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TMHS 793: Strengthen Your Mental & Emotional Fitness Through the Power of Creativity – With IN-Q

TMHS 244: Immunomodulation, Adaptogens & Healing Mushrooms with Tero Isokauppila

The future of medicine is really the past of medicine. I know that sounds pretty deep… but hear me out.

We have records that at least two thousand years ago, physicians were prescribing medicinal mushrooms to their patients. Viral infection, headache, low libido… you name it. Medicinal mushrooms ranked at the top of the list in effectiveness for most illnesses. Now, here’s the rub. They also prescribed them to patients to help keep from being sick in the first place (not just when they had a problem).

It’s a very different model today, where our healthcare practitioners profit only when you are sick. Contrast that with the practitioner of old, who was paid to keep you well. One of these approaches needs more sick people around. The other one is single-focused on doing what it takes to keep you healthy.

The irony is that today’s physician is unknowingly prescribing drugs from fungi too. A sizeable percentage of the top pharmaceutical drugs are derived from mushrooms and other fungi (you’ve heard of penicillin, right?). They have been studied and used because they work. The problem with the pharmaceutical model, however, is the rampant occurrence of side effects. They’re obviously not using the thing found in nature as practitioners did in the past. Instead, they isolate, isolate, isolate until it’s just a shadow of its former self (and shadows can be pretty creepy as it is).

Today, we’re going to look at exactly why medicinal mushrooms are so effective that Big Pharma loves them. But, more importantly, we’ll be diving in on the very best mushrooms to utilize to keep you healthy in the first place… without side effects (unless you count being more awesome as a side effect). Tero Isokauppila is back on the show to blow your mind with practical tips, clinically proven data, and even a recipe for chocolate mousse that can help protect you from the common cold and more. Click play, take good notes, and enjoy!

In this episode you’ll discover:

  • Why exercise benefits several areas of our lives.
  • The surprising amount of pharmaceutical drugs that utilize fungi.
  • How mushrooms and human DNA are related.
  • What immunomodulation means.
  • Why some substances can act like caffeine for your immune system.
  • What natural killer cells are and how medicinal mushrooms train them.
  • How a food or herb can be classified as an adaptogen.
  • Which medicinal mushroom is amazing for your skin.
  • How medicinal mushrooms are able to create vitamin D like humans do.
  • Which mushroom is best for stress reduction and clinically proven to improve sleep.
  • What the “three treasures” are in Chinese medicine.
  • Which medicinal mushroom features the potent anticancer compound PSK.
  • Why mushrooms are the original worldwide web.
  • Why some mushrooms are actually great for fighting fungal infections.
  • Which mushroom has been found to be effective for supporting weight loss.
  • Whether or not medicinal mushrooms are safe for kids and pregnant mothers.
  • How your respiratory system can be protected with a specific mushroom.
  • Whether or not you should be using medicinal mushrooms on a daily basis.



Items mentioned in this episode include:

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Shawn Stevenson: Welcome to The Model Health Show. This is fitness and nutrition expert, Shawn Stevenson, and I'm so grateful for you tuning in with me today. This is a really interesting day because I am more sore than I've been probably ever in my life, alright? Today I was trying to walk. I'm kind of like when- the scene in Bambi when Bambi was trying to like learn how to ice skate, right? Legs kept slipping. I literally am taking steps and my legs are like, 'Nah bro, you're going down,' and I've got to keep catching myself. But it's all good, I'm adjusting, but it's one of those things where I actually experienced a wrist injury not too long ago, and I've been working my way back to good form. I was just deadlifting, getting close back up to 400 pounds, and did a bunch of box jumps, and I was like, 'You know what? I'm going to do 100 squats. I'm going to do 100 barbell squats with 80% of my weight on the bar.' Yeah, congratulations, you played yourself. And you know how when you're doing these types of things, when you're going hard on your workout, and your brain starts talking to you like, 'You should just do 85. You should do 70, who's going to know? It's just you, why are you doing this to yourself? You're going to be messed up tomorrow.' But I kept telling myself, 'No you said this, you committed, execute.' Live for today. Live for today, Shawn. And so that's what I did, and I completed the workout and I felt like a billion dollars. Today I feel like maybe $0.75, alright? But it's all good, you know? This is one of the things that we do to really improve ourselves, and we go- this is why I love the activity of exercise, period. Because you're consciously exposing yourself to a stressor, right? You're proactively exposing yourself to something that can be considered painful. And what that does, is it really helps to weather you and to condition you for other things that are tough, or that can be painful in our lives whether it's physical or mental. And so this is why I think it's another important reason why exercise is so valuable. It's not just for the fact- again, getting abs, that's a side effect of exercise. The real purpose of exercise is derived from the word exorcism that exercise comes from, and exorcism means basically to get rid of things that shouldn't be there, alright? So that's what exercise is about. It's about elimination, it's about assimilation. It's one of the biggest mechanisms for detoxifying your body and your tissues. Like you've got this internal sewage treatment system in your body, and it needs to move, and it's called your lymphatic system by the way. We did a whole episode on it, we'll put it in the show notes, it's classic. But if your lymphatic system is not moving, nasty stuff is going to start to happen, and your lymphatic system doesn't have a pump. If you don't move, your lymphatic system doesn't move effectively. So again, this is why exercise matters and also those mental muscles, alright? Being 'skrong,' alright? Put the K in there, being 'skrong' and adaptable to the things that life presents us with. Now with that said, you know something else that's important about our physical fitness is having the right strategy, right? Not just any exercise, but the best exercise. Not just any nutrition, but the best nutrition. Not just any of the other components that actually matter more for transforming your body than exercise and diet combined. And that's what we talked about recently on this powerful fat loss master class, and it just passed, but we've extended it. We've got a free replay that you can check out for a limited time. You need to pop over right now and check it out. That's going to be at, alright? Limited time you can join in and check out that master class on fat loss. Powerful stuff. Take advantage of it, it's only going to be available for a short amount of time. Pop over, check it out as soon as possible. Now really quickly, a big part of my nutritional strategy is recovery, you know? That's a big part of my life because I'm training like this, I need to give my body the raw materials that it needs to regenerate itself. And so for that, I truly believe that every single person needs to be on a green superfood blend, right? To get those alkaline minerals, to really get a great source of vitamins in a bioavailable form, not some random thing that you get out there on the store shelf at Walgreens or CVS, and this 'Centrum' whatever, Centrum Silver or whatever that stuff is that are synthetic. We're talking about from real food sources, so earth grown nutrients that are going into Organifi's green juice blend. I use this all the time, my kids use it as well, my oldest son absolutely loves it, he has it on a daily basis. And I just- you know kids don't do things for no reason. Like I think that he feels something from it, he gets something from it that he continues to utilize it. So it's got spirulina, chlorella, organic wheat grass, and the big thing about this also is that it's organic, alright? They're not cutting corners with this. This is third party tested for contaminants and all this stuff that we don't tend to think about when we're just buying- 'Oh we need to get a green blend, let me just get this one from company X.' Organifi is the real deal and they do it the right way, and it tastes good also. By the way, I've tried at least 25 to 30 different green blends over the years. I've been your guinea pig, alright? You're welcome. Alright I was running on that wheel, now I find I've centered myself with Organifi because it actually tastes good as well. So we've got all of the good stuff in there and it actually tastes good. So spirulina, fikosianin, it literally can be proven to do something called stem cell genesis, right? To literally create stem cells. What? Crazy! Stem cells become any cell that your body needs. Powerful stuff, alright? Beta carotene, great source of magnesium as well. Magnesium is responsible for over 325 chemical processes in your body. Check them out,, 20% off, alright? That's 20% off. Now let's get to the iTunes review of the week. ITunes Review: Another five star review titled 'Definitely Subscribe' by WeldRat. 'I am consistently blown away by the content of your podcast. I subscribe to many, but yours so often hits on something I am working on in my own life. Your show is clear, concise, and empowering. Thank you for the great work you do.' Shawn Stevenson: Awesome, thank you so much for leaving that review for me. That means so much, and thank you for that acknowledgement as well. And that's really what I strive to do. And I love- again the quote from Einstein, and I say this as much as I possibly can, 'If you can't explain it simply then you don't know it well enough.' And that's what I strive to do to make sure that I'm not trying to sound like the super smart guy. I want to make sure that you feel smart, and that you get the information that you can use in your life, that you can share with other people, and so we can all be empowered. We can all be empowered in our information that we're carrying and how we're utilizing it to impact our own lives and the lives of the people that we care about. That's what it's really about. So thanks for leaving these reviews over on iTunes for me. If you've got a second, please pop over. You can pause this, go pop over, leave a review, alright? I'll be here when you get back, I'm here on demand. Head over to iTunes, leave us a review. I truly do appreciate that. And now let's get to our special guest and our topic of the day. Our guest today is Tero Isokauppila, and he's a thirteenth generation family farmer hailing from Finland. In 2012, Tero founded Four Sigmatic which is best known for its mushroom coffee products, and mushroom elixirs, mushroom hot cocoa, mushroom blends. Love, love, love them. And Tero and Four Sigmatic have been featured in prominent media outlets including Vogue- who do you know who's been in Vogue? Alright? Vogue, Time, Forbes, Buzzfeed, on, and on, and on, and he is now based in Santa Monica, California. That's where we were hanging out not too long ago. And Tero is a renowned resource on superfoods, an expert on natural health definitely. I mean he is exceptional. You guys are going to learn so much cool stuff today, so be ready. This is one to take notes with for sure. And in 2016 he was also chosen as one of the world's top fifty food advocates by the Academy of Culinary Nutrition, and I'd like to welcome back to The Model Health Show my friend, Tero. How are you doing today, man? Tero Isokauppila: Amazing, thanks for having me back on the show. Shawn Stevenson: It's my pleasure, it's my pleasure. We just got to hang out not too long ago, and you're still on the road. Tero Isokauppila: Yeah, I'm still on the road. Baltimore this time. Last time you saw I was in Denver? Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, yeah. Tero Isokauppila: Yeah, got that high altitude keeping our lungs high intensity. Tough, man. Tough. It's hard to get your PRs done at that altitude but they say it's good for you. Shawn Stevenson: Exactly, that's what they say. That's what they say. Tero Isokauppila: They say though that you should live high, train low though. They kind of say that live in the mountains and train lower in altitude so you get more out of it, but who knows. Shawn Stevenson: Yeah. Deep stuff, man. But you know it's just those different stimuli. Tero Isokauppila: Yeah. Shawn Stevenson: And you know what's so crazy is that I didn't even think about that when I got there because the next day I went to the gym and real talk, I might be able to knock out maybe 25 pullups. That's like right around that number, my max, and I was like struggling at like 16, 17, I'm just like, 'What is going on? I know the travel didn't hit me that hard, I'm used to this.' But then somebody mentioned about that and it just made perfect sense. It really does affect you. It was crazy! Tero Isokauppila: Absolutely. And I climbed the second highest mountain in California, and I was just like, 'Am I this out of shape?' Like the last mile or so took me like an hour at like 9,000 to 10,000 feet. I was like, 'I am dying right now, my lungs.' But it's a real thing. It's a real thing. Shawn Stevenson: That's bananas, man. But you know when it boils down to it, again it was great to see you. I saw you in the gym after the- and there was a lot of so-called health experts there at the event, I only saw like two of them came to the gym, you know? And I see this consistently when I go out to places. Of course people are doing stuff, maybe they're working out in their hotel room, I don't know. But Tero walks his talk and he also employs strategies so that he stays healthy on the road because we don't have time to get sick. We don't have time for that. And it's just really a great, great thing, and I want to talk to you about that because when we think about medicine, even hearing the word we think about the pharmaceutical model today, you know? Big pharma. So why are mushrooms today, why are they even considered to be classified as medicines in the first place? Like why are they in that category? Tero Isokauppila: Well let's start with the one fact that all the pharmaceuticals we use today come from nature. Like they're derived from something. We also have to understand how that business works. Like that pharmaceutical industry works on patents and that you can protect something, you have to have innovation or IP. So you can't just take a tomato, or a sweet potato, or you can't take in a mushroom by itself because nobody can own a whole food. But if you can take a compound from a mushroom- or ideally a compound from a mushroom and a compound from a plant and combine them together in something that has scientific evidence on, you can own it. But just as a starting point, all the pharmaceuticals we have come from nature. So but when we isolate compounds- and there's plenty of research on various substances when we isolate compounds they actually become stronger. So you can actually have more effects from an isolated compound. And you know, in a smaller scale we have whey protein isolates where it's like they are more targeted. But then these pharmaceuticals are even more isolated from that, like just an individual one compound. But the bad news is that sometimes it comes with side effects, or you cannot use them on a daily basis, where our body is used to having these foods that don't offer as drastic effects, but they're safer. So foods generally are recorded as safe. So that's the compound. And to the mushrooms, one thing why they're so amazing for us is that we ourselves are almost half mushrooms in our DNA. Shawn Stevenson: That's crazy. Tero Isokauppila: But depending on the fungi, we share 30% to 50% of the DNA. So we have biosimilarity, so we're similar, so they're like familiar with each other. They're like, 'Yeah we speak the same language.' Like it's like Spanish and Portuguese. Like I don't know that word, but I know most of it. So like we talk the same talk, and that's why a lot of these fungi medicine is so bioavailable. That being said, we also need to know is that when something's good for us, it might be also bad for us. So there's also bad mushrooms out there that can be poisonous or toxic to our bodies. So not all fungi are good, but the fungi medicine- the good mushrooms are really bioavailable with our body. Shawn Stevenson: Oh yeah, wow that's crazy stuff. And guys, if you missed Tero's first appearance on the show, we'll put that in the show notes, and man we dug into so much great stuff. And we're going to get into even more here, but that's still- when you say it out loud, again it's so weird and profound that we share such a high percentage of DNA with mushrooms, right? And so a lot of us would like consider mushrooms to be a vegetable, right? But it's not even in that category. Tero Isokauppila: Yeah, it's not. It's its own kingdom, and yeah we have the similarity. And I'm sure at this show we can really geek out on that stuff. Shawn Stevenson: Of course. Tero Isokauppila: We can go, and like you said in the intro, we have to say it simply but sometimes for some people you also want them to know the deep stuff. So today I hope we can go a little extra deep and understand how gut biome, and adaptogens, and other things like that. Shawn Stevenson: Absolutely, man. It sounds great. So I think a good place to start is- you know, you already talked about the simple and profound fact that the pharmaceutical model is still based on nature, but it's kind of really creating a gross kind of strange version of it. And there's a big percentage of drugs today that are actually based on mushrooms. Isn't that right? Isn't there a certain percentage? Tero Isokauppila: Yeah, it's around 40% and I think the last study I saw out of the twenty bestselling drugs in the world, ten utilize fungi. So it's a pretty big number, and penicillin is the one that most people know, but especially as it relates to the immune system, immunosuppressants particularly, both things that boost the immune system and calm down the immune system, especially in that space. And some in blood sugar, diabetes area, there's plenty of pharmaceuticals that use fungi for sure. Shawn Stevenson: You just said a perfect word for us to dive in and talk about, and it's not just- it's immunomodulation. Let's talk about that and the intelligence that mushrooms have versus just isolating a compound from a plant or mushroom to try to push your immune system in one direction. Let's talk about immunomodulation. Tero Isokauppila: So immunomodulation has- and that kind of two part word is like immune, which is our immune system, which protects the body, and then have this modulation. And the modulation, I use the anecdote of driving on a highway with your car and putting on cruise control. Like you set it up at a certain pace that your body naturally is comfortable with. But like to break it down, I just want to frame an image to people. So you come home from work or school, and you have a little sore throat, you're like, 'It's a little rough, but I'm okay. I'll be good.' You go to bed and you wake up the next day and you're sniffing, you didn't really sleep well, and you have a cough, and you're like coughing, and the flu, and you're like- that's the most common scenario when people think of immune system. They think of having the flu or a cough, right? And then you go to work, and don't feel good, and then they go to the natural products store or something, and they go to the immune section, and they find like that garlic, or it can be something like that. And those things are immunostimulants, so they are the caffeine for your immune system. So they kind of go and tell your body- your body naturally is protecting yourself. Like every day you encounter bacteria, viruses, and pathogens. Like there's no way you're not encountering pathogens, it's just like is your body ready for those pathogens? So your body will encounter stress and intruders all day long, all night long as well. So when you're sleeping, that's happening. So when you have that flu or cough, you go and get those immunostimulants, and you get that caffeine boost, boost, boost, and most immune products are kind of designed to boost your immune system. And that's okay, you need that occasionally, but then more and more people have this chronic inflammation because of work, and exercise, and travel, and poor diet, and they've been stimulating their body for too long, and they might burn their adrenals, but what also happens is they might get these autoimmune diseases, or they suddenly might be thirty and they'll have an allergy. They're like, 'I was never allergic to carrots. Like why am I now allergic to carrots or gluten?' And you're like, 'Am I coming new age that I'm allergic to gluten as well because everybody else is allergic to gluten? Like what's happening?' What happens is at one point your body just says like, 'I've been overstimulated.' And your internal security officers get confused and they start attacking healthy cells, like things that are not intruders. They're like, 'Oh attack that one,' but you shouldn't attack it. And this is like the chronic inflammation, and autoimmune diseases are like Crohn's disease, multiple sclerosis- the MS disease, arthritis, and in these cases you need the same things that are suppressing the immune system. So it's like the caffeine and the sleep pill help the immune system, but what these mushrooms do is they have this intelligence. Like they're not even trying to heal you, they just know- they just help your body to stay at that balance. They just help you to modulate it. So if you have a too active immune system, it helps bring it down, but if it's low, it helps pick it up. So it's like nutrients for the immune system with intelligence to tell you if you need boost or calming. So that's what immunomodulation is. It's the modulation of your immune system. Shawn Stevenson: That's beautiful. That's a symbiotic relationship with nature right there. And that goes back- the reason that it can do that is it's so similar, again to human DNA. That's why it can have that impact, and that information, that connection, that communication. And one of the things that I want to talk about kind of in this vein is the natural killer cells, right? So we've got these NK cells that are kind of like immune system weapons. And they're kind of like- whenever I think about them now, I think about Ninjago, and they've got like these different powers and different capabilities, and they can get trained, they can become more, they can become better, they can become more intelligent and effective. And so we take a mushroom like rishi for example, and I've seen some studies showing that over 300% increase in your natural killer cells activity, so it's kind of like immune system training to be more intelligent and how it's handling the situation, right? Tero Isokauppila: Yeah, and I use this car highway anecdote, but the other anecdote is exactly what you just said, which I love. Is that they are like- especially we talked last time about these polysaccharides and beta-glucan. So if you haven't heard that episode, maybe go back and listen to that one. But one of the best parts about mushrooms, and actually one of the most studied compounds generally in health is these beta-glucans. And these beta-glucans are essentially like a bootcamp for your immune system. So the beta-glucans are not going to make you healthy, they're just like forcing your own natural killer cells, and cytokines, and these other bouncers and cops of your body to get trained. And they are a bootcamp. So they're not like, 'Let's go do a little spinning,' but they're like hardcore like, 'We're going to get fit now. Like this is it. This is the real thing. This is the five Tabatas in a row, this is the high intensity workout,' and they're going to get fit, and they're going to protect you after that. So yeah, that's huge. And the immune system is not just for staying healthy. It's linked with your skin, with your energy level, with your brain function, because it all starts in the gut. Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, wow. Powerful. That's so powerful, man. And no disrespect to spinning, by the way, guys. Tero Isokauppila: No, no, no. Shawn Stevenson: I know people would be like, 'What? Spinning is hard!' It depends on which spin class you go to. Tero Isokauppila: Yeah, absolutely. Shawn Stevenson: It's all good, man. So guys this is so powerful and profound, and when you look at all of the different options that we have today, there is so much stuff out there on the store shelves, and the commercials, and all these things, but it's just getting back to what has worked for us as humans, you know? And our ancestors were trying to kind of document and take note of these things, and they've left a lineage and this incredible wealth of information. If you look at something like Chinese medicine, which at least 5,000 years of documented history, and then today we're just basically using our new scientific method to affirm what they already told us. You know, like with something like rishi, working on those- I think it's your shen, right? Working on your shen, the three treasures, and this kind of thing, and helping to support the immune system. Basically keeping you healthy so that you don't get sick in the first place, and it's really fascinating stuff. So there's another word that comes up that's been tossed around out there a little bit, and that's 'adaptogens.' Alright? So let's talk about what an adaptogen is. Tero Isokauppila: Yes, that is right now the trendiest word out there. But just like many other things, you don't want to buy the label, but it's good to understand why this label exists. So if something is organic, doesn't really mean that it's good for you. The same way if something is labeled 'adaptogen,' is it actually an adaptogen first of all? So the research on adaptogens is based on three criteria. So if something needs to be an adaptogen, it needs to have these three things. And the first one is pretty clear, it has to be safe, and safe means non-toxic and nonhabit forming. So if it can cause you an addiction, it cannot be an adaptogen. If it's not safe twelve months of the year, it's not an adaptogen. So that's rule one, it needs to be safe year round. Second, which is sometimes a little hard for us, especially who love science, is it needs to be non-specific. Non-specific. So it needs to help multiple body functions. So it's not a sniper rifle, it's like the carpet bombing, you know? It does a lot of stuff. So it's not a specialty thing, but it works your physical, your mental, chemical, biological factors. And then the third one, which is also fascinating, is that it needs to balance your body. So it's not a stimulant or sedated. So it's not- like in your book you talked about things that are good for calming like [Inaudible 00:23:10]. [Inaudible 00:23:11] is not an adaptogen, it's only an evening time thing. And if you have a coffee or dark cacao, you know dark chocolate, it's uplifting but these adaptogens are balancing. So in theory you can have- you can have ashwagandha in your morning and in the evening. You can have cordyceps in the morning and the evening. So it needs to be those three things and even though there's a lot of hype around these, I personally think there's like ten, fifteen if we're stretching, maybe twenty of these in the world. There's not a lot of them yet but the ones that we know about are incredible. Shawn Stevenson: Absolutely yes and you already mentioned a couple that I'm a huge fan of and have been using for- you know at least ten years myself personally, and there's so much value in these things. And like you said there's very few. There's a lot of claims but there's very few that actually fit that bill. And so what's so great is that since our last conversation, my friend wrote 'Healing Mushrooms,' and this is definitely going to hit the bestseller list- many bestseller lists and detailing many of the most incredible mushrooms- medicinal mushrooms on the planet, and sharing some of the science, and some of the fun facts. Like stuff- just like crazy stuff you had no idea that fungi, or that these specific mushrooms had anything to do with. And- and this what I love the most, is that you brought a very powerful sense of practicality to it. Like, 'Okay now I know all this cool stuff about this medicinal mushroom, but how do I actually use it?' Right? And of course, you know you being the founder of Four Sigmatic, you've made it easier than ever for people to utilize these things with the mushroom coffees, and the hot cocoas, and things like that. Just being able to easily add it to our lives, but we can actually make these things into like some culinary fun fest, and so that was so cool. We'll talk about that a little bit, but I want to dive in and talk about a few of the mushrooms, because you chose some specific ones to highlight in the book, and there's many. We're going to talk- because we've got Tero here, we're going to talk about some that are not in the book too and some things you've probably never even heard of guys, so make sure again to take notes. But probably the champion that you started right off with was chaga. Why did chaga lead things off for you? Tero Isokauppila: It's just where I grew up in Finland, and it grows everywhere in the birch trees, so I have a very personal relationship with something. Sometimes I read studies on an ingredient or even a fitness exercise that I'm not familiar with myself, I get excited about it but it's hard for me to talk about- you know a certain type of an exercise or food if I don't have a personal relationship with it, if I haven't foraged it, seen it, or used it at least. Like in your case you were saying you've been using these ten years, so you've like really felt it over a long time, so that's really important. So chaga is one. Secondly and I think it's like the number one wellness mushroom. So there's mushrooms that you can use specifically for certain things, but it's that all day, every day on shrooms mushroom. So it's the thing that helps with your gut, it's the thing that offers you antioxidants that protect you against pathogens, and it's also a very easy, palatable flavor. That's why I love it. But chaga is great for skin, for inflammation, which so many of us have because of exercise, or travel, or work. And then it's super- it's like a force field in a cup, as we say. It like offers you this protection on a daily basis, and it's very soft and soothing but still firm and powerful on protecting our body. So that's why I love it. It's like the General in a way of all the mushrooms. Shawn Stevenson: Oh, I love it. I love it. In here you mentioned a study and it found that it has immunomodulating effects. That's one of the big keys here as we just talked about, and also some potential as a use for even a possible counter for the flu vaccination as well. And somebody just asked me about the flu shot, and we did an episode way back in the day about that, we'll put it in the show notes for you guys. But you mentioned earlier about being good for the skin. There's a specific compound that when we hear it we tend to think about the skin that's found in chaga. Can you talk about what that is? Tero Isokauppila: Yeah, melanin. So melanin is- actually a lot of people are familiar with it. It's one of those words that it's gone around the circles, and people have heard it, but they're like, 'Oh it's something with skin, and sunbathing,' and what. And there's where actually the similarity with mushrooms come in. So mushrooms, like humans and animals, cannot produce their own food, but what we can do is actually through the skin of the mushroom or humans, we can create vitamin D that most top mushrooms have, but also in this case, chaga has this beautiful way of creating melanin. And melanin creates not only beautiful skin, but it's an extremely powerful antioxidant. So melanin can also protect the body and support inflammation and protect against pathogens. So melanin is a great antioxidant but obviously it's best known for creating that glowing, beautiful, natural skin. Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, wow. Like I didn't even think about that until you just said it, and I know that mushrooms, specifically the tops are great- well they're one of the very few choices of vitamin D that you're going to find in foods. Tero Isokauppila: Yeah. Shawn Stevenson: I never thought about why. That's so crazy. So crazy. Tero Isokauppila: And it's not naturally in them, they collect it like humans collect it with their skin. So it's like something they block from the outside from the sun the same way as we do. It's just like they condense it and we can ingest it. Shawn Stevenson: Exactly, exactly. Wow crazy, crazy stuff. Actually in the book, the first two are I guess maybe the king and queen in a way, but chaga and rishi as well are the first ones you talk about in the book. So let's talk about rishi. Why is rishi one of the ones you singled out? Tero Isokauppila: Well rishi is great, one for people who really want to see scientific research. Because actually funny, in the old traditional Chinese medicine, their Bible, it was counted as the number one herb- at that point they classified it as an herb, of everything. Like everything. Like better than anything else. Better than ginseng, better than like goji berries, number one. So because of that and then future, because it's commonly available, has an incredible amount of research. So that's one that it's even studied for like anti-HIV, and all kinds of wild stuff, and you're like, 'What?' But why I like it is it's predominantly for working on the endocrine system and really the glands, the glands that produce our hormones, and especially in a grounding way. So rishi and ashwagandha are my two favorite adaptogens for stress reduction. So even though adaptogens are not just for the morning or evening, these are the ones that you need if you think stress is overtaking you, and having that buffer and protection, or the evening time it will help you sleep deeper. So I love it for that. Granted it also has had an incredible amount of research on blood sugar and gut biome. So it has other things as well, but why I really love rishi is its ability to balance our glands, and hormones, and help you reduce stress, and kind of promote healthier deeper sleep. So even if you sleep the same amount as every night, but getting to that rejuvenating phase of sleep is really important. Shawn Stevenson: You know earlier when I mentioned shen, people might think that I was talking about your leg. I'm not talking about that shin. Can you talk a little bit about the three treasures in Chinese medicine? Tero Isokauppila: Yeah I mean the classic anecdote is a candle. So in traditional Chinese medicine, they look at three treasures, and you need to have all these three treasures, and it's kind of an anecdote for the body, and the mind, and the spirit. So the candle- so they have the candle wax. That's called the jing. I mean overly simplistically, that's your body. That is what you were born with. And then you have qi, which is often sometimes in movies, you know they do the life force, and qi is the flame of the candle. So jing is the wax, and qi is the flame. And that's often kind of a symbol for blood circulation, just the energy that flows within our body. So jing being our body in physical part, you know and qi being the blood and the circulation and energy that flows up and down in our body. But the coolest by far is shen, and this often takes awhile to get it. I didn't get it in the beginning. I was like, 'What is this? Like this new age- I don't know.' But shen is the light that it creates, the halo that it creates in the room. So candle wax is jing, and then the flame is qi, and shen is the light that it creates for the room. And once I started working with adaptogens, it made total sense. So when I got into adaptogens, and I was like alert, this fight or flight mode, and whenever I now go to airport and my flight is delayed, or I don't get into my hotel, or whatever happens I'm like, "Yeah, whatever." You create this buffer with these adaptogens. It's just such a black belt, like Jedi mind tricks a little bit, and it just helped me like see the world. Another thing, kind of an anecdote, I played soccer growing up. I remember when I started playing soccer I was always running the ball, and running, chasing the ball, and there was a point when my skillset- I got used to the pace and I could just- like everything went on slow motion and I could see where the ball was going, not where it is. And that is how I feel when I take adaptogens, is like everything goes in slow motion, and I can see it clearly, and I can be ready what happens, even if it's a bad thing. Shawn Stevenson: Wow, interesting. That's really profound, and there are so many different things in our lives that can kind of manifest our experience, right? And so a big part of that is our mindset, right? And if you think about how you are dealing with a stressor. And I'm thinking about my life personally, and how much more- like you just said, I have this buffer. I have this space, and I think it's been developed through meditation, through just working on myself, exercise and all this other stuff, but also I think that things like rishi have really been helpful in that. And it can be overlooked because it's so simple, but it's been used for so long because it really does work, it really does have benefit. And you mentioned sleep earlier, and so we were actually pairing this with my book 'Sleep Smarter' when we talk about rishi with you guys. And it's because there was a study published in the journal 'Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior' that found that the renowned medicinal mushroom rishi was able to number one, significantly decrease sleep latency. So that means you fall asleep faster when you use rishi. They found that it also increased overall sleep time for the study participants. They also found it increased deep sleep and light sleep as well. Alright so it increased the quality of that sleep. So it's not just like you're unconscious, right? What you get with these so-called sleep drugs or sleep medications where it's like pseudo sleep, and I know this because I was on those when I was dealing with my- this spinal issue when I was younger. My biggest struggle was trying to sleep at night, and so I had my little chemical cocktail, which I just recently found out that Celebrex has all these lawsuits against it, but that's one of the drugs I was on, which caused a side effect of restless leg syndrome for me, which restless leg syndrome didn't have a name yet. And it really sucks if you feel like your legs are trying to get up and leave your body when you're trying to sleep. It's a really weird thing. You know and then over-the-counter stuff as well. But we have this here and it's something safe and natural. And also with Four Sigmatic they do a dual extraction, and so you're getting all the stuff that- you hear these studies, it's like, 'Are they actually doing the extraction method to get the stuff that you're looking for?' So make sure guys, if you're not doing this already, and I know a lot of people already are, head over to right now and get 15% off all of their mushroom elixirs whether it's chaga, whether it's rishi, whether it's lion's mane, another one of my favorites, cordyceps we've talked about, then they've got the combinations, they've got the mushroom coffee, mushroom hot chocolate which I made for my wife today, and he's got a recipe in here by the way- in the book, and she absolutely loves it as well. But you get 15% off so it's 15% off so make sure to check them out. Now let's jump over and talk about something we haven't talked about yet, even in any of our conversations personally, turkey tail. Turkey tail, let's talk about that one. Tero Isokauppila: Well let's start with the fact of what it is not. It is not the tail of a turkey. Shawn Stevenson: It's not Thanksgiving baby. Tero Isokauppila: Yeah it's not. It's coming though, it's coming. So turkey tail is actually probably the easiest mushroom to forage. If you ever want to find a mushroom in the wild, this might be the easiest. There's no dangerous look alike and it pretty much grows everywhere. So it looks kind of like a tail of a turkey, it's pretty colorful. Its Latin name trametes versicolor kind of says it's of many colors. So even often the Latin names are good indicators of what it is. So it's of many colors or it's very colorful. And what's amazing, amazing about turkey tail is that it has these extremely wellstudied polysaccharides, the PSK and the PSP, the polysaccharide krestin and the polysaccharide peptide. And actually the polysaccharide krestin dates- isolate has been the top cancer drugs in Japan for the last thirty plus years. So it's incredibly well-studied and we know all these amazing things for the immunomodulation. And the peptide, the PSP- that was a PSK, so the PSP is a little newer compound and potentially even more powerful than the PSK. And what it does is we've had now proof that it helps alter the gut biome, alter the gut bacteria for the better. So what's interesting about- another buzz word besides adaptogens now is prebiotics. So prebiotics. For years everybody was talking about probiotics, which are good, which is probiotics are pro-life, the bacteria in your life. But these prebiotics might be even more powerful because they feed into the good bacteria. So these are like Jerusalem artichoke, and raw onions, and things like that. But mushrooms are also an abundant source of these good bacteria, and a lot of the immune system starts in the bacteria in the gut, and PSP has been shown to promote that gut biome. So trametes versicolor or turkey tail is a beautiful mushroom, incredibly safe, and in the book I actually do an avocado mousse. So one of my favorite desserts if I have friends coming over or somebody, I just smash avocado, I put a little almond milk, and coconut oil, and then I put raw cacao, and then I put Stevia or like monk fruit, and then I put all these medicinal herbs in there because the cacao and the good fat in the avocado, and the coconut oil, and almond milk really mask the bitter flavors and you get this beautiful mousse that you can put in the fridge. Whenever your guests come, even a few days after, you can have it but it's this fatty sugar-free dessert with all these medicinal ingredients that you hide with fats and cacao. Shawn Stevenson: Oh yeah, oh yeah. And this is something we've been doing for a long time as well, making like a mousse or pudding, but I never thought to add the medicinal mushrooms in there. Tero Isokauppila: And you can put- you can put ashwagandha there for the kids when they have it after dinner or something, you can put a little rishi, and you hide it there and the kids will have instead of a tonic or anything, they have a medicinal dessert with no sugar and the good fat. Shawn Stevenson: This is like ninja tactics here, guys. Tero Isokauppila: Hey, hey you've got to sneak it in. You've got to sneak it in. Shawn Stevenson: Yes, sneaking in the good stuff into desserts even. Upgrading our desserts. So awesome. So awesome. So another one- and by the way, with turkey tail, it's really something that- again like he said, if you're looking to do some foraging, and by the way, Four Sigmatic has some awesome courses and things like that to help you to learn how to do these different things. So again that's another great resource to check out when you pop over to the site. But being so- why do you think it's so prevalent? I don't know if you've got an answer for this, but I think that nature kind of provides what we need in a way. Why do you think turkey tail is so prevalent right now? Tero Isokauppila: So the funny part is that the plant's not just for animals. These mushrooms help support their immune system. So actually the mushrooms help the forest and the plants to protect themselves. And there's all this amazing stuff where the mushrooms tell the trees that intruders or bad plants are coming. So they actually communicate with each other. So my thought is that now that industrialization is growing, and there's all these toxins in nature as well, these mushrooms have appeared, and they've come, and it just tells us the story of not just the immune system of our humans but also the immune system of the ecosystem, what is going on. Obviously this also means that because the mushrooms are there to protect and clean the nature, you've also got to know where if you're foraging. It's that you don't want to forage next to a road or something, you want to be in pristine nature. But still, it kind of to me that's just an anecdote of the ecosystem and not just humans. Shawn Stevenson: Right, oh my goodness. That part as well, you know? You think about- you don't want to forage by a power plant, right? Tero Isokauppila: No. Shawn Stevenson: Like Homer Simpson, he just comes outside and he's like, "Oh a mushroom." That's not something we want to do, so thank you for bringing that part up as well. And some of the things you talked about and shared in looking at how mushrooms are kind of the original World Wide Web in a way, and how it literally is just kind of this intricate web underneath the forest floor and communicating information throughout the entire forest. And actually it's potentially the largest organism in the world is a mushroom, right? Tero Isokauppila: Yeah it's a honey mushroom in Oregon. So it's about 20,000 basketball courts. So the next time when you look at where to go shoot hoops, and you look at the full size court, think about 20,000 of those. Shawn Stevenson: Crazy. Tero Isokauppila: It's a honey mushroom in Oregon and it's also the oldest known organism in the world. So some people say it's at least 2,400 years old, some people say over 4,000 years old, and it's just an insanely large mushroom. And estimates are that also 25% of Earth's biomass is fungi. 25% of the Earth's biomass is fungi, which also is another incredible thing. Shawn Stevenson: Fun facts, guys. We're getting them here today. We're getting them here today. So that's turkey tail we just talked about. Now this one is definitely going to be new for a lot of us. So meshima, alright? Meshima. Tero Isokauppila: Yeah meshima is cool for me for two reasons. One is that it's probably the best in this very prominent Phellinus family. So the Phellinus family has multiple good medicinal mushrooms depending where you are, which region. But this meshima Phellinus linteus is probably the most promising of all of them. So first of all it's like the king of a big family, so that's why I love it, because it's the best of a big group of really good stuff. Second why I love it is that it's been studied in prominent western universities including Harvard Medical School has studied for actually like anti-tumor benefits, which is kind of crazy. But yeah, Phellinus has shown also anti-diabetic potential, same way as another great mushroom, maitake. Some of these mushrooms can help when we talked about adaptogenic properties. We talked about balancing and another thing that we might need to balance sometimes is our blood sugar. So just obviously the whole keto thing is a big thing, and before we had- we looked at like low impact, low GI foods that will not spike up your blood sugar that much. But these mushrooms including meshima can help balance your blood sugar, so that's pretty amazing. And if you're on some kind of a blood sugar focused diet, this might be worthwhile looking into. And just like the PSP and the rishi, the meshima has been shown to have altered changes for the better in the composition activity of our GI tract. So it's really helping not just the immune system for the gut, but also how we absorb fatty fats and carbohydrates. So how we absorb lipids, and sugars, it kind of helps with the absorption of foods as well, so you get better bang for your buck in a more balanced way by consuming these mushrooms. Shawn Stevenson: Perfect, perfect. And you find those in the mushroom blends that Four Sigmatic carries, you can find meshima in there. And also another one that I've been- well before we get to that, you've mentioned- and I want to clarify this for people because if you think about issues with like yeast, right? Candida, and people are like you don't want to bring- you don't want to fool around with fungi, or like- it's because it's kind of a blanket statement, right? But in actuality we look at the research and certain medicinal mushrooms are actually great when dealing with candida and dysbiosis. So let's talk a little bit about that. Why is it a good idea to actually utilize medicinal mushrooms? Why is this kind of counter-intuitive? Tero Isokauppila: So yeah, in general in nutrition, one of my pet peeves is this generalization. It's like that's good, that's bad. You should do this, you should do that. When often it's like what works for me, Tero, a guy from Finland, might be different for you, Shawn, and also like where do we live? Sometimes St. Louis weather is different than the L.A. weather. And then also throughout like our life when we're at twenty and we're ready to go, and our hormones are raging, it's different than when you're going on your forties, and it's a different pace of life. So the same with mushrooms is when somebody says a whole biological kingdom is bad, that really kind of drives me crazy. So the same way with plants, there are plants that can heal us, there's plants that can really kill us and hurt us. And when I wrote no matter how hot this whole plant-based nutrition things comes, you need to remember that there's plants that can hurt us. And the same goes for fungi, the same goes for bacteria. You can get- everybody knows about bad bacteria, and now we've learned about the good bacteria, so fungi is the same. What is funny is sometimes it takes fire to fight fire. So actually some of the most anti-fungal things in the world are actually fungi. So they themselves have to compete with each other. So they're in a war. So the rishi is in a war with some other fungi, and the rishi needs to build these compounds that protect itself, and because of the DNA similarity, the strategies for the rishi uses for itself, we can also use. So the rishi doesn't care about us necessarily, it cares about itself, but it's building these compounds that protects itself, and then we can then ingest them because of the DNA similarity among other things. Shawn Stevenson: Fascinating. Fascinating stuff, man. Now another mushroom- and we'll just cover maybe like one or two more, and there's- again you've got some of your top ones in the book that you detail. But one that I don't think is in the book, but it's in your mushroom blend is something I've been a fan of for a long time, agaricus blazei. Let's talk about that one a little bit. Tero Isokauppila: Yeah just like I mentioned with the Phellinus family with the meshima, the agaricus blazei comes from this huge family of agaricus mushrooms, which actually is the butter mushrooms. So this is actually a super butter mushroom. So butter mushrooms, while not necessarily bad for you, is not necessarily good for you. I look at butter mushroom, I look at iceberg lettuce. Have I ever eaten iceberg lettuce in some restaurant? Yeah, but do I think iceberg lettuce offers much benefit? Not so much. But then you have other dark leafy greens that you talked about with Organifi, and you have your nettles, and you have your dandelions, and those are a whole other level from the iceberg lettuce. So in this case, agaricus blazei is like a supergreen versus an iceberg lettuce, and it's also known as the Brazilian blazei. The Japanese researchers actually went to Brazil, the jungle, to find all this amazing stuff, and they found this village that was never sick, and they were like, 'What's happening?' And they were all having this agaricus blazei mushroom. And that's when they took it with themselves to Japan because in Brazil in the Amazon there's often not a lot of research. And they took it to Japan, they brought it and they were like, 'Holy moly, this is like way more potent and powerful than just the normal butter mushroom.' So agaricus blazei is the super mushroom in this family, and just like many of the other mushrooms that we talked about, agaricus blazei is also known for immune support, and we kind of touched upon some of the other benefits of the agaricus blazei. There are some studies with rats and weight loss. So there was a French study in 2013 that was studying like mushroom extractions in overweight and obese rats on a high fat diet and they noticed that this helped as well. And just like other mushrooms, the mushrooms also help with certain organs, and predominantly the liver. And so it's just- it's very similar to the benefits that we described before, but it's definitely one of the more powerful ones. Inflammation, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, antiinflammatory. But I guess like the most studies I've seen of it, it's been again the immune support and the immune system related things. Shawn Stevenson: And you make it sound cool. Tero Isokauppila: Hey it's a tough word though. Shawn Stevenson: No, no I mean earlier on when I first learned about it, I was like, 'Blazei, blazei, blazei, it doesn't sound too cool.' So I started calling it 'Blaze-eye' and I thought about Pokémon. Tero Isokauppila: Oh, look at that. Yeah. Shawn Stevenson: But you know, I've got agaricus blazei in my cabinet, and it's one of the things that I keep on hand. You know, it's one of my favorite things as well. And I'll from time to time add that into the mix, especially with you guys- mushroom formulas and the different mushroom mixes that you have. It's easy to just kind of take a teaspoon and toss it into a drink, toss it into these different recipes we're going to talk about in just a moment. But super valuable stuff, and I think that brings us to why combine them? Why have formulas, right? Why don't we just do more like the conventional pharmaceutical model and just isolate, isolate, isolate? Why have these mushrooms work together? Tero Isokauppila: Well there's three clear reasons why I think you should not have like single ingredient capsules and pills. And one of them which is the most important one is that life, you need to live it. You need to enjoy it. You need to- and I don't think you should ever forget the culinary part of what we do, and the enjoyment. Even exercise or whatever you do, just like it needs to put a smile on your face and excitement. And for that reason, if you just have even these mushroom extracts, they don't taste that great, you know? So just making them into your daily life is a huge thing, but just enjoyment of life. Secondly I think the number one rule of anything in health, and wellness, and wellbeing, and also just personal growth and happiness is consistency. And consistency, that's like everything consistency and a constant and never-ending improvement. And it's hard to keep a habit that is not fun. And so the second reason is when you incorporate it to foods you would eat anyway, or recipes you're enjoying be it the coffee, or a soup, or a smoothie, or a pizza, it makes it something that you can maintain. Because even though we've talked about these incredible benefits of adaptogens and mushrooms, they're not going to help you if you don't take them. Period, end of story. If you're not taking mushrooms and adaptogens, it doesn't matter how cool they sound, they're not going to help you. And then finally for the absorption. So there are certain things in formulations that are synergistic. When one plus one is three, and in this case a lot of the recipes and formulations help with the absorption of both the mushrooms, but also the other vital nutrients from proteins, to carbs, to fats, to micronutrients, so minerals and vitamins, and that's also really important. Is if you talk to Indigenous people and people with shamans and formulators, they would not just use the single ingredient out of anything. They would always combine a few things that are synergistic. Shawn Stevenson: Right, right. And this is something- again just to remind us about what our ancestors were doing, and we have that ease of access today thanks to what Tero is doing with Four Sigmatic, and just getting his information out there. But I want to talk to you now about some of the FAQ's, man. Some of the frequently asked questions that I still get asked almost on a daily basis now about medicinal mushrooms. You know? And we can't blame ourselves for having these questions, you know? Tero Isokauppila: We're not. Shawn Stevenson: I'm wondering, are medicinal mushrooms safe for my kids? Even though I just gave them some Sprite and some Honey Nut Cheerios, right? But is the medicinal mushrooms- but again, we still have to ask. Tero Isokauppila: For sure. Shawn Stevenson: Because this is outside of our paradigm. So first question, are medicinal mushrooms safe for kids? Tero Isokauppila: Short answer, yes. But for kids, the dosages need to be smaller. So the amount that they're consuming, it should be smaller. With anything, you know? So they're safe and they will definitely benefit from it. I wouldn't give it to a baby because babies actually need to build their own immune system first. So it's actually good for them to get bacteria and all this stuff, and just like they're growing and developing. But from a toddler upwards, they're totally fine for kids. And by the way, it's also safe to take them when you're breastfeeding, but just like with anything else from caffeine to alcohol to fatty foods, you should probably still talk to your doctor depending on how your pregnancy and breastfeeding goes in general. But yes, they are safe, just be mindful of the dosage and like listen to your kid as well. Whatever they’re craving is usually a thing that they're kind of asking for in some capacity. Shawn Stevenson: So you know, just for an example with my son Braden, probably maybe when was around four years old I started to add a little bit of cordyceps specifically into his smoothies and things like that. And kids- and everybody knows who has kids, they're like little smugglers, right? They're smugglers of little sicknesses, right? And it just is what it is, and when you go into the school and you see like a little kid come up to you, "Hey I found a squirrel," and it's like the snot is just hanging down. "Okay, okay just don't touch me." But you know, it's still a little cute little kid, and you just deal with it. And so Braden, he- this is so beautiful, and I'm so grateful because you know obviously we're doing some things that are working, but at the same time people are going to get sick, kids are going to get sick, it's okay, we don't want to judge ourselves for that. But it's been so great, what I'm saying this for is that he rarely experiences that. You know? And there are kids sick at school all the time, but his immune system is pretty adaptable, he does pretty well, and if he does get sick, he gets well really quickly. And cordyceps specifically I brought in the mix for like upper respiratory support, and there's phenomenal research out there showing that cordyceps has a tendency to act upon your lungs. It's kind of tonifies your lungs, and also your blood as well, and oxygenating your blood. So just helping you to breathe better, breathe deeper. So just one little thing, but instead of a whole package of Four Sigmatic, I might give him like a fourth of a package, like put it in his smoothie or something like that back in the day. Now maybe it's half a pack every now and then. But this is something I do personally. And I'm glad you brought up for nursing mothers as well, and pregnancy too. Now another question though, FAQ, is it a good idea to utilize the medicinal mushrooms on a daily basis? Tero Isokauppila: Yes. Or let me put it this way, is like think of these mushrooms as like functional mushrooms. Sometimes people are scared of the world 'medicinal.' They're like, 'Oh medicine.' And it's another way to look at it is like the greens. So should you eat- I have spirulina and chlorella all the time, but should you- do you absolutely need to have them every day? Maybe not, but should you have chlorophyll and those nice seeing these colors every day in some capacity? Probably yes. But you can have chlorophyll and a nettle and a dandelion, and you can have it in these beautiful algaes, but you want to have something every day in some capacity, in some form. And the same with mushrooms. I think there's mushrooms that you should have every day such as rishi and chaga, but generally speaking you want to have these polysaccharides in your body on a daily basis in some capacity. And I just think mushrooms are just the most abundant source of them. Shawn Stevenson: Right, exactly. And for many of them, you know I cycle them. I might have lion's- last time we talked I was on a big time lion's mane kick. Tero Isokauppila: Yeah. Shawn Stevenson: And it's because you know, all the research showing how it supports your neurological function, especially if you've dealt with a brain injury, and how it can help to regenerate brain tissue, support your neurons, that kind of thing. It's just amazing, and I think since it works on your brain specifically, when you're doing creative work, when you're doing a lot of mental labor, which a lot of us are today, we're not doing a lot of manual labor, it's more mental labor. I think that it's just one of the things that our bodies call for, you know? And so I really was feeling a strong connection with that, and now I'm just really into rishi pretty full force, and also cordyceps as well. And again, I just cycle them, and sometimes I just cycle it even depending on the day and what I'm doing. You know, if I'm going to work out, I'll have cordyceps. You know, if I'm winding down, I'll have rishi, you know? So lots of stuff to think about, and to implement, and to strategize for yourself and make it personal. But I want to talk about the book, man. So- I'll take that little noise out. But I want to talk about the book, man. I'm really curious as to- you know, you've already achieved a lot and you've already got a lot of information out there into the Interwebs, and you've been featured on all these major media, and all this kind of stuff. Why write this book now? What was the catalyst for that? Tero Isokauppila: Dude I just want to spread the mushroom mission as much as I can, and the number one question I get is, 'Why mushrooms?' Which is what we've been just chatting now, is like why are they good for you? And obviously that's important, and in this book I cover the top ten mushrooms, the mushrooms that you can find everywhere. And some of them are familiar like a shiitake, or enoki, or oyster, and some of them are more exotic ones that we just talked about like a turkey tail or cordyceps. So that's the number one question. But the number two question, is really why I wrote this book, is 'How?' And that's usually followed by the third question is, 'When?' So people ask me how do I use these? 'I don't like the texture of mushrooms, or I don't like the flavor of mushrooms, or I don't know what to do with them, and where do I buy them?' And that's really the questions I get, because I mentioned I love the culinary side of things, and I wanted to make it so easy and fun, you know we just made this book, and it has fifty super amazing recipes. And instead of just making fifty tonics and smoothies, I wanted to illustrate the variety how you can use mushrooms. So there's mushroom ice cubes, or mushroom cocktails, like a Cordysex on the Beach. Shawn Stevenson: Yeah I'm looking at- how did you know which page I was looking at? That's crazy. Tero Isokauppila: Yeah, great minds think alike. Then there's mushroom bacon. So if you want to offer something that tastes almost exactly like bacon but made in mushrooms, if you have somebody in your family who just can't have red meat, or for religion, or whatever purpose, trying out mushroom bacon. You know, drizzle oil and a little bit of maple syrup and good spices, and you put it in the oven, and the shiitake mushrooms give you those medicinal benefits but also taste amazing. Or I mean there's the things that you might expect like a mushroom risotto and a mushroom pizza, but there's also things that are more surprising. Also how to use mushrooms on ice cream. Shawn Stevenson: Yes. Tero Isokauppila: And making caramel bites. So there's a lot of stuff out there just showing people that, 'Hey you don't-' I don't know if people love the mushroom coffee and the mushroom hot cocoa, and that's what most people want. Sometimes it's also know that there's options how we can use these in smoothies. Even you talked about the ten mushroom blends that we have, it's incredibly popular people using it in your smoothies. Just putting half a teaspoon to a teaspoon into a smoothie and you're one and done, you get the ten best mushrooms in the world. So that's why the book was made. Shawn Stevenson: You know what? This is bananas, man. And I'm just grateful for this, and to think differently about it because for me personally too, I just got right into like the drinks. You know? And it's been wonderful, a great value add to my life, but mixing it in other places. You've even got lion's mane pancakes in here, this is really awesome. I'm curious though, but because the drinks are what you're known for, what is your favorite coffee recipe? In the book you've got Rishi Cappuccino in here, you've got- what else you got here? You've got Lion's Mane Latte. What's your favorite? Tero Isokauppila: Well I mean you've got to give- I mean the favorite favorite is often you've got to show a lot of love. It's like hand grind it on a Porlex over a campfire, and you have beans that are about a week old, roasted, and then you put mushroom extracts. But that's so hardcore, I'm just going to keep my basics. So why I use coffee when I use coffee is usually for the brain. So coffee can actually be good for your heart health, and it can actually give obviously energy, but what I use it when I need to think. To really think, and focus, and execute. And for that reason I like to add lion's mane. That's my- I think my favorite mushroom for coffee is lion's mane because it's synergistic with why I use coffee in general. And then I always put chaga because that's really the best place for a coffee. And then the kind of two or three other adaptogens I really like adding is rhodiola. I like eleuthero. I love eleuthero. It's also known as Siberian ginseng. It's great, one of the original adaptogens studied for the brain function as well, and just natural wellbeing. And then maybe tulsee actually. I like tulsee a lot. It kind of takes away the jitters away from the coffee as well. So that's probably my favorite. And then a splash of almond milk is probably- I went through the whole butter, and coconut oil coffee, and that's sometimes fun when I want to do fasting, or just have a long day of going. But if I want to work I usually just put a splash of almond milk and that kind of does the trick for me. Shawn Stevenson: Wow. Nice. Nice. There are so many different things there, even outside of the realm of the medicinal mushrooms that we can integrate and combine with the mushrooms too. I love that. So I'm going to share this one with you guys really quickly, and it's in the book, and there are so many other recipes, but get strong coffee, whatever kind you like. Then we've got the lion's mane that's going to be added to that. Then some form of milk, and this was ideally- it's going to be nondairy for most people. So we're talking almond milk, cashew milk, coconut milk. So we're making a latte here. And a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, and then you can even do a little whipped cream. A little can of whipped cream, you know make it fun. But you're upgrading this experience of having a latte, and that's what it's really all about. So thank you 'a latte' my man for coming on the show today and sharing your gift. You know, the book's going to be dropping real soon so you guys can pre-order it like right now because it's coming out actually in just a few days. So where are they going to be able to find the book? Tero Isokauppila: Pretty much anywhere from Barnes and Noble to BAM books to I guess Amazon is the place to go. So if you go to or you look for your normal- wherever you shop books in general you can get it. It's only $16 so we made it deliberately super, super affordable. It has the top ten mushrooms, fifty recipes, and if you just get one great idea or one great recipe, that's definitely worth that $16. And if you get it now there's amazing pre-order bundles as well, and deals, but yeah you can find it in pretty much anywhere where books are sold. Shawn Stevenson: Awesome, I was going to ask about that. Are you giving any giveaways away with the book and the pre-orders? Awesome. Tero Isokauppila: Absolutely, so go to just So and you'll find plenty of goodness there. But yeah, I mean it's a deal at $16. Shawn Stevenson: Absolutely. Perfect. My man Tero, thank you so much for coming on and dropping so much knowledge for everybody. I appreciate it immensely, and I just can't wait to see the next level, and to support this project. I love the book, I read it on I think two sittings. I just knocked it out, and the recipes are awesome, and just thank you for having the audacity to say yes, and to put this together for all of us. Tero Isokauppila: Thanks man, really appreciate it. Shawn Stevenson: Awesome! Everybody thank you so much for tuning into the show today. I hope you got a lot of value out of this. You know, this is a situation where this is not only about changing the healthcare landscape. This is about changing the landscape of our reality, right? Because medicinal mushrooms and fungi have such a connection as Tero talked about, not just with the human body, but also with plants, with animals, and just the symbiosis of this kind of like- the literal biosphere of the planet. It has a- it's like part of the heartbeat of our world. It's kind of profound when you think about it. But how can we implement this, and utilize this, and relate to this on a smaller scale? And I think it just boils down to utilizing some of the things we talked about. Like he said, you know it doesn't work unless you work it. And these things have been around for literally thousands of years, and a lot of these new medications, like they're literally new. They're new inventions, these things are made in a laboratory whereas we're talking about something that are provided for us to take advantage of. However, were you doing this with intelligence? It's not blind faith, right? We're looking at the research, we're doing our own personal experimentation, and we're working to find a way to utilize things that work great for us. Utilizing processes, and tools, and tactics that can help us to be healthy, and help to make our families healthy as well, and that's what it's really all about. So make sure to pick up 'Healing Mushrooms,' head over to, get those bonuses. You've only got a few days until the book comes out, I don't know if he's going to take those bonuses away, but head over there, check it out. And of course make sure to check out and get yourself some Four Sigmatic products. I literally use these every day, and everything that I do has a purpose, and it's because these things really do work. They really do add value to my life, and they really do things the right way, and they care a lot. I mean he's one of the most generous people that I've ever met, and just a really good person, and we want to support companies that have good people behind them that are doing good things for us, and also good things for the planet, and it's definitely one of those companies. So check them out. Everybody, thank you so much for tuning into the show today. If you got a lot of value out of this, make sure to head out to social media and share the show out with your friends and family. It really does mean a lot to really just touch more lives, and to add more value. Give your friends and family more tools that they can utilize as well because you love them. And I love you, and I appreciate you so much. Take care, have an amazing day, and I'll talk with you soon. And for more after the show, make sure to head over to That's where you can find all of the show notes, you can find transcriptions, videos for each episode, and if you've got a comment you can leave me a comment there as well. And please make sure to head over to iTunes and leave us a rating to let everybody know that the show is awesome, and I appreciate that so much. And take care, I promise to keep giving you more powerful, empowering, great content to help you transform your life. Thanks for tuning in.

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  1. Pingback: Weekly Podcast Recap: Week 11 – Ellie Mondelli
  2. This is crazy. I was listening to a different podcast with Gary from the Human garage, when he brought up the similarities between people and mushrooms.
    So I googled it to see what came up, and not even 5 minutes later I received an email from Shawn’s podcast and it discusses just that…
    Good information!


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