All of the medicinal mushrooms, except Cordyceps and Agaricus blazei, grow on trees in their natural habitat, the forest. More specifically, they grow on fallen, injured or dying trees. This includes Maitake, Coriolus versicolor, Reishi and Shiitake.
These medicinal mushrooms are called “primary decomposers” or “saprophytic fungi”. They perform an important function in the forest by breaking down and decomposing dead and dying trees. As the trees decompose important nutrients are released back into the soil, freeing up and restoring the nutrients needed by the next generation of trees and plants. Medicinal mushrooms are recyclers that help feed the forest.
The food source mushrooms were cultivated on was never an issue in the past because all growers grew their medicinal mushrooms on wood, on logs or sawdust, if the mushrooms grew on trees in their natural habitat.
However, this has become an issue in recent years because many U.S. companies are growing mushrooms and mushroom mycelium on rice, millet or other grains. It turns out that this practice of growing medicinal mushrooms and mycelium on grain has undesired consequences when it comes to the bioactivity of the active compounds.
What the mushrooms are consuming, or eating, when they grow on trees, logs or sawdust is the lignin in the wood. Lignin is a very different food than the grains used to grow mushrooms on in recent years, and lignin provides very different nutrients to the mushrooms and the mushroom mycelium.
What researchers have found is that the active compounds extracted from mushrooms cultivated on wood are far more bio-active in terms of their ability to stimulate the immune response.
Beta glucans are the active compounds that define a mushroom as “medicinal”. Beta glucans are in fact the only compound in medicinal mushrooms capable of stimulating the human immune response.
When the mushrooms are grown on wood, instead of grain, the beta glucans develop far more branching in the side chains. With more branching in the side chains, the beta glucans can stimulate a much stronger immune response.
Once a mushroom tea or a capsule of mushroom extract is consumed the beta glucans make their way to the gut. Once in the gut the body funnels the beta glucans into the lymph system, where in turn the beta glucans interact with the cells in our cellular immune system.
The side chains on the beta glucans, like a key in a lock, dock in to receptor sites on the surface of the various immune cells in the cellular immune system. Researchers have found these receptors on NK cells, Macrophages and T and B Lymphocytes. This docking process is what stimulates the immune response. With more side chains there are more opportunities for interacting with the immune cells, creating a greater stimulus and a stronger immune response.
Our extracts of wood-grown mushrooms deliver the true and complete essence of what made these mushrooms so valuable in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Our extracts also contain guaranteed levels of all the research validated active compounds, including the beta glucans that make these extracts so effective for immune support in the published research.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.