Ever wonder how our long-ago ancestors knew what herbs were safe to use? Or what they were good for? There are several theories, watching animals, looking at how and where they grow (doctrine of signatures), or even trial-and-error. None of these seem to explain it all. For instance, estimates have been made that the trial-and-error method simply doesn’t make sense mathematically… there are simply too many plants for this to explain things. One intriguing story, at least in regard to traditional Chinese medicine, is that there was an ancient herbalist who had very thin skin, almost see-through. He would take each herbal remedy and then watch how it worked in his body. This story is probably better thought of metaphorically. Our ancestors, especially early herbalists and healers, lived much closer to and in tune with nature. However this wisdom was uncovered, they were amazingly accurate and detailed much of the time. Today of course, we have modern research efforts that explore this traditional knowledge as well as discovering new applications for many of these natural remedies. In fact, a “hobby” of mine is to compare this traditional wisdom with current research, and I must say, the traditional healers have been amazingly accurate.
An example of this can be seen with the Lion’s Mane mushroom. It was used traditionally as a digestive tonic, whereas, thanks to recent research efforts, it has become a leading, research-backed remedy for brain health. Current research has also, interestingly, confirmed that Lion’s Mane does indeed support the digestive system.* So how does all this relate to extraction? Well our ancestors generally used relatively simple extraction techniques, e.g. hot water (aka tea), wines (aka alcohol extraction) and even vinegars. While these techniques can be quite effective in most cases and are widely used today, the extraction process has also evolved with our increasing scientific knowledge and techniques.
Lion’s Mane Amyloban
I imagine most of you, especially if you are on a mushroom-related website reading this blog, are already familiar, at least to some degree with the Lion’s Mane mushroom and its application for supporting brain function.* As alluded to previously, Lion’s Mane was used traditionally as a digestive and Qi tonic.* And while research has begun to explore, and confirm these benefits, it has to a large degree focused on its actions as they are related to brain and nerve functions. This focus has led some researchers to explore what’s in the mushroom that is responsible for many of these brain benefits. As it is with virtually all the mushrooms in common use, the water-soluble polysaccharides have demonstrated benefits, but, it is the discovery of a couple of compounds that have drawn recent excitement. These two constituents or groups of constituents, namely hericenones and Amyloban®, have been found to be major contributors to Lion’s Mane’s brain benefits. Unfortunately, they are not water soluble, so would not be found in the water-extracted products to any significant degree. In order to obtain this key active compound, Mushroom Wisdom developed a proprietary extraction process to draw this important health-supporting* compounds out. Not only to pull them out, but at concentration levels that are relevant to the desired actions and results. They can be found in the Lion’s Mane Amyloban product and are together called Amycenone®. It is the unique and powerful holistic synergy of Amycenone that yield many of the amazing Lion’s Mane benefits.
Mushroom Wisdom is probably best known for its unique, research-supported Maitake D-fraction®, in fact, the previous name was Maitake Products. The D-fraction came out of initial studies that found the Maitake mushroom to have promising immune-supporting benefits.* Further research looked into what is the best way to augment and make available these promising immune actions. Researchers went through a number of extract versions and found that one particular extraction yielded the greatest results.* They found that when the Maitake mushroom was refined to a certain point, there was a resulting improvement in immune response. However, if you refined it any further, the results began to decrease. Thus came to be this proprietary extraction that maximized in the most promising effects, the Maitake D-fraction. Comparative studies have confirmed Maitake D-fraction’s spot at the top of mushroom supporting supplements.*
As we are seeing with a number of mushrooms today, and as mentioned earlier with regards to Lion’s Mane, researchers are discovering new health supporting applications for them. The same is true for the Maitake mushroom. While the earliest research focused on the immune-related aspects, further research, led by Dr. Harry Preuss, MD, at Georgetown University and Dr. Sensuke Konno, PhD, at New York Medical College, found that other compounds in the Maitake mushrooms resulted in positive effects in supporting healthy blood sugar levels.* Looking into what constituents were most effective at creating this much-needed response, researchers developed an extraction process that led to the development of the SX-fraction®. The efficacy of this standardized extraction of Maitake was further confirmed in both lab and clinical studies. While both are derived from the Maitake mushroom, they are unique, proprietary extraction, different from one another, with the SX-fraction oriented to supporting healthy blood sugar levels and the Maitake D-fraction most useful for supporting healthy immune function.
Science Complementing Ancient Wisdom
We live in exciting times for natural “remedies.” We have access to the traditional wisdom dating back sometimes hundreds and even thousands of years. We also now have a rapidly growing number of researchers exploring these natural substances that just a few years ago were quite commonly disregarded, at least by most of the medical and research communities. One of Mushroom Wisdom’s primary goals is this marriage, bringing together the hands-on wisdom found in traditional medicine with the latest science and research. Mushroom Wisdom has supported, and continues to support, researchers in these ongoing efforts; the results of which can be seen in the potent and effective unique extractions we now call Lion’s Mane Amyloban, Maitake D-fraction, and SX-fraction. Give them a try and see for yourself.