functional mushrooms for epilepsy, lily's lighthouse, realm of caring, unlimited sciences

3 Non-Profits Explore Functional Mushrooms for Epilepsy: Hope for Advanced Healing in Nature’s Bounty

by | Mar 26, 2024

functional mushrooms for epilepsy, lily's lighthouse, realm of caring, unlimited sciences

Written by Kristina Etter

Kristina is a digital content creator and designer. She has a talent for creating engaging and informative content that resonates with our professional audience. Kristina’s passion for the cannabis industry stems from her belief that it has the potential to revolutionize the world in many ways, and has a personal testimony of cannabis success.

A testimony to the enduring power of maternal love, the pursuit of healing, the unshakable belief in the potential of a brighter future, and the discovery of the potential of functional mushrooms for epilepsy.

Compassion, scientific inquiry, and maternal determination coincide in a groundbreaking venture with a shared purpose and collaboration. During an interview, Sasha Kalcheff-Corn, Executive Director of Realm of Caring, reflected on the start of this journey, one forged out of necessity and hope.

Sasha Kalcheff-Corn, Realm of Caring

“Sarah-Kate and I were introduced around this time last year, and it was the first time I had heard of Lily’s story,” Sasha reminisced. “Functional mushrooms for epilepsy wasn’t necessarily our niche for either Realm of Caring or Unlimited Sciences.”

Functional mushrooms for epilepsy emerged as a possibility in the landscape of alternative therapies, even though they were not initially the focus of either organization. “But when we think about the root of why we’re here and what we’re doing, it’s alternative therapies and options to save the lives of individuals when you’ve exhausted all the other options.”

More than that, Sasha reiterated their mission to see natural, plant-based therapies used as “a first line of treatment, and that’s kind of the great shift we’re seeing is that people are considering plant-based therapies before potential pharmaceutical use.”

The convergence of minds—Heather Jackson, founder of Realm of Caring; Sarah-Kate Boylan, a tireless champion for her daughter Lily; and Matthew X Lowe, Ph.D., for scientific rigor—marked a pivotal moment. 

Sasha added, “When we were introduced, we knew we just had to make this work and help make the research happen to look into the potential of these mushrooms to alleviate seizures and help individuals when everything else wasn’t working.”

She continued, “It’s a beautiful coming together of Heather Jackson, our founder, and then Sarah-Kate, and then Matt.”

Through necessity and shared determination, the power of collective effort has given rise to this inspiring collaboration and their upcoming study on functional mushrooms for epilepsy.

Driven by a Mother’s Determination

Compelled by adversity, Sarah-Kate Boylan’s journey is a testament to resilience and unwavering determination. Hailing from Adelaide, South Australia, her trajectory from law enforcement to advocacy embodies a profound commitment to effecting change and championing the greater good.

Sarah-Kate Boylan, Lily's Lighthouse, functional mushrooms for epilepsy

When I asked how their story started, Sarah-Kate said, “Well, it’s a long story,” her voice radiated with reflection and determination. “I’m originally from Adelaide, South Australia. I spent the majority of my career in law enforcement and was projected to Washington, D.C., representing Australia in customs and border protection.”

Her professional odyssey instilled within her a steadfast resolve to confront challenges head-on and seek innovative solutions for her community’s pressing needs. “My career solidified my drive to do great things for the community and make a difference,” she explains. “Through years of training, I mastered research analysis skills, which enabled me to find a solution to the medical issues I had with Lily.”

The genesis of Lily’s Lighthouse, Sarah-Kate reveals, arose from a deeply personal journey marked by profound challenges. “The driving force behind why we started Lily’s lighthouse is because we had a potential solution to a problem that one in 26 Americans has,” she shares. “When I talk about Lily’s story, it’s all our story – it affects everybody. If you know 26 people, then you know someone with epilepsy.”

“My journey with Lily started at five weeks of age with her,” she recounts, the weight of her experience heavy in her words. “We didn’t know anything about epilepsy when she started having these little episodes, which innately, as a mother, I knew there was something a little off about it.”

“We ended up in the hospital; she was having [a seizure] every three minutes when we were first admitted,” she recalls. “So it was very severe, and there has been no causation found to the onset of Lily’s epilepsy.”

When all else failed, functional mushrooms emerged as a beacon of hope in the darkness, leading Lily on a new trajectory and inspiring Sarah-Kate on a mission of advocacy and research. “I spent seven years researching and trying to figure this out for Lily,” she recounted.

“I researched everything I could find about mushrooms. Lily was put on the medication and went from having up to 50 seizures a day to being seizure-free for nine and a half weeks.”

“We filed for nonprofit status to get this research because we felt that if this could be such a viable treatment option for Lily when she’d failed everything else, then potentially we could help others and better the community,” she shared, resonating with purpose.

The unconventional therapy had a transformative impact on Sarah-Kate, inspiring her to establish Lily’s Lighthouse and create hope for those with epilepsy.

Exploring the Therapeutic Potential of Functional Mushrooms for Epilepsy

In the quest to unlock nature’s pharmacy, scientists and advocates are turning their sights toward an ancient ally: mushrooms. Dr. Matthew X Lowe, Ph.D., Executive Director and Chief Scientific Officer of Unlimited Sciences and the Research Director of the Realm of Caring Foundation, elucidates the history that underpins this modern renaissance of natural health solutions.

Dr. Matthew X. Lowe, Unlimited Science, functional mushrooms for epilepsy

Dr. Lowe spoke up when I asked about the rich history of mushrooms in medicine. “I’d like to speak to that question,” Dr. Lowe began. “Mushrooms have been used as medicine for thousands of years, but It’s only recently that modern scientists rediscovered therapeutic potential mushrooms as medicine.”

Drawing upon millennia of wisdom, researchers have uncovered a wealth of potential within functional mushrooms. “There’s growing evidence, for example, for the anticonvulsant properties of Reishi Mushrooms,” Dr. Lowe explained. “While most of these studies have been done in animal studies, they indicate anticonvulsant and neuroprotective potential.”

“Lion’s mane, on the other hand, may show a potential benefit in preventing neuronal death after seizures and treating anxiety,” Dr. Lowe continued. Indeed, the focus on Reishi and Lion’s Mane mushrooms reflects a deliberate effort to harness nature’s bounty in the service of neurological health.

A recent press release notates, “While there are various studies on the effects of functional mushrooms in animals, there are few human studies to support the use of functional mushrooms for epilepsy as an alternative treatment strategy—an issue the study seeks to address.”

Fewer Side Effects

Sarah-Kate added her perspective on the side effects of traditional pharmaceuticals. Rooted in personal experience and advocacy. Her voice infused with empathy and resolve, she said, “For one in three diagnosed with epilepsy, mainstream treatment, pharmaceuticals, don’t work right.”

Drawing from her experiences at Lily’s Lighthouse, Sarah-Kate articulates the study’s profound impact on individuals who have exhausted conventional treatments. “Retrospectively, the cases we will be looking at have been coming through Lily’s Lighthouse,” she explained. “These are people who have tried everything, and they’ve run out of options.”

“I think we are getting to a more integrative approach, where people are seeking other options,” Sarah-Kate stated, echoing the sentiment of countless individuals grappling with neurological conditions.

Dr. Lowe emphasized the growing trend of non-pharmacological interventions and dietary supplements as therapeutic options backed by empirical evidence. “We’re definitely seeing recent research results demonstrate the efficacy of a non-pharmacological approach,” he affirmed.

Without question, a new frontier beckons—one where ancient remedies intersect with modern science to offer healing to those in need. The exploration of functional mushrooms is a powerful reminder of nature’s ability to provide remedies that can benefit humanity.

Goals and Hopes

In the pursuit of advancing epilepsy treatment, Sarah-Kate Boylan and Dr. Matthew Lowe offer poignant insights into their collaborative study’s aspirations.

Dr. Lowe re-emphasized the significance of honoring the narratives that underpin scientific inquiry, remarking, “At Realm of Caring, Heather Jackson often reminds us with a quote from Brene Brown, that ‘stories are just data with a soul.’ That’s our approach with all of these three organizations.”

heather jackson, realm of caring founder

“We’re able to provide those stories through data,” Dr. Lowe continued, emphasizing the transformative potential of merging anecdotal narratives with empirical evidence.

Sarah-Kate’s vision extends beyond the confines of the study, encompassing a broader mission of advocacy and research. “Our relationship with Unlimited Sciences and Realm of Caring is one we value highly,” she shared. “As a collective, we bring so many tools to the table that I think we’re going to have a really strong study here.”

The Transformative Power of Collaboration

As the collaborative efforts of Realm of Caring, Unlimited Sciences, and Lily’s Lighthouse unite, a new chapter in epilepsy research unfolds—one defined by compassion, innovation, and a steadfast commitment to bettering lives.

Honoring individuals like Lily and those who seek relief from neurological disorders, these efforts embody compassion and innovation. The Realm of Caring’s mission with Sarah-Kate Boylan’s unwavering dedication, Dr. Matthew Lowe’s scientific methods, and their organizations’ collective efforts underscore a shared vision to bridge the gap between anecdote and evidence, offering hope and healing to those in need.

Through scientific progress and the resilience of the human spirit, this study inspires hope for a brighter future. It shows us that epilepsy can be met with compassion and the transformative power of nature’s remedies. Functional mushrooms for epilepsy may just be the entry point with research supporting a better understanding, who knows what the future may hold?