Unlocking the Healthy Secrets of Mushrooms

On this week’s episode we sit down with Jme Bonfiglio, Founder, Owner, and Formulator at WholeSun Wellness Medicinal Mushrooms. They delve into the therapeutic value of mushrooms, highlighting their role as superfoods rich in vitamins, minerals, and active compounds essential for maintaining health.

Jme explains the unique growing and processing methods used by WholeSun Wellness to ensure the potency and bioavailability of their mushroom products. She discusses different mushroom types like Reishi, Lion’s Mane, and Turkey Tail, detailing their specific health benefits and uses. Ed and Jme also touch upon the importance of transparency and ethical practices in the mushroom industry, contrasting it with the dilution and lack of quality control seen in some sectors.

The conversation extends to Whole Sun Wellness’s collaborations with medical clinics, where doctors prescribe their mushroom products to patients as part of complementary medicine. Jamie emphasizes the need for education and research when considering mushroom supplements, encouraging listeners to consult experts and reputable sources for guidance.

We hope you enjoy these insights into the world of functional mushrooms!


Ed Jones 0:00
Hey, welcome back to nutritional podcast. So freaking Saudi, I just finished a training with a true, passionate person. And I have to say, I love passion and field of health and nutrition. Welcome, Jamie from whole Sun wellness to nutritional podcast. Thanks for having me. You know, I just thought when I only speak as I think I don’t really prepare for these kinds of interviews, but we look back on people like Rembrandt and Beethoven. And during the Renaissance, a lot of amazing magic was created. why? It’s because people had such a deep passion for one specific thing in their life. This girl, this lady right here has a passion for medicinal mushrooms. And I’m telling you, I’ve done three podcasts on mushrooms. I have recommended mushrooms more in the past six years, and I did the previous 3540 years of my practice here. And I will never stop recommending them. They are empowering people’s health to a level that really and truly, I don’t think any other category of nutritional supplementation or lifestyle empowerment can probably equal that of mushrooms. And the more I learn about mushrooms, the more I’m intrigued and also mystified to nature’s power. And you have done something that is so transparent and so ethical, it gives me amazing confidence in your product to a point that it’s gonna be tough for competitors, actually, because I’m going to be taking your product, the way that you explain it and the way you travel the world. So first off for people that are unfamiliar with mushrooms before we talk about your specific ones and why they are different. What are the main reasons why people might want to consider these? Well,

Jme Bonfiglio 1:48
mushrooms definitely are a superfood, right, their therapeutic nutrition is number one we need to eat, we need to drink water and breathe. So in a lot of cases, I feel like the nutritional value of our food has went down. And so you’re not getting everything you need vitamins and minerals were medicinal mushrooms continue to give you those vitamins and minerals and these active compounds in the mushrooms that absorb into your cells in your body to keep you healthy. It’s a great preventative like an overall daily nutritional boost. It also helps with chronic illness and other there’s a whole list of things that mushrooms do. But at the end of the day, food is the most important thing besides again, water and breathing. And if you cannot get all the high nutrient values and these therapeutic benefits from what you’re already eating, consuming mushrooms and then being so genetically close to us, our DNA itself, it really breaks down and keeps us thriving, right good vibration, preventative as most there’s so many people out there that care about their health and that are very healthy already. But you still need to put things in your body that’s gonna thrive and keep that vibration. Yes.

Ed Jones 3:03
And when you look at the resilience of mushrooms just on their own on Earth, yes, you actually see that they have almost a bulletproof vest themselves. I mean, they can grow in places that probably nothing else can they can convert terrible chemicals into actually nutrients. And when we talk about nutrition of mushrooms, yes, we know vitamins and minerals. But like you said, there’s additional compounds. Many of these compounds help us to stay well and get well yes. And I want people to always know that we need to empower ourselves. We don’t need to be victims, and we can’t look into traditional models to actually help us along this path. We have to reach out for this information. I use mushrooms often on I use them for specific reasons to try to get over if I’m under the weather or I’m wanting to work out harder or or or maybe have more white blood cells or do whatever. And it’s all about the end result of quality, potency, purity. And I’ve never heard of anyone who has gone to more of the level to ensure this then you have Yeah. And I just was blown away by it. So tell people how yours is different in regard. And there’s many good companies, we’re not going to put companies but I’ve never seen anything like yours. Yeah,

Jme Bonfiglio 4:24
so mushrooms are not all created equal. That’s why That’s my theory. When you use a mushroom product, especially I’ll go over a little bit about mind. When you’re wanting to keep yourself healthy, right? You want to put something good in your body that’s going to be effective when we talk about other active compounds be sweet between the vitamins and minerals. Well, if the mushrooms are not grown, right, if they’re not processed, right, they’re not broken down. You don’t get those additional therapeutic compounds that you’re seeing and all these studies are and all these advertisements you have have to process mushrooms correctly. So I always say it starts from the growing process. Mushrooms need to be grown in their natural substrates, which is hardwoods, they feed off the wood, that gives them those extra compounds, natural occurring compounds and vitamins. So we have to grow the mushrooms to be therapeutic in the very first just like when you grow your garden, you’re not going to grow it on some unnatural substrate, it’s going to be in soil where it gets its nutrients. So our mushrooms are all grown, the way they’re supposed to be grown. And then they’re they mushrooms are along growers straight, they don’t grow fast or not going to expand overnight, it can take 12 months, four months, just depending on the species, we make sure all of our mushrooms grow out to their full potency. And then we harvest the mushrooms. At that point, we put the mushrooms out in the sun, as I’ve mentioned before, for the vitamin D. So all mushrooms have vitamin D, high amounts of vitamin D. But in order to get the vitamin D, you have to have the UV you’ve got to have the sun to extract the chemical compound in a mushroom to convert it to vitamin D. So we make sure we’re doing that as a company. So then that way, when you’re using the mushroom products, like say, shitai, you’re getting high amounts of vitamin D, and it’s bioavailable, then we go to extraction, extraction is super important. If I just took a dried mushroom and grind it up and gave it to you, you’re really not going to get a benefit, you’re not going to be able to break down the chitin the fibrous wall, it’s not bioavailable, so we have to extract these mushrooms on top of everything and using the right genetics as well to break them down to make them bioavailable. So then that way you’re getting all those other amazing active compounds that you wouldn’t get from just it being dried. You got to break that down. So are mushrooms when they’re finally done and process you’re getting a very potent product that has been extracted. You’re not we’re not taking anything out of the mushroom, we’re just breaking it down to be bioavailable and to release those compounds starts from the growing

Ed Jones 7:13
so you’re saying if I find laying Lion’s Mane growing and I eat it that night at dinner, would I get some benefit? You

Jme Bonfiglio 7:20
would you would but you’re not going to get high therapeutic levels, right? So I’m a big advocate, eat mushrooms, mushrooms are amazing. Just make sure you cook them you know and then put your that because there are spores and other toxic things that can make you sick. So a lot of times when I when people will tell me Oh, I’m allergic to mushrooms. I’m like, Well, how do you know? And they’re like, Well, I’ve had some culinary mushrooms and they didn’t set right. And it’s usually raw is because we need to cook it down right for bacteria everything as well. But we also you know, it’s the spores can get into your system. There’s just reasons Yeah, so the old 1970s Like the salads with mushrooms. Don’t do that. Christian Yeah, so you always want to cook your mushrooms but if you’re buying culinary mushrooms say you find some Lion’s Mane I would still recommend you put it somewhere to get the UV from the sun. Then you’d cook it and yes, you are going to get some vitamins and nutrients and you are going to get some benefits. But if you’re wanting Lion’s Mane save for the nerve growth factor for neuropathy, you’re not going to get that from just eating the culinary you would have to eat a lot and you still would never achieve the amount that if you did an extraction and what is that you’re holding? This is Reishi so this is from our farm okay, it is actually a baby when it’s seen better days. His travels with me a lot. So a lot of it’s kind of been beat up. But yeah, for example, when I’m talking about growing our Reishi can take almost 12 months to fully grow it is one of the slowest growing mushrooms like where Lion’s Mane could be four to six months. What benefit is reishi mushroom Reishi is the common mushroom, right? It’s the only mushroom that you can take that actually promotes sleep. It is number one in a study they did on PubMed with a whole bunch of other things natural like melatonin to herbs to tart cherry. This product the this Reishi came up number one for insomnia. So it’s truly the calming mushroom. It is also great for your immune system. It’s great for if you have allergies. I’m not from the south. And since I’ve been here, I have allergies really. Yeah, I’ve it’s been awful. So I’m like oh my gosh, I need to be taken Reishi but it’s great for allergies. It’s really good for women through menopause, hormonal, anything like that. It’s a great liver detoxifier. So a lot of times we find that when people sleep at night and they’re waking up at three o’clock in the morning. A lot of times it’s your liver It is and people don’t realize that. So that’s also a great thing when you take Reishi at night before you go to bed and take it like maybe 30 minutes before you go to bed. It’s gonna start relaxing your body to help balance cortisol, all of that so you can sleep better, but while you’re sleeping, it’s also detoxifying and cleansing your liver. So then we’re finding that when people use it, they’re not waking up in the middle of the night. So overall, like Reishi is an awesome mushroom. Awesome. You know, it definitely is I cater it more with women’s health. Just like cortisol ups. cornice UPS is the man’s mushroom. It really is. Um, you know, there’s a lot of men that come in looking for stuff for testosterone, libido, energy, endurance, cardiovascular, the list goes on metabolism, you know, chronic muscle fatigue after working out. And cortisol is number one for men. I

Ed Jones 10:53
did it this morning, because I was going to do the rowing machine. And I’m trying to work on do to max. So trying to push myself breathing wise. Yeah. It truly makes a difference. Again, you know, you spoke earlier before this about and I know all too well, is the mushroom industries a little bit like the CBD industry at first. A lot. You know, several good companies came out with it, but then it becomes diluted. And then because profit only and corners are cut, and then all sudden it’s selling at gas stations and everywhere. You have no clue what you are getting. I so adore the transparency that your company offers. Just kind of tell people how many countries have you been to in the past few months? Because you work with farmers in many different countries?

Jme Bonfiglio 11:36
Yeah. So when I started my company, like I mentioned, during our training, that I had to build up my own supply chain, there was not medicinal mushrooms like this grown in the US. So we have a total of eight countries that we work with overseas. Now, in the last few months. I’ve been more here in the US, but I am going to Vietnam in May. And then Thailand, we might be bringing on a new farm in Vietnam, I go in that them I don’t just take on a farmer and their family, I go and spend time to see if it’s a good fit. If it’s a good fit, then we partner with them. They grow they have to grow all of the genetics the same. So are the genetics that we would use for Chautauqua in Japan is going to be the same that we’re using in Florida. We keep seeing everything very consistent. And so yes, I’m always trying to expand I what I call a dual immersion overseas. But then we also have our US operation which has taken a very long time over the last six years to bring it back to the US has not been easy. It is very it’s expensive here to produce. You know, a lot of people ask me, Why is it so expensive? Well, in these other countries, they’ve been doing it for generations, they have it dialed in, they know their costs, they know how to produce these mushrooms, where in the US it’s a little different. But we are when you’re talking about the saturation, I just wanted to bring that up is everybody now is becoming a mushroom farmer or a mushroom company. We’re seeing it quite a bit here in the US we partner with a lot of local farmers, we actually in discussions with a farmers, you know, Co Op here in Tennessee, which we’re excited about. But you know, to me having these relationships, it helps with the whole wheelhouse, right, the traceability, the transparency, when we have to do audits and inspections every year, and be able to trace back a lot number to the farm that it was grown, even if it’s in Scotland or Holland or say Thailand, we have got to show this traceability or we don’t get our USDA certificate, we don’t even get certified. So I feel in this evolution of mushrooms and everybody I mean, it’s like number two on spins like everyone’s doing the mushroom thing. Now we need to have more standards, transparency on labels, and accuracy and that integrity. So it doesn’t matter. If you have competition, a customer should be able to go into a health food store or where they’re going to buy their products. And look at the wall of mushrooms that are about to happen and be able to pick any product and know that they’re getting a good product or lease. It’s transparent on the label to understand what they are buying.

Ed Jones 14:20
I stand beside you on the vetting because as best as we can, we can’t visit the farms. We actually visit our farmers farms that are local. Yeah, because we have wonderful foods during the growing season from a local farmer or beekeepers, all the local peoples we look at but you travel the world to do this and I just am blown away because I don’t know if many industries especially the pharmaceutical industry that would care less about that they want to know the science they want to know the black and whites don’t want to know the the certificate of analysis but to go to the level that you have which is necessary in the world of the natural world. Yes. Let me ask you this real quick. Do animals that are just out in the wild? Do they eat mushrooms? Oh, I see them. Okay. You know, there’s some kind of a little bit of a following that saying that vitamin D is unhealthy. And I always go back to ancient wisdom. If I look at nature, I rarely see where that a mistake was made. So if these mushrooms growing on trees and were UV exposed, they’re going to have a lot of vitamins to them for sure. So if the animals are eating them, I really feel that the instincts if wisdom is within all of us, we’ve just lost it because we’re not in nature anymore. Wow, about Turkey Tail. Before we finish up here. What is it good for? Oh,

Jme Bonfiglio 15:37
gosh, Turkey Tail is good for a lot of stuff. Um, it definitely is a really strong immune booster. So that’s a good one to take during cold season. Especially if you work in the customer service, you’re dealing with people and say you don’t do the flu shot. Turkey Tail is a good one to take it there is a lot of research with Turkey Tail and breast cancer, which has been back, which is crazy. In 2014, the FDA approved clinical trials with Turkey Tail. So there is that aspect of it too, which you can find on PubMed. Another thing that’s really good with Turkey Tail besides the immune support, they just did this amazing clinical on showing that it’s better taken Turkey Tail than a probiotic. You know, so like a dairy all that Yeah, it really is great for your gut in digestion, right? So I always tell people, Turkey Tail does not get a lot of attention unless it’s outside of the breast cancer because it got so blown up with breast cancer over the years. And there’s clinicals that they’ve talked about it. But there’s like all these mushrooms, they do some really amazing things. And here in the US we focus on you know, the five top mushrooms but not so much like Mottaki should Turkey Turkey Tail. And I always tell somebody, if you are trying to find something that’s natural, that’s going to help your immune system, your metabolism, your gut, and you don’t want to go do all these shots and everything Turkey tells someone to do

Ed Jones 17:03
got you now I know you work with some medical clinics. Yes,

Jme Bonfiglio 17:07
we have 46 medical clinics. Yes. And

Ed Jones 17:11
when you say work with what does that mean? So

Jme Bonfiglio 17:13
a lot of the doctors we work with, they prescribe our mushrooms to their patients. So when I started my company in 2017, I went into more clinics before I even went into health food stores, which was really odd because at the time that a lot of these clinics were like, oh, yeah, we’re not recommending what they call complementary medicine. I feel like this is food. It’s medicine, right. But over the last eight years, we have clinicals with oncologists. We work with a lot of cancer clinics, we work with psychiatrists, gi doctors, family medicine, and drug addiction clinics for rehab. So when somebody is going through, you know, rehabilitation from drugs or alcohol, they’re using some of our products to reboot basically their brain which

Ed Jones 18:03
which mushrooms kind of would focus on the

Jme Bonfiglio 18:06
lion’s mane is a good one tremella Should Toki the deep brain product we offer which has all of them. But yeah, if somebody was just looking for an overall mushroom to help with addiction Lion’s Mane would be a really good one because also the receptor aspect and the nerve growth, you know, because there’s a lot of damage that happens. But yeah, so I mean a lot of I feel like a lot of the products out there if you’re I mean going back to Turkey Tail and stuff if you’re going for a product that you’re looking online for Google or whatever for answers for medicinal mushrooms, I always recommend going and talking to a wellness person really dive in if you’re going to dive in be more scientific and go to PubMed with the clinics we work with. They are very I mean they’re not naturopathics These are just regular PhDs right and so I think out of the last eight years I’ve worked with to naturopathics Everyone else is an oncologist and it’s like I was mentioning to you our deep immune product which is a multivitamin of mushrooms got sponsored by the largest cancer clinic in my hometown and they put it on Billboard’s because of just what they have seen through their own clinical so i It’s been nice to see in over the years that doctors are like okay, this is good so they when we work with them, they basically just send customers to get our products you know there are some clinics that keep it in house. We do a lot of donations to if somebody can’t afford the product when they’re going through cancer treatment we will donate it as well. And then we send them to stores to

Ed Jones 19:51
I mean you know in business everything comes from the top down your ethics from the top down mean that it your whole company will be infiltrated with great ethics and, and transparency. And I think I have rarely heard a story quite as deeply committed as you but we’re in a wonderful industry who have such amount of caring businesses and enterprises. Then there’s and there’s some that aren’t, but they wouldn’t be found it nutrition. Well, you trained our staff on the use and advising of these mushrooms. And that’s what we want to do is to become and stay the expert in the community. And again, not treating medical conditions, but empowering people building their toolbox of of options, and building this toolbox needs to be done before you have a crisis. Yes, you can’t wake up on Saturday night at 630. And wonder wonder what mushroom I should take now, I’m going to start using your immune formula, which is called the deep immune deep immune. I’m been fortunate lately to not have any the bugs going around. But I love the fact using small amounts. And then if I feel under the weather, I’ll use larger amounts. And I will be doing it in powders in my protein, but you do make capsules also. And I was loved the fact that you do so much in house testing, and outside of testing that shows us the stability of your product up to four years you said which is beyond belief, because most nutrients can’t last that long. But obviously mushrooms have the capacity to maintain that stability. They’re I mean, they’re heroes, there’s no doubt as far as the plant kingdom. I just had no idea 15 years ago of the depth of power that a mushroom could have if properly grown and properly harvested and properly produced. And there are some good companies out there, but you are going to be the premier one at this point. So any last words for people on the mushrooms, I

Jme Bonfiglio 21:43
just would really suggest people dive in, dive into the education learn about mushrooms, um, you know, it doesn’t matter if you’re super healthy, or if you’re going through some kind of illness, they’re going to help no matter what, you know,

Ed Jones 21:58
is there anybody who can’t take them? Okay, so

Jme Bonfiglio 22:01
the no everyone can take mushrooms, but there are some confliction like Reishi for example, if someone was on a blood thinner, they would not be able to take Reishi Mushrooms are fine. Everything else was fine. Interesting. But Reishi alone, it naturally thins the blood. So there could be major consequence. Right? So but besides that they’re healthy. I mean, it’s just a food. It’s a superfood. And I would suggest to have somebody has been allergic to mushrooms, you need to think Well, was it a culinary mushroom you ate and how was that grown? Was it grown on some subpar soil with chemicals where the mushrooms do absorb this stuff. So you’re gonna bring it into your system to that’s why it’s so important to cook them and get rid of any toxins and stuff. So yeah, I would just educate, educate and go to a store, you know, like yours and talk to the staff. If you have questions, you know, if you don’t know what to take, try a blend or just go for, you know, the safe bet lion’s mane. Everybody can use lion’s mane. It’s a brain of mushroom, right? So that’s all I would say. Great

Ed Jones 23:12
ending and we were everyone was thrilled with you. And we’ll be thrilled down the road to probably have another training and other podcast to further dive into this magical world of the benefits and empowering and putting things in your toolbox. Yes, exactly. Wonderful time spent with you and thank you and because you traveled from Utah to be here, and that means a tremendous amount and we will be joining you again hopefully soon. And maybe come on my radio show vital health radio, which is I’ve been doing for six years and we interview plenty people like yourself so triple thank you and I’m looking forward to getting myself on your product. Okay, thank you. All right.

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