How to Heal with Mushrooms

I know what you're thinking... MUSHROOMS? But yes... you heard me! Mushrooms have incredible healing power and they have been used in many cultures for thousands of years. Many are using certain mushrooms as preventative medicine to build up the immune system and shield from disease. I'll break down the basics of what I've learned (along with some of my favorite ways to use mushrooms in your every day routine)! All of these mushrooms I talk about below you can find in extract/supplement form - I don't suggest going into the woods and trying to identify these yourself. I find my supplements from health stores - you can also order them online, just make sure they are coming from a good source! 

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Reishi 

Reishi is a great mushroom to start with. It is known as the queen healer since it is all encompassing! It is mind and body balancing. It's known to calm you down, help with sleep, regulate hormones, lower cholesterol AND inflammation. Reishi has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. I use reishi extract in my smoothies every morning (2 droppers). I promise you can't taste it! 

Chaga 

I bet you've seen Chaga... I know I have at all my favorite juice places. Everyone seems to be making Chaga Chocolate milk and now that I've tried it I can understand why. It tastes SO GOOD. I have not experimented with making my own (yet) but what I have seen in a few different places is a combo of: nut milk, chaga, cocoa, dates, vanilla and sometimes probiotics. The reason Chaga is so loved in the mushroom world is because it is a high source of anti-oxidants. It is also anti-parasitic and is known to boost your metabolism. 

Cordyceps 

It is pronounced just like you would think... Cord-E-Ceps. Cordycep mushrooms are adaptogens that help maintain energy levels in the body. Like other mushrooms it has anti-viral properties and enhances focus and mental clarity. 

Lions Mane

Lions Mane is all about brain power. It helps improve memory, creativity, and activates the nervous system. You can 

Shiitake 

AKA the beauty mushroom... Shiitake Mushrooms are know to make your skin look beautiful. It is also known to help heal your liver. 

Maitake 

Maitake Mushrooms are well known to help with weight loss and diabetes. They help regulate glucose levels and increase insulin production. 

So now for the fun part... Below are a few of my favorite #mushroomrecipes - you can easily add mushroom extract into your tea, milk, smoothie, etc!

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Hot Chocolate - Chaga addition (recipe from: Catskill Animal Sanctuary)

  •  ¼ cup dried chaga mushroom chunks

  • 1 quart water

  • ½ cup of your favorite nondairy milk

  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or coconut sugar

  • 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder

  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Start off by making your base - Chaga Tea - combine the dried chaga chunks and water in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and allow to simmer for 1 hour. Cool slightly, then strain into a quart-sized mason jars, reserving the chaga chunks. (fun fact these can be frozen and used in future batches up to 3 times). Store the chaga “tea” in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

To make the chaga hot chocolate, combine the chaga “tea”, nondairy milk, and maple syrup or coconut sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, and heat until steaming. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cacao and vanilla and you’re done!

Medicinal Mushroom Milk (recipe from: The Green Creator)

  • 1½ cups water

  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds

  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds

  • 1 tablespoon almond butter

  • 1-2 medjool dates, pitted

  • 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder

  • ½ teaspoon turmeric

  • a dash of cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon of Chaga powder

  • ½ teaspoon of Reishi powder

Combine ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until smooth. You can adjust the sweetness by adding more or less dates. Blend until smooth and creamy, then pour and enjoy! To heat up - pour into a saucepan and warm, or pour over ice for chilled version. 

OR if you want to take the easy and quick route - you can find pre-made packets at any health store or amazon!