Upstate Co-op Update Nov 21

Closed Thanksgiving Day
We will be closed for the holiday this Thursday, November 24. We wish you and your families a happy and healthy holiday!
Annual Membership Meeting to be held Dec 10
We will hold our annual membership meeting on Saturday, December 10 at 10:00am on Zoom. We will vote on the 2023 budget proposal and slate of officers and board members. We’ll send more information closer to the date.
Holiday Products
If you have particular products you are looking for this holiday season – for baking needs such as nuts, flours, oils, etc., or food / other gift items, please contact Theresa so that we can be sure to include them in our upcoming orders with our distributors. We will make two orders with UNFI, our main distributor during the month of November.
Local Products Update
Organic sourdough bread: We will receive a delivery on 12/1. If you would like to place a special order for our next delivery, please contact Theresa at Visit their FB page here: Daily Bread Sourdough 

Happy Cow: There is limited milk available, so they will not have chocolate milk or buttermilk available on a regular basis again until early next year.

Darkspore Mushrooms: We received fresh & dried Lion’s Mane mushrooms, a Lion’s Mane grow kit, and Lion’s Mane tincture on 11/17.

Patchwork Garden: We received fresh ginger on 11/15

Rickety Barn Farm: we received an order of assorted dark chocolate goat milk fudge on 11/10

Blue Ridge Brinery: we received kimchi, kvass & assorted sauerkraut on 11/1

Roundtop Farm: we received fresh baby ginger and fresh turmeric on 10/18.
2023 Membership Renewals
Memberships are due the first time you shop at the Co-op in 2023. The cost will be $30 for the entire year, which is still a great deal. Thank you for your continued support!
Monthly Senior Discount Day The Co-Op offers a 5% discount to seniors 65+ on the 3rd Saturday of each month.  The next senior discount day will be held on Saturday, December 17. 

Updated COVID-19 Reminders – Masks are now optional for shoppers – We are still following recommended safety protocolsThe Pickens County community level has decreased to LOW. Based on the current CDC and SC DHEC guidelines, masks are optional for shoppers. Day managers will decide whethervolunteer workers will wear masks on their shifts. We are still following all of the recommended CDC guidelines and SC DHEC guidelines for keeping people safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, so we will reinstate the mask policy if the transmission rate increases again.
 We ask you to do the following:If you are feeling sick at all (fever or not), Please do not come into the store.If you know you have been exposed to COVID-19, DO NOT come into the store.  The CDC guidelines call for staying home for at least 5 days after you’ve been exposed to someone with confirmed COVID-19.  See this link for more information on what to do if you contract COVID:  What to Do If You Are Sick | CDC

Order Due Dates and Delivery Dates
Online ordering calendar 

UNFI — Thenext delivery date is Wednesday, Nov 23. The next order due date is Monday,  Nov 28.  

Happy Cow —  Place orders by Saturday, Nov 26, for delivery on Monday, Nov 28.

Frontier Herbs — Orders due monthly on the 4th Tuesday of the month.
New, Restocked & Highlighted Products
Gluten-Free Products
 If you are interested in ordering a specific type of produce please contact Theresa to discuss availability.  Visit the list of produce suppliers
Personal Care
 Pet Products
Medicinal Herbs
Culinary Herbs
Consignments & Gifts
Reduced Items
Recipes and Health Articles 

What Are the Health Benefits of Lion’s Mane Mushrooms? 
Written by Venkat S.R. Reviewed by Christine Mikstas, RD, LD on May 20, 2022

Anti-Inflammatory and Antioxidant Properties 
May Help Overcome Dementia 
Could Reduce Anxiety and Depression 
Possible Side Effects of Lion’s Mane Mushrooms 

Lion’s mane mushrooms (Hericium erinaceus) are big, white mushrooms that resemble a lion’s mane (hence the name). Although they’re generally thought of as a single type of mushroom, there are three different species, with Hericium erinaceus being the one that’s most widely available.

Lion’s mane mushrooms usually look like white pom-poms and have culinary, as well as medicinal, applications. They are extensively used in Asian countries such as Korea, Japan, India, and China. The demand for these mushrooms is growing quickly since it has several applications in the food, pharmaceutical, and cosmetics industries.

Now, lion’s mane mushrooms are found in grocery stores, your favorite restaurants, supplement shops, and even some of the most popular coffee varieties. You can get your fix of lion’s mane in the form of powders you can add to your morning cup of coffee or find in capsules. 

Lion’s mane mushrooms have a flavor that many describe as similar to seafood, and it’s enjoyed either raw, dried, or cooked.

Lion’s mane mushrooms are also very nutritious and are rich in vitamins such as thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin. It’s also a good source of essential minerals such as manganese, zinc, and potassium.

Research shows that lion’s mane has many health-promoting ingredients that come with several benefits.

Anti-Inflammatory and Antioxidant Properties
Many health conditions such as heart diseases and autoimmune disorders such as arthritis are due to chronic inflammation. Lion’s mane mushrooms are rich in a specific type of carbohydrate called oligosaccharides that have many critical biological functions including antioxidative and antitumor activities.

They also exhibit immune-stimulating functions, all of which combine to lower the inflammatory fallout of such conditions. Research conducted to understand the antioxidant qualities of several types of mushrooms found that lion’s mane mushrooms show the fourth most potent antioxidant activity. Some studies also indicate the benefits of lion’s mane mushrooms to fight obesity by lowering the impact of fat tissue inflammation.

May Help Overcome Dementia
As you age, the ability of your brain to form connections reduces along with its capacity to form new brain cells called neurons, and this leads to diminished mental functioning in elderly people. Studies have found that lion’s mane mushrooms, though, are a good source of hericenones and erinacines, two chemicals that accelerate the growth of brain cells.

A chemical called the nerve growth factor (NGF) is similarly essential for the normal functioning of the part of the brain (called the basal forebrain) that produces acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is one of the most common neurotransmitters that is used by neurons (brain cells) to transmit information and is also the chemical responsible for your waking state. Stimulating the basal forebrain leads to the release of this chemical in your brain that in turn causes you to wake up.

Studies have shown that NGF enables prolonged acetylcholine release, and chemicals such as hericenones and erinacines help induce NGF production in nerve cells. The presence of NGF is directly proportional to acetylcholine activity.

Other studies, meanwhile, found that when older adults who had cognitive impairments ate three grams of lion’s mane mushroom every day for four months, it led to considerably enhanced mental functioning. Moreover, their functioning reduced when they stopped taking the supplements.

Lion’s mane is also a very good source of neurotrophic compounds, a family of biomolecules (most of which are protein-based) that promote the growth, survival, and several physiological functions of both new and mature neurons. These neurotrophic compounds have a positive impact on human nerve cells that may help overcome many neurodegenerative conditions such as:
Parkinson’s disease
Huntington’s disease
Alzheimer’s disease
Motor neuron disease
Prion disease
Spinal muscular atrophy

Could Reduce Anxiety and Depression
Lion’s mane extracts could have possible benefits in treating depression and anxiety. To test this possibility, a study was carried out on Japanese women with many health conditions, including menopausal symptoms and poor sleep. Some of these women were given lion’s mane extracts while others were given placebo cookies for four weeks. 

The women who were given extracts of lion’s mane reported lower levels of stress and anxiety compared to the placebo group. 

Of course, further research needs to be done to determine the impact of lion’s mane on anxiety and depression. Also, since not many studies have been done to determine the benefits of lion’s mane, there is not much information about the recommended dosage.

Possible Side Effects of Lion’s Mane Mushrooms

There’s not much research currently available assessing whether it’s safe to eat lion’s mane for a prolonged period or about its side effects. Since it’s a species of mushroom, though, it’s better to be cautious. If you have a history of allergies, asthma, or any other medical condition, you would be better off checking with your doctor whether it’s safe for you to eat lion’s mane mushrooms in any form – in your food or as a supplement.

There have also been reports of individuals who have had difficulty breathing and skin rashes that have been linked to eating lion’s mane mushrooms.


While there are some advantages of lion’s mane mushrooms, you should keep in mind that there’s much research still being done to find evidence of its exact benefits. This is one of the main reasons why it’s too early to make conclusions about its specific upsides.

You should also keep this in mind when you come across products that mention health benefits, since research on the effectiveness of lion’s mane is yet to be done extensively on humans. Although several products already state these benefits, these products may not adhere to FDA regulations.

To cite an example, in 2019, the FDA had asked a company that promoted its lion’s mane supplement with claims that it’s beneficial for “brain injury recovery” to stop making such claims.


  • Biomedical Research: “Reduction of depression and anxiety by 4 weeks Hericium erinaceus intake.”
  • Consumer Reports: “Lion’s Mane: The Mushroom of the Moment.”
  • Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine: “Evaluation of Selected Culinary-Medicinal Mushrooms for Antioxidant and ACE Inhibitory Activities.”
  • Fungal Biotec: “Hericium: A review of the cultivation, health-enhancing applications, economic importance, industrial, and pharmaceutical applications.”
  • Internal Medicine (Tokyo, Japan): “Hericium erinaceum (yamabushitake) extract-induced acute respiratory distress syndrome monitored by serum surfactant proteins.”
  • International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms: “Neurotrophic properties of the Lion’s mane medicinal mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) from Malaysia,” “The Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Lion’s Mane Culinary-Medicinal Mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) in a Coculture System of 3T3-L1 Adipocytes and RAW264 Macrophages.”
  • Molecular Medicine Reports: “Composition and antioxidant activity of water-soluble oligosaccharides from Hericium erinaceus.”
  • Nature Reviews Neuroscience: “Neural plasticity in the ageing brain.”
  • Phytotherapy Research: “Improving effects of the mushroom Yamabushitake (Hericium erinaceus) on mild cognitive impairment: a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial.”
  • The Journal of Neuroscience: “Nerve growth factor rapidly induces prolonged acetylcholine release from cultured basal forebrain neurons: differentiation between neuromodulatory and neurotrophic influences.”
  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration: “Compliance Actions and Activities: Pure Nootropics, LLC.”