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Date: September 30th, 2014 
Author: Richard Wang, MPH 
The Efficacy of Wulinshen (Xylaria Nigripes) as a Natural Sleep Aid...
Clearly, Wu Ling Shen has some very interesting and valuable side effects. With the potential to reduce 
insomnia, sedate,...
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The Efficacy of Wulinshen for Sleep and Mood Support

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Explores the popular Wulinshen (also known as Wu Ling Shen) for sleep support.

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The Efficacy of Wulinshen for Sleep and Mood Support

  1. 1. Date: September 30th, 2014 Author: Richard Wang, MPH The Efficacy of Wulinshen (Xylaria Nigripes) as a Natural Sleep Aid According to the National Sleep Foundation, 50 to 70 million Americans are affected by chronic sleep disorders and intermittent sleep problems1. These sleep problems can have serious consequences – physical, emotional and behavioral disorders can all arise from accumulated sleep deficit. Each year, hundreds of billions of dollars are spent on medical costs related to sleep disorders2. Fortunately, many people have found that natural sleep aids are having a significant effect on the quality and duration of sleep they achieve each night. This article will focus on a species of mushroom called wulinshen and its ability to calm and manage sleep disorders and insomnia. Wulinshen, also pronounced Wu Ling Shen (and will be used interchangeably through this article), is a mushroom used in traditional Chinese medicine. It's usage dates back centuries in China. Historically, the mushroom was harvested wild and grounded up in a powder. Now, the mushroom is farm grown and delivered in a pill or capsule form, although the Chinese still prefer to eat it whole. Wulinshen contains large amounts of glutamic acid, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glutamate decarboxylase. GABA’s main role is to inhibit excitatory neuro-activities by exerting a tranquilizing effect on the central nervous system3. This mushroom is found several feet underground in combs of a particular termite species during the spring and summer. Due to its location and rarity, Wu Ling Shen is not commonly known and utilized in Western medicine. As a result, few Western studies on the mushroom have been done. However, the research that has been done on Wu Ling Shen is very interesting, and presents some promising data that could benefit those who suffer from sleep disorders. Perhaps the most convincing study, “Efficacy and safety of Wu Ling capsule, a single herbal formula, in Chinese subjects with insomnia: A multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial” by Lin et al., found evidence that during a four week trial, Wu Ling capsule can improve insomnia significantly 4. Previous studies have found that Wu Ling Shen is also effective in reducing depression and anxiety and can have a restorative effect on those who have had a stroke and are experiencing depression as a by-product 5,6. The most recent study on Wu Ling Shen suggests that the compounds in the mushroom can exert effective protection against spatial memory impairment induced by rapid eye movement sleep deprivation7. This study is important because research strongly suggests that sleep plays a vital role in learning and memory, and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep is closely related to synaptic plasticity and memory. The authors speculate that Wu Ling Shen may regulate the p-CREB signaling to promote learning and memory through activating GABA receptors.
  2. 2. Clearly, Wu Ling Shen has some very interesting and valuable side effects. With the potential to reduce insomnia, sedate, and decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety, it is certainly a worthy medicine to research. As expected, future studies should involve more trials with larger samples, as well as different dosing methods. To date, no negative side effects have been reported, so if you are looking for an effective natural sleep aid you just might want to consider Wu Ling Shen. For naturopaths & alternative medicine practitioners, please visit nulivlife.com to order high grade wulinshen extract at wholesale prices. Individual consumers can visit nulivlifestyle.com to learn more about wulinshen and for retail orders. References: 1. http://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-topics/sleep-studies [webpage, retrieved on 28 September 2014] 2. The Institute of Medicine, 2006. Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem. [PDF, retrieved 28 September 2014] 3. Gong Q.F., 2008. Chemical constituents in fermented mycelium of Xylaria Nigripes. Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 33(11): 1269-72. 4.Lin, Y., et al. 2013. Efficacy and safety of Wu Ling capsule, a single herbal formula, in Chinese subjects with insomnia: A multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 145(1): 320-327. 5. Wang, X.J., et al. 2009. Wuling capsule for climacteric patients with depression and anxiety state: A randomized, positive parallel controlled trial. J. Chin. Integr. Med., 7: 1042-1046 6. Attitalla, I.H., 2012. Wuling Capsule Can Improve Cognitive and Depression Defects of Stroke. Insight Ethnopharmacology, 2: 1-2 7. Zhao, Z., 2014. Xylaria nigripes mitigates spatial memory impairment induced by rapid eye movement sleep deprivation. Int. J. Clin. Med. 7(2):356-362

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