• Safety precautions and side-effects

    In general mushroom extracts do not have side effects themselves - they are nutraceuticals, meaning 'food with therapeutic potential'. People in general experience no side effects when consuming their food, but as usual, there are always some exceptions.

     

    Below we have listed some known possible side-effects and safety precautions.

    Scroll further down for mushroom specific precautions and advice.

    1. Why do you think "medicinal mushrooms" are good for you?

    Why do you think you should consume medicinal mushrooms? Is it just a trendy thing and you wish to experience a special mushrooms "buzz" ? We do not sell magic mushrooms and you will not experience mind altering effects!

     

    Although mushrooms are considered safe and nutritionally rich, it is best to ask oneself: "What is it in mushrooms that I wish to have that I can not get from daily food?" If you have a healthy body and content mind, then you are already doing the right thing so you may not need mushrooms. If you are taking mushrooms for healing purposes, it is best to understand the underlying cause of your imbalance and consult with experts about which mushrooms are most suited for you! Self-diagnose is not smart!

    We recommend consulting with herbalists and Chinese Medicine practitioners over self-diagnosing.

    2. Take breaks

    If you do like taking mushrooms, make sure to take breaks every now and then. There is no fixed rule, however it is common sense to take brakes and not allow the body to become reliant on any supplement, however good it may be.

    For example, one may take a course of mushrooms over 1-3 months and then take a break for a few months.

     

    If you are taking mushrooms for particular health issue, make sure to consult with your specialist/GP/herbalist/TCM practitioner about the mushrooms that you are using. Have a clear objective in mind about what the mushrooms should help with. If there is improvement, take a break and see if your body can cope without the mushrooms. If there is no improvement, perhaps mushrooms are not working for you and something else may be considered?

    3. Do not take in case of "fever and acute illness"

    Contrary to what one may think, it is best to avoid mushrooms when being ill with fever, cold and other internal acute diseases. During this time, it is best to give body ample amount of rest and in a way is too late to build defences (most mushrooms have an immune supporting effect). Furthermore, many of the mushrooms have a tonifying effect (e.g Reishi is Qi/energy tonic). In case of illness and fever, its tonifying effect may not be actually good for the body, whilst it is infected and trying to deal with the disease. Instead, the extra energy may boost to onset of illness.

    In summary, when ill with fever, cold or other acute symptoms, do not take the mushrooms just to be on the safe side.

    4. When taking immune-suppressants 

    Mushroom extracts with a high level of beta-glucans should never be used together with immune-suppressants, like those prescribed after a transplant.The blood sugar lowering effects can cause fatigue in those that are highly susceptible. In general these people are also very susceptible to e.g. caffeine and alcohol, or are diabetic.

    5. Possible neutralising effect on antibiotics

    E.g the anti-microbial combination of Reishi with four commonly used antibiotics resulted in an additive or synergistic effect in most, but not all, instances. Reishi appears to cause cefazolin and ampicillin to be less effective against Proteus vulgaris (known to cause urinary tract infections and wound infections).

    However, it is also known that consuming milk with antibiotics can neutralise the effect of the medicine (source).

  • Mushroom specific need to know

    Cordyceps

    1. Cordyceps & blood thinners

     

    People using blood thinners and/or anti-thrombotic medication should be aware that Cordyceps C+ contains some adenosine. Adenosine has a blood thinning effect, and the combination with this type of medication might cause unpredictable effects.

     

    2. Cordyceps & sex drive

     

    Cordyceps is known to increase stamina and energy levels. If this extra boost is not spent via work and exercise, Cordyceps can increase libido and sex drive. To take Cordyceps for this reason can be an option for those who suffer with lack of libido, however we do not advise young and healthy men to consume Cordyceps just so they could have a bit of extra fun. The extra energy from Cordyceps should be spent wisely and using it excessively for pleasure seeking can cause depletion and imbalance in the long term.

    Reishi

    Rare side effects are:

     

    Not sleeping well, bad, vivid dreams, feelings of anxiety, feeling mentally numb/clouded or having a sense of heightened mental activity. These effects are most likely caused by a genetic anomaly, like overreacting to specific triterpenes, such as lanostan. Just like with Cordyceps some people experience effects that are exactly the opposite of what usually happens. This is personal and due to genetic wiring.

    Lanostan triggers the function of the adrenal glands, which are responsible for adrenaline/nor-adrenaline production. If you’re very sensitive to this you can experience hyper-activity which can make you feel anxious, etc. If you experience daily stress on top of that, this will also push the production of adrenaline/noradrenaline in your body, potentially causing anxiety.

    Reishi Primo contains a relatively high level of triterpenes; if you experience these side effects it might be better to look for a different mushroom extract or to choose a hot-water-extracted-only Reishi extract, which contains no triterpenes.

     

    Possibly neutralising antibiotics

     

    The anti-microbial combination of Reishi with four commonly used antibiotics resulted in an additive or synergistic effect in most, but not in all instances. Reishi appears to cause cefazolin and ampicillin to be less effective against Proteus vulgaris (known to cause urinary tract infections and wound infections).

    However, it is also known that consuming milk with antibiotics can neutralise the effect of the medicine (source).

    Avoid when using immune suppressants
     

    Reishi extracts rich in triterpenes are very powerful; these might not be the best choice for everybody.
    Reishi with a high level of triterpenes should not be used in hormone-related breast cancers - there are contradicting results, so it is best to stay on the safe side. The anti-androgenic effects of Reishi can suppress libido.

    Because Reishi has immune-balancing properties, it should not be used together with immune-suppressants, like those prescribed after a transplant. The blood sugar lowering effects can cause fatigue in those that are highly susceptible. In general these people are also very susceptible to e.g. caffeine and alcohol, or are diabetic. Taking the extract together with a sugar-containing liquid can neutralise this effect.

    Maitake

    For sensitive people the blood pressure lowering effect can occur as an unwanted side effect when taking therapeutic doses. Despite this, Maitake is considered very safe, even at doses of 1600 mg/kg/day no negative effects were found.

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