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Mycomedicinal Info

Since 1980, Fungi Perfecti has been at the forefront of the gourmet and medicinal mushroom movement. Founder Paul Stamets, author of the definitive text Growing Gourmet & Medicinal Mushrooms, has pioneered the cultivation of many unique strains of medicinal fungi. Strains are continuously tested at our research and production facility. Located at the base of the pristine Olympic Peninsula of Washington State, our 17 acre farm on the Puget Sound is the ideal site for the isolation and adaptation of potent new mushroom strains from the wild.

Fungi Perfecti is dedicated to making the best medicinal mushroom products, and uses only the highest quality ingredients. All of our products are Certified Organic by the Washington State Organic Food Certification Program. They are free of pesticides, heavy metals and other contaminants and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). They are also Kosher Certified. Cultivated and processed under environmentally controlled laboratory conditions, you can be assured that you are getting a bona-fide product of the highest quality.

"Fungi Perfecti, owned by mycologist and author Paul Stamets, is the best all-round source for medicinal mushroom products and information." - Dr. Andrew Weil.

Shamanshop offers Fungi Perfecti's alcohol-based medicinal mushroom extracts, made from pure mushroom mycelium cultured on Certified Organic brown rice. 30 drops of extract is equivalent to 1 gram of mushroom mycelium/fruitbodies, and can be consumed directly or mixed into your favorite beverage. Recommended use: 15 to 30 drops, twice per day.
All of Shamanshop's Fungi Perfecti products come to you fresh directly from Fungi Perfecti, at their price.

Paul Stamets Answers Frequently Asked Questions About Medicinal Mushrooms:

Who recommends medicinal mushrooms?

Robert C. Atkins, MDPatrick Donovan, ND University Health Clinic, Seattle, Washington Robert C. Rountree, MD Helios Health Center, Boulder, Colorado
Robert Barnett, Author & Nutritionist in Tonics, Harper Collins, New York James Duke, PhD Economic & Medical Botanist (ret.), USDA Jesse Stoff, MD Solstice Clinical Associates, Tucson, Arizona
Harriet Beinfeld co-author of Between Heaven and Earth: A Guide to Chinese Medicine, Ballatine Books, New York Daniel Gagnon, Medical Herbalist President of Herbs, Etc., Santa Fe, New Mexico Jack Taylor, DC Dr. Taylor's Wellness Center, Rolling Meadows, Illinois
John Boik in Cancer & Natural Medicine: A Textbook of Basic Science and Clinical Research, Oregon Medical Press, Princeton, Minnesota M. Ghoneum, PhD Drew University of Medicine and Science Ron Teeguarden, Herbalist in Chinese Tonic Herbs, Japan Publications, Tokyo
Morton Broffman, PhD in Townsend Letter for Doctors & PatientsChristopher Hobbs, Herbalist in Medicinal Mushrooms, Botanica Press, Santa Cruz, California Leslie Tierra, Herbalist in The Herbs of Life, Crossing Press, Freedom, California
Etienne Callebout, MD in An Alternative Medicine Definitive Guide to Cancer, Future Medicine Publishing, Inc., Tiburon, California Tetsuro Ikekawa, PhD National Cancer Center, Tokyo, Japan Michael Tierra, Herbalist in The Way of Herbs, Simon & Schuster, New York
Goro Chihara, PhD Teikyo University, Nogawa, JapanJan Lelley, PhD author of Die Heilkraft de Pilze: Gesund durch MykotherapieSusan Weed in Breast Cancer, Breast Health, Ashtree Press, Woodstock, New York
W. Lee Cowden, MD Conservative Medical Institute, Richardson, Texas Takashi Mizuno, PhD., Professor Emeritus, Shizuoka University, Japan Andrew Weil, MD in Spontaneous Healing 8 Weeks to Optimum Health Self Healing Newsletter
Subhuti Dharmananda, PhD Chinese Herbal Therapies for Immune Disorders, Eastwind Books, San Francisco, California Michael Murray, ND & Joseph Pizzorno, ND in The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicines, MacDonald & Co., Ltd., LondonTerry Willard, PhD Director, Wild Rose College, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
W. John Diamond, MD Medical Director, Triad Medical Center, Reno, Nevada Hiroaki Nanba, PhD Kobe Pharmaceutical University, Japan Medicinal mushrooms have yet to be evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.

Why alcohol extracts?

Most of the active polysaccharides of mushrooms are soluble in water. When alcohol is added and becomes greater than 40+%, the water-soluble polysaccharides precipitate. Some of the active polysaccharides and their haptens are soluble in alcohol, but insoluble in water, as in the case of Agaricus blazei (Kawagishi et al. 1988). Hence, mushroom products containing both the water and alcohol extracts possess active constituents which remain in solution, giving you the best of both worlds.

Why is it important that mushrooms be grown organically?

Mushrooms are great sources of medicines but they can also concentrate heavy metals, especially if their culture is proximate to an industrialized area (Wu et al., 1996; Byrne, 1995; Stijve, 1977, 1984, 1990, 1991, 1992; Kawamura et al., 1991; Muramatsu et al. 1991). Pollutants from air and water can be taken up from the soil and passed directly into the mycelial network. Our mushrooms are grown at our certified organic farm situated at the base of the pristine Olympic Peninsula. Because of our location, abundance of clean air and water, our attention to environmentally sound practices, and personal concern for the integrity of each mushroom product, customers can be confident they are getting the highest quality. We are increasingly selling to Asian markets because of concerns for environmental contamination from pollution. A simple question to ask your supplier: where are their mushrooms grown?

Which extract is the best for treatment of cancer?

This is a tough question, since cancers vary so much, and given that only a few clinical studies have been completed. It is difficult to give specific answers at this time. However, we do know that several unique polysaccharides individually awaken the immune system, and several mushrooms possess compounds that are anti-tumorigenic per se. Ghoneum et al. (1995) reported that a concoction of multiple mushroom species induced a pronounced immune response. Hence, if I were the patient, I would prefer a multiple-mushroom blend.

Parris M. Kidd, PhD asserts that the current evidentiary answer to this question is Trametes versicolor - also known as Coriolus versicolor - available from us here.

Are these extracts good as a preventative to disease, including cancers?

From the information gathered thus far, yes.

For those in recovery, post chemotherapy or radiation therapy, are these extracts useful?

Yes. Many of the clinical studies in China show positive benefits with patients who have undergone radiation and chemotherapy in the treatment of cancers. A number of mushroom species have demonstrated a protective and regenerative effect on cells exposed to radiation and chemotherapy, including Maitake, Reishi, Zhu Ling, and Yun Zhi. In one case study with advanced breast cancer (Wedam & Haynes, 1997), complete recovery was accomplished after a regimen of chemotherapy and alternative therapies incorporating the daily consumption of our 4-mushroom tea blend.

What is Maitake "D-fraction"?

Maitake D-fraction is a phrase coined to describe a derivative of a high-molecular-weight polysaccharide (m.w. approx. 1,000,000) that is acid-insoluble, alkali-soluble, and hot-water extractable. The fraction is composed of 1,6 beta-glucans carrying 1,3 branches. All fruitbodies of Maitake contain this fraction.

Why not produce a highly purified extract of, for instance, Maitake to isolate the D-fraction from Maitake?

There are several studies suggesting the high-molecular-weight polysaccharide family has greater stimulatory effects than any one of its isolated constituents. Adachi et al (1990) found that there was greater immunological benefit from a heat-treated 'mother' polysaccharide (800,000+ m.w.) than from the isolated, derivative polysaccharides of lower molecular weights of 250,000, 21,000, and 6400. Mizuno (1995, pp. 32-33) and Broffman (1997) also underscored the importance of constituents other than (1-3)-ß-D-glucans, and suggested that other components within the mushrooms helped increase activity. The following model is suggested: the human immune system is stimulated by the decomposition of coarse polysaccharides into synergistic subcomponents, thus enhancing immunological responses. In essence, this effect may be summarized by the adage that "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts." Hence, a crude extract is, in my opinion, better than any one isolated, purified constituent.

Why use a mushroom blend?

A number of researchers have come to the conclusion that, to maximize a host-mediated response—that is, to 'awaken' the immune system—a panoply of polysaccharides is best. These polysaccharides appear to increase the number and activity of killer T and NK (natural killer) lymphocytes. Combining medicinal mushroom species sends the immune system multiple stimuli, awakening the body's natural defenses. One recent case study utilizing four of our medicinal mushrooms resulted in complete recovery from breast cancer. The patient combined allopathic and Naturopathic treatments (Wedam & Haynes, 1997).

Not only are there medicinal polysaccharides in mushrooms, but a wide variety of other constituents may help improve human health. Diabetics may benefit from better glucose metabolism, as may be produced by Maitake, Reishi and Cordyceps. Many species have direct tumor-growth-inhibiting effects with no or little cytotoxicity to healthy cells, an extraordinary characteristic of any cancer therapy. The LD-50, the dose lethal to 50% of a population of organisms, is typically extraordinarily high in these medicinal mushrooms, meaning they have very low toxicity, several orders of magnitude lower than most antibiotics or other immunostimulants.

Cordyceps is thought to extend the longevity of healthy cells, increase blood flow, and lower cholesterol levels. Several species improves liver and/or kidney function. There are recent reports that compounds in Lion's Mane mushrooms (Hericium erinaceus) may stimulate nerve regeneration. Although, we are still just exploring their potential medical uses, researchers world-wide have come to the same conclusion. Mushrooms are powerful natural medicines—especially for those challenged by stress-related disease complexes entering the 21st century. A complex blend of medicinal fungi can offer a powerful therapeutic punch.

Nutritional Value of Mushrooms

Many myths have been spread about mushrooms. One of the most inaccurate is that mushrooms have no nutritional value. To properly consider them for their nutritional benefits, they must be viewed from a dried weight perspective. And mushrooms give you maximum nutritional benefit only upon cooking. Mushrooms are relatively high in protein, averaging about 20% of their dried mass. Further they contribute a wide range of essential amino acids. Low in fat (between .3 and 2%) and high in fiber, mushrooms also provide several groups of vitamins, particularly thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, biotin, ascorbic acid and Vitamin D.

For more information on the nutritional properties of mushrooms, Paul Stamets, founder of Fungi Perfecti, published an extensive study of 24 major nutrients in 16 mushroom species and varieties. See: Stamets, P., 2005. “Notes on Nutritional Properties of Culinary-Medicinal Mushrooms”, International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, vol. 7: 103–110.

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