ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What Are the Four Sigmatic?

Updated on September 12, 2017
Britteny Perry profile image

Britteny first became interested in Four Sigmatic because of her exuberant love of coffee and her struggles with Heartburn.

Chaga, Reishi, Cordyceps and Lion's Mane

,When I heard that there was a new mushroom coffee, that boasted all the benefits of the original beverage without the acidity or jitters I was intrigued. At times I could go through a pot of coffee every morning, but my Heartburn had gotten worse over the years and I knew I needed to start being more conscious of the acidity in my diet. Although the option of a less acidic coffee sounded simple, these mushroom supplements were claiming a variety of other benefits as well. Superfoods are trendy right now and I wanted to know if this was just the next trend.

My research shows that these four mushrooms: Chaga, Reishi, Cordyceps and Lion's Mane, are fungi that have been collected and used medicinally for ages. Modern scientific research, however, is varied and scientists are still working to back up the data collected through historical use. The company Four Sigmatic has brought media attention to these four mushrooms, but it is still up to consumers to look into the research and decide what these supplements can do for us.

Source

Four Sigmatic's Medicinal Mushrooms

Four Sigmatic, the new mushroom coffee company has recently been attracting media attention to the possibilities of the health benefits of fungi. Their name is derived from the four main medicinal mushrooms that they use in their products: Chaga, Reishi, Cordyceps, and Lion’s Mane. Like many natural supplements, the scientific backing, behind each mushroom is a collection of old world uses and new scientific research.

The Chaga Mushroom

This Siberian mushroom is used for immune system support.

Chaga Mushroom

The Chaga mushroom, as claimed on the Four Sigmatic website, is meant to be an antioxidant booster and an immune system supporter. Historically, this mushroom was used in Siberia. It grows in cold climates and is most beneficial when harvested off Birch trees. Other benefits claimed by the Chaga mushroom include its ability to regulate stress levels and support skin and hair growth.

Modern scientific research has shown that Chaga has some positive effects on suppressing tumors. It also shows promising anti-inflammatory effects, and has been shown to support energy levels and fight fatigue. Although these benefits have been observed in studies, they have not been translated into clinical trials for preventative use against specific diseases.

Traditionally Chaga was harvested by taking the entire growth off of the tree. This growth is called the conk. It is made up of both the wood of the tree and the mycelium, or "root" parts of the fungi. Over harvesting has caused Chaga depletion in the wild, so scientists are looking for ways to produce it in labs. While this could help protect wild Chaga, it is unsure how potent the synthetically grown substitute would be, since most of the benefits are derived from the birch tree. Four Sigmatic harvests wild Chaga, but only the outer section, leaving the mycelium in the tree, to regrow.

Chaga mushrooms derive their medicinal properties from the birch trees they grow on.
Chaga mushrooms derive their medicinal properties from the birch trees they grow on. | Source

The Reishi Mushroom

This mushroom has been used for 2400 years!

Reishi Mushroom

The Reishi mushroom, like the Chaga mushroom, is high in antioxidants and said to be a stress regulator. The Four Sigmatic claim it to be an adaptogen, something that works as both a stimulant and a depressant, regulating the body to adapt to stress. Historically, Reishi has been used by the Chinese for 2400 years as a tonic for the heart, liver, and mind.

Modern research shows that Reishi is an immune-stimulant. It has been shown to combat the effects of AIDs and chemotherapy but has not been proven to have a specific effect against illnesses. Reishi’s effects against cancer cells are being studied.

Reishi is a commonly gathered mushroom, but like the others, its potency is affected by the wood that it grows on. The Four Sigmatic promise that their mushroom is grown on Linden logs and that only the fruiting body of the fungus is harvested, preserving the mycelium for further reproduction and ensuring that the resulting product is the highest possible quality.

The Reishi Mushroom has been used to promote balance for both the body and mind.
The Reishi Mushroom has been used to promote balance for both the body and mind. | Source

The Cordyceps Mushroom

It grows on caterpillars, not wood!

Cordyceps Mushroom

Cordyceps is most popular for its sport enhancing abilities. It is also used for treating sexual dysfunction. Historically, knowledge of Cordyceps properties is not new. It has been used for thousands of years, as a cure-all and is still held in high esteem in eastern medicine.

Cordyceps' benefits stem from it's effect on blood cells, causing the body to absorb more oxygen and allowing for enhanced physical performance. Scientific studies have shown Cordyceps to influence certain cancer cells and to combat the negative effects of radiation. It has also been seen having a positive effect on renal transplant patients.

In the wild, Cordyceps is a genus of fungi, which grows as a parasite on insects. The most well known Cordyceps mushroom grows on a caterpillar. The resulting fungi/caterpillar is dried and used, however, it is highly expensive, so it is more commonly grown on a synthetic substrate. The Four Sigmatic make a point to say that they grow theirs synthetically and that it is completely vegan.

The Lion's Mane Mushroom

It tastes like lobster.

Lion's Mane Mushroom

Of the four, Lion’s Mane is the only one that is also edible. The other three can be ingested, but their taste is bitter. Lion’s Mane has the highest percentage of protein and supposedly tastes like lobster. The reason it is included in the sigmatic four, however, is for its medicinal effects. It is claimed to enhance cognitive abilities.

Scientific evidence is new for the medicinal uses of Lion's Mane. It is being looked at as a potential treatment for diseases such as Alzheimer’s but has not been accepted as well-studied, most likely since our understanding of the brain and nervous system is still so new. It is known that diseases of the brain and nervous system can be linked to a low amount of Nerve Growth Factor protein. This protein is crucial to the function of nerve cells. We can’t simply supplement NGF by injecting it because its molecular weight is too big to cross the blood to brain barrier. The Lion's Mane mushroom has high quantities of certain compounds which are small enough to breach the barrier and which supposedly stimulate the production of NGF. The scientific community is excited about the possibilities these findings offer but admits that further research is necessary. Regardless, Lion's Mane is already popular among the intellectual and student crowd. It is used as a mental stimulant for focus, memorization, and clarity.

Like any natural supplement, it is highly dependent on the source and process used to extract the active ingredients. In the wild, Lion’s Mane is harvested from high up on trees in North America, Asia, and Europe. It can also be grown at home. Four Sigmatic explains their process clearly. They grow the mushrooms on wood, harvest them and then extract the ingredients with water and alcohol before drying it down to powder.

Lion's Mane has caught popularity with the intellectual crowd as a safe mind enhancing supplement.
Lion's Mane has caught popularity with the intellectual crowd as a safe mind enhancing supplement. | Source

How to Use These Mushrooms and Where to Learn More

Four Sigmatic offers these four supplements in a variety of drinks: coffee, hot chocolate, and elixirs. They are also available through a variety of natural supplement companies. When choosing an medicinal supplement, it is best to know how it is gathered and processed, so do your research and look for this information when buying from a new source. A fun way to boost your understanding and knowledge of these mushrooms and how they can be processed can be found on the Four Sigmatic website. They have what they call the Mushroom Academy. The president of Four Sigmatic teaches about their mushrooms and processes but also takes the time to lay out some good information for anyone looking to use these supplements from other sources. There are three parts, each focusing on deeper material. I found the first and the second most helpful as a consumer.

Source

Sources Used



Amy. The Unique and Versatile Lion’s Mane Mushroom. Retrieved from Mushroom Appreciation on September 3rd, 2017. http://www.mushroom-appreciation.com/lions-mane.html#sthash.n9sviUSh.dpbs


Nootriment editorial staff. Chaga Mushroom Medicinal Uses, History and Properties. Retrieved from Nootriment.com on September 5. https://nootriment.com/chaga-mushroom/


Staff Writers for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. (2017, Jan. 26th). Chaga Mushroom. Retrieved form Memorial Sloan Cancer Center on September 4th, 2017. https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/chaga-mushroom


Staff writers for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. (2014, Feb. 9th). Cordyceps. Retrieved from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center on September 4th, 2017. https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/cordyceps


Staff writers for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. (2017, Feb. 1st). Reishi Mushroom. Retrieved form Memorial Sloan Cancer Center on September 4th, 2017. https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/reishi-mushroom


Stamets, Paul. (2012, Oct. 8th). Lion’s Mane: A Mushroom that Improves Your Memory and Mood. Retrieved from Huffington Post on September 5, 2017. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-stamets/mushroom-memory_b_1725583.html


Suttie, Emma. (2015, Nov. 3rd). Reishi/Ling Zhi: The Mushroom of Immortality. Retrieved from Chinese Medicine Living on September 5, 2017. https://www.chinesemedicineliving.com/eastern-philosophy/reishi-ling-zhi-the-mushroom-of-immortality/




Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)