The rise of the medicinal mushroom!

Medicinal mushrooms are gaining in popularity with consumers increasing looking for functional ingredients to enhance their health and wellbeing.  Mushrooms such as Reishi, Cordyceps and Lion’s Mane are appearing in all types of products, including hot drinks.

Here at Sweet Revolution we are immensely proud of our Superblend Lattes that are not only delicious, warming drinks, but also include some super ingredients. We ensure that each recipe includes ingredients that pack a punch and are designed to do you good.

One of our focuses of the last few years has been to increase the number of products we offer that include Medicinal Mushrooms. These have become massively popular and there are countless reasons for this. If you follow us, you probably recognise ‘Reishi’, ‘Lion’s Mane’, and ‘Cordiceps’ which are our feature mushrooms.

Reishi

The Reishi mushroom, an ingredient in our Chai Latte blends, grows in various hot and humid locations in Asia (1). For many years, Reishi has been a staple in Eastern medicine (1, 2).

Within the mushroom, there are several molecules, including triterpenoids, polysaccharides and peptidoglycans, that may be responsible for its health effects (3).

The main effects include:

  • Enhanced Immune Function
    • Reishi mushroom has been found to increase the action of white blood cells, specifically a type of white blood cell called natural killer cells (4), which fight infection in the body
    • This effect has been shown in people that are ill, but also in athletes exposed to stressful situations (5)
  • Promising results for Cancer Prevention and Therapy
    • Lots of research is being done on this currently, and there have been some very positive results showing death of cancer cells (6, 7, 8)
    • However, more information and research is needed before it becomes an accepted part of standard therapy
  • Improved Mental Wellbeing
    • In studies, Reishi supplementation has been shown to reduce fatigue and improve quality of life (9)
    • These same studies have also shown that the participants had reduced levels of anxiety and depression after taking Reishi

Other benefits may include improving heart health, improving blood sugar control, and enhancing antioxidant status.

Purchase our Organic Instant Chai Latte with Reishi by clicking here.

Lion’s Mane

Lion’s Mane mushrooms, an ingredient in our Chicory Latte blends, are large, white, shaggy mushrooms that resemble a lion’s mane as they grow. They have both culinary and medical uses in Asian countries like China, India, Japan, and Korea (10).

Lion’s mane mushrooms contain bioactive substances that have beneficial effects on the body, especially the brain, heart, and gut.

The benefits of Lion’s Mane include:

  • Protects against Dementia
    • Studies have found that Lion’s Mane mushrooms contain two special compounds that can stimulate the growth of brain cells: hericenones and erinacines (11)
    • Lion’s mane has also been shown to reduce symptoms of memory loss and prevent damage leading to Alzheimer’s (12, 13)
    • Lion’s Mane also has promising results from studies focussed on healing after nervous system injuries (14)
  • Protects the Digestive Tract
    • Lion’s Mane has been shown to reduce inflammation and prevent tissue damage within the Digestive Tract, improving symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (15, 16)
    • It prevents development of acid-induced stomach ulcers (17), and stomach ulcers from an overgrowth of bacteria (18)
  • Reduces Heart Disease Risk
    • Major risk factors for heart disease include high triglycerides, large amounts of oxidized cholesterol, and an increased tendency to get blood clots
    • Studies have shown that Lion’s Mane improves fat metabolism and lowers triglyceride levels (19), as well as decreasing the rate of blood clotting (20)

As you have read, Lion’s Mane is beneficial for all-round health. It may also help manage diabetes symptoms, boost the immune system, reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, and help relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Find out more about our Organic Instant Chicory Latte with Lion’s Mane here.

Cordyceps

Cordyceps mushrooms have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries to treat fatigue, sickness, and kidney disease. They are fast becoming more popular in the UK due to their many health benefits.

Did you know that there are more than 400 species of Cordyceps that have been discovered?!

The numerous health benefits of Cordyceps include:

  • Boost Exercise Performance
    • Cordyceps are thought to increase the body’s production of ATP, which is essential for delivering energy to the muscles, and therefore improve the way your body uses oxygen (21)
    • Studies have shown that participants have an increased VO2 max (measure of fitness level) after supplementing with Cordyceps (22)
  • Anti-Aging Properties
    • Cordyceps increase antioxidants, which can improve memory, and protect against disease and aging (23, 24, 25)
  • Help to Manage Type II Diabetes
    • Type II Diabetes occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin or does not respond well to it
    • Cordyceps help by mimicking the action of insulin, helping to control blood sugar (26)
    • Some evidence also suggests they protect against kidney disease, which is a common complication of Diabetes (27)

Cordyceps are an amazing addition to your diet, and the benefits do not stop with the ones listed above. It is also believed they have anti-tumour effects, improve heart health, and help fight inflammation.

Check out our Organic Chocolate Latte Barista Blend with Cordyceps here.

 

  1. Wachtel-Galor S, Yuen J, Buswell JA, et al. Ganoderma lucidum (Lingzhi or Reishi): A Medicinal Mushroom. In: Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor S, editors. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2011. Chapter 9.
  2. Chen, Xiao et al. “Monitoring of immune responses to a herbal immuno-modulator in patients with advanced colorectal cancer.” International immunopharmacology 6,3 (2006): 499-508. doi:10.1016/j.intimp.2005.08.026
  3. Batra, Priya et al. “Probing Lingzhi or Reishi medicinal mushroom Ganoderma lucidum (higher Basidiomycetes): a bitter mushroom with amazing health benefits.” International journal of medicinal mushrooms 15,2 (2013): 127-43.
  4. Gao, Yihuai et al. “Effects of ganopoly (a Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharide extract) on the immune functions in advanced-stage cancer patients.” Immunological investigations 32,3 (2003): 201-15. doi:10.1081/imm-120022979
  5. Zhang, Y et al. “Effect of Ganoderma lucidum capsules on T lymphocyte subsets in football players on “living high-training low”.” British journal of sports medicine 42,10 (2008): 819-22. doi:10.1136/bjsm.2007.038620
  6. Liu, Yu-Wei et al. “Evaluation of antiproliferative activities and action mechanisms of extracts from two species of Ganoderma on tumor cell lines.” Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 57,8 (2009): 3087-93. doi:10.1021/jf900011f
  7. Min, B S et al. “Triterpenes from the spores of Ganoderma lucidum and their cytotoxicity against meth-A and LLC tumor cells.” Chemical & pharmaceutical bulletin 48,7 (2000): 1026-33. doi:10.1248/cpb.48.1026
  8. Chung, W T et al. “Effect of mycelial culture broth of Ganoderma lucidum on the growth characteristics of human cell lines.” Journal of bioscience and bioengineering 92,6 (2001): 550-5. doi:10.1263/jbb.92.550
  9. Zhao, Hong et al. “Spore Powder of Ganoderma lucidum Improves Cancer-Related Fatigue in Breast Cancer Patients Undergoing Endocrine Therapy: A Pilot Clinical Trial.” Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM 2012 (2012): 809614. doi:10.1155/2012/809614
  10. Friedman, Mendel. “Chemistry, Nutrition, and Health-Promoting Properties of Hericium erinaceus (Lion’s Mane) Mushroom Fruiting Bodies and Mycelia and Their Bioactive Compounds.” Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 63,32 (2015): 7108-23. doi:10.1021/acs.jafc.5b02914
  11. Lai, Puei-Lene et al. “Neurotrophic properties of the Lion’s mane medicinal mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) from Malaysia.” International journal of medicinal mushrooms 15,6 (2013): 539-54. doi:10.1615/intjmedmushr.v15.i6.30
  12. Mori, Koichiro et al. “Effects of Hericium erinaceus on amyloid β(25-35) peptide-induced learning and memory deficits in mice.” Biomedical research (Tokyo, Japan) 32,1 (2011): 67-72. doi:10.2220/biomedres.32.67
  13. Zhang, Junrong et al. “The Neuroprotective Properties of Hericium erinaceus in Glutamate-Damaged Differentiated PC12 Cells and an Alzheimer’s Disease Mouse Model.” International journal of molecular sciences 17,11 1810. 1 Nov. 2016, doi:10.3390/ijms17111810
  14. Wong, Kah-Hui et al. “Peripheral Nerve Regeneration Following Crush Injury to Rat Peroneal Nerve by Aqueous Extract of Medicinal Mushroom Hericium erinaceus (Bull.: Fr) Pers. (Aphyllophoromycetideae).” Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM 2011 (2011): 580752. doi:10.1093/ecam/neq062
  15. Diling, Chen et al. “Extracts from Hericium erinaceusrelieve inflammatory bowel disease by regulating immunity and gut microbiota.” Oncotarget 8,49 85838-85857. 6 Sep. 2017, doi:10.18632/oncotarget.20689
  16. Qin, Mingming et al. “Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Ethanol Extract of Lion’s Mane Medicinal Mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Agaricomycetes), in Mice with Ulcerative Colitis.” International journal of medicinal mushrooms 18,3 (2016): 227-34. doi:10.1615/IntJMedMushrooms.v18.i3.50
  17. Wong, Jing-Yang et al. “Gastroprotective Effects of Lion’s Mane Mushroom Hericium erinaceus (Bull.:Fr.) Pers. (Aphyllophoromycetideae) Extract against Ethanol-Induced Ulcer in Rats.” Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM 2013 (2013): 492976. doi:10.1155/2013/492976
  18. Wang, Mingxing et al. “Anti-Gastric Ulcer Activity of Polysaccharide Fraction Isolated from Mycelium Culture of Lion’s Mane Medicinal Mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes).” International journal of medicinal mushrooms 17,11 (2015): 1055-60. doi:10.1615/intjmedmushrooms.v17.i11.50
  19. Choi, Won-Sik et al. “Hypolipidaemic Effect of Hericium erinaceum Grown in Artemisia capillaris on Obese Rats.” Mycobiology 41,2 (2013): 94-9. doi:10.5941/MYCO.2013.41.2.94
  20. Mori, Koichiro et al. “Inhibitory effect of hericenone B from Hericium erinaceus on collagen-induced platelet aggregation.” Phytomedicine : international journal of phytotherapy and phytopharmacology 17,14 (2010): 1082-5. doi:10.1016/j.phymed.2010.05.004
  21. Xu, Yan-Feng. “Effect of Polysaccharide from Cordyceps militaris (Ascomycetes) on Physical Fatigue Induced by Forced Swimming.” International journal of medicinal mushrooms 18,12 (2016): 1083-1092. doi:10.1615/IntJMedMushrooms.v18.i12.30
  22. Hirsch, Katie R et al. “Cordyceps militaris Improves Tolerance to High-Intensity Exercise After Acute and Chronic Supplementation.” Journal of dietary supplements 14,1 (2017): 42-53. doi:10.1080/19390211.2016.1203386
  23. Ji, Deng-Bo et al. “Antiaging effect of Cordyceps sinensis extract.” Phytotherapy research : PTR 23,1 (2009): 116-22. doi:10.1002/ptr.2576
  24. Lobo, V et al. “Free radicals, antioxidants and functional foods: Impact on human health.” Pharmacognosy reviews 4,8 (2010): 118-26. doi:10.4103/0973-7847.70902
  25. Zou, Yingxin et al. “Cordyceps sinensis oral liquid prolongs the lifespan of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, by inhibiting oxidative stress.” International journal of molecular medicine 36,4 (2015): 939-46. doi:10.3892/ijmm.2015.2296
  26. Lo, Hui-Chen et al. “The anti-hyperglycemic activity of the fruiting body of Cordyceps in diabetic rats induced by nicotinamide and streptozotocin.” Life sciences 74,23 (2004): 2897-908. doi:10.1016/j.lfs.2003.11.003
  27. Zhang, Hong Wei et al. “Cordyceps sinensis (a traditional Chinese medicine) for treating chronic kidney disease.” The Cochrane database of systematic reviews ,12 CD008353. 18 Dec. 2014, doi:10.1002/14651858.CD008353.pub2