According to a recent pub med article, not less than 80% of the worldwide population uses herbals for some sort of health benefit. While this isn’t new, and with the effects of some herbs being shown as both effective and safe, the use of herbal remedies for health will continue to rise.
However, with the rise in popularity and easier accessibility of these herbs, comes opportunistic and greedy manufacturers ready to use their money on marketing and to cut corners on the actual herbs and formulas.
Take medicinal mushrooms - like red reishi or lions mane for example. You will see many manufacturers claiming (with pride) that their mushrooms are grown in the US. This is your first clue that the product will most likely NOT be effective. The reason? It is too expensive to grow in the USA. So if it says US Grown, there probably isn’t much fruiting body (the effective part) and instead the actual ingredients are a myceliated grain and not mushrooms. This product is known as grain spawn. It is the seed used to start the process of growing mushrooms.
Another clue is how the mushrooms and herbs are grown. For medicinal mushrooms, you want your mushrooms to be grown on wood logs or wood chips - ideally in the mushrooms area of origin with access to natural light and air. To save costs, some manufacturers will grow their mushrooms in a lab on a rice medium. This is not as effective and the benefits are not the same.
When looking at the ingredients panel, if you see any of these following ingredients - just know that you are probably not getting actual mushrooms:
Myceliated brown rice
Organic White Milo
Medicinal mushrooms are powerful, effective herbs when grown and extracted properly. They have been used for centuries by people to help enhance and improve the quality of life. Using a good quality mushroom product can be one of the best things you can add to your daily life; just don’t be fooled by nefarious manufactures out to dupe you.