Enokitake (Flammulina velutipes)

Flammulina velutipes is an edible fungus that not only has more than one name, it also has more than one appearance. The picture above is the appearance of the specific specie grown in Mógū farms. 

Enoki’s full name is Enokitake, which in Japanese translates to “mushroom”. The name has been officially shortened to Enoki, meaning “hackberry” in Japanese. Hackberry also happens to be the name of the tree the mushroom often grows on.    This mushroom is prized for its taste, the availability of the wild form in winter (when few other fungi fruit), and for a range of medicinal benefits; enokitake is reputed to help with everything from cancer to dementia to gastric ulcers.

Enokitake grows wild in Eastern Asia, Western Europe, and much of North America. The fungus makes a living by eating the dead wood of various hardwood species—sometimes the wood in question is either part of a living tree or underground, however, so the fruiting bodies are not limited to obvious stumps.

Active Compounds found in Enokitake

>30% Polysaccharides, β-1,3/1,6-glucans and other glucan-protein complexes, for synergistic digestive and immune system support.

Ergothioneine: potent antioxidant, capable of helping skin look younger when exposed to environmental stressors and sources of oxidative damage.

Linoleic acid: a micronutrient that can diminish gut fat and lose lower belly fat. They consist of enzymes suitable for burning up visceral fat and help the body switch to proteins at the expense of bad fat.

Lovastatin and gamma-aminobutyric acid: These substances lower your cholesterol levels and blood pressure. They also prevent inflammation and protect you against conditions like thrombosis (blood clots in veins) and atherosclerosis.

Nootropic compounds: Phenols and polysaccharides in enoki mushrooms protect brain cells from damage and improve brain function. They also help regulate the activity of brain chemicals or neurotransmitters like acetylcholine, serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which help improve memory and learning.

Ergosterols: acts to maintain cell membrane integrity. Because ergosterol is present in cell membranes of fungi, yet absent in those of animals, it is a useful source for antifungal treatments.

Contains phenols like protocatechuic acid, p-coumaric, and ellagic acid: having antioxidant effects that help slow down the growth of cancer cells.

Excellent source of Selenium: an essential component of various enzymes and proteins, called selenoproteins that help make DNA and protect against cell damage and infections; these proteins are also involved in reproduction and the metabolism of thyroid hormones.

Other myco-nutrients 

Enoki is a powerful medicinal mushroom, mainly thanks to the antioxidants it contains. Ergothioneine in particular has proved to reduce photodamage on the skin. In addition to that, Ergothioneine creates intercellular stimulation to reduce ATP, which shows the mushroom to have positive effects in treating prostate cancer and lymphoma. Two of Enoki’s polysaccharides have also been shown to have strong immunomodulating and cancer-eliminating properties. The mushroom can help you fight melanoma, thanks to its high protein beta-glucan Proflanin, which targets foreign pathogens more efficiently than its other counterparts.

In addition to that, the medicinal fungus naturally contains a protein known as lectin, which enhances the production of its antioxidants. Giving the Enoki’s antiviral, antibacterial, immunoregulating properties. Another vital element you can find in Enoki is vitamin B3 (1 cup of raw Enoki contains almost a quarter of the vitamin B3 we require daily). The anti-inflammatory properties of niacinamide (a specific type of B3 found in Enoki) are remarkably famous in skincare but can also help to relieve arthritis and alleviate joint pain. Minerals like riboflavin, thiamine, and folate, make it a good supplement for those in need of thyroid support. The fungus is also high in fiber, which makes it another blood mushroom – effective in managing blood sugar and aiding digestion.

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