Mushrooms for Immunity & Menopause?

An interview with Purica’s Jason Watkin
By Jason Sebeslav

Jason Watkin is the founder, CEO and lead formulator of Purica, one of Canada’s top independently owned health product brands. His background in Western sciences, infused with the teachings of Eastern medicine and philosophy, has led Jason down a remarkable path of personal and professional growth. I had the opportunity to ask Jason about medicinal mushrooms, which feature in many of Purica’s products.

Jason Sebeslav: Last time we spoke you told me about how your natural pain formula, Recovery, came out of your success in easing aches and pains in professional ballet dancers and even racehorses. What’s the story behind your interest in medicinal mushrooms?

Jason Watkin: I was at university back in the ‘80s when my microbiology lab supervisor made a comment about mushrooms: “It’s as if they are from another planet.” He elaborated on his reasoning and it was mind-blowing to find out how all life seems to be interdependent with the fungal kingdom. Years later, the research on the medicinal benefits began to surface in the West that validated what my instructor said so many years before.

JS: There’s actually been a long tradition of using mushrooms as medicine, especially in Eastern cultures. Why haven’t they been more recognized here?

JW: Western society seems to possess a more skeptical attitude. We seem to have to scientifically prove how a mechanism works by dissecting its parts in order to validate its effectiveness. In the East, however, they have seen the benefits of the use of whole mushrooms as medicine for thousands of years and therefore have continually incorporated them into their culture.

JS: Is there a difference in the health benefits possible from eating mushrooms versus taking a mushroom supplement?

JW: Overall, there is a vast difference, not only between culinary mushrooms and medicinal mushrooms, but even between the different forms of medicinal mushrooms and extracted forms. In order to produce a form that preserves all the active compounds and overall nutrient value while optimizing absorption, we chose micronization, a process which greatly enhances absorption of the entire life cycle of the mushroom.

JS: What kind of research is being done on mushrooms recently, and where is that taking place?

JW: Mushroom research is taking place all over the world. It seems to be focused primarily on more serious conditions like cancer, hepatitis, HIV, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and senile dementia.

JS: Your company Purica has a product called Immune 7, made from six different kinds of mushrooms. How does this supplement actually help boost immunity?

JW: The immune system is a truly marvelous and interconnected system that is unique in its adaptive response. When developing medicines to improve immunity, I believe it’s important to maintain this potent capacity for adaptation and protection. So rather than simply trying to boost certain parameters, it’s better to help enhance the overall coordination of all the interrelated aspects of the immune system. Immune 7 is designed to do just that: improve all aspects of the immune response in a powerful way that is safe to integrate with other drugs or remedies.

JS: How soon can one expect to notice the effects of taking Immune 7?

JW: The effects of Immune 7 are often noted within the first weeks due to its ability to improve energy levels and minimize the stress response. An overactive stress response leads to depressed immunity, so successfully treating immune-related issues is entirely dependent upon providing relief from stress.

JS: You also have a product called Menopause Relief. What are some of its benefits?
JW: The menopause product is designed to produce rapid benefits related to menopause and the transition times. Not only is it formulated to reduce or eliminate hot flashes and night sweats, but it also helps relieve joint pain, headaches, fatigue, stress and brain fog that often accompany menopause.

JS: Are there any contraindications to taking either Immune 7 or Menopause Relief?

JW: As is the case with our Recovery and Provascin products, Immune 7 and Menopause Relief were formulated to be safe to integrate with drugs and other supplements. We have had no feedback from people who use these products to indicate that there are contraindications.

JS: Is there a particular testimonial for either of these that stands out for you?

JW: Yes. One woman shared with us that she’d had menopausal hot flashes that occurred so often during the day and night that they were affecting her work and home-life. She had tried everything, but finally after two weeks of taking Menopause Relief, her hot flashes disappeared and her night-sweats occurred with much less frequency. And after months on the supplement, she said she saw a 100% improvement—hot flash and night-sweat free!

This interview was originally published in HWS Magazine, Sept/Oct 2015