Oh, how I wish I would have taken before and after pictures. I must admit, I’m not very good at skin rituals. I’m a horse woman so I forget to put sun protection on my face and I use Nivea as my daily moisturiser because it’s cheap and thick, so I don’t have to reapply it all the time. However, about a month ago, I found my skin looking really tired. Now I know perfectly well that once I got beyond 45, my skin revealed when I wasn’t getting enough sleep or I was just doing too much. But this was different. I honestly felt that I had aged a decade within the last few weeks. I don’t wear hardly any makeup and I didn’t feel like walking the dog without putting some on. Please keep in mind I don’t have huge issues with ageing. I’m fine with it, but I don’t like looking in the mirror and being shocked by my reflection. And that’s what was happening.
Several months ago I missed a talk given by colleague Martin Powell. In Chinese herbal medicine circles, he’s the mushroom expert. When it comes to medicinal fungus, Martin is the one I trust. Fortunately, Martin’s talk is on YouTube. It’s called “Why All Mushroom’s are Magic“. I highly recommend watching it, it is utterly fascinating. One of the things Martin mentions is that he had used Snow Fungus for a treatment and women asked if they could keep taking the snow fungus because they loved how their skin was on it. You may not be completely familiar with snow fungus but you’ve probably eaten it if, like me, you enjoy your Chinese take-away. Snow fungus is a light coloured, slippery, papery mushroom frequently used in cooking. Luckily, Martin sells snow fungus in pill form so you don’t have to start each morning cooking mushrooms.
So I decided to give it a test run. In Japan snow fungus is used to reduce bad cholesterol and fight antherosclerosis. Animal studies have shown it reduces tumours and increases the activity of natural killer cells. It’s anti-inflammatory, so really, I had nothing to lose.
After 2 weeks of taking 2 pills each morning I noticed my tired look had gone away completely. I was confident going out without make up again and, in fact, I felt I was looking better without makeup again. That look of shock of my reflection had completely gone away. Ever the skeptic, I thought maybe I was just getting used to my reflection but then my 15 year old daughter (who didn’t know I was taking the mushrooms) stopped me, looked closely at me, put the back of her hand to my cheek and said, “Your skin looks beautiful”. I laughed. And she repeated, “No really, your skin looks so even and smooth.”
Sold. Needless to say, I will continue to take snow fungus.
My family has also been taking Reishi from Martin’s shop (and please use his shop as he is excellent at sourcing quality products and quality is everything when it comes to herbs). I’ll do a write up on Reishi soon, too! Watch this space!