Europe’s leading functional mushroom and wellness brand, DIRTEA, has partnered with The Pop-Up Hotel to bring the ‘mushroom movement’ to Glastonbury this year.
Offering guests the chance to power up their potential to party and protect their bodies from all the fun of being a festival goer, The Pop-Up Hotel Glastonbury has introduced an exclusive DIRTEA Functional Mushroom Menu available throughout the hotel. Including an Espresso Martini, Wellness Elixirs and hot drinks made using DIRTEA’s functional mushroom powders and Super Blends, which offer natural health-boosting properties, the introduction of DIRTEA will help guests to thrive and survive Glastonbury this year.
We sat down with DIRTEA founders, Simon and Andrew Salter to learn more about functional mushrooms…
How were functional mushrooms brought to your attention and when did you discover their power?
Andrew: A few years ago, my brother and I were tirelessly working as young entrepreneurs, we were over-exerting ourselves and starting to feel fatigued, and as a result, we were both quite stressed. We recognised that many of our friends complained about suffering from more chronic and severe symptoms of burnout, anxiety and insomnia.
My brother and I have always been interested in natural ways to enhance our well-being to manage the strain of our fast-paced lives. We believe a natural path to health and wellness will have fewer side effects that come with conventional medicine. This led us to delve deep into the science and ancestral studies of plants, mindful meditation, ice and sauna therapy, and other natural healing and well-being methods. After months of researching and trialling, we were introduced to fungi, a kingdom of life with millions of species, including functional mushrooms. We were intrigued to learn that mushrooms have been used for culinary and medicinal purposes for generations. Functional mushrooms contain active compounds studied by scientists for their natural healing and functional properties for the human body and mind. They are some of the most researched and nutrient-dense foods on the planet.
Fascinated by the history, scientific research, well-being and calming effects of functional mushrooms, we committed to using them over the next few weeks. We added dual-extract mushroom powders to our morning smoothies and coffees or drank them as teas to see the results. It wasn’t long before I started to feel considerably less stressed, well-rested, focused, and alert.
Once we experienced the benefits of these mushrooms that surpassed anything else we had tried before, and when we received the same feedback from friends, we wanted to share this with the world, hoping it would also help others, and DIRTEA was born.
What’s the most powerful benefit of mushrooms?
Functional mushrooms have been used for centuries for their healing properties, from ancient Egypt to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), to the Greek physician and the father of medicine, Hippocrates, who in 5BC revered the healing power of mushrooms.
Functional mushrooms are superfoods that are said to support brain health by the activation of nerve growth factor (NGF). Lion’s mane is a great mushroom that may just improve our brain by enhancing focus and reducing brain fog by stimulating the production of the Nerve Growth Factor. This protein helps the growth of new brain cells in your hippocampus (a part of the brain associated with learning and memory), which could lead to increased concentration. This mushroom is also thought to reduce oxidative stress to improve focus.
The functional mushroom benefits are not limited to the brain. They may help to contribute to overall well-being, which includes focus, sleep, gut health and immunity.
Chaga has been known for its health-aiding properties due to the number of antioxidants found within it. For context, Chaga has more antioxidants in one cup than in 600 blueberries! It can provide a slow release of energy, so there is no morning lethargy for those who find it difficult to function when the sun rises.
Tremella is a remarkable all-time favourite beauty routine. The Tremella extract powder has an active substance called Tremella polysaccharide which has been shown to hold up to 1000 times its weight in water. The hydrating substances in Tremella are smaller than those of hyaluronic acid, allowing them to penetrate the skin faster and more effectively.
Cordyceps has a compound called cordycepin, which has been shown to up-regulate our energy levels. Taking Cordyceps pre- and post-workout could provide more vigour, enhancing your physical ability to nail your PB. It is even said to boost libido.
Turkey Tail is an astonishing mushroom packed with beta-d-glucans that may contribute to immunity health! Turkey Tail also has an impressive array of antioxidants, including phenols and flavonoids.
Reishi has been documented for thousands of years for its calming effects. Drinking Reishi tea each night may help calm the mind. Triterpenes are one of Reishi’s primary beneficial compounds, accounting for its bitter taste. This compound has many health benefits, which may help the liver metabolises toxins. Reishi has been shown to calm the nervous system down due to its bioactive compound called Triterpene.
What kind of feedback have you had from people who have taken the product?
DIRTEA is now considered one of the world’s fastest-growing wellness brands and communities, and there is a reason for this. We have positively impacted many lives through the use of our mushrooms, just look at our reviews online, and you will see. For those who are wide awake and find it hard to wind down in the evenings, Reishi has improved their sleep quality, and they have generally felt calmer. We’ve had many customers who struggle to keep their attention span, and they have incorporated Lion’s Mane into their routine, making them more focused and gaining greater clarity. Chaga has had much positive feedback, such as providing slow-releasing energy in the day and healthier immunity. Many athletes use DIRTEA Cordyceps as it helps to improve their endurance. Tremella has had incredible feedback; some customers have felt their skin is more hydrated and firmer. Lastly, Turkey Tail users have commented that their immunity has strengthened.
Are there any misconceptions about functional mushrooms?
There are so many misconceptions about functional mushrooms, and it’s hard to know where to start! We’ve really made it our mission to reinvent the narrative around mushrooms and make people understand that 1. They’re not psychoactive, and 2. Even though we say functional mushrooms, they’re actually adaptogens which consistently adapt to the body’s stresses. With DIRTEA, we’re really aiming to challenge these misconceptions and educate about the many natural benefits that mushrooms can offer. One of the biggest challenges for us is the perception of mushrooms in general–but the reality is that mushrooms are their own kingdom, and there are over 5.1 million species of mushrooms. Although there can be some poisonous or psychedelic varieties, many can also offer tangible health benefits.
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