It is no surprise that today we are faced with more stress as a society than perhaps in any previous recorded time.
How then do we deal with this stress? What are some techniques, herbs, foods and mushrooms that can be incorporated to deal with this onslaught of stress that many of us face in our day to day lives?
How do we turn our nervous system into our ally instead of a foe that is constantly in fight-or-flight? How do we use the process of neurogenesis, the creation of new neurons and the repairing of damaged ones, to help rewire our nervous system and become an even better version of ourselves?
These questions and more will be answered as our story begins with mushrooms and their relation to our DNA.
In relation to our DNA content, we humans share more in common with mushrooms than we do with plants, according to the University of California Berkeley. Since we share much of the same DNA, mushrooms and humans share common infections from the same microbial matter. However, mushrooms are extremely evolved at creating compounds to support every system in the body.
One such mushroom that helps support our brain and nervous system is Lion’s Mane mushroom.
Lion’s Mane is a white, globe-shaped mushroom that contains long, shaggy spines that droop very beautifully. This shaggy, hair-like structure is why it’s called Lion’s Mane.
The Doctrine of Signatures tells us that plants and foods are designed to appear in a way that shows us what the food is beneficial for. The Lion’s Mane mushroom has many string-like connections, which you can see. This is similar to what the neuronal connections and the myelin sheath look like in our brain.
According to ancient documented history, this mushroom was reserved only for royalty, because of its exquisite sea-food like taste and the potent neurological and immunological benefits it offers. which span across the entire nervous system.
Lion’s Mane mushroom contains two incredibly unique compounds called hericenones and erinacines.
These compounds have the phenomenal ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and help to stimulate the normal production of a protein called Nerve Growth Factor (NGF).
Nerve Growth Factor is a neuropeptide that is responsible for promoting healthy neuronal communication, neuron structure and overall health of the brain and nervous system.
This means that Lion’s Mane mushroom is a strong ally in supporting healthy memory, focus, recall, clarity, attention and creativity.
This also means it strengthens the nervous system and the monks throughout the East have used Lion’s Mane abundantly to help aid focus, meditative practices, alertness and strength. In the East, Lion’s Mane mushroom is said to create “nerves of steel and the memory of a lion.”
Ascent Nutrition’s Majestic Mushrooms has Lion’s Mane, Reishi, Chaga, Shiitake and Maitake mushrooms.
Reishi is another mushroom that has been used extensively throughout the world for millennia. It is commonly used in the evening time to induce a soothing, restoring effect on the nervous system and is known as the “Mushroom of Immortality.“
It also supports the healthy production of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) and supports the process of neurogenesis.
Thus, the combination of Lion’s Mane mushroom and Reishi mushroom are a potent stack in helping to rewire our nervous system in beneficial ways. It also helps us to maximize our cognitive functions, memory, recall, focus and clarity.
Take a look at Ascent Nutrition’s Majestic Mushrooms here.
Another step that one can take to induce neurogenesis and support brain and nervous system support is through exercise and the photo below is that of neurogenesis taking place after running.
As can be seen, the process of neurogenesis is dependent upon low stress, novel activity, enrichment and resting stages. This is why resting and sleep are so important, as they help to “cement” in the wiring of the dendrites and synapses of neurons.
And when we are wiring in new connections, we want to make sure our self-talk, outlook and view of ourselves is as healthy and strong as can be.
This bring us to few herbs that can help with this higher perspective outlook, happiness, mood and overall well being. The first of which is Bacopa monnieri.
In India, Bacopa is revered so highly that newborn babies are consecrated with it in the hope that it will open up the pathway to intellect.
It’s even been said that Nobel Prize winners of the 1998 discovery of nitric oxide as a signaling molecule in the cardiovascular system used bacopa in their award-winning experiments.
This “herb of grace” is also known as Brahmi and has long existed as a staple plant medicine throughout Ayuverdic traditional medicine for thousands of years. It was first mentioned in Indian 6th century holy texts including the Atharva-Veda for its purported use of helping scholars to memorize long hymns and texts.
Students commonly use it for focus, memory, clarity, recall and an overall sense of well being.
It also induces the production of another growth factor that is beneficial for the brain, which is called Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF).
Secondly, the herbs known as St. John’s Wort has traditionally been used by people for supporting mood, outlook, happiness, creativity and introspective insight.
St. John’s Wort falls under the herb family called Nervines, which are intended to nourish and support the central nervous system. Theyâ€™re designed by nature to restore balance and restfulness in the body.
St. John’s Wort has a number of active ingredients, including hypericin, hyperforin, and adhyperforin. These compounds are responsible for balancing serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline to healthy levels. The result is a lifted and regulated mood and sense of well being.
In a spiritual sense, St. John’s wort blooms to reveal beautiful yellow petals on the day of the Summer Solstice which was thought to chase away demons and treacherous spirits. Greeks and Romans were known to place sprigs of the plant on statues of their gods in order to ward off evil spirits.
Because of its relation to the Sun and light, St. John’s Wort is commonly used in the fall and winter months in the northern hemisphere as a way to help support a healthy mood, outlook and happiness levels.
Ascent Nutrition’s Nootropic Focus product contains St. John’s Wort, a 20% standardized extract of Bacopa monnieri and several other nutrients like acetyl L-carnitine, DMAE, Huperzine A, phosphatidylserine and others.
Tying this all back together, we can use the help of herbs like St. John’s Wort, Bacopa monnieri to help us with a healthy mood, outlook and stress response, while the Lion’s Mane mushroom and Reishi mushroom helps to “cement” these nervous system changes in.
In other words, neurogenesis of new thoughts, actions and habits can take place. An actual rewiring can occur!
In our quest to become our best selves, we can use various herbs, mushrooms, foods and free practices to entrain our nervous system and our habits within.
You can view Ascent Nutrition’s Majestic Mushrooms product here.
You can view Ascent Nutrition’s Nootropic Focus product here.
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This article was originally created and published by Lance Schuttler and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Lance Schuttler and Lance Schuttler.com It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement.