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016 Medicinal Mushrooms: History and Science of Modern Cultivation • Jeff Chilton
Episode 1630th January 2018 • Qiological Podcast • Michael Max
00:00:00 01:02:40

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Precious and rare medicinal mushrooms like reshi (ling zhi) and cordyceps (dong chong xia cao) used to be available only to royalty, or those who knew how to spot them in the wild.

These medicinals have a long history of use in East Asia and are associated with vitality, longevity and a connection to the spirit world. Even today it is said of the wild forms that "those who buy it don't eat it, and those who eat it don't buy it" as it is often gifted in a attempt to curry favor or influence.

Fortunately for us "lao bai xing" (common people) these incredible fungi are available to us via cultivation. Or are they?

In this episode our guest takes us on a deep dive into cultivation and extraction methods, and more importantly, how to read test results so you can better understand the potency of the products you are buying and giving to your patients.

If you use medicinal mushrooms in your practice this episode will help you to better understand the important differences between polysaccharides, beta-glucans, and triterpenoids.

Listen into to this conversation with an etno-mycologist who has been studying and working with mushroom cultivation for over 45 years.

Head on over to the show notes page for more information about this episode and for links to the resources discussed in the interview. 

Transcripts

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The medicine of east Asia is based on a science that does not hold

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itself separate from the phenomenon that it seeks to understand our

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medicine did not grow at a Petri dish experimentation or a double blind studies.

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It arose from observing nature and our part in it.

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East Asian medicine evolves not from the examination of dead structures, but

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rather from living systems with their complex mutually entangled interactions.

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Welcome to chia logical.

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I'm Michael max, the host of this podcast that goes in depth on issues.

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To practitioners and students of east Asian medicine, dialogue and discussion

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have always been elemental to Chinese and other east Asian medicines.

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Listen into these conversations with experienced practitioners that go deep

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into how this ancient medicine is alive and unfolding and hotter and clinic.

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Hey everybody.

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Welcome to qiological.

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My guest today is Jeff Chilton.

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Jeff is a longtime mushroom geek.

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He's the founder of Nomex, which is a company that does the cultivation

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processing distribution of a number of medicinal mushrooms.

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In particular.

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We're going to be talking today about two of our favorites in

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the Chinese medicine world.

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Don't tell him his shots are cordyceps and linked to Rishi mushroom.

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Anyone who is a practitioner of Chinese herbal medicine

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knows about these substances.

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We know they're precious and amazing medicinals, and

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I've got Jeff with us today.

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We're going to go deep into some of the Western science that goes with

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these modern day cultivation because he's a longtime mushroom geek.

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He's the founder of Nomex and in the winters, he takes off a little time

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and goes trout, fishing and Patagonia.

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This guy knows something about how to work hard and how to

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relax all at the same time.

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Jeff.

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Welcome to qiological.

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Hello, Michael.

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It's nice to be here.

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Great to have you.

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You've been at this a long time.

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I'm curious to know how did you get involved with

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mushrooms in the first place?

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First of all growing up to the Pacific Northwest, where we get a lot of

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rain, it's evergreen, something.

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I really love a level of water that mushrooms are growing all over the place.

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So I was kind of born into a, an area that was full of these wonderful organisms.

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So that kind of piqued my interest.

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And then in university, I decided to study them.

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So I, I studied them.

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That was a long with my actual major, which was anthropology.

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And I studied the use of mushrooms by cultures in their religious and

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healing works after leaving university.

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Of course, you've never, you don't really get a job in anthropology.

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So I thought, well, I love mushrooms.

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I've really learned, like to learn how to cultivate them.

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I got a job in 1973 on a very large commercial mushroom.

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And I spent the next 10 years there learning how to grow mushrooms

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and it was just heaven for me.

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So that's kind of where this all started, was back in the sixties at university.

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And then through the seventies, when I'm working on a, on a mushroom farm

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and literally I am living with mushrooms day in and day out houses, large houses,

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full of mushrooms in every stage of the.

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Now, this was like mushrooms for eating.

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This is like you get to the grocery store.

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This was, this was a big, uh, Garrick is farm.

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Like you see the button mushroom, like you see in the grocery store.

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The interesting part about my time there, Michael was that was that we

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had a Japanese scientist there and he was growing three other mushrooms

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as part of our I R and D um, project.

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And these were Shatara.

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Oyster mushroom and, and gnocchi mushroom.

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So while I was there, I was also exposed to these other mushrooms that were

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actually being cultivated as well.

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And in fact, in 1978 on this farm, we put the first Shataki mushrooms in

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the United States into the markets.

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And here's the funny thing is that it was.

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Despite a really good marketing effort.

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It was a flop.

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People just were not ready for Shataki mushrooms.

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This is 1978.

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Do they?

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A lot of people said they were just too strong.

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And for me, I love Shataki mushrooms, but they're fabulous.

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But I remember growing up mushrooms were this sort of

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flavorless addition to things.

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I wasn't even sure why they were in the food.

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Well, you, you and a classical nutritionist because the classical

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nutritionists used to say.

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There's really nothing to mushrooms.

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And the reason they said that interestingly enough was that

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mushrooms are low in calories.

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So if a food is low in calories and there's no real nothing there to

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give you any kind of energy, they just think, well, this is kind of

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there for flavoring and nothing else.

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Yeah.

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Well, we know there's a lot more in there and you're deep into the biochemistry

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of this stuff too, which we're going to get into here in a little bit.

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I want to start with a quarter PSAPs I have a real.

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Sweet space in my heart for quarter steps because I've had long-term lung issues.

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It's actually what took me to Chinese medicine years and years ago, some

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time ago, I came across some quarter steps in Taiwan that that were amazing.

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And after ingesting those on a regular basis for about four to six months,

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my lungs fundamentally changed.

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Wow.

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I'd love to hear stories like that.

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Yeah.

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I, I I've had patients whose lungs have changed too, if

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they'll stick with it long enough.

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So it quarter steps to me is an amazing substance, you know, and we learn about

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it in Chinese medicine is it starts off as a bug and it ends up as a, well,

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the Chinese say that's how I grass.

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Yeah, yeah, yeah.

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That's right.

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No, of course that's a caterpillar fungus and they call it a

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winter worms, summer grass.

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The interesting part about it is this, this caterpillar will

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hibernate over the winter.

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And this is up in the high country, the, uh, of Tibet where these are.

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And while it's overwintering spores from.

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Cordyceps will germinate and they will invade this caterpillar and literally eat

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out the complete inside of the catapult eat a completely from top to bottom.

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Yes.

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You know, if you're a caterpillar, it is like the most horrific

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thing you can imagine.

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Well, it definitely.

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Leaves you with nothing but a shell.

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And then in the summer or late spring up comes the little fruiting

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body from this quarter steps.

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And again, that's what is grass like?

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It's not like a normal mushroom it's crashed.

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People literally are on their hands and knees combing through

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a pasture lands and open country to find these caterpillar fungus.

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So what has happened in the last, oh, let's say 10, 15 years is.

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There's a greater demand for them.

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And the price has gone from in the nineties, in Hong Kong, I was

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going to buy a kilo of them for a thousand dollars Akila today.

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That same Keala would cost you $20,000.

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Well, here's the other thing, at least in my experience in China, how do you

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know you're getting the real thing?

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Well, you know what, um, that, that certainly is an

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issue, although I would say.

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It really gets back to who you buy it from and how close to the source you are.

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But, but you know that, and I think, you know, this too.

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Nobody except the very rich can afford to consume the caterpillar fungus.

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So it's often given as a gift.

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And so you go into these stores and sometimes a single little caterpillar

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with its fruiting body on it will be sold for, you know, maybe $10 for that

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one little caterpillar and foodie body.

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And it's also put into really interesting packages and they weave it into.

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Interesting designs to sell, but again, people will buy it and they'll

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give it to somebody as a gift.

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Yeah.

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Yeah.

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They, they say that thing in China about those who buy a don't eat it.

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Those who eat it, don't buy it.

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Okay.

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That's exactly right.

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And, but here's the interesting thing to me is that, is that what

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happened was back in the 1980s.

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They realized that quarter steps was something where

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there wasn't a lot of supply.

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So in China they started, uh, they w they went out and they, uh, mushroom

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sciences, got cultures of quarter steps, and they took them back into their labs.

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And then they started growing these cultures in very, very large tanks of

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liquid, what we call liquid fermentation.

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And that came up.

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Products and liquid fermentation.

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One of them is called CS four, very famous.

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They did a lot of clinical studies on it and analyzed it and they decided a certain

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point that yes, it's close enough that they started to sell it as a replacement.

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It was reasonably inexpensive.

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I mean, I'm quite inexpensive compared to the actual quarter steps.

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Here is the coolest thing of all.

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And that is that in the last 10 years, a different species of quarter steps, but

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one that has been used interchangeably, cordyceps militaries, the other

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course is called cortisol sign ANSYS.

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Or today Ophia cordyceps sign ANSYS quarter steps.

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Militaries is now being cultivated.

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So I have actually gone.

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The real hundred percent cordyceps, fruiting bodies,

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nothing but fruiting bodies.

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And we are able to, to sell that in our business.

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And, and the interesting part about it is when I asked

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people in the, in the industry.

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Trying to introduce mushrooms to the natural products industry.

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When I asked them, if they'd be interested in quarter steps, they said, you know,

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um, our customers are vegetarians.

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They're not interested in eating out of pillars.

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Of course, there's no caterpillar left in it at that point.

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Well, no, that's right.

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The caterpillar is actually nothing more than a shell.

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And if you break open, Caterpillar, what you'll find is it's full

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of the mycelium of this organism and, and just so people understand

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the mycelium is the actual fungal organism that we normally don't see.

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It's in the ground.

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It's in wood.

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It is a massing nutrients.

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The season is right.

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Normally for us, um, in the Northwest, in the fall, temperatures goes

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down and it starts to rain that my Caelian, which is the vegetative

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body will then produce a mushroom.

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So my Caelian is one, what we might call plant part.

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The mushroom is another plant part, and then a spore would be the sort of final

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plant part of this fungal organism that.

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We call and know commonly as a machine.

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All right.

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You're talking mycelium, we're talking fruiting body here and let's just stick

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with quarter steps for the moment.

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How are those different therapeutically for one?

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And in terms of some of the science, the various constituents

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that are in it, how would that.

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A couple of things of both the mycelium and the fruiting body will have

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beta blue cans in their cell walls.

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And what people need to understand is that.

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The, the cell wall of all mushrooms is made up of 50% data blue camp.

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And these beta glucans are what science has told us is where all

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the immunological activity comes from or, or the major part of it.

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And there's a lot of research that's been done on these beta glucans.

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So cortisol, mycelium, as well as fruit body.

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Do you have the beta glucans?

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Although there are more beta glucans in that fruit body and the fruit.

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Also we'll produce compounds that the mycelium does not in,

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in course helps militaries.

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That would be core to seven, which is in there, which is a compound that has

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shown, um, certain anti-cancer activities.

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That is a compound also.

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Militaries has that opiate cordyceps sign ANSYS, the caterpillar front group

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does not have, but the other research while a lot of the research is based on

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it on data blue cans in quarter steps.

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And so there is that activity there, but also what I, what I read

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about in, in Chinese medicine is they used it a lot for fatigue.

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For people coming out of an illness, they would give them cordyceps and, and all

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of the ancient texts seem to say, put the cordyceps in with, um, chicken soup.

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Yeah.

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We'd use it kind of like you'd use ginseng in a way.

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It very strongly tonifies the essential.

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Well, and that's, that's an area that's, that's interesting to me

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in the sense that I don't know, traditional Chinese medicine very well.

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I know a lot of practitioners and I was just at the American

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herbalist Guild symposium and a.

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Long time, herbalist name Michael Tierra.

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I gave him a package of our quarter sips, military mushrooms, and, and he hadn't

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really tried these before he looked at it.

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And I said, here, take these with you.

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Instead, he had just ripped, open the package and, and started consuming them.

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And he sat there for about 30 or 40 seconds as he was chewing them.

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And then he closed his eyes and then he said, wow.

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He said that she, and these is a mean.

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And I thought, wow, you know, here is somebody who, this is

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what you do as an herbalist.

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You put it in your mouth, you, you start to chew it up, you taste it,

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you let it, you let it really kind of resonate in your mouth, out into

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your whole body and you get the feel for this or that's what he did.

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And, and I agree.

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And, and what, my point really on that, on the cordyceps and military.

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For the first time we have a hundred percent fruiting bodies, whereas

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before we were dependent on either this fermented mycelium product or this very,

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very expensive, uh, caterpillar fungus.

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So there's some special mojo.

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So to speak to the fruiting body, there are beta glucans in it.

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It sounds like there's some other constituents.

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Some of them show anti-cancer effects.

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This leads me to the next question, which is so CS four and how it's

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different than the military.

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So what are some other differences between these two, uh, types of cortisol taps?

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You know, this, this kind of actually gets into an area that I've done a lot

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of research in the last, uh, three years.

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And that is the right from the very beginning.

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And I started my business.

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Michael in 1989, I was literally walking around natural foods expo in

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California with a reishi mushroom in my hand, asking people in the businesses

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there, whether they might not like to put mushrooms into their product lines.

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And everybody looked at me like, you know, what is that?

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It looks like a piece of wood and there's a real, and why should

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we do it if there's no demand?

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And that's sort of like the beginning of all of this.

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What I sell and what I totally believe in is the mushroom itself.

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And part of what I've done from the very beginning in the nineties

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was developed ways to test my products for the active compounds.

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We, we developed tried terpenoid analysis in the 1990s, and I

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feel very strongly about that.

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I traveled throughout China all through the, the nineties.

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I visited, um, farms.

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I visited research institutes of which there are many, I visited, uh,

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processing plants and I was shown a lot of brown powders and, and I just

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looked at it and I went, you know, like, do you want to buy my mother?

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Whatever extract.

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And I'm just looking at it like, yeah, how am I, how do I know what, what that is?

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And so, so testing is very important to me.

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And, and in the last four or five years, I came across a

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test that could, um, actually.

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Test for beta glue cans, which is a real breakthrough and, and

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the actual fungal beta glucans.

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And so with this test, I can test the beta glucan and also gives me the amount

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of alpha glucan, which are starches.

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And what I discovered after testing a hundred different products, including

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40 products, right off the shelf that were calling themselves mushrooms.

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There's a lot of products out there that where they were actually growing

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this mycelium on grain, and then they were drawing it, grinding it to a

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powder and selling it as mushroom.

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And, and the testing demonstrated that there was very little fungal matter

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and therefore low beta glucans and very, very high amounts of stars.

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And here's the thing is that mushrooms do not contain starch mushrooms.

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It's like humans actually have a small amount of glycogen, like less

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than 5% of glycogen, but no starch.

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And some of these products where as much as 60% starch in the was that they did

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not separate the grain from the mycelium.

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They just ground it all up and then sold it out into the market as, as mushrooms.

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So a lot of commercial products out there are in fact that.

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That's a big difference.

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Oh my goodness.

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And when you, and let me tell you that the major brands, if you go into a

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whole foods or something like that, bar mycelium on grain, and again, it's mostly

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starch and very little mycelium and the beta blue can test demonstrate that.

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And not only that.

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We test for try terpenoids.

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If you test some of those products, like the ratio products that are sold

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out there and you taste them and you know, what a reishi machine tastes like.

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I mean, it's got this wonderful bitter flavor and it's a little chocolatey and,

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you know, it's funny because I just got back from doing a few trade shows and

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we do what we call the ratio challenge.

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And I have some of this, I have some of this ground up mycelium on grain

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product and I say, okay, taste that.

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And they tasted and goes, oh yeah, Pretty bland to kind of like, you know, she

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would expect starch or grain to taste.

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And then I say, okay, taste this.

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And I've got, uh, some reishi extract there and they taste

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that and they're just like, boom.

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It's like, it explodes in their mouth.

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And they're just like, oh my God.

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And a lot of them have that experience of immediate overwhelming sense of, of

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T and, and, uh, medicinal properties.

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And that's what a reishi extract is supposed to taste like.

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And, and all of these herbalists, for example, at American

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herbalist killed, they were.

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Flabbergasted at the taste and the differences.

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And that's what I try to demonstrate that to people, because I want

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people to have the real deal.

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I don't want them to have a facsimile that is going to do nothing, because as

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much as I believe in the placebo effect, I actually want to offer something.

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That's not placebo.

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I want to offer the real deal, an actual mushroom that has.

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Active compounds in there because it makes a real difference.

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Does it ever, and, and, you know, just to be clear here, I'm not trying to build

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up the active compounds or anything.

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I'm trying to, to have a product where all of the compounds

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occur in the natural profiles.

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So even our extracts are made in that manner.

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We're not, you know, trying to keep cooking until we've got, we're

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going to eliminate dish and just build up that that's not what we do.

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We want that natural profile.

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We want that as much as possible to stay as close to the earth as we can.

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And we do, and, and our analytical work demonstrates that.

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And here's the thing that's so interesting is that.

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Well, he did a, you know, a lot of it, like I say, companies

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grow this, my CDM on grain.

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Well, we got a proximate analysis of the various grains.

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Six companies grow on, whether it be rice or boats or something.

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And so we got the fats, the carbohydrates, the protein, we got the analysis back, and

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then we have analysis of those products.

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Those products, actually, the nutritional analysis lined

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up perfectly with the grain.

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So you're getting more grain.

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You're getting more grain than mushrooms.

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Oh, you're getting very little fungal tissue and that's, that's what's happening

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and that's, what's so unfortunate.

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And, and certainly, you know, as a practitioner like yourself, I mean,

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Hey, you probably like to get your hands on the actual raw materials

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and the raw herbs and, and use them.

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But for people.

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The want to get some benefits from actual mushrooms.

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They need to know the differences because when you get out there into the

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marketplace and just look at labels, you know what you see, you see a label

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and it says reishi mushroom, and it got a picture of a reishi mushroom,

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and that's what you expect you're buying, you know, and it might say

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organic and that's going to sway people.

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I, well, yeah, I, you know, in terms of taste, like I said,

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I found some stuff in Taiwan.

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It was probably 10, 12 years ago now.

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And I think about it.

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I mean the taste of that stuff I've never had any, well, I can't say

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I've never had anything like it.

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When I ran across your product, I was like, oh, I recognize this.

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Remember coming back to the station, I try to get my hands on some other,

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a quarter steps and it was nothing.

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Like what I'd eaten before.

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And I I've been kind of searching around.

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I've been nosing around for literally it, it has a certain smell to it.

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It has a certain taste to it.

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And now from our conversation, I realized, oh, I think I'd been eating

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some militaries, probably fruiting body.

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I suspect they were doing something similar in Taiwan

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around that time as well.

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Well, that that's possible.

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I mean, it's only come into cultivation in the last 10 years or so.

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You know, for me as a mushroom grow or by trade, when, when a mushroom comes into

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cultivation, Michael, it is a huge deal because there's only about maybe at most

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20 mushrooms out of thousands of species.

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That have actually been cultivated.

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It's not something that's easy to do.

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So when a new mushroom, all of a sudden appears and we can

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cultivate it and get reasonable yields of it, it is a huge deal.

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And it's just so exciting for me to be able to actually

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offer people a real cortisol.

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Mushroom a fruiting body that otherwise, you know, it would be, we couldn't,

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we wouldn't be able to have a, yeah.

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Otherwise you're up there on your hands and knees.

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And so that, you know, I was trying to dig it out of the ground.

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Hey, I'm going to get back to some of this biochemistry stuff.

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I'm not a biochemistry geek, but.

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You've been using the term beta glucans.

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I know that when I look at various advertising for various products, they'll

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often talk about polysaccharides as well.

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Polysaccharide beta glue.

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Can, what are we looking at here?

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What should we be paying attention to?

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What do you actually, the question is what do these things.

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Yeah, well, you know what?

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A polysaccharide is a very, very special type of sugar.

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It's a long chain of monosaccharides that have been put together.

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And, you know, for example, um, oats have polysaccharides, the grains, grains

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all have polysaccharides and, and this is something that, you know, how refined

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foods these days they get down and they're just giving a single sugars.

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And this was part of the problem with that.

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And a lot of people's.

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One of the overall problems in our modern diets is lack of polysaccharides.

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Well, here here's what happens with, with mushrooms is that an a beta glucan

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is a polysaccharide, but when, if we use polysaccharides as a measure

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of quality, well, the polysaccharide will also measure the grains.

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It will measure the starches because starches are

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polysaccharides the differences.

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What we're looking for is what's called the beta 1, 3, 1 6, glucagon.

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It is a very specific type of polysaccharide and it has a different

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architecture from the others.

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Grains are beta beta one four.

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So if somebody has got a product out there and they're measuring

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polysaccharides, and they're saying, okay, we've got 60% polysaccharides.

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Isn't that wonderful.

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Well, no, it's not at all because it's very, very misleading.

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It could be nothing, but, but grain in.

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What you want is you want a beta blue can test, which is essentially.

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I part of this bigger category that we call polysaccharide.

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So you'd want the beta glucan and you'd want it tested by a

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very specific test out there.

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This test only measures fungal beta glucans, and that was the game changer

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here, because there were, there was a time when I measured polysaccharides

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in my products at night, I used to think high polysaccharide grade.

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I found out later that some of those products actually were a lot of starch

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because carrier materials that are used, for example, maltodextrin.

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Dextrose these carrier materials that are often put on, on extracts as a

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carrier and, and to a certain degree, a small amount is okay as a stabilizer.

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But so companies out there, I mean, it is as much as 50% of

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these carriers like maltodextrin.

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And I found out that some of the companies that I thought were

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reasonably good companies were absolutely not that most of what they

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were selling was carrier material.

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So, so a polysaccharide.

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Test or analysis when you see a company using that and they're using it with a

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mushroom product, just, just don't pay any attention to it because it's literally

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meaningless and here's a real, it sounds like it's just not specific enough.

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Well, it's not specific enough, but when I say meaningless, what I, what

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I mean too, of course, is that it's measuring things you don't want.

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So, so yes, it is not specific enough.

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We want to drill down a little bit deeper to where we're getting the actual data.

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1, 3, 1, 6 glue cans that are specific to mushrooms, and that's what we want to

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be able to measure and offer to people.

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And, and that was where the whole part of my study that tested

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a hundred different products.

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That's where it.

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Pulled back the curtain on all these products.

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And, and I suppose them as being mostly starch briefly, what we used as, as the,

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um, standard was we took dried mushrooms.

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We actually took the mushrooms and we measured them and we've

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measured mushrooms multiple times.

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And so we have a standard to which we can compare anything

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else that is helpful information.

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And especially for practitioners that want to make sure that they're

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getting their patients, what they think they're giving their patients.

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I consider it to be.

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Kind of a tragedy because you know, there are people out there with life-threatening

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illnesses and they're being told to, to take a medicinal mushroom product because

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they're going through chemotherapy or radiation or something, and they go

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out there and they buy these products and they don't know that what they're

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doing is they're actually consuming something that is mostly starch.

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And, and I just think it's close to being unethical.

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Let's get back for a moment to some more of this biochemical stuff.

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What about these tried terpenoids what, what are these and why should we give.

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Try and terpenoids are, are interesting in that they occur in

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specific mushrooms, not all mushrooms.

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So the mushroom that has the highest amount of trite

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terpenoids is the reishi mushroom.

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And in a sense that's what sets it apart from all the others.

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And try terpenoids let me just give you a story about that.

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I was, I was at a conference in China, in the nineties.

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And at this conference was a TCM practitioner and I'm know some

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mushroom conference and he's there and I'm talking to him about that.

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And he's telling me that reishi mushroom is his number one, herb for the.

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And that's where the trick terpenoids come in to try terpenoids are actually

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something that works with the liver.

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Cleanses liver helps the liver do its job, um, works for, uh, your circulation.

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That's I would say one of the key activities of trite terpenoids and

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here was a man telling me exactly that, that that's what he uses it for.

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Try terpenoids are in reishi.

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They're in chalk.

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They're in a couple other mushrooms for Linus.

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These are all mushrooms that grow on trees.

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In fact, most medicinal lotions growing would.

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And that's, that's, what's interesting about it.

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The would actually provide these mushrooms, the precursors to

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produce these compounds, just like the compounds in chaga are all.

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In it, because those compounds are in the Birch tree and the chaga is essentially

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utilizing them to create some of its own.

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But to try terpenoids again, for me are a liver, something good for the liver.

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They've also got science.

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Now that's showing they are also anti-cancer and like, eliminate,

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let me say something to.

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I've read so much research about marshaling, so much scientific research.

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And, and when you start to list the activities of mushrooms,

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it is, it is like, I think I saw something the other day.

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It was like a hundred different activities in different parts of a human

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body, a hundred different activities.

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And for me, I like to pull it all down to let let's get down to.

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Two or three or four of the main activities, rather than

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saying there they're a panacea.

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I really am not happy with the whole idea of panacea is because what

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happens is that it turns out if you go out on the internet right now,

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chaga is all of a sudden the panacea.

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There's nothing.

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It doesn't do.

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I don't like that.

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I don't like that.

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Talk at all.

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So those marketing speak is what it is.

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And for me, I'm like, you know what enough of this now, now they

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call chaga the king of mushrooms.

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And listen in the seventies, Shataki was called the king in the eighties

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and early nineties ratio is called the king in the late nineties.

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My talkie was all of a sudden the king of mushrooms and it was just know.

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Who was selling it and who was putting enough money into, into promoting it that,

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oh yeah, we got a new king of mushrooms and now it's chaga and I'm just like,

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you know, let's, let's just stop this.

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And, and the other term that's coming up right now is adapt.

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It's in an eye.

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That terms.

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Okay.

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Get it within adaptogens and that's what mushrooms are sort of premier

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adaptogens in that sense, they're there to balance us out and they work

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in the background and I really believe health is, is all about harmony.

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It's about stresses.

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It's about our body being out of balance.

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And so I think mushroom.

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In general, our plants, um, there fungi that that actually helped

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to keep us in balance and help us to overcome stresses ratio.

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I mean, one of the things that reishi is known to do is sort

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of calm, calm people down.

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And, and also it's been used for insomnia, which would get right back into the comic.

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It's not going to have the same effect for everybody.

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I mean, you, you come across that all the time.

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I'm sure you're giving it a herb to somebody and, and you're thinking, okay,

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it's going to affect them in this way.

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And maybe it doesn't affect them that way at all.

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Well, yes.

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We especially see this with Chinese medicine that.

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Different people given their constitution, given what they've

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got going on, their strengths, their deficiencies they'll respond

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differently to different substances.

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It's not a one size fits all.

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In fact, anytime I see something advertised, as you know, like we

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were saying the panacea, this is the thing that's gonna, that's

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gonna take care of everything.

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The answer is always, well, it depends.

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It's like what's going on?

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What are the, what is this person needs?

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And we need different things at different times.

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Something that might be very beneficial for a person at one stage of recovery

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from an illness will actually block their progress at a different stage.

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Right.

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And, and, you know, with, with reishi mushroom, for example,

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I mean, it's considered.

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Premier longevity, herbs in China.

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And the wonderful thing to me as I traveled through China and I see

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images of reishi throughout their art.

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I see it in their architecture.

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It's that beautiful spiral cap form that you see everywhere over there and you

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see the actual mushroom and their art.

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And it's also part of the, the different.

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Things is that the, what I'm going to call the God of immortality

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that they'd gotten his, this, this wonderful little man bald headed, man.

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He's got this wonderful smile on his face and he's got a peach and, and

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he there's a deer in the background.

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And sometimes the deer has a reishi mushroom in his mouth, or sometimes he has

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a reishi mushroom hanging from his staff.

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I mean, the image is everywhere.

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And I think with, with reishi, one of the things about it is.

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Certainly as we age, um, we have our little bit, let's

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say less active immune system.

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And so taking reishi and it just sits in the background and it's just helping us

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out immunologically and, and hopefully providing a bit more of this launch.

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We were earlier in the show talking about cordyceps and the different

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kinds that are on the market.

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There's the CS four, there's the military these days.

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What about reishi?

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Are there different kinds of ratios out there and do they have

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different properties in different sort of biochemical markers here?

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We're talking about beta glucans and, and those kinds of things.

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And what I would say is, is, you know, one of the things, and I'm

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sure you've, you've been to lots of Chinatowns in the United States.

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And if you go into the, the, uh, Chinese herbal stores, they will

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have boxes full of black rage.

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And this black ratio is ganoderma sign answers and it

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is wildcrafted, it's not grown.

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It has a very low levels of tri terpenoids, but it has

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good amounts of beta glucans.

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And the one that they've selected for cultivation in China is in

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fact, this red reishi and, and the interesting part about.

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Mushrooms generally, is that a mushroom grown?

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Let's just, let's just say in Missouri, uh, the same species, same genus.

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I gotta say again, don't ever lose it in brown in Missouri could be totally

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different genetically than a ganoderma lucidum grown on the east coast somewhere.

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So what you, what we call them is a difference train.

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So if you culture, either one of those.

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Genetically, they will produce different amounts of the active combos.

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Now, now beta glucan wise, they will probably be very similar,

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but in terms of try terpenoids, they will be very different.

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So what normally happens is they've selected in China for cultivation.

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Cultivars that are ones that do produce a higher amounts of try terpenoids,

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but this is a natural process of selection and use of these things.

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And certainly there's other factors involved, like, is

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it high yielding or not?

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But those two are the primary ones that I see used out there.

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There are.

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Yeah.

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For example, in, in the United States, one of the reishi mushrooms that we can

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find is called ganoderma acclimate them and it's called the artist's conk and, and

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it grows on, on Malata, different trees.

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We got a lot of it here.

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Um, you turn it over and you can actually add into the underside and the, into the

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poor layer, which is kind of a whitish.

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And then you can etch into it and drop fabulous designs that have.

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That has beta glucans in it, a good levels of beta glucan.

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So that's a local one.

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And then on the east coast, you actually can go out and get a ganoderma

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lucid them and harvest it wild.

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But a lot of mushrooms have medicinal activities, but it's

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one of those things where certain ones have been selected as having.

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A higher level of activity than others.

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And so for me, I can say to people, okay, if you're into wildcrafting, if

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you want to do your own sort of reishi mushroom hunting, you can do that.

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If they're out there.

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And if you're in the right location, there are these other species.

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That you can harvest and get some of the benefits from reishi mushroom.

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But for me, one of the things about cultivation and I'm not a big fan of

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wildcrafting because it seems like, you know, it always ends up in tears.

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One of the things about cultivation is we can kind of have a product that

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we know what we're going to get at the end of the cultivation cycle.

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So I'm really a big fan of, of cultivating mushrooms.

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And I'm not an example of wildcrafting them and some of them.

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We have to Wildcraft, but for me, yeah, there's a very specific

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ratio that I think is the best.

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And that's the red ratio, the black ratio.

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I don't know whether you've seen it used at all, but

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there's enough of it out there.

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Somebody must be using it in terms of maybe a traditional

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Chinese medicine practitioners.

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I don't know.

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This brings me to another question, which is.

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How to consume these things.

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I mean, let's say I go, Wildcraft me a, a reishi.

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Yes.

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Which, which I've never done, but you know, the ratios I've seen.

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I mean, they are, they're like, they're like Woody, number one.

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How would you eat the dang thing?

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I get it.

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How you'd eat a quarter SAPs.

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All right.

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How do you eat a reishi and more importantly for, you know, both

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practitioners and any patients that might be listening, what are the ways

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of taking these amazing substances?

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And either there, you know, drawing them, condensing them in a way that

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preserves their bioavailability.

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Maybe I should say in a way that makes sure they're bioavailable

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because sometimes, you know, the dried form of something, just because you

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eat it doesn't mean you digest it.

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How can we make sure.

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That we're getting the stuff that we think we're getting out of it.

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And are there particular ways of extracting out the important beta

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glucans or other constituents that we want to be paying attention to?

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You know, I mean, when you want something in like in an alcohol solution, do

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you just want to grind the stuff up?

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What's uh, Welcome for here.

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Well, with reishi mushroom, I don't know how many blenders have been broken

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by trying to grind reishi mushrooms up into some kind of a powder or even

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the very first ratio that I took to a Hammermill to have ground up to a powder.

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It ended up being like cotton kind of, wasn't really very

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workable at that point in time.

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But with reishi, what you have to do is, is if you're using the actual

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mushroom, you would want to, to put it in water, put it onto a simmer.

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And, and in the beginning, you know, in terms of cutting it up,

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man, it's like, you either take a hatchet to it and chop it or.

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Could it in the water for the first, let's say three hours of hot water

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swimmer, then you pull it out.

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And at that point it's softened up the, where you can take a good

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knife and cut it into chunks.

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And so with reishi, I would recommend a, a water extract, which is like

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a, a tea as your starting point.

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So you'd boil it up, um, or.

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Once for maybe, I don't know, three, four hours pour off the fluid.

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Do it again.

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Keep getting it as fine as you can chopping it as you go.

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And ultimately do it multiple times until there's no actual

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change in the color of the water.

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And one of the things that people would say about reishi, and again, we do.

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Alcohol and some of our ratio extracts when they say, well, you can't get to

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try terpenoids when you are just using water extraction with reishi and, and

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that's, that's just simply not true because if you taste that water extract

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that you've just made from the ratio, you'll find that it's very, very bitter.

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The point with alcohol is that there are.

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Try terpenoids that are not water soluble, so they, they won't come out, but a lot of

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them will come out in that water extract.

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And the water extract is kind of a very traditional method of taking just about

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any urban, you know, you've probably seen it in, I've seen it where they're

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just boiling the hell out of herbs.

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And with our extracts, for example, we will the sort of entry extracts we do.

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We will take the actually we'll grind up the machine into a powder.

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We'll put it in Albury, larger vessel.

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We'll cook it at 80 degrees Celsius for three hours.

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Then we will concentrate the fluid down into, into a syrup of a certain

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density, send all of that powder and all.

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That's still in the fluid, we'll send it off to a spray dryer.

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And that will be our initial extract where we still have all of the motion

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fiber in there, but it's, but it's ground up to a very fine powder and

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mushrooms are not really very digestible.

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So in a sense, when we do that, we're making a lot of that mushroom.

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Now, in fact, most of it is now available to us and we've processed it once just to.

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Get some of those soluble beta glucans out into a little quicker acting form.

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And then we have another, uh, line of extracts where we will cook them

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three times in the water once we'll take the water off, uh, do it again.

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And this time we won't have them in a, in a powder.

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We'll have them in a little corner.

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Uh, grind and we'll cook them three times in water, and then we will

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separate out the fiber because we can't put all that fiber.

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Let's say, for example, if you want a 10 to one extract or a bay to one extract,

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something more concentrated, we can't put all that fiber into the final one.

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Kilo of dry.

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Powder.

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So we, we filter and separate that fiber from the final product.

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And then we, we, we feel at that point, we've gotten everything out of that

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machine fiber and, and with certain mushrooms like reishi or chaga, we will

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do a one-time alcohol extract as well.

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And so then the final product will be a flying powder, but again, It's it's got

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everything that was in that mushroom.

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Nothing really, I think with mushrooms is that the beta glucans do not get

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harmed during that extraction process to try turpines are still in tax.

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So we're losing to my knowledge and we measure a lot of different constituents.

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We're not really losing anything, but we end up with a concentrated extract and,

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you know, for a lot of my customers, If they're putting out a product in a 500

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milligram capsule or something like that.

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Well, if you have two, 500 milligram capsules of Chesed mushroom powder,

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or, or maybe even are one-to-one extra, that really, you need more, you need.

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To have more.

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And that's where a concentrate of course will come in.

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As you can put less of that into a capsule, or let's say you can

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put two, 500 milligram capsules of the concentrates and that will

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give you a true therapeutic dose.

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Is it true that you have different product lines?

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You've got some things that are very concentrated.

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You have some things that are less concentrated.

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That's absolutely right.

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Yeah.

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That's absolutely right.

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And, and, and, you know, With the less concentrated extract.

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Those are ones where we tell people, okay, you will probably

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need two or three grams of.

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Consumed two or three grams for it to be therapeutic, but I deal

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with companies big and small.

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I deal with practitioners, a lot of companies, you know, they tend to

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gravitate to the less expensive products.

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So I try to make as good a product as I can, which I would call as let's just

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call it maybe an entry level product for those companies that go down that road.

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For example, we have a small line, I think, six different

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products that are retail products.

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We only sell them online.

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They're in powder form.

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And we basically say, you know, one to two grams or, you know, depending some of them

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are the concentrated extracts, like our ratios of concentrated extract, but the

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quarter steps, we just have the quarter steps in that one-to-one extract form.

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And, you know, it's like, okay, you've got an, a powder take as much as you want

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there and see what you need to feel it.

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So in that sense to me, I'm like, you know, as long as you

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are taking enough of these.

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You know, what a lot of people call in the, in the industry, pixie, Dustin,

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where you're just kind of putting a little bit in, um, you know, you don't expect.

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Much effect there, which a lot of companies do well, they can say

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they can put reishi on the label.

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That's exactly right.

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And not add that.

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That's sort of unfortunate.

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And that's just part of the whole business part of business.

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I guess that some companies will go down that road.

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But, but at any rate, when we have it in the powder form,

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we're just inviting people.

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Look, it's in the powder form.

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There's, we're not telling you that, you know, take two capsules

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when we have to put servings.

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So.

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On there, but, you know, and this was kind of developed for,

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by my son because his generation likes, they have a daily smoothie.

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They love to put, you know, mix and match there.

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They're doing their own alchemy every day with a smoothie and they're

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putting different things in there.

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And that's kind of the delivery system that we, we decided upon for

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those products for his generation.

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Although we have come out with the reishi extract in capsules, There are

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people that are like, you know, I'm sorry, the bidder's too much for me.

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So I, I needed a capsule.

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So is there information, uh, and I can put all this on the show notes page where a

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practitioner could go and see the various products that you've got available.

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The ones that are, you know, entry-level or the ones that are

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more concentrated in therapeutic.

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Sure.

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Well, you know, there there's two places they can go, they can go to Nam, x.com

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and I encourage people to go to namrs.com.

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We have a lot of information there.

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We've got just a ton of information, including I've got a couple of

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slideshows there that, that show the farms where we grow our mushrooms.

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I've got a slideshow that talks about and demonstrates the differences between my

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CDM on grain and actual mushroom shows.

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Am I seeing them on grain is, is manufactured and what

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it looks like, and, and.

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And then if they want to, they want to get our products, um, in the retail form, they

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can go to real mushrooms.com and you know, here's the thing too, Michael, is that

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we, um, we put out that retail line, you know, I mean, you know, my son developed

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it and he wanted to get it out to his peers, but one of the reasons we developed

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it, because a lot of the companies that buy our raw materials will take those

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and then they'll work it into a form.

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And it may be just a small amount of the formula.

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There is two of the companies actually put it out as a standalone.

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I mean, some do.

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So we wanted to have at least a place where some of our major

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mushroom products could be bought and in their hundred percent,

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whole nothing else form for people.

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And that's especially good.

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For practitioners because the practitioner might want to go.

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Yeah.

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I really want to have just a pure, a hundred percent ratio extract where

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I can tell people, okay, take a half a teaspoon or, you know, a certain

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amount, but that gives people and practitioners the opportunity to get

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our products in that, uh, pure form.

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Yeah.

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Well, and especially for us practitioners, we want to make sure that we're getting.

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The best possible thing in the right therapeutic dose patients.

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Absolutely.

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That's the key.

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Yeah, it is.

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And, and it's very important and that's what.

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Putting them out that way to me was very important because we do

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get practitioners that, I mean, we actually have practitioner accounts.

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We do have people calling us and where can we get your products?

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And, and that, and, and you know, the other thing too, let me tell

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you one of the hardest things.

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In my business is somebody calling me up and they I've got cancer.

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Uh, somebody said, medicinal mushrooms, can you sell something to me?

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And, and we're a raw materials supplier.

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We, we sell in Keela amounts from, from five kilos to a thousand kilos.

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And we're not set up to, to actually help people like that.

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So for me, I'm like I'm in a bind.

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Okay.

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So having these products gives us also a way for if somebody comes to us and they,

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they asked for that, we can say, okay, look, yes, we do have these products.

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Here's where you can get them.

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And, and that to me is very important because I really strongly believe.

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These mushrooms have very beneficial properties and very beneficial affection.

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I want people to, to be able to, uh, benefit.

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Yeah, well, I very much appreciate the work you're doing.

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Uh, this time spent with you today has been great.

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I feel a lot smarter about mushrooms, and I'm hoping that the listeners

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here feel more informed as well.

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We're about at the end of our time here, Jeff, is there anything else that

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you'd like to share with our listeners?

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Well, you know, I guess what I like to say is, is just that, you know, it's,

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it's having been in business as long as I have and seeing the marketplace

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out there, it's just have to be very careful about what you purchase when

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you go out there and to any store.

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And that's the thing for me that has been such an issue.

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And this all has to do with quality and quality control in that.

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My company is really about.

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We want to put out the absolute best product possible.

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We want it to be genuine.

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We want it to be a hundred percent.

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The aware of some of the information that I've given you today, because when you

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go into that store, whether it be whole foods or your natural foods market, I'm

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not kidding, 80% of the products, and they're going to be my sealing them on

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grain and, and it will be confounding.

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And the person in there is going to point.

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So one of them is as one of the products that they push.

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And, and so you really have to be aware of that.

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Whereas I think a practitioner maybe is a little bit smarter, but I tell you,

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Michael, I've talked to natural paths.

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I've talked to herbalists.

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A lot of them have not had the time.

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And when you're talking about.

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Fungi, when you're talking about machines, most of these people are, are know

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about greener is they're not that, uh, um, intelligent when it comes to fungi.

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So, so they've been just like anybody else.

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They, they have been looking at, uh, other information, listening

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to other people who are out there talking about these products.

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And so they, they have also.

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Let's just say confused about it all.

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And so I'm just trying to educate people.

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That's what I do when I go out to trade shows or have these pockets,

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I'm trying to educate people too so that they can make informed decisions.

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And, and I don't care whether you buy it from me, but as long as you can make an

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informed decision, that's an important.

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Yeah, well, and I've, I've visited your Nomex website and

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there's lots of great information.

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So I do encourage listeners, uh, go to the show notes page.

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I've got links to all that.

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And Jeff, if you have some other interesting research that you'd like to

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share with folks, just send that to me.

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I'll make sure there's an active link to it on the website.

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Absolutely.

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And I do.

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And I'll, I'll send you that because there is some very interesting

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research out there that has to do with quality control of mushroom product.

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And it's a big issue right now in the industry and I'm

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really pushing it out there.

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So I will do that and certainly any other information that crosses my desk and

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there's a lot of research that's coming out these days, I'll do the same, Michael.

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And I really appreciate.

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You having me on today, it's been great talking to you and, um, hopefully we'll

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stay in contact and anytime you want to talk to mushrooms, Hey, just let me know.

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Or if I want to go trout, fishing and Patagonia, I welcome you down there.

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Thanks to.

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