Category Archives: Well-Being

Can Eating Enoki Mushrooms Lower Your Cancer Risk?

BY PAUL STAMETS via The Huffington Post

Paul_Stamets_EnokiEnoki mushrooms, a tasty variety commonly sold in grocery stores, were one of the first mushrooms studied for preventing cancer. Credit for discovering this medical benefit goes in large part to Dr. Tetsuro Ikekawa, a former epidemiologist at the Research Institute of the National Cancer Center in Tokyo, Japan. He wondered why the cancer rates in the Nagano Prefecture of Japan were abnormally low from 1972-1986, compared to surrounding provinces. Ikekawa found it was the center of enoki mushroom cultivation. A cluster within the population of Nagano died less frequently from cancer: enoki mushroom growers and their families. Since many enoki farmers gave their employees the bruised or blemished mushrooms that were deemed unattractive to shoppers, these Nagano citizens ate far more enoki mushrooms than their neighbors. Dr. Ikekawa surmised that their higher rate of enoki mushroom consumption correlated with the lower cancer death rate in Nagano Prefecture.

Paul_Stamets_Enoki_Stats

 

At the time of the research, the average cancer death rate in the Nagano prefecture was 160 per 100,000. This rate dropped to 97 per 100,000, comparatively, in families of enoki growers (Ikekawa, et al,,1989, 2003). Men’s cancer deaths decreased by 36.6 percent, and women in this cluster benefited from a 42.7 percent decrease in mortality from cancer. The population base in this study was around 175,000 people and was age-adjusted. By contrast, the United States currently records 173 deaths from cancer per 100,000 as of 2009 (The Henry J. Kaiser Foundation).

While there are no clusters of enoki growers and enoki eaters to study in the U.S. like there are in Nagano, this Japanese study could inspire epidemiologists to study the effect of higher mushroom consumption. Such research could support the widespread theory held by many mycologists and physicians that increased mushroom consumption can lower cancer fatality rates.

Dr. Ikekawa’s 1989 epidemiological study published by the Nagano Prefectural Research Institute of Rural Industry corroborated years of lab-scale research by Dr. Ikekawa and others. In a flurry of medical research — sparked in part by Ikekawa’s1969 article in Cancer Research on the cancer-fighting properties of many gourmet mushrooms — Japanese researchers sought to isolate, purify, and identify the constituents in enoki mushrooms that provided the anti-cancer effects. Their research focused on two classes of protein-bound polysaccharides: FVP (as in Flammulina velutipes polysaccharides, such as EA6), and FVE (for Flammulina velutipes extracts). As a result of this research, two new compounds — flammulin and proflamin — were isolated. Proflamin is a glycoprotein, containing more than 90 percent protein and less than 10 percent carbohydrate with a molecular weight between 13,000-17,000 Da. Notably, this molecule is orders of magnitude lighter than the heavy beta glucan polysaccharides. Comparative tests of proflamin showed better immune mitigated, cancer-fighting activity against melanoma and other cancers than the well-known PSK isolated from turkey tail (Trametes versicolor) mushrooms. (Ikekawa, et al., 1985).

In 2009, the journal Immunology published a study showing that ingesting enoki extracts containing these substances significantly improved survival rates of mice infected with Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), a leading cause of cervical cancer. Two sets of mice were infected with the HPV oncovirus, and one set was given an extract of enoki mushrooms.

Tumor protection assays showed that 60 percent of mice co-immunized with HPV-16 E7 plus Fve, as compared with 20 percent of those immunized only with HPV-16 E7, remained tumour-free for up to 167 days after challenge with the tumour cells.
The positive immune reactions were augmented from expansion of HPV specific interferon (IFN)-gamma-producing CD4(+) and CD8(+) T lymphocytes cells (Ding et. al., 2009). In a later study by Yin et al. (2010), Chinese researchers found that three unique beta glucans found in enoki mushrooms (beta-linked glucose, galactose, mannose and fucose sugars) induced a significant increase in cellular nitric oxide expression from murine peritoneal macrophages. Nitric oxide production by immune cells is one of the key mechanisms that our bodies use to destroy diseased cells. Enhancement of these types of immune responses is seen consistently with many medicinal mushrooms that have been tested by cancer researchers.

Nutritional Properties
Enoki mushrooms are a rich source of important nutrients (Stamets, 2005). Our analysis showed that for every 100 grams (dry weight), enoki offers:

  • 346 calories
  • 53 percent carbohydrates (31 percent complex carbohydrates, 22 percent other sugars)
  • 26 percent protein
  • 26 percent dietary fiber
  • 3 percent fat (1.0 gram polyunsaturated, 1.2 grams total unsaturated, 0.23 grams saturated)
  • Significant quantities of many vitamins and minerals: 0.35 mg thiamine, 10.9 mg pantothenic acid (B5), 61 mg niacin, 1.69 mg riboflavin, 14 mg calcium, 0.61 mg copper, 8.3 mg iron, 3,100 mg potassium, 54 µg selenium, and 19 mg sodium.

Read the full article here.

Paul_StametsPaul Stamets is founder of Fungi Perfecti, and was named by Utne Reader magazine as one of the Top Fifty visionaries in 2008. He has pioneered many innovations in the cultivation and use of edible and medicinal mushrooms. He is the author of The Mushroom Cultivator,Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms, and Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the Worldwww.fungi.com

 

Join Paul Stamets at Hollyhock, on Cortes Island, for “Mushrooms: Wild & Mysterious”, Oct 23-27, 2013.

Hollyhock presenter, Snatam Kaur, sings for Oprah Winfrey on her birthday.

BY OPRAH WINFREY

I love the word delicious. The way it rolls off my tongue delights me. And even more delectable than a delicious meal is a delicious experience, rich and layered like a fine coconut cake. I had one this past birthday—both the cake and the experience. It was one of those moments I call a God wink—when out of the blue everything lines up just perfectly.

I was hanging out with a group of girlfriends in Maui for my birthday (minus Gayle, who had a previous engagement with CBS This Morning). I’d just come back from India and wanted to have a spa retreat at my house to celebrate turning 58.

As girlfriends do even at this age, we sat around the table and talked till midnight. On the night before my birthday, five of the eight of us were still at the table at 12:30 A.M., worn out from a five-hour conversation that had run the gamut from men to microdermabrasion. Lots of laughing, some tears. The kind of talking women do when we feel safe.

In two days I would be interviewing the famed spiritual teacher Ram Dass, and by coincidence I started to hum a line from a song invoking his name.

Suddenly my friend Maria said, “What’s that you’re humming?”

“Oh, just a line from a song I like.”

She said, “I know that song. I listen to it every night.”

“No way,” I said. “It’s an obscure song on an album by a woman named Snatam Kaur.”

“Yes!” Maria said. “Yes! Yes! Snatam Kaur! I listen to her every night before I go to bed. How do you know her music?”

“Peggy”—another friend who was with us—”gave me a CD two years ago, and I’ve been listening ever since. I play her every day before meditating.”

Now we were both screaming and laughing. “No way!”

“I actually thought of having her come to sing for my birthday,” I said when I caught my breath. “Then I went, Nah, too much trouble. Had I known you liked her, too, I would have made the effort.”

Later that night, lying in bed, I thought, Isn’t that something. I would have gone to the trouble for a friend but not for myself. For sure I need to practice what I preach and value myself more. I went to sleep wishing I’d invited Snatam Kaur to sing.

The next day, my birthday, we had a “land blessing” with a Hawaiian chieftain. That evening we gathered on the porch for sunset cocktails. My friend Elizabeth stood up—to read a poem, I thought, or make a speech. Instead she said, “You wanted it, and now you have manifested it.” She rang a small chime, and suddenly music started to play.

Oprah_SnatamThe music was muffled, as if the speakers weren’t working. I thought, What’s going on? And then there appeared, walking onto my front porch…Snatam Kaur, in her white turban. And her musicians! “How did this happen?” I cried. And cried, and cried. Maria, sitting next to me with tears in her eyes, held my hand and just nodded. “You wouldn’t do it for yourself, so we did it for you.”

After I’d gone to bed the night before, my friends had called to find out where Snatam Kaur was, to see if they could get her to Maui in the next 12 hours. As life and God would have it, she and her musicians were in a town 30 minutes away, preparing for a concert. And were “honored” to come and sing. 

It was one of the most amazing surprises of my life. Layered with meanings I’m still deciphering.

What I know for sure: It’s a moment I’ll savor forever—the fact that it happened, the way it happened, that it happened on my birthday. All…so…delicious!

oprah.com

Join Snatam Kaur at Hollyhock, for Awakening the Kundalini, September 13-16, 2013

Reclaiming Life After 40

by Maria Sirois

There is a treasure trove of tools and practices that we can tap into to help bring us into greater health, or greater happiness, or a greater sense of resilience.

Listen to the interview with Dr. Maria Sirois about Reclaiming Life After 40, on The Mastermind Show, Conversations with the Leading Experts in Mind, Body and Spiritual Transformation.

Sirois_MariaDr. Maria Sirois is an inspirational speaker, author, seminar leader, and licensed clinical psychologist who has worked in the fields of wellness and positive psychology for twenty years. mariasirois.com

Join Maria for Flourishing No Matter What, on Cortes Island at Hollyhock, July 31 – Aug 4, 2013

Interviews with Students and Faculty of Radical Aliveness Core Energetics Training Program

Adapted from ANN BRADNEY’S Youtube Page:

“The Radical Aliveness Institute was founded on the idea that in order to make a difference in the world, people need to recognize they are part of a greater whole. The intensive coursework and unique group work of this program help students begin to experience themselves as not separate from or observing life, but as fully present, energetically connected to others, and able to be in service of the greater whole and their life purpose. The program teaches students that emotions not only provide a natural path to self-transformation, but that learning how to master and integrate the full depth of human emotions is key to being an effective leader and agent of social change in the world. In the Radical Aliveness process, students develop the openness and flexibility to welcome and embrace  complexity, chaotic energy, and the full range of emotions in a group setting that supports growth, honesty, and self-responsibility. This distinct process is challenging, fun, and stimulating — and leads to profound changes in individuals and groups. The Institute’s highest mission is to train others in Radical Aliveness group leadership skills so they can use these newfound skills in their professional lives to promote healing in their clients, communities, and organizations.”

Ann BradneyCCEP, is founder and director of the Radical Aliveness Core Energetics Institute of Southern California. She teaches and leads trainings internationally including at organizations for peace in Israel, and at Core Energetics Institutes in Holland, Brazil, Mexico, and Australia. radicalaliveness.com

Join Ann Bradney for Radical Aliveness: Core Energetics, on Cortes Island May 26-31, 2013.

 

Please Tame Me!

by Rachelle Lamb

One of my all time favourite stories is The Little Prince. Such a gorgeous book that aims straight for the heart and contains a wealth of wisdom from beginning to end. My favourite part is where the little prince meets the fox and the very pretty fox asks to be tamed. In the French version the word “apprivoiser” is used which I much prefer over the English translation. Tame means to dominate, subdue, win over or “break”. Sadly it’s often how we are with each other and with nature. When asked what “tame” means, the fox replies to the little prince, “It is an act too often neglected. It means to establish ties.” What would our world be like I wonder if we truly established ties, if we learned the language of another, if we would take the time, stand back and observe with soft eyes, if we opened our hearts to care, if we tended the space between us as we would a precious garden, if we fell deeply in love and then wrestled with what it means to need and be needed once the bonds were forged realizing that nothing lasts forever and that our hearts can do no other than break. “What a bargain!” as Rumi would say.

The fox gazed at the little prince, for a long time. ‘Please-tame me!’ he said.

‘I want to, very much,’ the little prince replied. ‘But I have not much time. I have friends to discover, and a great many things to understand.’The Little Prince

‘One only understands the things that one tames,’ said the fox. ‘Men have no more time to understand anything. They buy things all ready made at the shops. But there is no shop anywhere where one can buy friendship, and so men have no friends any more. If you want a friend, tame me.’

‘What must I do, to tame you?’ asked the little prince.

‘You must be very patient,’ replied the fox. ‘First you will sit down at a little distance from me-like that-in the grass. I shall look at you out of the corner of my eye, and you will say nothing. Words are the source of misunderstandings. But you will sit a little closer to me, every day…”

~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

 

Rachelle Lamb is an author and speaker and is president of Mindful Communication. She has shown thousands how to courageously and skillfully navigate interpersonal tension and conflict, leading toward breakthrough. rachellelamb.com

Raise the bar in personal and professional communication, develop your toolkit to improve trust, understanding and cooperation in all of your relationships.  Join Rachelle for her workshop, Mindful Communication, at Hollyhock on Cortes Island, May 26 – 31, 2013