of cells.

Turkey tail mushrooms have been investigated for their anti-diabetic properties and effects on insulin-resistant cells in animal studies. In two studies [20, 21] researchers found that turkey tail significantly reduced blood glucose levels and influenced enzymes and genes associated with development of diabetes and insulin resistance. Hopefully human trials will follow.

Look-Alike Mushrooms Are Not the Same as Turkey Tail

Be aware that there are mushrooms that look quite similar to turkey tail. They are even called “false turkey tail” (botanical name Stereum ostrea). Also referred to as “golden curtain crust,” these are look-alike mushrooms, but they do not have the same therapeutic properties as Trametes versicolor. They tend to be a little more reddish in color than turkey tail. They do contain some therapeutic compounds but should not be confused with true turkey tail.

It is always a good idea to purchase your turkey tail mushrooms and extracts from a trusted organic grower/supplier who tests for quality and purity in their products.


7M+ from Organixx contains 7 of nature’s most powerful mushrooms for anti-aging, longevity, and immune support. Using centuries-old knowledge of the power of nutritional mushrooms and our breakthrough new formulation process we’ve unleashed the power of mushrooms in a way never before done.

Chaga Mushroom Benefits: Top 10 Things You Need to Know About Chaga

Mushrooms are not generally recognized by most people for their great beauty. And chaga mushrooms are, quite possibly, one of the least attractive mushrooms in the fungi world. But what they may lack in the appearance department, chaga mushrooms more than make up for with their prized medicinal properties!

Packed full of antioxidants and healing phytochemicals (natural, plant-derived chemicals), chaga mushrooms are a surprisingly well-researched fungus. And while the research on chaga is preclinical (meaning that human trials have not yet been released), the chaga mushroom studies to date have shown that chaga may be useful for a wide range of health issues. Read on to discover the best and newest research on chaga mushroom benefits for health and healing.

What Is Chaga Mushroom?

Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) is a special type of fungi that typically grows in cold climates. Its preferred habitat is to attach itself to the bark of birch trees in areas with frigid temperatures such as Russia, Siberia, Finland, northern Canada, and Alaska.

chaga-mushroom-growing-on-tree

The name chaga comes from the Russian word cága and means “fungus growing on a tree.”

The chaga mushroom is also known by several other names such as clinker polypore, birch canker polypore, black mass, and cinder conk. This last name is because chaga produces a growth known as a “conk” on old hardwood trees, particularly birch.

From its appearance, chaga in no way resembles a typical mushroom. It looks more like a chunk of burned wood, or even a pile of dark-colored dirt. But under the hard, cracked, darkened exterior is a colorful blend of amber, rust, and orange.

Chaga Mushroom Tea

The typical use of chaga in folk medicine is to grate it into a fine powder (or break it into small chunks) and then brew it as a tea. In recent years chaga mushroom tea’s appeal has expanded past its traditional borders and is gaining in popularity as more people learn of chaga mushroom benefits.

For instance, chaga contains a wide array of nutrients, including:

close-up-of-large-chaga-cushroom-Inonotus-obliquus

What Is Chaga Mushroom Good for? 10 Researched Chaga Mushroom Benefits

#1. Chaga Contains Anti-Aging Antioxidants

Oxidative stress in our cells (think of cells “rusting”) causes most of the physical signs of aging, including wrinkles, lines, and saggy skin. Exposure to air pollution, a less than optimal diet, and too much sun (along with many other things) can create this oxidative stress and free radicals in our body.

chaga-tea-made-with-chaga-mushroom

When functioning optimally the body is able to neutralize many of these free radicals on its own. However, as we age that ability decreases.

Consuming antioxidant-containing mushrooms makes good sense for people determined to help keep that “rusting” to a minimum.

A number of studies have clearly demonstrated that chaga mushrooms has significant antioxidative activity [1-4].

#2. Chaga and the Immune System

A number of studies have shown that chaga mushrooms are able to positively impact the immune system in a variety of ways.

Two studies [5, 6] have shown that chaga mushrooms promote the formation of beneficial cytokines. Cytokines are specialized proteins that act as chemical messengers within the immune system. These cytokines act to stimulate white blood cells of the immune system, responsible for fighting potentially harmful bacteria and viruses.

In addition, two animal studies [7, 8] found that chaga also helped to prevent the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines that were not beneficial to immune function.

A further study performed in 2005 [9] found that chaga had immunomodulatory properties. This means that when the immune system is under-reacting to a pathogen or other threat, chaga can help to boost its function. Conversely, when the immune system is over-reacting (as it does in autoimmune diseases and allergies), chaga has a calming effect.

#3. Chaga May Fight Infectious Diseases

Bacteria are constantly evolving and becoming increasingly virulent and harder to eradicate using antibiotic drugs. As a result, scientists have recently been studying compounds that are termed “anti-quorum sensing.”

Quorum sensing has to do with how bacteria communicate and depends on the population and density of bacterial cells. Quorum sensing also controls the pathogenesis (the biological mechanism of how a disease progresses; the features and things that occur that lead to the disease) of many organisms by regulating the expression of genes.

Woman Sitting in Bed with a cold Suing Tissues

Not surprisingly, anti-quorum sensing compounds have become a particularly attractive area of research. Scientists are enthusiastically working on the development of new anti-infective agents that do not rely upon antibiotics [10].

Medicinal plants such as chaga are an exceptionally rich source of anti-quorum sensing compounds. A 2015 study [11] found that chaga mushrooms had anti-quorum sensing properties against several lines of pathogenic (disease-causing) bacteria.

#4. Chaga May Have Anti-Cancer Benefits

What about chaga mushroom and cancer? To date, human trials are lacking which demonstrate that chaga mushrooms fight cancer in people. However, we do have a number of promising preclinical studies (test tube and animal studies) that demonstrate one of chaga mushroom’s benefits appears to be strong inhibitory action against cancer cells.

Chaga is believed to work in four key ways to help eradicate cancer cells:

  1. Chaga’s impressive antioxidant content helps to protect cells [12].
  2. Triterpenoid compounds in chaga have been shown to inhibit cancer cell growth, induce apoptosis (planned cell death, a feature lacking in cancer cells), inhibit the migration and invasiveness of cancer cells, and silence tumor suppressor genes [13, 14].
  3. Chaga’s polysaccharides (long chain molecules consisting of carbohydrates, or sugars) known as beta-glucans help to make the immune system more responsive to threats [15].
  4. Chaga has been shown to have anti-mutagenic (DNA protective) properties [16].
mature-woman-in-her-60s-embraces-her-mid30s-daughter-who-has-cancer

The combination of those four important features make chaga a potential anti-cancer therapeutic. As with many things in nature, it is not just one feature that provides the protection, but the combination of several that makes it so potent.

So far, preclinical studies have been done on colon and colorectal cancer [17-20], prostate [21], breast [22-26], cervical [27-29], liver [30, 31], lung [32-37], melanoma [38, 39], stomach [40], and sarcoma [41], all of which were inhibited by chaga extracts.

While it is not advisable to rely upon chaga mushrooms alone to fight cancer, it may be beneficial when combined with other therapies, both conventional and natural.

#5. Chaga May Help Fight Diabetes

The polysaccharide content of chaga is not only good for its potential anti-cancer activity. They have also been investigated in a number of animal studies for their ability to lower blood sugar levels.

Preclinical research has uncovered chaga’s modes of action, at least in diabetic animals. According to this research, chaga reduces blood sugar levels, reduces blood lipids, increases insulin levels, inhibits inflammation, and reduces oxidative stress. Chaga also reduces insulin resistance so that cells are better able to take up and utilize dietary glucose [42-49].

adjuvant therapy in both the prevention and treatment of diabetes

Additionally, a 2014 study [50] found that chaga had regenerative effects on beta-cells of the pancreas. Added to that, a 2016 study [51] found that chaga also helped to protect the beta-cells of the pancreas. Since pancreatic beta cells are responsible for the synthesis of insulin, researchers believe this protective effect may ultimately be beneficial to those with diabetes.

Another study found that chaga mushroom had a protective effect on the kidneys of diabetic mice. Diabetic nephropathy is the leading cause of end-stage kidney disease in those with insulin-dependent type 2 diabetes. A significant 30% to 45% of these patients eventually develop end-stage renal failure [52].

This particular study demonstrated that chaga eased renal fibrosis, inhibited inflammatory markers, increased sensitivity to glucose, and had kidney-protective effects on the animals in the study.

Again, human trials have not been carried out yet, so it is not clear whether chaga would be of assistance in type 2 diabetes in humans. But the research carried out so far is definitely promising.

#6. Chaga May Help to Lower Cholesterol

In several animal studies, chaga has been shown to lower cholesterol levels.

For example, in a 2009 eight-week study with rats [53], chaga increased antioxidant levels and reduced levels of LDL cholesterol (considered the “bad” cholesterol), as well as lowering total cholesterol and triglycerides.

Similarly, two other studies [54, 55] with diabetic animals showed that chaga’s polysaccharides reduced LDL levels while also increasing levels of HDL (considered the “good” kind of cholesterol).

Whether or not this benefit also occurs in humans has yet to be determined.

#7. Chaga May Help Protect Against Alzheimer’s Disease

hand holding magnifying glass examining brain model

Ever on the outlook for natural agents that help to protect the brain from the devastation created by degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, scientists have been investigating chaga.

A 2019 animal study [56] showed that chaga’s polysaccharides had beneficial effects on the brain. After eight weeks of being fed chaga, memory and cognitive function improved in the mice being studied.

Antioxidant levels also improved and beta-amyloid plaques (associated with the development of Alzheimer’s) were reduced. Chaga was found to have a protective effect on the test subjects’ brains.

#8. Chaga May Be a Potent Anti-viral

Medicinal mushrooms have long been studied for their effect on viruses, particularly Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1, or HIV-1, the virus that sets the stage for AIDS.

While there are few studies on chaga with regard to HIV, one Russian study reported in 2015 [57] found that chaga did indeed inhibit HIV. Researchers concluded that chaga “can be used for development of new antiviral drugs, inhibitors of HIV-replication when used both in the form of individual drugs and as a part of complex therapy.”

Another study by the Russians took place in 2014 [58]. This was an in vitro study (in test tubes), which found that chaga extracts had an antiviral effect against cells infected with Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 (HSV1), the contagious virus that creates cold sores and genital herpes.

#9. Chaga May Be Helpful for Inflammation-related Diseases

woman sitting on toilet holding toilet paper gastrointestinal issues

Irritable bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the intestines. The pain and discomfort caused by IBD can be very disruptive to the lives of those who have it.

A 2019 study [59] investigated mice with colitis. Researchers found that chaga’s polysaccharides significantly eased the symptoms of the disease and favorably modulated genes associated with IBD. Researchers stated that chaga was a potentially effective therapeutic agent for IBD.

Pancreatitis is an inflammatory disease of the pancreas. A 2016 animal study [60] found that chaga polysaccharides eased chronic pancreatitis in mice.

#10. Chaga May Stimulate Hair Growth

This will pique the interest of anyone who has thinning hair! Chaga mushrooms have traditionally been used in hair washing preparations in Mongolia to maintain healthy hair.

Science is catching up to discover whether there were any real benefits to doing so. A 2019 study [61] did indeed find that triterpene compounds from chaga stimulated hair follicles, resulting in increased hair growth. Chaga was reportedly more potent than minoxidil, a key ingredient in popular hair growth products such as Rogaine®.

A Word of Caution About Potential Chaga Mushroom Side Effects

If you are on blood-thinning medications or have a blood clotting disorder, it’s good to be aware that chaga contains a protein that can slow or prevent blood clotting [62]. This is also important to know if you are preparing to have surgery. If you have any of these issues, always consult with your trusted medical professional prior to taking chaga.

Finding the Best Source of Chaga

When choosing chaga for your health, look for clean sources. If sourcing chaga from the wild, you want it coming from trees that haven’t been sprayed with chemicals. Keep in mind that many forestry operations use large quantities of pesticides and herbicides, including glyphosate, on their trees [63].

One clean source of chaga is Organixx 7M+ immune support formula which contains chaga mushroom along with six other mushrooms: turkey tail, shiitake, maitake, cordyceps, lion’s mane, and reishi.


7M+ from Organixx contains 7 of nature’s most powerful mushrooms for anti-aging, longevity, and immune support. Using centuries-old knowledge of the power of nutritional mushrooms and our breakthrough new formulation process we’ve unleashed the power of mushrooms in a way never before done.

Maitake Mushroom: 10 Ways This Mighty “Hen of the Woods” Can Bolster Health & Healing

Have you ever heard of a dancing mushroom? Neither have we. But there is a type of mushroom that, according to legend, is said to have made anyone who found it dance with happiness. In fact, its name in Japanese means “dancing mushroom.” So prized is this mushroom that mushroom hunters would keep their locations a well-guarded secret. We’re speaking of the amazing maitake mushroom, also known as Grifola frondosa, hen of the woods mushroom (hen-of-the-woods), ram’s head, and sheep’s head.

What makes this edible and medicinal mushroom such a treasure both past and present? Read on to discover what scientific research has uncovered about maitake mushroom benefits.

What Do Maitake Mushrooms Look Like?

Maitake doesn’t look like a regular mushroom in that it doesn’t have the typical cap and gills of the mushrooms you usually see in the grocery store. It’s what is known as a polypore or bracket mushroom.

maitake-mushroom-on-a-log-in-the-forest

Grifola frondosa has multiple branching stems and a flowery, ruffled cap which is why one of its common names is hen-of-the words. To some, it resembles the ruffled feathers of a brown hen. Believe it or not, maitake can actually grow much bigger than a hen. It’s a huge mushroom that often reaches 20 inches (50 cm) in diameter and can weigh up to 100 pounds (45 kg) per specimen!

Where Do Maitake Mushrooms Grow?

Grifola frondosa like to grow on the stumps of dead or dying hardwood trees like maple, oak, elm, and beech and are found in cooler climate forests in the northeastern United States, Canada, Europe, China, and Japan.

In North America, they can be found in the wild generally between late August and late November.

What’s in Grifola Frondosa That Makes Them Beneficial?

Maitake mushrooms are rich in a variety of nutrients but it is their polysaccharide (meaning “many sugars”), content that makes them special. They have been utilized for centuries both for food and medicine in Asia and in North America.

Maitake’s Interesting Bioactives

Maitake contains some especially beneficial bioactive compounds. In particular, Grifola frondosa polysaccharide (GFP) also known as D-fraction. Maitake also contains A-, B-, and C- fraction polysaccharides, but the D-fraction polysaccharides are the most biologically active.

maitake-mushroom-grifola-frondosa

Polysaccharides are compounds with a chain of sugar molecules bound with protein. D-fraction consists of two types:

  1. Beta-1,6-glucan with beta-1,3 branches;
  2. Beta-1,3-glucan branched with beta-1,6 glucosides

D-fraction has been widely researched and found to have a number of health benefits [1].

10 Meritable Maitake Mushroom Health Benefits

#1. Antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory

Inflammation is inextricably linked with many human health conditions, including arthritis (in fact, any condition ending in “itis”), inflammatory bowel disease, and even cancer.

A 2002 study [2] found that fatty acids isolated from maitake had antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These acids acted to block an enzyme known as cyclooxygenase (COX) which is known to promote inflammation in the body.

A 2010 study [3] found that maitake eased the inflammation associated with inflammatory bowel disease by suppressing the production and activity of a cytokine (immune signaling molecule) known as TNF-alpha.

#2. Assists with Immune Function

Many studies have demonstrated maitake to have complex actions on the immune system [4].

A small 2003 clinical study [5] found that maitake’s D-fraction activated CD4 and CD8 cells (important components of the immune system) in cancer patients. D-fraction also slowed the spread of cancer, inhibited the expression of tumor markers, and increased natural killer cell activity in all of the patients in the trial.

Researchers investigated the effects of D-fraction on mice infected with pathogenic bacteria known as Listeria monocytogenes [6]. Some of the mice were given D-fraction along with vancomycin, an antibiotic drug, while the other mice received no treatment.

Those without treatment died, but the mice treated with combined therapy of D-fraction and the antibiotic fared much better. Sixty percent were still alive ten days later; a much better result than those treated with the antibiotic alone.

Researchers found that the immune cells in the mice receiving the D-fraction produced more than twice the amount of anti-bacterial activity than the non-treated mice.

doctor-checking-patients-heart-with-stethoscope

A small clinical trial involving 34 breast cancer patients reported in 2009 [7] found that maitake administration had beneficial immunomodulatory effects. This means that it increased the activity of some aspects of the immune system while inhibiting others.

In a 2015 study [8], maitake was given to patients with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a type of cancer that often progresses to acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The patients tolerated maitake well, and it enhanced the function of immune cells known as neutrophils and monocytes. As a result of this study, researchers stated “Maitake has beneficial immunomodulatory potential in MDS.”

#3. Helps Prevent Abnormal Cell Growth

A 2008 animal study [9] investigated the ability of maitake D-fraction to inhibit the spread of cancer cells, a process known as metastasis. Researchers found that D-fraction inhibited tumor metastasis by activating natural killer cells and antigen presenting cells (components of the immune system), and by suppressing a gene associated with promoting tumor cell adhesion to cells located inside blood vessel walls.

Dr. Sensuke Konno is an associate professor and research director at New York Medical College. His research focuses on urological malignancies including prostate cancer, renal cell carcinoma, and bladder cancer.

In an unpublished study [10], Dr. Konno found that D-fraction was more than 95% effective against prostate cancer cells. When he combined the D-fraction with vitamin C, the two worked hand-in-hand to kill prostate cancer cells.

A 2019 cell study [11] found that a combination of polysaccharides from maitake and turkey tail mushrooms had potent cytotoxic (cancer cell killing) activity against colon cancer cells.

grifola-frondosa-sheeps-head-mushroom

The combination inhibited the rapid growth of the cancer cells, inhibited the expression of oncogenes (genes implicated in the cancer process), and inhibited the ability of the cells to move through the body and metastasize. When maitake was combined with a commonly used chemotherapy drug, 5-fluorouracil, its cancer cell killing power was improved.

A 2018 review of studies on medicinal mushrooms [12] discussed all of the ways in which medicinal mushrooms aided in the fight against cancer. Researchers stated that medicinal mushrooms like maitake were “One of the most promising integrative approaches in cancer therapy…”, primarily due to three factors:

  1. Patients taking medicinal mushrooms during conventional treatments showed improvements in overall response rate.
  2. The immune systems of the patients improved due to the stimulation of T-cells.
  3. Patients enjoyed a reduction of some of the common side effects of chemotherapy.

#4. Promotes Cardiovascular Health & Good Blood Pressure

In animal studies, maitake D-fraction has shown an ability to regulate blood lipids and blood glucose levels, improve the metabolism of fats, inhibit atherosclerotic plaques in blood vessels, and assist with weight loss. Combined, this equates with improved cardiovascular and overall health [1].

In addition, maitake polysaccharides fed to rats with hypertension (high blood pressure) resulted in decreased bodyweight, blood pressure, total cholesterol, and triglyceride levels [1].

#5. Supports Healthy Blood Sugar Levels

A number of animal studies have shown that maitake promotes healthy blood sugar levels and exerts anti-diabetic activity [13-15]. One study, in particular, involving insulin-resistant mice found that a single dose of maitake extract reduced circulating blood sugar levels by 25% [16].

man checking blood sugar level with glucometer

In a small clinical study [17] involving actual humans, five patients with type 2 diabetes and taking medication showed improved blood sugar levels after taking a maitake polysaccharide known as SX-fraction.

One patient had complete glycemic control with maitake SX-fraction and was free of medications as of the study release date, while others showed more than 30% decline in their blood glucose levels after taking maitake for only two to four weeks.

#6. Promotes Brain Health

Maitake has also shown some interesting benefits for brain health. A 2016 animal study [18] found that beta-glucans from maitake had anti-depressant effects, which lingered several days after ingestion.

A 2017 animal study [19] found that maitake polysaccharides improved memory impairment in older rats, increased antioxidant levels, and improved key regions of the brain.

#7. Helps the Body Combat Viruses

Maitake has long been studied for its anti-viral properties. Maitake appears to work against viruses in several ways, including directly inhibiting the virus, stimulating the body’s immune system to fight against the virus, and protecting against opportunistic infections.

Several studies have found that maitake polysaccharides were able to inhibit Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV, the virus that can lead to Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome or AIDS). They also found that maitake promoted the body’s ability to fight off the virus, improved the body’s ability to resist HIV recurrence, and improved quality of life in patients with HIV [20, 21].

Woman Sitting in Bed with a cold Suing Tissues

Maitake works well against other viruses as well. Various studies have found that maitake was beneficial for influenza sufferers and had inhibitory effects against the virus that’s responsible for cold sores (Herpes Simplex I, or HSV-1) and chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) [1, 22].

#8. Fierce Fungus Fighter

It has been said that nothing knows how to better handle a fungus than a fungus. And that does indeed appear to be the case because maitake is a potent weapon against fungal infections; even difficult-to-eradicate conditions like vaginal thrush (caused by an opportunistic fungus known as Candida albicans) [21, 23].

#9. Radioprotective (Helps Protect Against Radiation)

Protection against contamination from radiation has been a hot topic worldwide, particularly after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011. It’s also important for patients receiving radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer.

Utilizing natural therapies that help to protect from the damaging effects of radiotherapy, while not interfering with its action, is wise. Several studies have found that maitake polysaccharides conferred a radioprotective action.

They do this by promoting the recovery of white blood cells in the immune system, improving the function of immune cells, and protecting cellular DNA, all of which helps to protect against radiation-induced injury [1].

#10. Mercury Detoxification

Mercury contamination is a global problem, with mercury increasingly found in our oceans, fish, and environment.

Once mercury enters the body, it is distributed throughout but accumulates in the liver, brain, and kidneys. A 2018 study [24] appearing in Scientific Reports found that maitake mushrooms help to clear mercury out of the body.

Rats were used for the experiment and it was found that maitake accelerated the decrease of mercury in the blood, decreasing it by 50% on the second day of treatment.

Maitake polysaccharides also promoted the elimination of mercury from the liver and kidneys, which helped to prevent progressive increases in blood mercury levels and kept them within a relatively stable range.

It is clear that almost everyone can benefit from this special healing mushroom. You can and should include them in your cooking, but the best way to obtain their potent healing properties is through supplementation.


7M+ from Organixx contains 7 of nature’s most powerful mushrooms for anti-aging, longevity, and immune support. Using centuries-old knowledge of the power of nutritional mushrooms and our breakthrough new formulation process we’ve unleashed the power of mushrooms in a way never before done.