The King of the Medicinal Mushroom Kingdom: Lion’s Mane

There are thousands of mushrooms species that exist on the planet. And mushrooms are a peculiar form of life. They pop up out of seemingly nowhere, in the strangest places. And unlike plants, they’re not green, they don’t have leaves, and they never flower.

Believe it or not, from an evolutionary standpoint, mushrooms are more like humans than plants. And this fact could be the reason why some of the elements that help mushrooms defend themselves also help boost your body’s defenses.

Scientists, doctors, and health experts have all taken note and are increasingly looking to mushrooms as a way to enhance human health and well-being.

Using mushrooms as therapy is not a new idea. Ancient Egyptians believed eating mushrooms led to a longer life. And mushrooms have been used as medicine for over five thousand years in Asian cultures.

Today, more than a hundred species of mushrooms are presently under research for their potential health benefits. These shrooms are real health heroes. And none has shown more healing power than the king of the mushroom domain – Lion’s Mane.

What is Lion’s Mane?

Lion’s Mane, also known as Hericium Erinaceus, is named for its white, fluffy, cascading spines resembling a lion’s tresses. Lion’s Mane mushrooms grow in the southern regions of the United States, China, Japan, and Europe.

Lion’s Mane mushrooms are a safe and edible mushroom that appears to have remarkable nootropic brain-boosting power. Nootropics are compounds that help improve cognitive and executive function, memory, motivation, focus, and creativity.

Lion’s Mane is also known to help boost your energy and immune system function.

All-Around Better Brain Function

The biggest draw to Lion’s Mane for most people is for its nootropic effects. In thousands of studies, supplementing with Lion’s Mane has been shown to boost mental cognition, including enhanced memory, verbal recall, focus, and attention – something practically everyone can benefit from having.

One study published in Phytotherapy Research Journal, using a 1,000 mg Lion’s Mane over four months, showed significant improvement in the battery of cognitive skills tests. As world-renowned mycologist Paul Stamets says, “Lion’s mane may be our first ‘smart’ mushroom. It is a safe, edible fungus that appears to confer cognitive benefits on our aging population.”

Healthy Brain and Nervous System

Lion’s Mane is possibly the most potent natural source known to stimulate your Nerve Growth Factor (NGF). NGF promotes the regeneration of brain neurons and their outgrowths called dendrites and axons. These outgrowths are responsible for cell to cell communication. A study published in the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms showed the interaction between Lion’s Mane and NGF encourages new dendrites and axons; the effect is quicker communication between your brain cells.

Relieves Depression and Anxiety

With things the way they are today, we are all under a tremendous amount of stress. Unaddressed and compounded stress levels can easily develop into anxiety, depression, or worse.

Research done in Japan showed that people who took a Lion’s Mane supplement reported less irritation, reduced anxiety, and greater concentration levels than a group of people given a placebo over the course of a month. It seems that Lion’s Mane’s ability to relieve anxiety and depression is linked to stimulating NGF.

Reduces Fatigue

Studies show that a polysaccharide (a type of long-chain carbohydrate) found in Lion’s Mane extract helps improve your energy levels and drastically reduces fatigue. Another way Lion’s Mane has been shown to reduce fatigue is by increasing the amount of energy reserves your body stores in your muscles. Due to its fatigue-reducing ability, Lion’s Mane is often used in sports nutrition.

Enhances Immune System

Lion’s Mane is loaded with antioxidants and beta-glucans, which will help strengthen your immune system. These compounds exhibit immune-modulating qualities, which help reduce inflammation and harmful prevent oxidation.

Supplementing with Mushrooms

Lion’s Mane is not the type of mushroom you’d find in the produce section at your local grocery store. It’s in the class of medicinal mushrooms, those that confer proven health and therapeutic benefits. Lion’s Main mushrooms are much more valuable and harder to find than the standard varieties.

The easiest way to enjoy the numerous health benefits of Lion’s Mane is through a supplement. Stonehenge Health’s newly launched Dynamic Mushrooms is an expertly crafted blend of Lion’s Mane 4:1 extract of mushroom fruiting bodies along with four other powerful medicinal mushrooms – Chaga, Reishi, Maitake, and Shiitake.

Dynamic Mushrooms contains 1,000 mg of Lion’s Mane extract per serving, which is the amount studies show helps elevate your cognitive function and boost energy. Take Dynamic Mushrooms daily as part of an overall healthy lifestyle – for better memory and focus, increased mental strength and physical endurance, improved ability to adapt to physical and mental stressors, and support for your immune system’s health.

Sources:
1. Mori, Koichiro, Satoshi Inatomi, Kenzi Ouchi, Yoshihito Azumi, and Takashi Tuchida. 2009. “Improving Effects Of The Mushroom Yamabushitake (Hericium Erinaceus) On Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial”. Phytotherapy Research 23 (3): 367-372. doi:10.1002/ptr.2634.

2. Nagano, Mayumi, Kuniyoshi Shimizu, Ryuichiro Kondo, Chickako Hayashi, Daigo Sato, Katsuyuki Kitagawa, and Koichiro Ohnuki. 2010. “Reduction Of Depression And Anxiety By 4 Weeks Hericium Erinaceus Intake”. Biomedical Research 31 (4): 231-237. doi:10.2220/biomedres.31.231.

3. HM, Xu, Xie ZH, and Zhang WY. 1994. “[Immunomodulatory Function Of Polysaccharide Of Hericium Erinaceus]”. Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi Zhongguo Zhongxiyi Jiehe Zazhi = Chinese Journal Of Integrated Traditional And Western Medicine 14 (7). pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7950232/.

4. pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20834180/
5. pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18844328/

The 10 Worst Foods for IBS

For many people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), symptoms may be triggered by specific foods. What triggers your symptoms may be different from what triggers the symptoms of fellow sufferers, but these 10 foods are likely culprits for anyone with IBS.

1. Gluten

Although gluten is often unfairly demonized, it’s fair to say that gluten can be a major trigger for IBS. Gluten is a type of protein found in certain grains, including rye, wheat, and barley. Many people who have IBS are also gluten intolerant and may experience symptoms like bloating, cramps, and diarrhea.

2. Fried Foods

Fried foods are high in fat and can be particularly hard on the digestive systems of people who have IBS. Frying food makes it more difficult to digest, so other cooking methods are recommended for people with IBS and other gastrointestinal problems.

3. Caffeine

Coffee and other drinks containing caffeine stimulate the intestines and can cause diarrhea. Instead of consuming drinks with caffeine when you need a little boost, go for a brisk walk.

4. Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners are found in sugarless gum, candy, and diet drinks. Commonly used artificial sweeteners include acesulfame potassium, aspartame, and sucralose, and since these and other sugar substitutes are difficult for the body to absorb, they can easily trigger IBS symptoms.

5. Alcohol

Many people with IBS have trouble drinking alcohol because of how their body digests it. The dehydrating effects of alcohol are also problematic for people with IBS. If you enjoy drinking alcohol, stick with gluten-free beer, or enjoy a cocktail mixed with soda water.

6. Broccoli and Cauliflower

While broccoli and cauliflower are healthy vegetables, they’re not always ideal for people with IBS. These vegetables are among the hardest for people to digest, and when they’re broken down in the intestines, they produce gas and may cause constipation.

7. Insoluble Fiber

Insoluble fiber is that which can’t be digested. Although it adds healthy bulk to your diet, insoluble fiber can make diarrhea worse for people with IBS. Soluble fiber, which is found in grains, root vegetables, legumes, and berries, is a better choice if you have digestive woes.

8. Dairy

Dairy products contain fat, which can worsen diarrhea. They also contain lactose, and since many people with IBS are also lactose intolerant, dairy products may need to be restricted. Suitable dairy substitutes include rice, soy, or nut milks and cheeses.

9. Beans and Legumes

For some people, beans and legumes can help reduce constipation by increasing the bulk in the stool. But they’re also notorious for causing gas, cramping, and bloating, especially in people with IBS. Different varieties can produce different results, so trial and error may help you find which types you can safely eat.

10. Processed Foods

Highly processed foods like bread, crackers, sweets, and chips contain high levels of fat, sugar, preservatives, and other additives that can cause problems with digestion. Choosing mostly fresh, whole foods is the healthiest way to eat whether or not you have IBS.

Everyone’s IBS triggers are different, and once you know what yours are, staying away from those foods will help you remain as symptom-free as possible. Regardless of what you eat, a daily probiotic like Stonehenge Health’s Dynamic Biotics can help you maintain optimal gut flora balance for better digestion and fewer IBS symptoms.



Sources:
https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/irritable-bowel-syndrome/eating-diet-nutrition
https://www.health.harvard.edu/a_to_z/irritable-bowel-syndrome-ibs-a-to-z

Signs You May Have Candida and What You Can Do About It

Candida board

Candidiasis is a fungal infection that can affect the mouth, intestinal tract, skin, genitals, and other mucous membranes. Caused by an overgrowth of Candida, a fungus, candidiasis (more commonly known as a yeast infection) isn’t generally serious. However, if you have weakened immunity, it can lead to invasive candidiasis, a serious condition that may affect the blood, heart, or brain. Continue reading “Signs You May Have Candida and What You Can Do About It”

5 Easy Steps to Improve Your Liver Function

liver graphic

Your liver works hard to remove toxins from your body and plays a key role in your metabolism, circulation, hormonal balance, and healthy digestion. It detects the presence of toxic substances like heavy metals and by-products from the breakdown of medications and either converts them into harmless substances or releases them into the bowels so they can be expelled from the body. Continue reading “5 Easy Steps to Improve Your Liver Function”

The Mysteries of Your Digestive System Revealed

human digestive system

If you often feel cramping, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, or pain in your gut, you must know that digestive woes are extremely common. In America 60 to 70 million people live with a digestive disease, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

From chronic constipation to Crohn’s disease and from gallstones to gastroesophageal reflux disease, digestive problems can dramatically lower your quality of life. Understanding how Continue reading “The Mysteries of Your Digestive System Revealed”

Feeling Depressed? How a Healthy Gut Leads to Positive Emotions

Negative thinking has a profound impact on your mood, your level of happiness in life, and your relationships. Negative thoughts can even affect your general health. Through therapies like cognitive-behavioral therapy, you can learn a number of skills and strategies to help you reduce negative thinking patterns and increase positivity in your life.

But recent research from the Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition found an important connection between gut bacteria and cognition that can also help reduce negative thinking and improve your mood.

In the study, researchers divided 40 healthy people into two groups. The first group was given a probiotic supplement each day. The other group was given a placebo. After four weeks, the participants were tested for negative thinking and the way they react to sad moods. A significant reduction in negative thoughts was found among the probiotic group, which also had lower cognitive reactions to sadness than the control group.

The researchers point out that this study provides the first evidence that probiotics can affect negative thoughts and moods.

How Gut Microbiota Affect Mood and Behavior

In a 2017 UCLA study, researchers wanted to characterize brain and behavioral characteristics based on someone’s gut microbiota profile. The gut microbiota is the community of microorganisms that reside in the gut, including healthy bacteria and those that are potentially harmful.

Forty healthy women were enlisted for the study and divided into two groups. The first group was comprised of 33 women who had higher levels of a bacterium known as Bacteroides, while the remaining seven had more of the gut bacteria called Prevotella. The researchers used brain imaging techniques to obtain gray matter metrics and white matter fiber density. Then they conducted fMRI brain scans to assess the differences in the group’s responses to observing emotional images.

The Prevotella group showed more white matter connectivity in the brain regions responsible for emotion, attention and sensory processing. This group reacted to the photographs with higher levels of negative feelings like anxiety, distress, and irritability than the Bacteroides group displayed.

Although more research is needed to determine the extent to which gut microbe directly influences the brain and vice-versa, the UCLA study identifies an iron-clad association of brain-gut microbiota interactions in healthy humans. Researchers believe they’re on the path to discovering a better understanding of the brain-gut connection, which will lead to new, novel approaches to treating and preventing psychological disorders like anxiety and depression.

Stonehenge Health Dynamic Biotics To Help Improve Your Mood

Taking a daily probiotic has been shown to help reduce negative thinking and improve symptoms of depression, and it has a variety of other important benefits, including improving gut symptoms like diarrhea, constipation, bloating, pain, and gas. Probiotics have also been shown to increase your natural energy and promote overall good skin, urinary, and vaginal health.

Stonehenge Health’s Dynamic Biotics provides digestion and immune support. Featuring 16 unique probiotic strains and 51 billion live probiotic cultures per serving, Dynamic Probiotics can improve your gut-brain connection for better overall health and wellbeing.

 

Sources:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0889159115000884

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0070245

5 Secret Ways to Improve Your Mood

Everyone will have days when we wake up on the wrong side of the bed. It’s normal to have a bad day occasionally, but that doesn’t mean you’ve got to sit idly by as your lousy mood worsens or turns into full-on depression. It also doesn’t mean you can’t prevent many of these bad feelings from forming in the first place.

Daily exercise, eating right, and getting enough shut-eye are three distinct ways to boost your mood and improve your overall mental and physical health. There are however a couple less obvious ways to get your mind right and improve your mood.

Here are five secret mood-boosting recipes:

#1 Make Out More

Kissing, as it turns out, is not only good as foreplay, it is also beneficial in and of itself. Kissing, even a couple pecks, increases levels of dopamine in the bloodstream, the body’s natural reward system. Kissing also has been shown to lower cholesterol in both men and women alike.

#2 Sing in the Shower

Whether you’re crooning with Sinatra, bustin’ a rhyme, or pouring your guts out with Adele, singing in the shower is a great way to start your day. Corny as it sounds, belting lyrics to your favorite jam might help turn your morning frown right-side up. A recent German study even showed that singing helped create antibodies used to fight disease. Make sure to cite that research when the neighbors complain.

#3 Journal the Good Stuff

Tracking the positive things that happen in your life is an excellent way of reinforcing positivity. At the end of every day, take out a notebook and jot down three good things that happened to you that day. It could be as seemingly innocuous as a joke you heard that made you laugh, a video you saw that made you smile, or the way the sun shone through the trees outside your office.

Tracking positive things is a great way of filtering out the bad and focusing on the good. Being grateful for even the small things in life is an essential ingredient to being happy. Plus, once you’ve been writing for a while, it’s a joy to look back through all the happy moments of your life.

#4 Dust off the Old Photo Album

Not just good for laughs (OMG would you look at that haircut?), it turns out that flipping through old photographs is a proven way of lifting our spirits. A study at Open University in the United Kingdom showed that looking at old family photos was a more efficient mood booster than drinking alcohol, watching TV, listening to music, or even having a piece of chocolate! In fact, rediscovering that old photo album can make you feel 11% better (every little bit helps).

#5 Take Natural Mood-Boosting Supplements

Before you take anti-depressants, which can have a whole host of severe side effects, it’s important to exhaust all the natural ways of improving your mood. Two great natural supplements for mood improvement are probiotics and turmeric. Both are proven means of not only helping the body but helping the mind as well.

Turmeric has been used around the globe for thousands of years. It has been shown in multiple studies to help reduce pain and inflammation, fight off free radical damage, and improve overall mood.

Probiotics, the good bacteria in the belly that fight off disease, have been shown to be very useful in improving mental and physical health. Adding these beneficial bacteria to your gut or “Second Brain” as medical experts often call it, can be an incredibly effective mood booster. These single strains of “good” probiotic that can help the digestive system can be found in dark chocolate, kefir, sauerkraut, microalgae, miso soup, pickles, tempeh, and yogurt (especially handmade). However, taking a potent probiotic supplement is a faster and more efficient way to balance your GI tract and improve your overall mood and outlook. Getting your “Second Brain” feeling good with probiotics and the “first” brain will follow.


5 Surprising Ways Probiotics Make You Feel Healthier

Inside your gut, there live “good” and “bad” bacteria. Probiotics are the “good” kind, little microorganisms who fight the “bad” ones for a balanced, healthy, gastrointestinal tract (GI tract). Probiotics can do wonders for your health—from improving digestion to clearing up your skin.

Here are five surprising ways adding a probiotic supplement to your daily routine can make you feel healthier than ever before:

 

#1 Reduce Your Waistline

Probiotics have the power to help return balance to your microbiome, which may help you drop pounds. They not only increase your metabolism, so you burn more calories, but they also help you crave the healthy foods your body needs, unlike their junk food, sugar-loving “bad” bug counterparts.

Probiotics assist your body in many ways, helping create a cycle of eating healthy, feeling good, and aiding you in losing those hard-to-shed extra pounds.

 

#2 Increase Your Energy

Need a boost? If you have already tried the zillions of energy drinks, powders and pills only to find out that the artificial boost of energy doesn’t last, then you really should be using probiotics. Unlike chemical-filled energy drinks, which provide a false “boost,” probiotics target the source, not just the symptom.

Medical experts believe that a lack of energy often stems from not getting enough vitamins and nutrients from your food. With a healthy gut, aided by a complete probiotic supplement, food and its vital nutrients can finally be absorbed more quickly and thoroughly. A balanced digestive system can also help produce extra B vitamins—critical to energy production.

 

#3 Improve Your Mood

 

Experts often refer to the gut as the “Second Brain” for a reason. An imbalance of microflora in the belly—an imbalance probiotics help to fix—has a significant effect on mental health. Researchers have shown that a healthy gut can help reduce the brain activity that is related to feelings of anxiety, depression and other forms of psychological and emotional stress. Probiotics help to produce serotonin, the “happiness” chemical in your brain that is responsible for your good mood.

 

#4 Get Your ZZZZ’s

It may be hard to believe that tiny microorganisms in your gut can help you sleep, but multiple studies have shown that probiotics might do just that. Just as probiotics help produce the hormone serotonin, they also help your body naturally manufacture melatonin, the hormone that creates a feeling of relaxation.

 

#5 Better Teeth and Skin

Probiotics aren’t a substitute for washing your face or brushing your teeth, but evidence suggests that regularly taking a complete probiotic supplement helps to prevent periodontal disease and halitosis, among other dental conditions, plus they have been shown to improve skin clarity as well.

Taking a complete daily probiotics supplement is an efficient way to keep your digestive system running at optimal levels. They help keep your entire body’s cells fully charged with the nutrients and energy they need so you can live life to the fullest.