We’ve enjoyed them in omelettes and pasta for years. But these days, the humble mushroom is undergoing a major status upgrade, as more and more people clock onto the powerful health benefits of our functional funghi friends.
Today we shine a light on the awesome reishi mushroom – an adaptogenic plant (helping us adapt to our surroundings and build resilience), with deep roots in traditional Chinese medicine. And while they’re not ‘that’ sort of magic mushroom, their health credentials strike us as pretty magical..!
There are many varieties of reishi, and they tend to be grown in and around China and Mongolia. They vary in size but have a soft cork-like texture and look a bit like giant ears, ranging from red-orange to black. Reishi is bitter and can taste quite woody, which is why it is traditionally prepared in a tea or as an extract. (Our Lunar Nectar solves all this - with exquisite, high purity chamomile and cacao husk for a rounded, moreish flavour profile!)
All hail the shroom!
A range of functional mushrooms are now enjoying the spotlight – in addition to reishi, these include cordyceps, lion’s mane and chaga. And for good reason. They are rich in anti-oxidants and nutrients like beta-glucans and polysaccharides that can help boost immunity and also support nerve and brain health. Many of these phytonutrients are unique to functional mushrooms.
The mushroom of ‘spiritual potency’
In traditional Chinese medicine reishi is believed to help induce a state of relaxed focus. For this reason, Taoist monks and spiritual seekers refer to it as the mushroom of ‘spiritual potency’ and have long used reishi to help them meditate and relieve the stresses of daily life.
While reishi mushrooms are not a cure-all, there is also evidence to suggest that taking reishi mushroom in regular, small doses can do quite a bit to bring calm and help with sleep.
Our Lunar Nectar is a great place to start…try it in the evening with your dinner or just before bed, nice and warm. Cue the zen…
Stay humble out there!