When most of us were growing up, our parents would warn us not to touch the toadstool emerging from the lawn after a summer rain or would cajole us not to stomp on the puffball growing in the flower garden out of fear of the resulting spore cloud. In the West, there is a longstanding tradition of fungiphobia, that is, the fear of mushrooms and molds. The fear of accidental poisoning has led most people, especially in the United States, to consider those who do forage for wild mushrooms as hippies with a death wish. In general, westerners are wary of a whole kingdom of life that is extremely diverse, plentiful, and important to every ecosystem. The selection of mushrooms available for consumption at our grocery stores is very limited, with only the more upscale of stores offering anything else than Agaricus bisporus, is the species that comprises both the common button mushroom and Portobello. In biology classes, we are taught that fungi are simply decomposers and are treated as a mere afterthought in favor of focusing on animals and plants. This is not the case though. Fungi can be decomposers, but they also commonly form mutually beneficial relationships with plants where the mushrooms will trade nutrients with the plant in exchange for the sugar that the plant produces during photosynthesis.
With all of that being said, it might sound odd to a western audience to hear that there has been a lot of research in recent years that is demonstrating the powerful medicinal capabilities that mushrooms and fungi of all types have stored within their fungal bodies. Knowledge of the medicinal capabilities of fungi is not new though. In the Far East, fungi have been considered an integral part of their traditional medicine for thousands of years. In fact, medicinal fungi were so respected that they were reserved for the royal families of China and Japan. Scientists have demonstrated that Reishi (Ganoderma lucidium), a mushroom that is commonly used in traditional medicine, has properties that do significantly boost the immune system, fight cancer, and help lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. In light of the new vindicating research, fungi have been found to have a high potential for use in biotanicals and cosmetics.
At Biomaterix, we have begun to analyze this research in order to develop new natural products that will promote hair growth and health. After living out our motto to “follow the research”, our very own Emily Kight has developed a new innovative product using a moisturizing complex found in the Snow Mushroom (Tremella fuciformis). In Asia, the Snow Mushroom has been prized for centuries for its revitalizing and moisturizing capabilities. Famously, one Chinese princess used a paste made with the Snow Mushroom to keep her skin so soft and pure that a ruling emperor at the time allowed his dynasty to collapse just so he could have the princess as his concubine. The new Snow Mushroom Hydrocomplex Hair Treatment utilizes the natural absorptive polysaccharides found in the mushroom to provide moisture directly to your scalp. These compounds are so powerful that they allow the mushroom to hold more than 500 times its own weight in water. Amazingly, those same compounds retain their moisture holding capacity even when transformed into cosmetics! Moisture is so important to not only your general skin health, but it is also vital for your scalp and hair health. Moisture stabilizes the blood vessels that are involved in keeping your scalp and hair healthy. Our Snow Mushroom Hydrocomplex Hair Treatment provides the moisture that is so hard to get to these blood vessels in order to facilitate hair growth and hair thickening for our valued customers. We hope to hear from all of you of how this new product helps in the struggle to keep beautiful, healthy hair! Look forward to regular upcoming blog posts that will inform you about all of the new research into potential natural botanicals that we will be investigating. We are committed to “follow the research” in order to provide our valued customers with safe and effective cosmetic products that simultaneously show off your natural beauty and revitalize your body to the state of health that you deserve.