Press Releases

Category growth helps mushroom supplement company secure expansion financing

Aloha Medicinals President Mike Brown shared with NutraIngredients-USA that capital investments have been made enabling Aloha Medicinals to double its mushroom production capacity in the United States in response to growing global demand for medicinal mushrooms. Founded in 1999, Aloha Medicinals has grown to become the largest US organic producer of medicinal mushrooms.

Globally, the mushroom category is estimated at over $50 billion with $25 billion for food/culinary use and $25 billion for medicinal mushrooms, respectively. A significant portion of this market is represented by the Asian marketplace where mushrooms have a long standing tradition of use in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). The market for mushrooms in the US is rapidly growing but has not gained the same credibility or size as in Asia.

"Aloha Medicinals has experienced double-digit growth each of the past five years and we have made investments and plans to meet this accelerating growth by more than doubling our capacity," said Brown. "A significant amount of our growth is coming from Asia but we're now getting more inquiries from major food and beverage companies looking at medicinal mushrooms as a functional ingredient."

The expansion investment was initiated immediately after Aloha Medicinals was acquired by American Botanicals  with an investment made from Advantage Capital Agribusiness Partners (ACAP), a $154.5-million private equity fund that is licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as a Rural Business Investment Company (RBIC). The fund is a partnership between Advantage Capital Partners and nine Farm Credit organizations, and is focused on providing more private capital, small business investment and quality jobs to rural America. Aloha Medicinals, which is based in Carson City, NV (the company started in Hawaii, hence the name) sells finished dietary supplements and bulk mushroom powders for inclusion in other formulations.

Brown added, “Advantage Capital and American Botanicals are continuing to seek out additional investment opportunities in U.S.-based botanical companies as the natural space is an attractive and growing market segment.”
US market growth via category development
Even though more growth is originating from Asia, Brown also sees growth in the U.S. market that could be accelerated by focused efforts on category development and building awareness for the health benefits of mushrooms.

"Suppliers need to understand the dynamics of category development. In the U.S., in order to expand the market, more emphasis needs to be placed on growing the size of the overall category. This is accomplished by publishing and promoting more research on the health benefits of mushrooms. It also can be accomplished by a leading brand promoting mushrooms as a key ingredient for their targeted health platforms," said Brown.

Mushrooms have largely been positioned for condition-specific products for immune function and cancer support. Although industry influencers and natural product practitioners know the benefits of mushrooms, these benefits have not been realized by mainstream consumers.

Brown believes that existing suppliers in the market spend too much time on differentiation of production practices among themselves and ultimately, aren't significantly growing the overall size of the market.

"We need to establish mushrooms as a viable and effective alternative for specific health conditions among U.S. mainstream consumers. Today that awareness and acceptance isn't present,” he said.

Increased Market for Sports Nutrition and Cognitive Health

Brown said that Aloha Medicinals has a culture bank with 5,000 species, of which the company cultivates around 100 different mushroom types annually and 20 of those species represent a majority of sales.

"In the U.S., we've seen the significant growth of Cordyceps for sports nutrition products along with Ganoderma, Turkey Tail and Lion's Mane for cognitive function," said Dr. John Holliday, chief scientific officer for Aloha Medicinals.

Although the U.S. represents a sizable market for Aloha Medicinals, Brown says their greatest opportunity is in Asia with the developing middle class that demands more US manufactured products and understand the benefits of medicinal mushrooms. Currently, Aloha Medicinals supplies over 700 companies in 56 countries its medicinal mushroom ingredients and products.

About the author: Steve Hanson is CEO and owner of Grip Ideas, a consulting firm focusing on global market development strategies and is an executive at Prenexus Health, a prebiotic supplier.  Hanson has worked on a number of international brands inlcuding FloraGlo Lutein, Ester-C Vitamin C, Meg-3 Omega-3 and Meriva Bioavailable Curcumin.

Advantage Capital Agribusiness Partners Makes Follow-on Investment in American Botanicals

Partnership with Farm Credit and USDA Rural Business Investment Program Marks Second Investment in Bulk Herbs and Botanicals Industry Leader

ST. LOUIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Advantage Capital Agribusiness Partners, LP (ACAP) has announced a second investment in American Botanicals, LLC, a Missouri-based supplier of bulk herbs and botanical products, to help fund the acquisition of Aloha Medicinals, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on medicinal mushroom production.

American Botanicals buys, processes, sells and exports hundreds of roots, herbs, barks, berries and other botanical products, which are purchased directly from U.S. farmers and dealers and used in products ranging from food to nutritional supplements by the company’s more than 400 customers. Over 90 percent of these natural items are collected in the wild.

“We are excited about welcoming Aloha Medicinals to the American Botanicals brand,” said Don Stock, CEO of American Botanicals. “The new products we are adding are in line with our mission of providing high-quality, American-produced natural ingredients and will allow us to continue our expansion.”

Aloha Medicinals is the largest U.S. producer of organic medicinal mushroom raw materials. Its products are used in various pharmaceutical and nutraceutical products, as well as in specialty food products and pet treats and supplements. Thirty percent of the company’s sales are international, with distribution in over 60 countries. Aloha also produces certified organic mushroom spawn, which is the seed stock used for cultivating edible mushrooms.

”We are pleased to support the continued growth of American Botanicals through the acquisition of Aloha. The two businesses are both growing organically and are highly complementary,” said Tim Hassler, principal at Advantage Capital Partners. “We are excited about the prospects for continued growth.”

ACAP is a $154.5-million fund that is licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as a Rural Business Investment Company (RBIC). The fund is a partnership between Advantage Capital Partners and nine Farm Credit organizations, established to bring together resources and people focused on providing more private capital, small business investment and quality jobs to rural America. Farm Credit supports rural communities and agriculture with reliable, consistent access to credit and financial services.

This represents ACAP’s second investment announcement in 2016. Last week, ACAP announced a follow-on investment in Hortau.

About Advantage Capital Agribusiness Partners, LP (ACAP)

Advantage Capital Agribusiness Partners, LP (ACAP) is a $154.5-million fund that is licensed as a Rural Business Investment Company (RBIC) by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which focuses on businesses involved in the production, processing and supply of agricultural products. It is a partnership between Advantage Capital Partners and nine Farm Credit organizations: AgCountry Farm Credit Services (Fargo, N.D.); AgStar Financial Services (Mankato, Minn.); AgriBank (St. Paul, Minn.); Capital Farm Credit (Bryan, Texas); CoBank (Denver, Colo.); Farm Credit Bank of Texas (Austin, Texas); Farm Credit Services of America (Omaha, Neb.); Farm Credit Services of Mid-America (Louisville, Ky.); and United FCS (Willmar, Minn.).

About Farm Credit

Farm Credit supports rural communities and agriculture with reliable, consistent credit and financial services, today and tomorrow. Farm Credit has been fulfilling its mission of helping these areas grow and thrive for a century by providing farmers, ranchers and others in rural America with the capital they need to make their businesses successful and by financing vital infrastructure and communication services. Because a steady flow of capital means more jobs and economic growth, Farm Credit is able to invest in the vibrancy of communities throughout rural America. For more information about Farm Credit, visit

Advantage Capital Partners is an investment adviser registered under the Investment Adviser Act of 1940. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. This is not intended to be an advertisement concerning an offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to purchase any interest in Advantage Capital Agribusiness Partners or any other security. Advantage Capital Partners is also an equal opportunity provider.

Advantage Capital Partners
Alyson G. Appleton, 314-732-4393

Dr. John Holliday, Chief Scientific Officer of Aloha Medicinals in Carson City, Nevada, has been elected to join a group of distinguished scientists as a member of the International Scientific Committee for the 8th International Conference on Medicinal Mushrooms, which will take place in Manizales, Colombia, on September 24-27 of 2015.

This will be the eighth conference in this very specialized field - the medicinal uses of mushrooms and mushroom-derived compounds. The first ever conference specific to this field was held in 2001 in Kiev, Ukraine. Besides Ukraine, the previous International Medicinal Mushroom Conferences have been held in Thailand, USA, China, Slovenia, and Croatia. This conference is the largest in the mycology field, and is attended by several hundred scientists from all areas of the globe, where they present their work on the medicinal aspects of the kingdom of fungi.

Molds, mushrooms and yeasts have been used by mankind for centuries as medicine (think penicillin and fermentation products for example), but it has been only in the last 20 or 30 years that science has developed the methods necessary for cultivating mushrooms in large scale in laboratory conditions. This large scale cultivation allows medicine access to the unique and complex compounds found in mushrooms, compounds which are far too complex for us to ever be able to synthesize.

Aloha Medicinals, the company that Dr. Holliday founded, has been a pioneer in the field of large scale cultivation of medicinal mushrooms, and is the world's leader in the cultivation of Cordyceps sinensis, an extremely rare and valuable species normally found only at high elevation in the Himalayas. Aloha Medicinals currently produces over half the Cordyceps consumed in the world today.

International Conference on Medicinal Mushrooms:

Dr. John Holliday Elected Vice President of the International Society for Medicinal Mushrooms

Dr. John Holliday, Chief Scientific Officer of Aloha Medicinals, has been elected as Vice President of the International Society for Medicinal Mushrooms. The ISMM is an international society for the advancement of research in the field of medicinal mycology, and Dr. Holliday joins the world's preeminent scientists in this society.

Co-members of the executive committee of the ISMM include such eminent scholars as Prof. Solomon Wasser of Israel, Prof. S.T. Chang of Australia, Prof. Yu Li from China, Prof. L. J. L. D. van Griensven of the Netherlands, Prof. Omon Isikhuemhen of Nigeria, Dr. Ivan Jakopovich of Croatia, Prof Naohito Ohno of Japan, Prof. Ulrike Lindequist of Germany, Dr. Nadezhda Psurtseva of Russia, Prof. Giuseppe Venturella of Italy, Prof. Franc Pohleven of Slovenia, Prof. Marin Berovic of Slovenia, and many other eminent scientists from around the globe.

Dr. Holliday is one of only two Americans selected for service on the executive committee, along with Dr. Mark Wach of Sylvan Spawn Company in the USA. Dr. Holliday's election to the position of Vice President indicates America's emerging importance in this field of science traditionally fulfilled by scientists from Asia and Eastern Europe. Our congratulations go out to to Dr. Holliday for having been selected to fill such an important position in the international scientific community, and his endevours in advancing the science of mycology into and beyond the 21st century.

Dr. John Holliday to be one of the keynote speakers at the Telluride Mushroom Festival

Dr. John Holliday, Chief Scientific Officer of Aloha Medicinals, is one of the keynote speakers at the Telluride mushroom festival this year. Dr. Holliday will be giving the opening lecture at 10:00 AM on Saturday, the 16th of August: Mushroom Science: Amazing Structural, Industrial, and Biological Uses of Fungi. Dr. Holliday will also be giving a lecture on his specialty, The Cordyceps Fungi at7:15 PM on Sunday the 17th, at the Palm Theater.

We encourage all mycophyles and mushroom folks to attend the Telluride Mushroom Festival in Telluride Colorado from 16 - 19 of August. This year's festival will be the best ever in its 33 year history, focusing on all aspects of mushroom science, from culinary mushrooms, identification, medicinal uses, mycoremediation and wild foraging of mushrooms. You can see more info on the festival at Please be sure to get your tickets soon, as they are expected to sell out early!

Aloha Medicinals Mycologist Haley Toups is the Female & Fungi Woman of the Month June 8, 2014

Haley Toups is the Female & Fungi Woman of the Month June 8, 2014

Womyn of the Month- June, 2014: Haley Toups [excerpt]

Haley Toups is a dedicated student at the University of Nevada, Reno pursuing a degree in biochemistry and molecular biology as well as a minor in biophysical organic chemistry, which she will graduate with in the spring of 2015. Although young, she has already started making a difference in the world of mycology by introducing her community to fungi through the local green house where she teaches the skills of mushroom cultivation and propagation. Periodically, she lectures to the local high school agriculture classes about fungi, biochemistry, and the career options available in science. She works as a laboratory technician at Aloha Medicinals which she recently allied with her university to analyze and identify fungi with DNA sequencing. Haley represents the next generation of mycologists, and only time will tell the advances in the study of fungi her generation will make.

When asked why she is interested in mycology, she explains that "mushrooms have been shown to help cure cancer, fight HIV, eliminate arthritis, they provided the first true antibiotic, and now a species has been found that can digest plastic. It appears fungi can save the world in so many ways, but compared to other fields, few laboratories are dedicated to their study. It baffles me after showing so much potential, how fungi can still be the most cryptic organisms on the planet. Who knows what other applications fungi may hold. "

Haley will be participating in the Telluride Mushroom Festival by helping people identify mushroom specimens. "I am very excited to be working at the Telluride Mushroom Festival this year. Being a student myself, I feel I will be better able to relate to many of the kids who wander into the citizen scientist specimen tent. Much of teaching is passive; students are expected to sit in an uncomfortable desk and retain every word from a dreary lecture, but that is not how learning works. Learning needs to involve hands on experience and fun. I intend to impart what knowledge I have of identifying fungi based on their physical attributes as well as stressing the importance of DNA analysis and other modern techniques. I am sure I will learn just as much from the visitors as they will learn from me because there is always something new to learn about fungi."

Haley explains what it's like to work at Aloha Medicinals.

"I can honestly say that working at Aloha is unlike anything I have ever experienced. Not many people get to wake up in the morning and go to work where they visit the company jelly fish and greet the managers' dogs while having a cup of coffee next to a saber tooth tiger skull before climbing into a cleansuit that could pass for a very convincing ninja outfit to work with mycelium and mushrooms all day. I love my job and what I am able to contribute to scientific knowledge.


Usually I begin my day with media preparations, which is the base for Aloha's entire production line. If the plates and tubes I create become contaminated, the product will become exponentially more contaminated at every step down the line, and we will have a lot of unhappy clients on our hands. For this reason it is key to use the world's most advanced sterile techniques and multiple quality control steps to insure our customers are getting exactly what they paid for.


Most days however, I organize and analyze over 10,000 culture tubes located in Nevada and Hawaii. This is my primary job at Aloha, and it is very time consuming. Twice a year every strain in the culture bank must be transferred to create the next generation to insure the strain will not die out for any reason such as lack of nutrition or even if the building was to burn down (explaining the two storage locations)"


Working at Aloha has given me a very unique view into industrial science that few people are ever able to attain and appreciate. Science is often glorified as a comfortable job where you sit in a laboratory doing little experiments, but the majority of science takes place in an industrial setting that is loud, messy, and often times repetitive. I feel lucky to be part of a world-class scientific team so early in my career."

Haley hopes to travel the world collecting mushrooms for further study."Aloha Medicinals is famous for its Cordyceps. I would be honored to accompany Dr. Holliday on an expedition to the Tibetan Alps to recover fresh samples and new strains of Cordyceps for Aloha. This experience is definitely at the top of my bucket list."

Come say hi to Haley at the Telluride Mushroom Festival, August 16 - 19, 2014.

Pre-Conference Workshops on Friday, August 15th: Tickets Here

Read the full article at:

Telluride Mushroom Festival

telluride mushroom festival

The Telluride Mushroom Festival and the Telluride Institute are thrilled to announce the 33rd annual Telluride Mushroom Festival, to be held Saturday, August 16th through Tuesday, August 19th with pre-festival workshops on August 15th. This year, the festival will center around four tracks within the field of mycology: medicinal, mycoremediation, entheogenic, and culinary.

"This will be the biggest and most interesting Telluride Mushroom Festival in all the many years this festival has been held. It will also be one of the premier mushroom events in the world for 2014. We are bringing together many interests in the mycological community; scientific, entheogenic, foraging and culinary, all under one umbrella. The Telluride Voucher Program planned for this year's festival will be one of the more comprehensive efforts at scientifically categorizing the mushrooms of this area as well." According to Dr. John Holliday, Chief Scientific Officer of Aloha Medicinals the world's largest cultivator of medicinal mushrooms for use in supplements, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

For 33 years, the Telluride Mushroom Festival has celebrated the rich and diverse world of mushrooms with the mission to educate and incite a passion for all things mycological in an ever-expanding audience. The festival offers something for everyone. In the beautiful setting of the San Juan Mountains, long-time fungi enthusiasts and mushroom novices alike will enjoy activities ranging from guided forays with information on how to locate the safest edible mushrooms to lectures and workshops led by some of the world's leading mycological experts.

The Telluride Mushroom Festival is extremely honored to welcome award-winning author Langdon Cook as this year's keynote speaker. Cook is a writer, instructor and lecturer on wild foods and the outdoors, and his book The Mushroom Hunters : On the Trail of an Underground America was the winner of the 2014 Pacific Northwest Book Award. His unique exploration of how mushroom foraging can revitalize our relationship with the earth as well as one another is sure to inspire the mycophile in each of us.

Featured speakers Tradd Cotter and Ron Spinosa will be leading workshops in mycoremediation (the use of fungi to assist in reversing pollution damage) and cultivation, including topics varying from how to use toilet paper and kitty litter to grow your own mushrooms to the potential of mushroom cultivation to aid in improving nutrition and reduce poverty in America. Rush University Medical Center biotechnology researcher, Dr. Ayman Daba, will discuss the use of mushrooms to reverse cancerous tumors by boosting the host's immune system.

Other presentations include "Mycopigmentation: Pick Mushrooms and Dye" with mycologist and fiber artist Alissa Allen. Mushroom identification is her primary passion, but mycopigments are her obsession. Alissa will lead participants through the process of extracting an array of vibrantly colored dyes from mushrooms that will then be used to color wool and silk. Alissa will offer 3 workshops during the Mushroom Festival which are limited to 20 participants each, so please book early to reserve your space.

This year also sees the inception of the Telluride Institute Voucher Program science tent, led by internationally renowned mycologist John Holliday and distinguished mycological author Gary Lincoff. Funded by Aloha Medicinals, the goal of the program is to include festival participants in the discovery of mushrooms that are yet undescribed or new to science. Festival attendees will be encouraged to bring their fungi to the Voucher Program science tent where DNA specimens of the mushrooms will be prepared.

Hosted by the Wilkinson Public Library on Saturday, August 16, the annual Mushroom Cook-Off street party will be fun for the whole family. Chefs from around the country will compete for the People's Choice Award, the Judges' Choice Award, and the coveted Mushroom Cap by creating delectable and inventive dishes using wild mushrooms. Festival-goers can watch the chefs in action, sample the dishes, and vote for their favorites. The Cook-Off will also feature specially "myco-brewed" mushroom-infused beer, live music, vendors, and a grand tasting.

As always, the ever popular and infamous Telluride Mushroom Festival annual Mushroom Parade promises to be a lively and frivolous celebration of all things fungi. Led by the "Great Wizard" Art Goodtimes, mushroom devotees will parade down Main Street sporting elaborate mushroom-themed costumes. Highlights of the parade include a community drum circle as well as a fiercely competitive costume contest.

This year's Mushroom Festival is expected to sell out, so please reserve your festival pass soon. As always, children under age 12 are FREE and a 15 percent discount on lodging is available through Telluride Alpine Lodging. Full event passes are available or by mail at MUSHROOM 2014 c/o Telluride Institute, P.O. Box 1770, Telluride CO, 81435. For festival information, please visit us on the web, or email with any questions.


Telluride Mushroom Festival

August 16 - 19, 2014

Pre-Conference Workshops on Friday, August 15th: Tickets Here

Business is mushrooming at Carson City's Aloha Medicinals

John Barrette / Nevada Appeal

medicinal mushrooms

Aloha Medicinals Chief Scientific Officer John Holliday is all ears, in a manner of speaking, but he's really all mushrooms.

Aloha Medicinals, a closely held corporation with 30 shareholders and 50 employees on Carson City's north side, is a biotechnology business supplying 700 companies in the United States and around the world. It exports to at least 60 other nations.

Holliday explained his process recently as he noted growth continues apace.

"It's a straight biotech operation," he said, adding the firm uses a sterile tissue culture technology. He compares his Arrowhead Drive plant's work to tissue cloning, "like growing an ear." But it's not just one "ear" and not just garden-variety biotech; it's "ears" galore and mushroom-variety science.

Holliday spearheads an operation that uses mushrooms combined with underlying solid substrate materials, such as grain, to produce medicinal products.

"We have the world's largest culture bank in this building." John Holliday, Aloha Medicinals Chief Scientific Officer.

The firm makes hundreds of them, though 20 of the products account for 95 percent of Aloha's business now. Aloha's growth, Holliday said, is upward of 25 percent annually. The products, he said, are mainly anti-cancer, anti-viral or immune-enhancement for inclusion in foods, beverages, capsules and the like.

"We have the world's largest culture bank in this building," said Holliday, who stuns his interviewer by adding that his background isn't actually in medicine. By training, he is a mechanical engineer. So how did Aloha Medicinals come to be his mushrooming baby, so to speak, up 26 percent last year and an expected 27 percent this year?

"I've always been interested in medicine and mushrooms," he said. That, and he grew antsy over the lack of challenge in building bridges and the other work of engineering.

Aloha Medicinals began in Hawaii, formed in the 1990s by a group of scientists and health care experts or other fields interested in growing Reishi and Cordyceps mushrooms, along with others, that are important species for health applications.

The firm moved to California in 2002, locating in Santa Cruz until mid-2007, when it relocated with 14 employees to less-expensive Carson City.

It has been named Nevada Exporter of the Year twice in recent years, as well as being recognized in 2007 with a Governor's Industry Appreciation Award and the next year for Nevada Excellence in International Business.

"They're really huge into mushrooms," said Ronni Hannaman, executive director of the Carson City Chamber of Commerce.

"It's an interesting company," said Kris Holt, executive director of Nevada Business Connections, a private-sector economic development group. Holt had Holliday on a manufacturing panel earlier this year. "They're really growing fast and furiously," Holt said.

Aloha's website says the staff now includes mycologists, microbiologists and health care professionals, and the firm has a program for post-doctorate work that brings people in from around the world. Holliday regularly speaks at medical schools regarding mushroom-undergirded medicinals and his views on health matters.

He is a bit of a scold on the subject, though pleasant in demeanor, viewing synthetic pharmaceuticals as old hat. He talks generally, not speaking of his company, when he says pharma hasn't produced much that is actually new in that arena since the 1970s.medicinal mushrooms

"We're not very good synthetic chemists," Holliday said of modern scientists.

He said, for example, that statin drugs actually come from mushrooms. He also voiced criticism of antibiotics and their overuse, noting the term literally means "against life." Yet he made it clear his role isn't to attack others, but to look toward making nature-based products that have efficacy and enhance life.

"We make raw materials for the supplemental, pharma and cosmetic industries," he said. His role, Holliday said, stems from an ability to visualize processes that simplify making such products in a fashion that is cost-effective. He said that ability streamlines systems and processes, cutting down on expenses while speeding up nature.

"I turned it into a pretty simple process that we're doing in bags," he said, which produces 400 tons of fungal-spawned product monthly. "My goal is no moving parts and make it free."

While there are some moving parts and nothing is free, he and his colleagues have speeded up nature by growing Cordyceps mushrooms in a different manner than nature at much lower cost.

Cordyceps mushrooms from nature grow out of the head of a caterpillar only in the Himalayas, which resulted in a high price because demand was high and supply low. Another mushroom of great import to Aloha is Ganoderma, with which Aloha makes a health supplement that goes into Latin American coffee products.

Aloha's manufacturing plant looks almost like another world, a place in which some employees don suits making them appear as if they're headed for outer space. They handle product under sterile air conditions and then let the fungi-infused grain grow in sealed bags.

Holliday called his plant "a big clean kitchen-process" that, in a manner similar to wine-making but using solid rather than liquid substrate, makes products that "all have healthy, medicinal properties" for animals or human beings. He said they even include performance-enhancing substances for racing.

"Every horse winner is on our performance-enhancing products," he said, his intrigued interviewer all ears.


Indian professor comes to Carson City to study mushroom production

Dr. Varun Kumar, Ph.D., the dean of biosciences at Shri Ram College in Muzaffarnagar, India, is participating in a post-doctoral program offered by Aloha Medicinals of Carson City.

Dr. Kumar is studying mushroom production techniques pioneered by Aloha Medicinals, a leader in the field of medicinal mushrooms.The area in India where Dr. Kumar lives is heavily dependent on agriculture, and he is looking to teach mushroom growing to the small farmers who dominate in the region. Using existing agricultural waste like straw and paper, mushroom farming can yield large quantities of high-protein food for humans and livestock, as well as fertilizer for other crops.

Aloha Medicinals awards 24 scholarships per year for post-doctoral research, and has brought scientists from Africa, Europe and Asia to Carson City to study advanced spawn-making and mushroom growing techniques. Dr. John Holliday, Chief Scientific Officer of Aloha Medicinals, said the program benefits both the students and the company via the exchange of ideas that takes place.

"The post-doc scholarship we run is the only one of its type in the world," Holliday said.. "It teaches the advanced methods for producing spawn, which is the seed stock used to grow mushrooms. Our idea is to make spawn making techniques available to the third world, since mushrooms represent an idea way to convert agricultural waste like straw and sawdust into edible protein. With the expanding world population is becoming more important to optimize the production of food from any given area of agricultural land. Growing mushrooms allows a secondary crop to be produced from waste that would otherwise have to be disposed of."

Carson company training biopharmaceutical leaders

Brad Horn/Special to the Nevada Appeal

medicinal mushrooms

Matilda Dzomeku, a research scientist working for the government of Ghana, was the first student to receive training at Aloha Medicinals as part of a program to offer researches hands-on experience in growing medicinal mushrooms.

Aloha Medicinals in Carson City has begun a program to provide post-doctoral instruction in biopharmaceutical manufacturing that is attracting students from several different countries.

Chief Scientific Officer Dr. John Holliday said the program was born out of a lack of hands-on educational opportunities for researchers in the growing field of biopharmaceuticals.

"The value we are offering to these post-doctoral students is they are able to come here and put the theoretical knowledge they learned in the universities into day-to-day practice,"Holliday said. "Getting a PhD doesn't teach you how to make things. It just gives you the idea of how a thing can be made."

Aloha Medicinals manufactures a variety of compounds from mushrooms that are used in medicines and dietary supplements.

"We invented so much of this field,"Holliday said. "When we started 10 years ago, it was a concept that no one had really put into practice. And we have been leading the way since, and now there is an emerging worldwide industry based on this concept of non-toxic, naturally derived functional medicines."

While working with the government of Ghana to create mushroom-growing facilities on the African continent, Holliday made an offer to help train their researchers by bringing them to Carson City to show them how to produce end-user products from mushrooms.

While presenting a paper at the Fifth International Conference on Medicinal Mushrooms in China on Sept. 5-8 in Nantong, China, Holliday opened up the offer for training to the top researchers in medicinal mushrooms, and has since received 20 applications from countries like Slovenia, Ukraine, Uganda, Togo and China.

"Both parties benefit, because we are bringing some of the greatest brainpower in the world in this field,"Holliday said. Matilda Dzomeku was the first researcher to be trained at Aloha, and has already returned to her native Ghana to put her new knowledge to use. "Mushroom technology has not been fully explored,"Dzomeku said. "There is much more that we can do, especially in Africa."

Holliday said his vision is to create a hub of biopharmaceutical companies in Northern Nevada, and is in discussions with the University of Nevada, Reno on creating a program at the school to train people in this field.

The company already has had several UNR students doing work at their facility for class credit.

Aloha Medicinals has 33 employees at their 33,000 square foot facility in Carson City. The company was recently named the Small Business Exporter of the Year for Nevada by the Small Business Administration, and also received the 2007 Governor's Industry Appreciation Award, and the 2008 Nevada Excellence in International Business Award.

Blessed Herbal Clinic launches immune booster

- The Blessed Herbal Clinic Limited has introduced an immune booster, Immune Assist 24/7™ for persons living with HIV/AIDS, infertility, stroke, diabetes, low sperm count and general pains.

Mr Robert Bamson, General Manager of the clinic, in an interview with Ghana News Agency on Wednesday, said about 100 patients who were put on the drug during trials at the clinic responded positively. Mr Bamson said while no supplement or medication could take the place of a healthy lifestyle and good diet, modern science had provided knowledge to fight the breaking down of the natural immune defences in humans.

He said the daily supplement in Immune Assist 24/7™ was a compound called Polysaccharide Immune Enhancer, which acted as the immune, triggered the body to be strong and vital. Mr Bamson said the clinic had branches at La and Dansoman in Accra as well as Sunyani and Kumasi to bring its services to the doorsteps of the people to cater for their health needs.

He said apart from the diseases mentioned, the clinic also offered spiritual and religious support to patients. The General Manager expressed the hope that people with the diseases would take advantage of services offered at the clinic to find solution to their health needs.

John Holliday named Small Business Exporter of the Year

By Brian Sodoma

medicinal mushrooms

A highly coveted medicinal fungus that only grows naturally on the heads of caterpillars living above 14,000 feet in the Himalaya mountains can also be found in Carson City, Nev. John C. Holliday is to thank for that.

While many may not understand the significance behind Holliday's ability to grow this unique fungus from tissue cultures, it's noteworthy to mention that many people around the world are enjoying health benefits from his Northern Nevada organically grown products.

Holliday began his professional career as a mechanical engineer, spending some time building equipment for nuclear submarines in Hawaii. Cultivating mushrooms as a hobby since 1976, Holliday started Mushroom Maui in 1997. He sold the company to Aloha Medicinals in 2000 and became the head of research for the medicinal mushroom company with the move. Two years later, Holliday moved Aloha Medicinals to Santa Cruz, Calif., and then to Carson City 18 months ago.

"The business atmosphere is much more friendly here than in California," he said. "The NNDA (Northern Nevada Development Authority) has been just a wonderful support...I can honestly say the best thing I ever did was move my business to Nevada."

Holliday leaned on his mechanical engineering background to build the equipment necessary to replicate the growth environment of the high Himalayas so that his company could produce Cordyceps, the earlier-mentioned fungus known around the world for its immune system-enhancing and infection-fighting properties in humans and animals. Holliday sells raw Cordyceps and mushroom medicinals to more than 700 drug and supplement companies around the world, in addition to selling some under the Aloha Medicinals name.

The company grows more than 75 percent of the world's supply of Cordyceps and sells it and other medicinal mushroom products to more than 30 countries. With sales growing to $3.6 million in 2008, Holliday expects them to balloon to $50 million soon, with the completion of an agreement to sell the company's Immune Assist 24/7™ product in Africa, where it has proven to be effective in helping HIV/AIDS sufferers.

Holliday, who is editor of the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, was awarded an honorary doctorate degree in mycology from the Chinese scientific community for his research work on the medicinal effects of mushrooms; and he has lectured in more than 20 countries on the topic.

While other countries consider mushroom formulations and some of Aloha Medicinals' supplements actual drugs, gaining that title in America is difficult. But Holliday doesn't allow the inability to get his products approved as drugs in America to keep him from marketing effective products around the world.

"In the U.S., a drug must be able to be described down to a single molecule. But nature isn't that simple. It isn't a single active molecule but rather an entire suite of compounds (that makes mushrooms medicinally effective)," Holliday said. "Things are looked at as dietary supplements in this country, where in other countries ... those same things may be regarded as a mainstream treatment."

(Carson City, Nev., May 13, 2009) A Nevada company has developed a process that allows livestock producers to replace artificial antibiotic feed supplements with an organic compound made from mushrooms that produces healthier meat.

This would eliminate the need for antibiotic supplements which most health professionals have criticized for their role in accelerating the growth of drug-resistant bacteria. Beyond the health concerns, the European Union has banned the importation of meat from animals that are fed antibiotics.

Dr. John Holliday, Chief Scientific Officer of Aloha Medicinals, has been researching the antibiotic and anti-viral compounds present in fungi for many years. His company has pioneered a process to mass produce cordyceps, a very rare mushroom that grows only in Tibet. Inside their facility in Carson City, the company now produces more cordyceps than are harvested in the wild in the entire world.

Penicillin, the first antibiotic and the model for all that came later, originates from fungi. Bacteria, viruses and fungi occupy the same link in the food chain. Because bacteria and viruses multiply faster, fungi have evolved to produce compounds that fight off these competitors in order to survive.

It was the isolation of one of these compounds that became Penicillin. And according to Holliday, that was where medicine took a wrong turn.

"When (Dr. Alexander) Fleming discovered Penicillin in 1928, science went down a very narrow path, trying to isolate single molecules that would have the active properties that we were looking for," Holliday said. "If we look at using the whole, naturally occurring antibiotic instead of the single isolated molecule, we have better efficacy, lower costs and far less toxicity or side effects."
Aloha Medicinals has proven that feeding livestock these mushroom compounds does a better job of fighting off diseases without the dangers posed by using artificially produced antibiotics and anti-viral drugs.

Holliday said they have run trials on more than 60,000 head of cattle.
And because these mushrooms are certified organic, meat produced using them would be eligible for export to Europe and other overseas markets.

"We are trying to come up with ways where we can combine the best of two systems, the happy cow in a grassy field, and the 100,000 cows in a feedlot," Holliday said. "What we are doing is producing a healthier meat, certified organic, and it's not sick."

Aloha Medicinals was recently named the Small Business Exporter of the Year for Nevada by the Small Business Administration. The company also received the 2007 Governor's Industry Appreciation Award, and the 2008 Nevada Excellence in International Business Award.

Aloha Medicinals Awards Scholarships for Mushroom Cultivation Training

Aloha Medicinals the world's largest producer of organic Cordyceps sinensis, announces the award of scholarships for advanced spawn making techniques. Aloha Medicinals has awarded full scholarships to 10 qualified applicants to attend a one-month long course on Advanced Spawn Making for the Mushroom Industry to be held at their Carson City, Nevada plant.

This is the only course of its kind in the world, where the applicants are given hands on training in the most advanced aspects of mushroom spawn manufacturing, including spawn making for button mushrooms, as well as many of the exotic strains used for both culinary and medicinal purposes.

Upon successful completion of this intensive month-long training program the graduates are awarded a certificate identifying them as Spawn Masters; the most prestigious level of accomplishment in the mushroom industry.

Aloha Medicinals Named Small Business Exporter of the Year for Nevada

2009 Nevada SBA Small Business Award Winners Include Carson City and Ely Honorees

Las Vegas, NV - The Nevada District office of the U. S. Small Business Administration has selected its small business award honorees for 2009, including two Northern and Rural Nevada residents.  They will be recognized at an awards luncheon to be held at The Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on Thursday, May 7, 2009, beginning promptly at 11:30 am.

Rob Dorinson, majority owner and President of Evergreen Recycling, Las Vegas, has been named SBA's Small Business Person of the Year for the State of Nevada.

Mary A. Kerner, Lending Administrator for the Rural Nevada Development Corporation, Ely, has been named SBA's Nevada and Region 9 (Guam, Hawaii, California, Nevada and Arizona) Financial Services Champion of the Year.

John C. Holliday, Chief Scientific Officer of, Aloha Medicinals, Carson City, has been named SBA's Small Business Exporter of the Year for Nevada.

Mr. Dorinson has been invited to attend SBA's National Small Business Week activities in Washington, D. C. on May 17-19 to be recognized with all other state Small Business Persons of the Year. This year marks the 56th anniversary of the SBA, and the 46th annual proclamation of Small Business Week.

Others being honored at the awards luncheon in Las Vegas include:

  • Microenterprise Business Person of the Year: Lisa McQuerrey, Owner, Professional Writing Services, Henderson;
  • Small Business Journalist of the Year: Connie Brennan, Publisher, Nevada Business, Henderson;
  • Minority Small Business Champion of the Year: Janis Stevenson, Business Development Advisor, Nevada Small Business Development Center, Las Vegas;
  • Home-Based Business Champion of the Year: Shawn D. Lane, Owner, Cheyenne Marketing, Las Vegas;
  • Women in Business Champion of the Year: Carrie Michelle Henderson, President, BEST Agency, Las Vegas.

Page Two - SBA Awards

The nominees are judged by an independent panel of small business leaders on a variety of criteria, including staying power, growth in number of employees, increase in sales, current and past financial reports, innovativeness of product or service, response to adversity, evidence of contributions to community-oriented projects, and small business advocacy.

Rob Dorinson, Small Business Person of the Year for the State of Nevada, is majority owner and President of Evergreen Recycling. The companyspecializes in construction waste management, industrial recycling and commercial recycling services. Dorinson founded his company in 1997, and the company has grown from an initial five employees to seventy-six during 2008. In January 2008, Dorinson secured $2 million in financing through the SBA's 504 loan guarantee program to construct a 50,000 square foot Material Recovery Facility in Las Vegas. Evergreen's operation has been praised by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and remains the largest facility of its kind in Nevada, processing and annually recovering 120,000 tons of materials.

Mary A. Kerner, Nevada Financial Services Champion of the Year, is Lending Administrator for the Rural Nevada Development Corporation. Effectively creating and administering a $7 million loan portfolio with a less than 1 percent default rate would alone be worthy of recognition. However, Kerner has also consistently worked to insure RNDC clients receive the needed business acumen, technical assistance and advocacy required to achieve and maintain success both before and after they have received their funding through RNDC.

John C. Holliday, PhD, Nevada Small Business Exporter of the Year, is Chief Scientific Officer of Aloha Medicinals, Producing condition-specific dietary supplements for worldwide distribution and reformulation, Aloha Medicinals exports to over a dozen countries, with further international expansion being developed. Founded in Hawaii, the company moved to Carson City during 2007. The company has previously received the 2007 Governor's Industry Appreciation Award, and the 2008 Nevada Excellence in International Business Award.

"This has been a very challenging economy for small companies," said John Scott, SBA Nevada District Director. "All of our award recipients this year display a 'can-do' spirit when it comes to business staying power, and all have the ability to see beyond the challenges to develop solutions," added Scott. "We look forward to recognizing their achievements at the special Small Business Awards luncheon on May 7."

For reservations to join the SBA and business leaders for the Nevada SBA awards luncheon in Las Vegas on May 7, 2008 at the Orleans Hotel, contact Greenspun Media Group at: 702-990-2448 or The cost to attend this event is $55 per person or $500 for table(s) of 10.

# # #

For more information about all of the SBA's programs for small businesses, call the SBA Answer Desk at 1-800 U ASK SBA or TDD 704-344-6640, or visit the SBA's extensive Web site at

Nevada District Office, U.S. Small Business Administration

400 South Fourth St., Suite 250, Las Vegas, NV 89101.

Aloha Medicinals Attending Medicinal Mushroom Conference in Ghana Africa

For Immediate Release

Contact: Liza Alvarez, Aloha Medicinals,, 775-886-6300, 2300 Arrowhead Dr. Carson City, NV 89706

Aloha Medicinals, Attending Medicinal Mushroom Conference in Ghana Africa.

Aloha Medicinals, is sending four members of its research team who specialize in Cordyceps sinensis production to Accra, Ghana for the 2nd African Conference on Edible and Medicinal Mushrooms taking place March 24-28.

The conference will be attended by mycologists, microbiologists, doctors, government ministries, and other professionals. The agenda includes discussions of the medicinal properties and pharmacology of active compounds, mushroom supplements, and fungal physiology, biochemistry, and genetics.

Dr. Holliday, Chief Scientific Officer of Aloha Medicinals, will be chairing technical sections and presenting the plenary lecture. Dr. Holliday will also be making a presentation on 'Mushrooms and Health Management'. Cody Bailey will be lecturing on 'Low Technology Methods of Mushroom Production', Clint Moreira will present a lecture on'Isolation of Anamorphs in Cordyceps sinensis', and Britt Gianotti will discuss the'Reanimation of Archaic Forms of Cordyceps'. The Aloha Medicinals research team has been studying and growing cultures found in 8 million year old coal to find strains of archaic Cordyceps that would be unrecognizable to modern bacteria and virus. The objective is to present the modern disease causing organisms with an antagonist in the form of ancient Cordyceps, to which they have no resistance.

Carson City Scientist to Present Paper in Dubai

Contact: Aloha Medicinals 2300 Arrowhead Highway, Carson City NV. 89706 775-886 6300

Dr. John Holliday, Chief Scientific Officer of Aloha Medicinals, a Carson City Nevada Biopharmaceutical company, has been invited to present a paper at the International Conference on Fisheries, Animal and Veterinary Sciences, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, January 28-30, 2009.

The paper will detail recent successful large scale field trials and testing of ingredients of Aloha Medicinals cutting edge formulation, Fin-Immune™. This is a USDA certified organic food additive that acts as a growth stimulator and antibiotic replacement for farm raised fish. Fin-Immune™ improves the general health of the fish, reduces mortality and shortens growing time needed to bring the farm raised fish to market.

The conference, held in conjunction with the World Academy of Engineering and Technology, will be attended by more than 6000 leading veterinarians, researchers, scientists and engineers from all over the world.

Aloha Medicinals is the world's largest developer and supplier of mycology based non-prescription nutrients that improve immune response in both humans and animals.

Carson City Nevada November 19, 2008

Aloha Medicinals, a Carson City Nevada biopharmaceutical company specializing in natural immune modulators, announced the launch of its first international consumer marketing program. John Holliday, Ph.D. stated "There are no products anywhere in the world that support optimized immune function the way Immune Assist 24/7™ does. That's why it is used by health care professionals in immune hotspots like Africa, and that's why we are advertising it in leading consumer publications world-wide.

Immune Assist 24/7™ was developed by Dr. Holliday after years of research into ways to trigger natural immune response to invading bacteria and viruses. The ingredients developed by Dr. Holliday are so unique they have been awarded United States patent protection.

The Immune Assist 24/7™ advertising campaign will be directed to consumers initially through print advertising, and a full TV campaign is planned starting the second half of 2009.

Executive Vice President Roger Scott said "If a company has a product that can keep people well, does not require a prescription because there are no side effects, and is affordable, that company has an obligation to advertise and let people know about it. The best part of Immune Assist 24/7™ is that the product is 100% Certified Organic and made right here in the United States. As far as we are aware, this is the very first, time release, 100% Certified Organic tablet made anywhere."

For more information regarding Aloha Medicinals, and Immune Assist 24/7™ please contact Roger Scott at 775 886 6300.