Raglan mushroom farm launches brain-boosting supplements

Raglan mushroom farm, Mushrooms by the Sea, well-known for its gourmet mushrooms, has embarked on an ambitious new venture in the world of mushroom supplements. The farm’s new venture, Mynd, aims to change New Zealand’s mushroom supplement industry with native New Zealand varieties.

Mynd, born out of four years of meticulous research and cultivation by Mushrooms by the Sea, wants to help move New Zealand’s mushroom industry forward. The company’s co-founder, Sean Mills, expresses his enthusiasm for Mynd, stating, “Four years of growing and studying New Zealand medicinal mushrooms has led to Mynd, our new venture, offering native New Zealand mushroom supplements—proudly grown in New Zealand.”

According to Mills, the mushroom supplements industry has seen rapid growth globally, but in New Zealand, 99% of products are imported from overseas. Mynd aims to change this by offering a local alternative, free from potential contaminants associated with overseas cultivation practices.

The shift from gourmet mushrooms to mushroom supplements is also driven by a desire to provide a natural alternative for brain health and cognition. “Our audience ranges from those hoping to enhance productivity and creativity in their daily work, all the way to those focusing on recovery from brain injury or trauma and want to escape pharmaceuticals”, says Mills.

Mynd’s first product, New Zealand Lion’s Mane (Pekepeke-Kiore), is a natural mushroom supplement for brain health and performance, referred to as the “Smart Mushroom.” It is cousin to the international species of Lion’s Mane (Hericium Erinaceus) and has been independently tested by government research agency Callaghan Innovation. Results indicate the presence of bioactive compounds Erinacines and Hericenones, the same two bioactive compounds that are responsible for its cousin’s brain function and health benefits.

The venture aligns with the emerging bioeconomy opportunities identified by the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment (MBIE). Native NZ medicinal mushrooms are recognised as a significant opportunity in the country’s bioeconomic future. The global medicinal mushroom market was valued at $3.5 billion in 2022 and continues to grow.

The shift from gourmet to medicinal mushrooms may have opened a door of many possibilities for both Mynd and New Zealand’s mushroom industry. As Mynd takes its roots in the fertile grounds of Raglan, one can’t help but be intrigued by the potential benefits of New Zealand’s native mushrooms.

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